Nickelodeon Reorders All Three of its Original Animated Series
$40 Million Investment in NICKTOONS is NICKELODEON’s Largest Programming Investment to Date
NEW YORK, November 19, 1991 — Nickelodeon, the only cable channel just for kids, today announced it has doubled its order on all three series in its critically acclaimed “NICKTOONS” block.
Nick has ordered 72 episodes for Nicktoons — twenty-six episodes of “Doug,” twenty episodes of “Ren & Stimpy” and twenty-six episodes of “Rugrats” — bringing the total to 104 episodes, representing a $40 million investment. This is the largest investment in original programming made for Nickelodeon.
The new episodes will begin airing in mid-1992.
Nicktoons premiered on August 11, 1991, and had one of the highest rated debuts of an entertainment series or block in the history of cable television. Viewership during its time period is up 50% compared to the same period last year (August through October).
Geraldine Laybourne, president, Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite, said: “Nicktoons has already paid off in terms of ratings and reviews. We were confident that animation that was entertaining without being violent, and economically worthwhile without being pruely commercial, would be attractive to viewers and critics alike.”
Frank J. Biondi, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Viacom International Inc., said, “Nickelodeon has quickly made itself a serious player in the world of animation, as demonstrated by the quality and popularity of ‘Doug,’ ‘Ren & Stimpy’ and ‘Rugrats.’ Viacom is proud of Nickelodeon’s ability — proven time and again — to create innovative children’s programming. We are pleased to support the network’s future efforts in animation.”
The Nicktoons block airs Sundays from 10:00-11:30 AM. Two of the shows, “Doug” and “Rugrats,” have regularly scheduled prime time plays on Saturdays at 7:00 PM and Sundays at 7:00 PM respectively.
“Doug” was recently nominated for an ACE Award and was selected as one of the top ten children’s shows for 1991 by TV GUIDE. In a coproduction agreement with Groupe Ellipse, the second season of “Doug” will be created jointly on both sides of the Atlantic: in New York and Paris. Nick holds rights for North and South America distribution, while Ellipse holds rights for the rest of the world.
Vanessa Coffey (“Muppet Babies,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), vice president and executive producer, animation for Nickelodeon, explains: “Stylistically, ‘Rugrats,’ ‘Ren & Stimpy,’ and ‘Doug’ stand out from current cartoon fare as much as they differ from each other. They target today’s discerning-kid audience and boast contemporary humor, new types of characters, experimental animation, and alternative styles and technique.”
“Doug” follows the life of Doug Funnie, an 11 1/2 year-old kid who loves to daydream and doodle on Bluffington’s 21 Jumbo Street. He keeps a journal and plays a banjo. He’s left-handed and often feels left out. He’s an impression-able kid who feels painfully “average.” But the young boy is also a reassuring, surprise hero. Depsite of all his visions of failure, as well as those of grandeur, Doug often ultimately succeeds in life’s typical situations in some wonderfully unexpected way.
“Doug” was created by Broadcast Design Award-winner Jim Jinkins, who has worked with CTW, HBO’s Comedy Channel, MTV, and was graphics director and performer on Nickelodeon’s “Pinwheel,” “Hocus Focus” and “The Nickelodeon Roadshow.” Vanessa Coffey, Jim Jinkins and Campbell-Martin Associates are executive producers.
“Ren & Stimpy” is classic cartoon madness taken to the cutting edge. Ren is a scrawny, tempermental, passionate and headstrong chihuahua, and Stimpy is a loyal, brave and gullible feline. It’s a mismatch made in animation heaven, and there’s lots of phyically impossible stunts and absurd sight gags. From the medieval mists of Sherwood Forest to the far reaches of the Crab Nebula, a Ren and Stimpy story can go anywhere.
“Ren & Stimpy” is produced and directed by the show’s creator, John Kricfalusi, whose credits include work on “The Jetsons,” “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse” and the Rolling Stones video “Harlem Shuffle.” Vanessa Coffey is the executive producer.
In “Rugrats,” Tommy Pickles, led by his boundless curiousity and an innocent love of mischief, is the intrepid explorer of a cartoon baby world. He’s also an expert at drawing on the walls with crayons, throwing foods and making messes. Tommy, along with his loyal canine Spike, is aided and abetted by a merry band of fellow rugrats, as well as many colorful adult characters.
“Rugrats” was created by Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo and Paul Germain, a trio that has worked together on “The Simpsons,” “The Tracey Ullman Show,” “Quantum Leap,” “Anything But Love,” “Die Hard 2” and numerous music videos. Vanessa Coffey, Gabor Csupo and Arlene Klasky are executive producers.