Nickelodeon will resurrect its 1990s pre-school series Blues Clues, part of the more than 800 episodes of new and returning series slated in the upcoming year, the networks announced prior to its Tuesday evening upfront presentation.
The additional episodes – up 20% from last year – is part of the network’s overall strategy of giving it target kids audience an opportunity to experience its content on a variety of platforms and through new technologies such as virtual reality and location-based experiences.
Among the new shows to hit Nickelodeon in 2018 and 2019 is a remake of Blues Clues, featuring the original animated puppy Blue and an as yet revealed new live-action host, according to the network. The series ran on Nick Jr. from 1996 to 2006
Also making a comeback to Nickelodeon is a spinoff of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. The animated Rise Of The Mutant Ninja Turtles series will feature the voice of WWE superstar John Cena as villain Baron Draxum, according to the network.
Other new series include Los Casagrandes, a spinoff from the network’s animated series The Loud House featuring show characters Ronnie Anne and his brother Bobby Santiago; and Pony, an animated buddy comedy that follows the life of an average girl whose talking pony comes to live with her and her family.
On the live-action front, new shows include Keep It Spotless, a competition series from the WWE’s John Cena; Knight Squad, a comedy set at a magical school for knights in training; and Musical Dares, a short-form series that features a new twist on the classic concept of musical chairs.
Signature Nickelodeon series returning with new episodes include Spongebob Squarepants, The Loud House, Henry Danger, The Thundermans and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn.
Nickelodeon also announced a new partnership with IMAX to bring its multi-player, virtual reality offering SlimeZone to select IMAX VR Centres globally this month.
Nickelodeon Group President Cyma Zarghami said the network’s rollout of new content and new technological advances represent the network’s efforts to “reinvent” itself for a new generation of audiences accessing content on new generation platforms. While the network is not abandoning its linear TV roots, she said the network has to reach kids where they are with content they want.
“Great IP will take viewers to every platform,” she said. “That’s not to say we’re leaning one way or the other; it is to say that unlike five or 10 years ago when something works, it works everywhere. The reach you get with linear, even with a diminishing universe is still a significant audience.”