The Chumster by Eric Robles ... courtesy of Frederator Cartoons
In a world where television cartoons die like mosquitoes during a cold snap, it's good to see Nickelodeon ginning up two new specimens:
Nickelodeon has picked up two animated series: a spinoff of Nicktoons Network's "Random! Cartoons" that features a high-profile voice cast and an interactive series created by the team behind Nick's "Blue's Clues."
The network has ordered 26 episodes of the CG-animated series "Fanboy and Chum Chum," a spinoff of the "Random!" collection of anthology shorts, and has greenlighted 20 episodes of the math-themed "Team Umizoomi," which combines 2-D and 3-D animation with live action ...
This is new management's first foray into fresh series, and the folks seem to be going in three directions: cgi animation, traditional animation and live action. "Covering all the bases" would be an apt description.
What is most interesting to me is that Fanboy and Chum Chum comes out of the "Random Cartoon" program of Fred seibert's troops. If you're not familiar with "RC", it's sort of an open casting-call for new projects, where artists come in and pitch storyboards of their eight-minute stories.
Nick accepts pitches for new cartoon shorts from all points on the compass. The pitches the company likes, it develops into full-blown animated shorts. And out of the most successful shorts, it greenlights multi-episode series.
This kind of "open source" development (wikitoons?) was developed by Fred S. when he was Prez of Hanna-Barbera. From that first batch of shorts came series like Dexter's Lab, Power-Puff Girls and Johnny Bravo, the nuclei of shows for what ultimately became Ted Turner's Cartoon Network.
A number of animation companies have used the wikipedia model since, but I'm always amazed it's not used more extensively than it is.