2010 Upfronts: Nick Looks To Build Tween, Co-Viewing Appeal


 Nickelodeon is hoping to stand out in a very crowded kids upfront marketplace by continuing to build and expand its kid-friendly brand with a slew of new programming shows across its core channel and its digital networks.

Emphasizing the value of its key programming franchises, its animation strength, its appeal to tweens and millennials, its ability to foster co-viewing between parents and kids, and its overall brand strength, the network rolled out its pitch to advertisers during its upfront presentation to advertisers on March 11 here.

Nickelodeon president Cyma Zaraghami said the network hopes to build on its 2009 ratings momentum with the launch of six new shows, as well as the return of 16 hit live-action and animated comedy series for Nickelodeon. The kids' kingpin also has five additional new shows scheduled for launch across Nick's digital nets, TeenNick, Nicktoons and Nick Jr.

Among the new series slated for the network are House of Anubus, a long-form, live action mystery series produced in Europe; animated series T.U.F.F. Puppy, which follows the exploits of a crime-fighting dog; Bubble Guppies, an animated variety show for the preschool set; and Kung Fu Panda: The Series, based on the popular DreamWorks Animation movie.

Continuing to appeal its growing tween 9-to-14 audience tuning into such hits as iCarly, the network will premiere on March 27 Victorious, starring Victoria Justice (Zoey 101) as a student at an elite performing arts high school.

Returning to the network for new seasons are key franchises such as iCarly, SpongeBob Squarepants, The Penguins Of Madagascar, The FairlyOddParents and True Jackson VP, as well as freshman series Big Time Rush and the Troop, said the network.

Nick sister service Nick At Nite will also bring back its freshman original comedy series Glenn Martin DDS as part of the network's push to create co-viewing opportunities between kids and parents during 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. transition period between Nick and Nick At Nite that also includes acquired hits The George Lopez Show, Malcolm In The Middle and Everybody Hates Chris.

Pre-school franchise Dora The Explorer will celebrate its 10th anniversary with four primetime specials, and an original documentary. The series will also be the staple of the network's "Beyond The Backpack" pro-social campaign focusing on school readiness for preschoolers.

New Nicktoons shows include Voltron Panthera Force, DragonBall Z Kai, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Live- action/CGI-animation hybrid series Dino Dan will premiere on Nick Jr. this fall, while Gigantic, which follows the life of a Hollywood "it" kid, will debut on TeenNick, according to network officials.