Ex-Spike Chief Hangs His Shingle


TV and film veteran Albie Hecht has formed his owned digital-media content company and inked a two-year TV production deal with one of his former haunts, Nickelodeon.

Through Worldwide Biggies, Hecht, whose small- and big-screen executive production credits include SpongeBob SquarePants, Blue’s Clues, Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and The Rugrats Movie, will produce computer-generated cartoons, live-action series, shorts and TV movies for Nick. Although he didn’t disclose specific projects, Hecht said in an interview that he was eyeing series for the kids’ kingpin.

Citing his success with the Jimmy Neutron TV and film franchises, Hecht pegged computer-generated animation as the likely arena for the initial Worldwide Biggies projects for Nick. “We’re looking at things that we’ve been working with on Nick’s development slate over the past four or five months,” he said. “Just look at Jimmy, Shrek, the Pixar stuff. That’s the expectation; that’s the vibe for kids.”

As part of a two-year deal, Biggies will produce the Video Game Awards, which will continue to run on Spike TV. That’s an event Hecht created during his tenure as the network’s president.

Hecht resigned that position in late January over creative differences at the male-targeted network. Doug Herzog added responsibilities for heading Spike to his similar role at Viacom Inc. sister service Comedy Central.

Hecht said Biggies is also taking aim at CG features; HDTV movies and television series; direct-to-DVD series; and broadband and mobile content aimed at the family entertainment audience.

Biggies is currently in discussions with global partners about financing and distribution of HD/CG features including Tricksters, a whodunit comedy about a mischievous magical creature, the New Jersey Devil, who teams with a no-nonsense forensic detective to solve a case threatening the end of fun as we know it; and Bigfoot and Gil, a road-trip comedy about an easy-going Sasquatch and his uptight amphibious buddy.

“I’m platform-agnostic. Creativity can be expressed anywhere from theatricals, cell phones and broadband to TV and direct to video,” he said, noting that computer-generated content facilitates multiplatform expression.

“The next SpongeBob could come from anywhere,” he said.