via Nickelodeon press release:
Nickelodeon Announces Ninth Season of Animated Mega-Hit SpongeBob SquarePants, Reaching Series’ Landmark 200th Episode
26 New Episodes of 2010’s Top Animated Kids’ and Tweens’ Program Will Roll Out in 2012
BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 3, 2011 — Nickelodeon, the number-one kids’ brand and largest producer of television animation in the world, has picked up a ninth season of the hit animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, it was announced today by Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. The network is adding 26 episodes to the series, which ranks as the top animated program with kids and tweens in 2010, that will roll out in 2012, including the series’ landmark 200th episode. SpongeBob SquarePants has been TV’s number-one animated series with kids 2-11 for 10 consecutive years.
“SpongeBob’s success in reaching over 200 episodes is a testament to creator Stephen Hillenburg’s vision, comedic sensibility and his dynamic, lovable characters,” said Johnson. “The series now joins the club of contemporary classic Nicktoons that have hit this benchmark, so we’re incredibly proud.”
SpongeBob SquarePants will once again cap the year as the number-one animated show among kids 2-11 (followed by The Penguins of Madagascar) and kids 6-11 on broadcast and basic cable. The series is also basic cable’s top animated show with total viewers. SpongeBob SquarePants is seen in 171 markets in 26 languages and is the most widely distributed property in MTV Networks’ history.
The last SpongeBob SquarePants special, “Mystery with a Twistery,” aired Nov. 11 and was the year’s top animated telecast with kids 2-11 on TV and basic cable’s number one animated series with 6.6 million total viewers (+122%). The series’ next special, “Legends of Bikini Bottom,” is an hour-long anthology of brand-new four underwater tales that will premiere Jan. 28, 2011.
SpongeBob SquarePants is executive produced by creator Stephen Hillenburg, who previously worked as a writer, director and creative director on Nickelodeon’s animated series Rocko’s Modern Life. Hillenburg graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a master’s degree in experimental animation and studied marine biology and art as an undergraduate. Hillenburg created and executive produced The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie which hit theaters in November 2004.
Paul Tibbitt served as a director and writer on SpongeBob SquarePants for its first three seasons and is currently executive producer. He wrote some of the show’s most memorable episodes, such as “Ripped Pants” and “Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy.” Tibbitt was one of the co-writers and storyboard artists on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. SpongeBob SquarePants is a Nicktoons Production and is produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.
Nickelodeon, now in its 31st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).