Television

Nick lines up seven new shows for 2003-04

MUMBAI: Viacom owned kids' channel Nickelodeon has decided to gear up and spruce its programming with seven new shows this year.

Speaking about the initiaitve, Nick's executive vice president Cyma Zarghami has been quoted as saying: "We?ve been raising our own creative bar, and this season will propel us further forward on behalf of kids. We feel we know kids and their tastes than ever before, and our new series are going to register with them and hopefully yield yet another round of hits."



First in the line is a live -action series Romeo, designed as the Saturday night Snick lineup. Starring hip-hop artiste Master P and his 13 year old son Lil' Romeo, the series is about a single father and executive juggling between family and career, says an official release.

The series showcases Master P struggle to raise his four kids and work in the music industry; and the protagonist and the reel life son Lil' Romeo's interaction with 16 years old sister, a six-year-old brother and an 11-year-old foster brother is the gist of the story. The channel has already commissioned 20 episodes of the series, which will begin production in Vancouver, Canada, in April.

Also gearing to make a comeback is the Rugrats spin-off, All Grown Up starring all the familiar characters from that hit show as teens. It is scheduled to premiere in the fall.

Third on the agenda is My Life as a Teenage Robot. Yet another spin-off this one is inspired by a short toon that aired on Oh Yeah! Cartoons , Rob Renzetti created My Neighbor is a Teenage Robot .



Apparently, the itsy-bitsy show had a fan following so the channel are making it a series. The animated show is about XJ9/Jenny or Jenny, a robot implanted with what the channel calls a supersensitive teenage heart. Despite important jobs like protecting the Earth from disaster prime on her agenda, like any other teenager, she has her own ideas on how she?d like to live, including going to high school and being able to drive the family car. The show scheduled to begin in this summer has already canned 13 episodes.

With nine nominations out of 10 at the daytime emmies from the Junior JR slots, the channel has a stop frame animated preschooler series Rubbadubers scheduled for an August launch. The 20 episode series series is about bath-toy friends including a frog, a crocodile and a shark.



Another series to be launched for the preschoolers is Whoopi?s Littleburg, a set of three live-action, half-hour specials starring Whoopi Goldberg, puppets, preschool kids and guests including Sandra Bernhard and Rosie Perez.

The kid channel has turned the book series Little Miss Spider into a one-hour animated preschool special Miss Spider and the Sunny Patch Kids. With Brooke Shields and Rick Moranis' voice overs, the shows is about the adventures of Miss Spider and her husband in search of one of their five children who is missing.

Former Nick stars, Drake Bell from The Amanda Show and Josh Peck from The Amanda Show, Snow Day, Max Keeble?s Day Off have been roped in for the a live-action comedy called Drake and Josh. The show ia a story of teenage stepbrothers Bell and Peck. Bell is a nerd who turns out to be an advice columnist named Miss Nancy and dishes advice in the local school newspaper. The show begins production in March and will run for six episodes.

Also coming up is an animated action comedy Danny Phantom. The lead toon is a 14 year old Danny Fenton, who uses wit and superpowers to transform into a phantom-fighting superhero named Danny Phantom.



The Backyardigans a 3-D animated series that is set in the intersection of three backyards in the afternoon following preschool is also slated to appear sometime later this year

As for fans aged nine to 16 in the US, the channel has announced a casting call on April 5 in Los Angeles for a new programme, Are You All That?: Nickelodeon?s Search for the Funniest Kid in America, The selected child will appear on the Nickelodeon programme All That, a sketch-comedy show for kids.

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