Monday, February 21, 2022

Nickelodeon UK Ratings for Week of Monday 7th - Sunday 13th February 2022

Nickelodeon UK Network Ratings for week of Monday 7th - Sunday 13th February 2022.

Ratings were down across the Nickelodeon network this week compared to the previous week (Jan. 30-Feb. 6), with only Nickelodeon reporting an uplift in viewership.

Nickelodeon Total:

1. DANGER FORCE (SAT 19:00) - 35,700
2. HENRY DANGER (SAT 18:30) - 35,700
3. DANGER FORCE (SAT 19:31) - 32,500
4. THE THUNDERMANS (TUE 18:59) - 31,005
5. HORRID HENRY (TUE 06:14) - 28,200
6. HENRY DANGER (SAT 17:59) - 26,755
7. VICTORIOUS (TUE 20:30) - 25,216
8. HORRID HENRY (SAT 06:31) - 24,006
9. ICARLY (TUE 17:31) - 22,300
10. DRAMA CLUB (SUN 17:31) - 21,108
11. HORRID HENRY (SAT 06:46) - 20,700
12. SIDE HUSTLE (TUE 16:30) - 18,600
13. TYLER PERRY'S YOUNG DYLAN (TUE 15:59) - 18,600
14. DANGER FORCE (TUE 17:00) - 18,600
15. ICARLY (TUE 17:59) - 17,800

NickToons Total:

1. HORRID HENRY (SUN 17:00) - 36,400
2. THE CASAGRANDES (MON 17:44) - 28,700
3. THE PATRICK STAR SHOW (THU 19:31) - 28,400
4. HORRID HENRY (THU 18:45) - 28,400
5. HORRID HENRY (THU 18:30) - 28,400
8. HORRID HENRY (MON 29:15) - 28,212
10. HORRID HENRY (SUN 16:00) - 24,010
11. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (MON 12:14) - 23,800
12. HORRID HENRY (WED 17:15) - 23,800
13. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (THU 19:45) - 23,700
14. THE PATRICK STAR SHOW (WED 19:31) - 23,600
15. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (WED 19:45) - 23,600

Nick Jr. Total:

1. PEPPA PIG (SAT 24:35) - 103,300
2. PEPPA PIG (MON 15:45) - 102,800
3. PEPPA PIG (MON 16:15) - 97,300
4. PEPPA PIG (MON 13:29) - 95,200
5. PEPPA PIG (MON 13:45) - 92,600
6. PEPPA PIG (SAT 14:45) - 90,300
7. PEPPA PIG (MON 16:20) - 88,700
9. PEPPA PIG (MON 15:59) - 73,800
10. PEPPA PIG (MON 14:50) - 72,100
11. BLUE'S CLUES & YOU (MON 16:31) - 71,800
12. PEPPA PIG (MON 15:50) - 71,500
13. PEPPA PIG (FRI 10:35) - 70,500
14. PEPPA PIG (MON 15:34) - 70,200
15. PEPPA PIG (MON 14:59) - 69,500

Nick Jr. Too:

1. PAW PATROL (TUE 06:14) - 70,400
2. PAW PATROL (TUE 06:59) - 70,100
3. PAW PATROL (TUE 07:14) - 68,300
4. PAW PATROL (MON 17:44) - 56,100
5. PAW PATROL (TUE 06:30) - 53,900
6. PAW PATROL (WED 19:30) - 40,400
7. PAW PATROL (WED 19:45) - 40,100
8. PAW PATROL (WED 19:15) - 40,000
9. PAW PATROL (MON 19:14) - 39,200
10. PAW PATROL (FRI 16:59) - 39,000
11. PAW PATROL (WED 18:44) - 38,500
12. PAW PATROL (MON 18:29) - 36,400
13. PAW PATROL (WED 17:30) - 36,300
14. PAW PATROL (MON 18:59) - 36,100
15. PAW PATROL (TUE 16:14) - 35,900

Note: Nick Jr. Too is listed as Nick Jr 2 on BARB.

Nickelodeon Network:

1. PEPPA PIG (SAT 24:35) - Nick Jr Total - 103,300
2. PEPPA PIG (MON 15:45 - Nick Jr Total - 102,800
3. PEPPA PIG (MON 16:15) - Nick Jr Total - 97,300
4. PEPPA PIG (MON 13:29) - Nick Jr Total - 95,200
5. PEPPA PIG (MON 13:45) - Nick Jr Total - 92,600
6. PEPPA PIG (SAT 14:45) - Nick Jr Total - 90,300
7. PEPPA PIG (MON 16:20) - Nick Jr Total - 88,700
8. THE ADVENTURES OF PADDINGTON (MON 16:59) - Nick Jr Total - 82,300
9. PEPPA PIG (MON 15:59) - Nick Jr Total - 73,800
10. PEPPA PIG (MON 14:50) - Nick Jr Total - 72,100
11. BLUE'S CLUES & YOU (MON 16:31) - Nick Jr Total - 71,800
12. PEPPA PIG (MON 15:50) - Nick Jr Total - 71,500
13. PEPPA PIG (FRI 10:35) - Nick Jr Total - 70,500
14. PAW PATROL (TUE 06:14) - Nick Jr 2 - 70,400
15. PEPPA PIG (MON 15:34) - Nick Jr Total - 70,200

Ratings data provided by BARB.

Programmes of less than 5 minutes duration are excluded from these reports.

Linear TV viewing only; Data for viewing programming on PC/laptops, Tablets and Smartphones is currently unavailable.

Originally published: February 21, 2022.

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Nickelodeon Germany Renews 'Spotlight' For Season 6

Nickelodeon Germany (Deutschland) has renewed its hugely popular locally produced cross-media TV series Spotlight, which follows the lives of a group of young talented students at theatrical school and their dreams to take the stage, for a sixth season!

Season six of Spotlight will bring some big changes to the series - both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes. Filming on the new season commenced on Monday 14th March 2022.

Instead of the show's previous supersized seasons comprising of thirty-plus 10-15 minute episodes, season six will be comprised of thirteen 22-minute episodes - a first for the show.

Filming for Spotlight season 6 is also moving to a new location. The new setting for the Berlin School of Arts campus is the FEZ-Berlin in Berlin, which is making its premises available for the new season in cooperation with the Landesmusikakademie. With new dance halls, a recording studio, a large concert hall, a cinema and a swimming pool, the new location offers the students - Greta (Chiara Tews), Rocco (Malcom Meckert), Emily (Nevena Schöneberg) and Sam (Jerome Weinert) completely new opportunities to pursue their dreams of success as dancers, singers and actors and have a lot of fun in the process.

The new school year also brings two new students to the BSA: Lenny (German Shulga) has a way with words like no other - perfect for the new Creative Writing course. And with Luna (Carlotta Truman), the school gains a new singing talent and the clique quickly makes a new friend. The teachers also get support: Mina (Shari Gall) takes over the singing lessons and the new dance teacher Anna (Mareike Zwahr) takes over the beginners' dance class.

The group of pupils is completed by Larissa (Leonie Pollok), Mads (Mike Leon Lichtenberg), Milan (Simon Zeller) and Lasse (Esmael Agostinho), who all have their own challenges to overcome in addition to their everyday school life. They have to overcome fears, forgive, trust and admit their own mistakes. Where will my path take me and who will be by my side - that is the big question!

In the sixth season, the students will again be visited and actively supported by numerous guest stars from TV, music and the world of influencers. They include TikTok stars JulesBoringLife and Twenty4Tim, singer Lotte, the band HE/RO and entrepreneur, choreographer and author Nikeata Thompson. GZSZ legend Wolfgang Bahro and Spotlight all-stars Lisa Küppers, HeyMoritz, Luana Knöll and Lea Mirzanli are also returning to the BSA as guest stars.

The new season is being filmed under strict adherence to extensive hygiene measures to minimise risk for cast and crew in relation to COVID-19.

Steffen Kottkamp, Brand Director Kids & Family Central Europe at Paramount: "No matter on which platform, Spotlight is a successful format that will become even more mature in the sixth season. We are looking forward to 13 x 22 minutes full of new impulses, new talents and lots of heart, music, dance and exciting stories."

The new episodes are once again produced by UFA Serial Drama in collaboration with Nickelodeon and ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS). Spotlight is edited by Wiebke Werner (Nickelodeon). Producer is Helga Löbel (UFA Serial Drama), producer is Florian Boesel (UFA Serial Drama).

First looks of the filming can be found at @spotlightdeutsch and @nickelodeondeutsch on Instagram, Nickelodeon Germany on YouTube and the TikTok account spotlightdeutsch.

From March 1, the new Nick Spotlight channel on Pluto TV will take all fans of the series back to the beginnings of the Berlin School of Arts. The five students Jannik, Toni, Ruby, Azra and Mo have passed the entrance exam to Germany's only school that combines performing arts and general education and the students want to turn their dream of show business into reality. All the ups and downs of the first five seasons can be seen daily around the clock on Nick Spotlight on Pluto TV.

Official Paramount (Deutschland), Austria (Österreich) and Switzerland's (Schweiz) press release:

Der Traum geht weiter: Drehstart für die sechste Staffel von Spotlight

Nickelodeon, VIS und UFA Serial Drama produzieren 13 neue Folgen der Erfolgsserie über die Berlin School of Arts

Berlin, 21. Februar 2022 – Mit bekannten Gesichtern, großen Gaststars und neuen Talenten geht Spotlight, die Erfolgsserie von Nickelodeon, VIS und UFA Serial Drama in die sechste Staffel: Schon seit dem 14. Februar läuft der Dreh, derzeit entstehen 13 neue Folgen mit erstmals je 22 Minuten Länge.

Einen Neuanfang markiert dabei der neue Schauplatz der Serie, denn das Team taucht für die Dreharbeiten direkt in den Alltag der Zielgruppe ein: Neue Kulisse für die Berlin School of Arts ist das FEZ-Berlin, das in Kooperation mit der Landesmusikakademie ihre Räumlichkeiten für die neue Staffel zur Verfügung stellt. Mit neuen Tanzsälen, einem Tonstudio, einer großen Konzerthalle, Kino und Schwimmbad bietet die neue Location ganz neue Möglichkeiten für die Schüler*innen um Greta (Chiara Tews), Rocco (Malcom Meckert), Emily (Nevena Schöneberg) und Sam (Jerome Weinert), ihre Träume vom Erfolg als Tänzer*in, Sänger*in oder Schauspieler*in zu verfolgen und dabei ganz viel Spaß zu haben.

Das neue Schuljahr bringt auch zwei neue Schüler*innen an die BSA: Lenny (German Shulga) kann wie kein anderer mit Worten umgehen – perfekt für den neuen Kurs Creative Writing. Und mit Luna (Carlotta Truman) gewinnt die Schule ein neues Gesangstalent und die Clique ganz schnell eine neue Freundin. Auch die Lehrer*innen bekommen Unterstützung: Mina (Shari Gall) übernimmt den Gesangsunterricht und die neue Tanzlehrerin Anna (Mareike Zwahr) die Beginnerklasse für Tanz.

Komplett wird die Gruppe der Schüler*innen von Larissa (Leonie Pollok), Mads (Mike Leon Lichtenberg), Milan (Simon Zeller) und Lasse (Esmael Agostinho), die alle neben dem Schulalltag, ihre ganz eigenen Herausforderungen zu meistern haben. Es gilt Ängste zu überwinden, zu verzeihen, zu vertrauen und sich eigene Fehler einzugestehen. Wo führt mich mein Weg hin und wer ist an meiner Seite – das ist die große Frage!

Auch in der sechsten Staffel bekommen die Schüler*innen Besuch und tatkräftige Unterstützung von zahlreichen Gaststars aus TV, Musik und der Welt der Influencer*innen. U.a. mit dabei sind die TikTok-Größen JulesBoringLife und Twenty4Tim, Sängerin Lotte, die Band HE/RO und die Unternehmerin, Choreographin und Autorin Nikeata Thompson. Auch GZSZ-Legende Wolfgang Bahro sowie die Spotlight-Allstars Lisa Küppers, HeyMoritz, Luana Knöll und Lea Mirzanli kehren als Gaststars zurück an die BSA.

Gedreht wird die neue Staffel unter strenger Einhaltung umfangreicher Hygienemaßnahmen zur Risikominimierung für Cast und Team in Bezug auf das Coronavirus.

Steffen Kottkamp, Brand Director Kids & Family Central Europe bei Paramount: „Egal auf welcher Plattform, Spotlight ist ein Erfolgsformat, das in der sechsten Staffel noch mal ein Stückchen erwachsener wird. Wir freuen uns auf 13 x 22 Minuten voller neuer Impulse, neuer Talente und jeder Menge Herz, Musik, Tanz und aufregender Geschichten.“

Produziert werden die neuen Folgen erneut von UFA Serial Drama in Zusammenarbeit mit Nickelodeon und VIS. Die Redaktion von Spotlight liegt bei Wiebke Werner (Nickelodeon). Produzentin ist Helga Löbel (UFA Serial Drama), Producer ist Florian Boesel (UFA Serial Drama).

Erste Einblicke in die Dreharbeiten gibt es bei @spotlightdeutsch und @nickelodeondeutsch auf Instagram, Nickelodeon Deutschland auf YouTube sowie dem TikTok-Account spotlightdeutsch.

Ab dem 1. März bringt der neue Sender Nick Spotlight bei Pluto TV alle Fans der Serie zurück an die Anfänge der Berlin School of Arts. Die fünf Schüler*innen Jannik, Toni, Ruby, Azra und Mo haben die Aufnahmeprüfung an Deutschlands einziger Schule, die Performing Arts und allgemeine Schulbildung verbindet, bestanden und wollen aus ihrem Traum vom Showbusiness Wirklichkeit machen. Alle Aufs und Abs der ersten fünf Staffeln gibt es bei Nick Spotlight auf Pluto TV täglich rund um die Uhr zu sehen.

Über Paramount:

Paramount ist ein führendes globales Medien- und Entertainmentunternehmen, das erstklassige Inhalte und Erlebnisse für ein weltweites Publikum kreiert. Zum Markenportfolio des Unternehmens gehören unter anderem CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+, Pluto TV und Simon & Schuster. Mit innovativen Streaming-Angeboten, digitalen Bewegtbildprodukten und den linearen TV-Angeboten erreicht Paramount in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz mehr als 40 Millionen Haushalte und weltweit mehr als 4,3 Milliarden Zuschauer in mehr als 180 Ländern auf fünf Kontinenten. Durch starke Partnerschaften in den Bereichen Consumer Products und Recreation sind die Marken von Paramount außerdem erlebbar auf Events, als Lizenzprodukte und in Freizeitparks.

Über VIS:

Seit 2018 produziert VIS Inhalte für Paramount-Marken und -Plattformen, darunter Paramount+, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, Channel 5, Network 10, Telefe und Chilevisión, sowie für Dritte. Zum Studio gehören auch Ananey und Porta Dos Fundos sowie die neue, auf gesellschaftliche Themen ausgerichtete Abteilung VIS Social Impact. Die Inhalte von VIS decken alle Genres ab: Kinder, junge Erwachsene, Live-Action und Animation, Seifenopern, Dramen, kurze und lange Comedy-Formate und Spielfilme.


Originally published: February 21, 2022.

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Big Nate | The Butt Cheeks Song (Short) | Paramount+

Big Nate | The Butt Cheeks Song (Short) | Paramount+

When Nate has trouble falling asleep, he asks Martin to sing him a special lullaby. We dare you NOT to sing along with this toe-tapping ode to a certain rounded part of the posterior. Stream full episodes of Big Nate exclusively on Paramount+. Click HERE for more info about the show and visit for a free trial!

Big Nate Butt Cheeks Song | Ben Giroux

Originally published: January 25, 2022.

H/T: ASF /@SweetShop209.

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Nickelodeon UK to Premiere 'Side Hustle' Season 2 on Feb. 21

Side Hustle Season 2 FULL EPISODE! | Model Employee | Nickelodeon UK

Don't miss season 2 of Side Hustle, starts 21st February, only on Nickelodeon UK & Ireland! 📺 

Model Employee: It’s fashion week in Altoonisburg and Lex, Presley and Munchy get a KidDing for a modelling job! But the job turns out to be toy modelling, rather than fashion modelling! Dissapointed with the reality of the KidDing, the kids scheme to try make it to the real fashion show!

I Hart Danger Week Promo - February 2022 (Nickelodeon UK)

Originally published: February 14, 2022.

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Nickelodeon France Premiere 'The Patrick Star Show'


All-New Series Following Quirky Characters and Original Adventures Adds to Nickelodeon’s Growing Slate of Animated Content

Share it: @NickelodeonFrance @OfficialPatrickStar @NickAnimation @SpongeBob

Lights! Camera! Distr-action! Nickelodeon France will premiere The Patrick Star Show on Sunday 20th February 2022 at 07:10! The second spinoff of the number-one animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, the series, locally titled Patrick Super Star, follows a younger Patrick Star living at home with his family, where he hosts his own variety show for the neighborhood from his television-turned-bedroom.

In the U.S.-English dub of the series, longtime voice of Patrick Star, Bill Fagerbakke lends his voice as the young adult Patrick alongside new cast members: Tom Wilson (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Cecil Star, Patrick’s fun-loving, happy-go-lucky dad who always puts his family first;  Cree Summer (Rugrats) as Bunny Star, Patrick’s loving, sea star mom who is a kooky oddball; Jill Talley (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Squidina Star, Patrick’s 8-year-old little sister who drinks her coffee from a sippy cup; and Dana Snyder (The Penguins of Madagascar, The Thundermans, Welcome to the Wayne) as GrandPat Star, Patrick’s genius grandpa, and the most intelligent member of the Star family. Summer also voices Grandma Tentacles, Squidward’s grandma.

Additional cast members include veteran actors Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward Tentacles), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy Cheeks), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), and Mr. Lawrence (Plankton).

Marc Ceccarelli (SpongeBob SquarePants), Vincent Waller (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Jennie Monica (SpongeBob SquarePants) are co-executive producers of the series.  The Patrick Star Show is developed for television by Claudia Spinelli, SVP of Animation Development, Nickelodeon, with production overseen by Kelley Gardner, Vice President, Current Series, Animation, Nickelodeon.

Fans can visit to find out more about their favourite Nickelodeon shows. Fans can also like the official Nickelodeon France Facebook page, follow Nickelodeon on Instagram and subscribe to the Nickelodeon YouTube channel for the latest Nick news, highlights and videos.

Since its launch July 17, 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants (Bob l'éponge) has reigned as the number-one animated series on TV for the last 18 years, while generating a universe of beloved characters, pop culture catchphrases and memes, theatrical releases, consumer products, a Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical and a global fan base.  SpongeBob SquarePants is the most widely distributed property in ViacomCBS Networks International history, seen in more than 170 countries and territories, translated in 30+ languages, and averaging more than 100 million total viewers every month. SpongeBob SquarePants was created by Stephen Hillenburg and produced by Nickelodeon in Burbank. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurable optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends.

From Télérama:

Patrick Super Star

+ 7 ans Avec sa voix neuneue, sa chemise hawaïenne et son univers mental singulier, Patrick, la candide étoile de mer, amie de Bob l’éponge, est de retour dans un show rien qu’à lui. Ce spin-off haut en couleur le rajeunit et le renvoie au temps où il vivait chez Môman et Pôpa. Depuis sa chambre, Patrick anime un talk-show, entouré de sa famille excentrique, et emmène son public dans un monde d’aventures imaginaires et loufoques. Ça commence pour lui dès le matin. Pour se réveiller, rien de tel que de s’enfoncer les piquants d’un oursin dans la tête ! Le ton est donné, la comédie déjantée file à toute allure. Pas de temps mort dans cette maison farfelue de Bikini-Bottom. Si l’on retrouve les héros phares de la série originale, de nouveaux personnages apparaissent, emmenés par les parents Raymond et Annie et Papi Pat, le grand-père, un peu plus intelligent que la moyenne. Naïf et super gourmand, Patrick dévoile son univers burlesque de manière aléatoire et décousue, à l’image du cheminement de son cerveau. Le héros nunuche met l’accent sur le côté tendre et joueur du passage à l’âge adulte. C’est moins abrasif qu’un Bob l’éponge, qui présente deux faces.

Série d’animation (26 x 11 mn), dim., 7.10, Nickelodeon.


Audiences : 
Sources : Médiamétrie Médiamat Thématik Vague 42 (du 30/08/2021 au 13/02/2022) // Chaînes Global // Lundi-Dimanche // 3h-27h // pda sur cibles : concurrence etendue
1. Groupe Paramount : bet, comedy central, game one, game one+1, j-one, mtv, mtv hits, nickelodeon junior, nickelodeon, nickelodeon+1, nickelodeon teen, paramount channel, paramount channel decale.
3. Agrégat cinéma : paramount channel / paramount channel decale – ex-aequo avec Ciné+ Premier et Ciné+ Frisson

Originally published: February 19, 2021.

Additional source: On TV Tonight.

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Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for February 21, 2022 | Nickelodeon

Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for February 21, 2022 | Nickelodeon

Stream the classic and the all new CG-animated Rugrats series on Paramount+! Try it FREE at!

Rugrats, provided to Creators Syndicate by Nickelodeon, based off the popular animated television series has been created for children and family's to laugh and enjoy together.

Follow these comics and their take on real episodes of the show and their own spin on hilarious adventures.

Read more Rugrats comic strips!:

More Nick: Paramount Plus Renews the All-New 'Rugrats' for Season 2!

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The Importance of Black History Month w/ Yolanda Renee King | Nick News | Nickelodeon

Yolanda Renee King sat down with Nick News to discuss the legacy of her grandfather, Martin Luther King Jr., and why it’s so important to celebrate Black History Month.

For more information and resources, visit

For more Black History Month on Nick, visit:

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Animation Writer and Story Editor Anne D. Bernstein Passes Away

A pioneer for women in animation, the trailblazing funny lady began her career in the ‘90s, becoming one of very first women in the writer’s room; she worked on numerous series as a script writer including Daria, was senior editor of Nickelodeon Magazine, and her illustrations were seen in Redbook and The New York Times.

Anne D. Bernstein, who passed away last Tuesday, February 8, was a former head writer for MTV Animation Development, whose work included writing on Nickelodeon's 'KaBlam!' and MTV’s ‘Daria’ and ‘MTV Downtown.’ Image from ‘Daria’ courtesy of MTV.

Comedy/animation writer and story editor Anne D. Bernstein passed away on February 8, 2022 after a long illness. Best known for her work on the Daria series, she was, according to Baboon Animation’s Mike de Seve, “… a true pioneer for women in animation writing.”

According to Bernstein’s LinkedIn page, she had a wide reaching and varied career including head writer for MTV Animation Development. She was a script writer for KaBlam!Angelo Rules, Daria, MTV Downtown, Hey Monie, Backyardigans, Viva Pinata, Tutenstein, and Johnny and The Sprites. Additionally, she was a senior editor and comic book editor for Nickelodeon Magazine, and a contributing writer for several publications including SPY, National Lampoon, and Paper. Bernstein also blogged for Channel Frederator and Roadside America, and her Illustrations were seen in Redbook, The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, and others. Bernstein was also the author of The Daria Diaries.

 Image from ‘Daria’ courtesy of MTV.

Mike de Seve, a close friend, and admirer of Bernstein, shared a tribute with Animation World Network:

"The hilarious animation writer Anne D. Bernstein died last week from the not-hilarious Parkinson’s disease. As one of the very few, very first female writers in animation, she was a trailblazer, and a friend to many of us.

I knew Anne since our days together at MTV Animation and had the great pleasure to have her on my script teams for several series, first at 4Kids and later at Baboon Animation. Anne’s work on the groundbreaking MTV series Daria is probably her most beloved.

In a career beginning in the ‘90s, Anne said that she had never been in a writers’ room where she wasn’t the only woman. But bravely into that room she went, again and again and, in doing so, Anne truly helped change the rules of entry.

As a comedy writer, Anne always brought her A game, digging up humor in places the rest of us weren’t even bothering to look. In one script, she named a retirement home for actors “Sitting Ovations.”

Every day I worked with her, Anne turned that old, ignorant industry belief on its head, that women weren’t funny, by being as funny as anyone else in the room — and so much more professional it made us crazy.

Sadly, her illness hospitalized her before she could ever be part of an actual 50-50 writers’ room, or a room that represents all the voices in our culture. But for those of you who are walking in the door now, you should know that she was one of the very first to open it. And her dedication to quality and craft kept it open for the next folks.

Anne, if you’re out there and you’re wondering what the hell your life meant — writing a bunch of jokes on a bunch of cartoons, then getting taken out way too early — know that you have made a great difference for many to follow, and we’re all better for it.

May Anne’s legacy inspire women writers — all writers — to tune out the ignorance around you and instead try a little harder, go that extra mile to make your work great. And even when the room is stacked against you, don’t be afraid to slay."

Friend and colleague Michael Mennies shared also shared a tribute with AWN:

"I got a letter today from Kevin Strader, who worked together with Anne, myself and Mike de Seve in a writer’s room and he said, 'What a character. What a person. Whenever she was in the room, her qualities made me feel like a poser. But, happily so.'

I couldn’t agree more. At the risk of insulting the other fantastic writers I have had the good fortune of working with, Anne was simply the best, both as a member of a story room where her carefully chosen suggestions always contributed to a better story, and as a writer working on her own. She had a fountain of original ideas for episodes, professional to a point she made the rest of us look like slackers, a writer who could explain her reasoning and keep working through trouble spots until she figured them out, and a someone who was just laugh out loud funny to read. Her writing always had her unique comical voice in it, yet that voice did not go for laughs that went against the integrity of the characters or the show’s tone. 

I was introduced to Anne by Mike DeSeve in 2011. Mike and I were story editing a show called Kikoriki together, and he thought Anne would be a good addition to the team. Anne was not the chattiest in the room, but it was always clear she was paying attention, because when she contributed to a story her ideas moved things in the right direction.

From 2017-2019 I worked with Anne on Kit^n^Kate. The show is pre-school, which was certainly not Anne’s natural place for comedy. But she was just fantastic. She was able to write stories little kids could understand and enjoy that also played at a second level for the parents. Like her story 'The Missing Stink,' about a skunk who had been faking his foul stench his whole life by taping smelly cheese under his armpits. Determined to lead an authentic life, he goes out in search of his inner stink. And, oh yeah, it had a musical number modeled after 'My Shot' from Hamilton. That episode still cracks me up."

To read more tributes to Anne D. Bernstein, visit The Beat and Animation Magazine.

R.I.P. Anne D. Bernstein.

Additional source: Daria Wiki.

Nickelodeon UK to Premiere New Episodes of 'Overlord and the Underwoods' From Feb. 26

The intergalactic family reunion continues in brand new episodes of Overlord and the Underwoods, weekends at 9:30am starting Saturday 26th February 2022, only on Nickelodeon UK & Ireland!

Saturday 26th February 2022 - Overshooters: When Willow's girls' soccer team is overlooked, Overlord decides to get involved - for the other team. Flower takes it upon herself to help R0-FL follow her own interests.

Sunday 27th February 2022 - Overdue Update: After Jim errantly accepts a system update on R0-FL she becomes his assistant and stops at nothing to make sure he relaxes. Overlord hires Petey to be his assistant.

Saturday 5th March 2022 - Overexposed: The Underwoods look forward to their yearly family portrait without Overlord, but their cousin goes to extremes to get in the picture. Willow tries to impress the cool girls.

Sunday 6th March 2022 - Family Over Frabjleplarm: Overlord is battling homesickness, so the Underwoods agree to celebrate his favourite space holiday. But the day always ends with a cruel twist of fate.

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'iCarly' Season 2 to Talk About Creddie

The second season of Paramount+'s hit iCarly revival is set to premiere later this year, and show star Miranda Cosgrove has teased that the new season will finally resolve one of the show's original unresolved issues!

In the original series, which ran on Nickelodeon between 2007 and 2012, while Carly (Cosgrove), Sam (Jennette McCurdy), and Freddie (Nathan Kress), were all good friends, there was also a love triangle between the three. At different points of the show, Freddie dated both Carly and Sam. iCarly fans even created couple names for the characters. Seddie shippers are those who want Sam and Freddie to be together whilst Creddie shippers believed Carly and Freddie belonged together. In the show’s series finale, there was potential for either of the couples to get back together, but ultimately it was left unresolved.

Now, 10 years later, fans may be getting some closure! Speaking during the Q4 2021 ViacomCBS Earnings Conference Call, Cosgrove revealed that at least one episode of the new season will talk about Creddie!

It's currently unclear how the Creddie situation will playout, as in the revival, Carly is in the middle of another love triangle, with Wes (Josh Plasse) and Beau (Conor Husting).

In addition to the Creddie storyline, season two will also have a few more surprises for fans! Among the guest stars making an appearance will be Josh Peck (Drake & Josh) as Carly's "aggressive manager," Paul, RuPaul’s Drag Race favorities Scarlet Envy, Monique Heart, Rosé, and Kandy Muse, and iCarly alum Jeremy Rowley, who is bringing his character Lewbert back!

Filming on season two wrapped during early February.

Although an airdate has yet to be announced, iCarly season two is slated to premiere on Paramount+ later this year!

Stream all episodes of iCarly on Paramount+! Try it FREE at!

More Nick: Paramount Plus Renews Hit Series 'iCarly' for a Second Season!

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Week 8, 2022 | What's On Nick | Nickelodeon Premiere Highlights

Your guide to What's New on Nickelodeon for the week of Monday, February 21 - Sunday, February 27, 2022!

For Nickelodeon's 2022 highlights, click here!

For Nickelodeon's February 2022 highlights, click here!

All times ET/PT.

Monday, February 21, 2022 (President's Day)

7:00 a.m. - PAW Patrol - Best Winter Rescues: Compilation of the PAW Patrol's best winter rescues. It's s'now much fun! Featuring episodes: Pups on Ice/Pups and the Snow Monster/Pups Save a Snowboard Competition/Pups Save the Snowshoeing. (#869)

8:30 a.m. - PAW Patrol - Best Of Mayor Humdinger: A compilation of Mayor Humdinger's most villainous schemes. Can the PAW Patrol save the day? Featuring episodes: Mayor's Tulips/Mighty Pups Charged Up: Pups Stop a Humdinger Horde/Pups Save Election. (#870)

11:45 a.m. - Rugrats (Reboot Series) - The Two Angelicas: Angelica's new talking doll is a shock to her and a surprise to the babies. (#106B)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

7:00 p.m. on NICK JR. - The Adventures of Paddington - Paddington's Pet Hotel: Paddington opens Windsor Gardens' first-ever pet hotel when he has Lucky stay over. (#224A)

Podcast - Avatar: Braving the Elements: Enter the amazing world of Avatar through the official companion podcast, Avatar: Braving the Elements from Nickelodeon with hosts Janet Varney (the voice of “Korra”) and Dante Basco (the voice of “Prince Zuko”)!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

On Paramount+:

· It's Pony (Season 1)
· Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Season 2)

Thursday, February 24, 2022

7:00 p.m. - Danger Force - The Girl Who Cried Danger: When Mitch Bilsky (Andrew Lewis Caldwell) enrolls at SW.A.G, Headmaster Ray (Cooper Barnes) and Danger Force use a combination of patience and powers to help him achieve the impossible and graduate high school. (#213)

7:30 p.m. - Warped! - Creeped!: Milo (Anton Starkman) and Ruby (Kate Godfrey) are concerned when a creepy doll from a horror movie is delivered to the store despite no one having ordered it. The entire gang gets freaked out when they try to get rid of it, but it keeps coming back. (#104)

9:30 p.m. on NICKTOONS - It's Pony - Cat Alley/Saving Horse: Annie tries to take a shortcut, but Pony is reluctant. / The park is vandalized with graffiti, and Pony's favorite sculpture is threatened. (#205)

Podcast - SpongeBob BingePants: Take a deep dive down to Bikini Bottom with this official SpongeBob SquarePants companion podcast from Nickelodeon hosted by Frankie Grande and Hector Navarro!

Friday, February 25, 2022

12:00 p.m. - Blaze and the Monster Machines - Special Mission Blaze: When a nefarious villain steals every toothbrush in Axle City, Blaze’s only chance at saving the day is to become: Special Mission Blaze! (#616)

7:00 p.m. - SpongeBob SquarePants - Goofy Scoopers / Patrick's Tantrum: SpongeBob and Patrick make it their mission to reunite the recently fired robot band from Goofy Goober's. / Patrick goes into a destructive fit whenever he hears a bell, so his friends help him in their own ways. (#270A/#264B)

7:30 p.m. - Rugrats (Reboot Series) - One Big Happy Family/The Last Balloon: Angelica takes advantage of a family problem to make Tommy and Chuckie play a game of house. /  Tommy and the babies help Chuckie take care of what he thinks is the last balloon in the whole wide world. (#105; previously premiered on Paramount+)

8:00 p.m. - The Casagrandes - Weather Beaten: A powerful artifact is coming to the Great Lakes City museum and it brings along a storm for the Casagrandes. (#310B)

8:30 p.m. - Middlemost Post - They're All Named Reggie/The Same Ol' Same: After delivering mail in Purpleton, the gang finds a Baby Reggie stowaway that Parker insists on returning home. / When a famous Rapper visits the Mountain, Parker gives him a new zest for life. (#112)

9:00 p.m. - Nick's Shorts Showcase - Picture Day/Never Bring a Hamster to Set: This week's Nick Shorts Showcase features… Big Nate! After too many failed school picture days, Nate decides to take matters into his own hands and break into the yearbook room. (#116)

Sunday, February 26, 2022

On AwesomenessTV - AwesomenessTV’s Next Influencer - Episode 7: Next Influencer is back and better than ever for season 3! Get ready for a whole new season of drama, fights, and romance in the TikTok content house all hosted by AwesomenessTV's Owen Holt. Get early access to the first five episodes on January 13th by signing up to watch on Paramount+.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

On AwesomenessTV - VIBE ROOM: Secrets, scandals, and all the TikTok drama you can handle — it all goes down in the Vibe Room as Owen Holt & Markell Washington spill the tea on on your favorite content creators and get the inside scoop on what really went down behind the scenes of the most popular AwesomenessTV shows from the cast members themselves!


Danger Force & Warped! Catch Up Now Promo (That New Thursday Night, February 18, 2022)

It's Been A Long Week - Catch Up Now on Your DVR or Nick On- Demand Promo (February 19, 2022)

Would you rather? with Isaiah Crews - Keep it here Spot (Nickelodeon U.S.)

Nickelodeon Mega Movie Monday Screen Bug (2022)

Originally published: February 21, 2022.

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Not Giving You Up: Big Time Rush to Release New Track on Feb. 25

Big Time Rush will release their brand new single, "Not Giving You Up" on Feb 25th! Pre-save the song now at!

@bigtimerush Happy Valentine’s Day! Our brand new single coming on Feb 25th! #valentinesday ♬ Not Giving You Up - Big Time Rush


This Valentine's Day, BTR set up the Big Time Relationship Hotline! "Suffering heartbreak or require general comfort from your daily stresses?," the ad reads. "Then call our Big Time Relationship Hotline +1-833-BTR-BEST...because we 'never give up on you'🤓"

Update (2/18) - BuzzFeed will be chatting with Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Logan Henderson, and Carlos PenaVega, and they want your questions!

Never giving Big Time Rush up

I have a big time crush on Big Time Rush, and it’s one of my biggest dreams to meet the boy band.

If I made a list of bad Big Time Rush songs, it would be blank. Its newest single, “Not Giving You Up” is no exception.

The boy band, consisting of Kendall Schmidt, Logan Henderson, James Maslow and Carlos PenaVega, released their new song,“Not Giving You Up” on Feb. 25. This song is its second-latest release following its 2013 hiatus after ending its sitcom on Nickelodeon.

“Not Giving You Up” feels like Big Time Rush has a massive crush on me, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. My initial listen was at midnight, and I was bobbing my head up and down to the song in my bed. My second listen was at 7 a.m. immediately after I called out of work because of the sleet. However, the song gave me the willpower to drive through Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road.

Their voices flow simultaneously together. Schmidt and Maslow captured my heart with “When it comes to you, girl / I’m prepared to do anything that it takes.” I remember Schmidt and Maslow having the lead vocals for the longest time, but Henderson and PenaVega carried the main verses. It was refreshing to hear their voices.

“Not Giving You Up” is three minutes long. I’ve heard the shortest songs are the ones we want more of like PARTYNEXTDOOR’s “Break from Toronto” which is only a minute and 39 seconds. The beauty of this is that listeners will smash the repeat button over and over. I’ve been waiting for new Big Time Rush music for years, so I’ll take what I can get.

As a longtime fan, I admired how their discography was mostly love songs. Despite the band being away for almost a decade, they still know how to swoon their audiences, or at least myself.

In recent years, we’ve seen boy bands like the Jonas Brothers and New Kids On The Block reunite. It’s not difficult to regroup a fan base because honestly, I listen to Big Time Rush’s “Any Kind of Guy” from 2010 every day. I yearned for more music from them. When you put out impressive work, the loyalty will stay unless someone from the band gets canceled on the internet.

Although Big Time Rush is under Nick Columbia records, they can’t promote their music as actively on Nickelodeon. The band’s songs would be incorporated in its show’s episodes and music videos would play in between commercials. I remember being stunned that Schmidt said “hell” in “Music Sounds Better With U” and the lyric got censored out. However, Nickelodeon’s social media accounts share the band’s latest projects, and it’s wholesome to see they haven’t cut ties.

The promotion for “Not Giving You Up” was genius. On Valentine’s Day, the band tweeted out a hotline number for fans to call while promoting their upcoming release. The hotline served as “Big Time Relationship Services” where you can hear love advice from the four members. It’s almost like they knew their fan base is primarily single. It was an interactive way for fans to connect with their favorite Big Time Rush member.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get through with the hotline, but a few days later the band tweeted a number that fans could text. I texted that number in a heartbeat. The options were “Real Talk with Logan,” “Deep Thoughts with Kendall,” “ASMR with James,” “Positive Affirmations with Carlos” or to preview “Not Giving You Up.” When they teased their new song the only thing that registered in my brain was Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

The visual execution of the “Not Giving You Up” video is amazing. They’re portrayed as love doctors helping a woman get over emotional damage. I haven’t seen a Big Time Rush music video in so long. I was astonished to see them back into whimsical characters and busting out their best boy band dance moves. Big Time Rush has never left my playlist since the fifth grade, and I don’t think it ever will.


Stream Big Time Rush on Paramount+. Try it FREE at!

Follow Big Time Rush:

Originally published: February 17, 2022 at 01:22 GMT.

Additional source: Young Hollywood.

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'Danger Force' Wins Two Awards at 9th Annual Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Awards

Danger Force picked up two awards at the 9th Annual Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Awards!

Michael Johnston, Brad Look, Kevin Westmore and Tyson Fountaine won the "Best Make-Up" award in the "Children and Teen Television Programming" category of the awards for their work on Nickelodeon's hit superhero-themed live-action comedy series. Meanwhile, Joe Matke, Roma Goddard and Yunea Cruz won the "Best Hair Styling" award in the same category for their work on the Henry Danger spin-off.

The Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild's 2022 MUAHS Guild Awards were announced during a gala presented by HASK Beauty held on Saturday night, February 19, 2022, before a live audience at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. It was also livestreamed to an audience of millions worldwide. Among the hosts were Michael D. Cohen, who stars as Schwoz Schwartz on Henry Danger and Danger Force.

Danger Force follows the students of Swellview Academy for the Gifted (SW.A.G. for short), a school conceived by Captain Man (Cooper Barnes) and brought to life by Schwoz (Michael D. Cohen), as they continue to master their superpowers as they battle even bigger villains than ever before to protect the citizens of Swellview. Chapa (Havan Flores), Miles (Terrence Little Gardenhigh), Mika (Dana Heath) and Bose (Luca Luhan) must also keep their real identities a secret from both from their families and the villains who are out to destroy them. The series is currently in its second season.

A full list of 9th Annual Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Awards winners can be found at

A huge congratulations to Michael Johnston, Brad Look, Kevin Westmore, Tyson Fountaine, Joe Matke, Roma Goddard, Yunea Cruz and Nickelodeon!

Watch Henry Danger and Danger Force on Paramount+! Try it FREE at

Make sure to subscribe to the brand-new Henry Danger/Danger Force YouTube channel! Up the (You)Tube!:

H/T: Deadline.

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How ViacomCBS Consumer Products is Eyeing a Strong Start to 2022

LicensingSource recently gathered four senior executives from ViacomCBS Consumer Products on a Zoom call to discuss business in their respective territories, growth drivers, the future of live experiences, retail and key focuses into 2022 and 2023. Just don’t ask them to choose their favourite between SpongeBob and Patrick!

Pictured, from left to right: Mark Kingston, Felix Ruoff, Simon Leslie and Venetia Davie.

“In general, off the back of a very tough year in 2020, we have been able to get our business back to pre-pandemic levels and beyond,” begins Mark Kingston, Senior Vice President (SVP), International Licensing at ViacomCBS Consumer Products. “Most of the European territories are now pretty much at the same level in terms of recovery from the pandemic, and restrictions are now similar across Europe. We did notice strong consumer habits changes as a direct consequence of the pandemic and various lockdowns across territories. Retail prices and shipping costs have considerably increased which has impacted consumers’ disposable income. But, on the other hand, we’ve also seen a sharp rise in ecommerce, and the binge-watching trend brought by lockdown has helped our properties gain visibility.”

Mark was been joined by three fellow senior executives from the ViacomCBS business on a Zoom call – at the request of LicensingSource. It’s a powerful quartet and all of them are keen to share details of how their respective territories have been performing.

“In Southern Europe and MENA, we have grown 38% compared to last year,” says Simon Leslie, Vice President (VP), Licensing, Southern Europe, ME and Africa. “We’ve managed to recover what was lost in 2020 and have also managed to grow above 2019 numbers (+25% vs 2019) thanks to strong CP launches such as Blue’s Clues & You, Baby Shark’s Big Show and PAW Patrol: The Movie.”

Venetia Davie, VP, Consumer Products, ViacomCBS UK, Ireland, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, says that the cluster had a great year [in 2021] thanks to its partners, with all three markets delivering strong double-digit year on year growth.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the company has experienced double-digit growth for the past five years and delivered a record year in 2021 establishing Germany as its biggest international market for consumer products, says Felix Ruoff, VP Consumer Products, ViacomCBS Northern & Eastern Europe. Central and Eastern Europe has also enjoyed accelerated growth over the last three years.

As for what’s driving this growth, every market has a strong PAW Patrol business – further buoyed by the 2021 movie. Felix comments: “Lidl, one of the global top retailers, executed its biggest entertainment activation in 2021 with The PAW Patrol Movie. The promotion delivered us record revenues as it was the biggest initiative we’ve ever done with one retailer all over Europe.”

SpongeBob SquarePants and Baby Shark are also universal successes. There are nuances between the territories though, as Simon points out: “One of the big gaps we’ve spotted in Europe is the different take up on online shopping. In countries such as Spain and Italy, we have a lower penetration of ecommerce – it has however been accelerated by the pandemic – compared to the UK for example or Germany which are really advanced on that front.”

Looking ahead to 2022 and 2023, there are further plans for PAW Patrol, including a live show which will tour cities across Europe. The launch of Paramount+ in the UK will also bring with it some new marketing and promotional opportunities for the pups, says Venetia.

Baby Shark’s Big Show will also be launching across international territories, while Santiago of the Seas will be joining the Nickelodeon family. “Star Trek: Prodigy will be a big priority for us in 2023,” continues Mark. “And, of course, we are looking forward to launching SpongeBob SquarePants’ spin-offs Kamp Koral and The Patrick Star Show across territories.”

On the Paramount side, the eagerly awaited Top Gun: Maverick will finally arrive, the 50th anniversary of The Godfather is approaching and the launch of Paramount+ across some international territories will be a “big moment” for ViacomCBS says Mark. “We’re also thrilled to see new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles content coming to viewers screens on VOD in 2023, as well as a new Paramount movie,” Mark adds.

The final word goes to Venetia when we ask what’s been the biggest thing she’s learnt about the licensing business in the last 18 months: “This industry is resilient. The way we’ve adapted to the situation has been truly amazing.”

The quick fire round

Favourite character in the ViacomCBS portfolio?

Venetia: “I don’t dislike Mondays as much, but I share his love of lasagna and enjoy his sardonic sense of humour – I’d say Garfield.”
Felix: “I’ve always loved Chase from PAW Patrol.”
Mark: “Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – he might be the comedy act but he’s always there to support his brothers and save the day.”
Simon: “SpongeBob, without a doubt.”

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

Venetia: “I think it would either be Statler or Waldorf.”
Felix: “According to Mark, it has to be David Hasselhoff… the one and only German icon.”
Mark: “Colin Firth!”
Simon: “Jimmy Carr apparently, though I don’t quite see it myself…”

SpongeBob or Patrick?

Venetia: “What? I couldn’t possibly choose.”
Felix: “SpongeBob to be honest.”
Mark: “How could you choose? SpongeBob for his eternal optimism and Patrick for his profound words of wisdom.”
Simon: “SpongeBob for me.”

“I’m excited about all our new licensed product launches for 2022″

Amscan’s Mel Beer talks new licences due for launch and design refreshes on some of its classics.

As we begin the journey through 2022, LicensingSource asks a selection of licensees from across various categories how they are looking to make the most of the first quarter of the year.

Today: Mel Beer, licensing director EMEA, Amscan.

“I’m excited about all our new licensed product launches for 2022 including the new Batman movie, Grease, Top Gun: Maverick, Baby Shark, Heinz Baked Beans and Tomato Ketchup, Slush Puppie and Blippi costumes, plus CoComelon and Disney Classics balloons.

We’re also introducing design refreshes for our classic balloon and party licences, such as PAW Patrol, Bing, My Little Pony, Barbie, Fireman Sam and Smiley. We’ve also got lots more licences in the pipeline…

I’m also looking forward to catching up with our customers, licensors and industry friends at the shows.”


‘Paw Patrol’ to the rescue for children’s TV creator Keith Chapman

The 2008 crisis forced the writer to shut down his company, but he bounced back with a multibillion-dollar success

When interviewing Keith Chapman, the British creator of global hit children’s TV show Paw Patrol, there could only be one killer question: which puppy is your favourite?

Admittedly this was a question posed by an eight year old (my son), who is one of the millions of children who have grown up watching Netflix and has a near addiction to the dayglo world of Ryder — the 10-year old boy who is the Paw Patrol leader — and his gang of puppies with oversized eyes.

Chapman’s canine empire — which now spans a hit movie, live shows, video games and a vast selection of merchandise — has given him an unexpectedly successful second act as a children’s TV creator.

To date, the franchise has generated $12bn in total, says Basildon-born Chapman, 63, who now lives in Monaco. “Basically more than Steven Spielberg’s entire movie catalogue. Paw Patrol is phenomenal . . . a one off.”

It has easily beaten Chapman’s previous creation: the early 2000s kids’ TV powerhouse Bob the Builder. This also spawned a franchise empire, even spinning off a song voiced by British actor Neil Morrissey that reached number one in the UK and Australian charts.

But the 2008 financial crisis — and a costly divorce — found him needing to do it all over again in a much-changed media landscape.

While his characters are recognised around the world, Chapman himself has kept a relatively low profile. That said, he has built several production companies and helped create hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in revenues through his shows.

Chapman, who went to art college, was working in advertising when he saw an advert to work for Muppets creator Jim Henson in London. It was during the heyday for Henson’s creations in movies such as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, and on TV shows such as The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock.

When Henson moved back to the US in the late 1980s, Chapman returned to advertising. While walking out of his house one day he spotted a JCB — a bright yellow construction digger.

“I just thought that would make a really cool character. If you gave him big eyes . . . then some mates, a steamroller, a crane and a cement mixer. And some human characters like a father figure to look after because they were like the naughty kids.”

He pitched it to Peter Orton, a former colleague who had bought out Henson International Television (HIT). First there was a toss up about whether Bill or Bob should be the name of the lead character. “I went for Bob and I pitched it in and thank God they optioned it straightaway.” 

Two years later, at Christmas 2000, “Bob beat Westlife to the number one [slot] ”. For Chapman, this is the measure of success: the viewing figures of a show need to be seen alongside the commercial rewards of the wider franchise. Without one, he says, the other will not work.

Bob the Builder made HIT Entertainment a “tonne of money” in merchandising, he says. As creator, Chapman receives royalties on the brand, but did not get the same windfall.

“Bob was probably the one that really changed things. Everybody opened their eyes to just how big these businesses can become. Everybody got very rich apart from me, [but] I did very well so I’m not complaining.”

Chapman formed his own company, Chapman Entertainment, and started a production line of cartoons such as Roary the Racing Car. His company invested £9mn in TV shows like Raa Raa the Noisy Lion but this led to difficulties when the financial crisis hit.

“The banks were alarmed by people going bankrupt and not repaying their loans, and they suddenly called in our overdraft. The merchandising income had dried up because people weren’t spending so much on toys. The bank called in their loan but we couldn’t quite repay it. Sadly, we went into administration.”

Chapman was left alone in an empty office, having been forced to lay off all his staff. Chapman Entertainment was sold first to Classic Media and then to DreamWorks.

He needed to start again — and put his pen to work. Canadian toy maker Spin Master had started to hunt for a show that would show off its “transforming” technology in 2011. Chapman played around with the idea of dogs rescuing people.

The plot of Paw Patrol normally involves an accident or emergency in which a team of playful dogs use their different talents and (easily manufactured) vehicles to save the day. Lessons are learnt; quips are shared; credits roll.

Nickelodeon almost instantly picked up the show. “Within a couple of years, it became the most popular pre-school show in the world.”

For Chapman, toy makers such as Mattel — which now owns HIT — and Spin Master are a natural home for these TV shows. As many parents have suspected when being dragged down the aisles of a toy store by overexcited children, the plastic merchandising often drives the ideas about what should be in the programme.

In the case of Paw Patrol, the commercial element came before the content. Without the merchandising, Chapman says “it won’t last, you won’t be able to make a second series, you won’t be able to build it into a global brand”.

This is a change from the 1980s when he worked for Henson, whose shows made fortunes from being sold on primetime TV. Now the spread of media streaming platforms means that there are not just many more shows, but many more places to watch those shows.

“It’s easy to denigrate the commercial side. But I learned long ago that unless you have that, you don’t have a business. You’ve got to have the theatre show, you’ve got to have a film, you’ve got to have merchandise and books. It’s got to be big. I don’t just think about just a TV show. It’s got to be creating a brand.”

But he says that creating global TV success is now much harder than when Bob the Builder broke through two decades ago. “There are so many more studios, animation studios, designers, creative people, from all over the world now, trying to crack it. They’re all pitching to the same broadcasters.”

Children too are bombarded with content, often lost behind subsections of streaming services such as Netflix. Fewer children are now happy to wait to watch their favourite show at a set time. “You can still break through but you need a bit of magic dust. Kids just seem to find it, mums will start talking about it. Suddenly you’ve got one of those breakout hits.”

He says the UK’s ownership of the BBC — whose commercial freedom means it can take risks and experiment more than the US streaming services — is also important. The BBC was the first to show Bob the Builder, and produces its own hits such as Teletubbies and In the Night Garden.

He worries that the UK government will undermine the BBC for political ends. “We need the BBC, it’s almost a rock that everybody can go back to.”

To cut through requires bravery, he adds, to differentiate from cartoons coming from Asia and Europe. Creativity is also key, and thinking like a preschooler helps.

He remembers having to resist attempts by US networks to silence the talking vehicles in Bob the Builder.

“You have to put your mind into that of a three year old. To them, it’s perfectly possible to talk to an engine — they do it all the time and you just have to watch them,” he says.

“Rubble. I think my favourite character is Rubble. I love that little bulldog character, I love the voice,” he says, answering my son’s Paw Patrol question.

Three questions for Keith Chapman

Walt Disney with his creation Mickey Mouse
Who is your leadership hero?

Walt Disney and Jim Henson. They certainly inspired me to want to create my own TV shows and movies.

If you were not a writer/creator, what would you be?

A painter (not a painter and decorator!)

What was the first leadership lesson you learnt?

Always give credit to the team you work with. Everyone is important in the creative process.


Originally published: January 06, 2022.

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