Tuesday, May 12, 2009

At the Nick

Today's big do at Nickelodeon was Jeffrey Katzenberg meeting with the crew of Madagascar Penguins in Nick's main building on Olive. I'm informed that he was there to meet, greet and thank everybody for the job they were doing with the series ...

Meanwhiole, Mi Hao Kai Lan has had it's third season trimmed. Word is that Viacom/Nick (I'm told) wants to see how merchandise sales roll out before ordering more episodes, and the toys and baubles are only now hitting store shelves. But a staffer said:

"The show is going good. The characters are cute. Once the toys being to sell, we're going to make new episodes. The studio is going to try assign a lot of the artists to other shows, because they're trained to do the pre-school type programs and don't want to lose them ..."

The Mighty Bee is also in production, and of course the inimitable Sponge Bob:

SpongeBob SquarePants ... turned 10 years old this spring ...

He made his debut on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999, in a pilot episode called “Help Wanted.” The plot: a young sea sponge applies for a job at a grungy ocean-bottom diner called the Krusty Krab. Oh, how he wants this job—the position of fry cook represents the summit of his ambition.

And the Bobster has sold a thousand steamships worth of merchandise over the last ten years. Which is why they're still producing his cartoons.


Anonymous said...

Is the CG on Madagascar being done at Nick or is it being outsourced somewhere?

Anonymous said...

Outsourced elsewhere....at India and China to be more specific.

Weird....I heard Ni Hao was cancelled. Word is they were given a third season, and then the network changed their mind and cancelled it a few weeks later.

Is this toy thing their new cover story?

Anonymous said...

__Which is why they're still producing his cartoons.

Or maybe they make them because they're good cartoons and the people working on them are enormously talented, and likely trying like mad to protect the original concept from being run over by the big 'why they're still producing the cartoons.'

Are you being your usual cynical nature about the toys, or just flippant?

Tim said...

Actually, the toy motive rings true,
Yes, Spongebob does very well in the ratings, and rightfully so. It's a very entertaining show.
However, animated shows (for the most part) don't make a huge profit from ad revenue. The ratings just can't compare to prime time shows, and the networks can't pull in Seinfeld, Friends or House sized numbers from shows aimed at a demographic with little or no spending power.

Animated shows make their profit through licensing the characters. Back in the 80s, DIC Entertainment was literally giving their content to the network. Naturally, the network took it, and DIC made a fortune by selling their characters to lunchbox, t-shirt & bed spread manufacturers.

Anonymous said...

okay. so they can just make them crappy and people will watch them. give them what they want. okay. thanks for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

Steve, usually I ignore your typos, but I just have to point this out... Of the three shows you mentioned, you got the names wrong on ALL THREE.

It's "The Penguins of Madagascar" not "Madagascar Penguins." It's "Ni Hao Kai Lan" not "Mi Hao Kai Lan." And it's "The Mighty B" (as in Bessie), not "The Mighty Bee."

Nit-picky? Sure. But otherwise -- good reporting!

Tim said...

To Anonymous # 4: No, I didn't mean to imply that animators have no reason to keep up the quality of their shows (though I have met a producer or two who would disagree). GOOD animated shows produce a following. And that following wants to have those characters on everything they own, from toothbrushes, to breakfast cereal, to boxer shorts.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Poorly written and animated shows get cancelled because kids don't watch them. And they don't get licensed because kids don't want boring characters on their lunch boxes.

Quality product is rewarded.

As well as some animated feature films do, they often rake in as much or more through character licensing. Buzz and Woody dolls went through the roof, but I doubt there were any Delgo t-shirts to be found anywhere.

Greg B said...

It's like I've always said. Nick needs to diversify their programming up the wazoo, and start focussing on what's important!

I've worked for just about every major news media company out there, and extensively in radio, and I know how important it is to connect with your audience. At the Jeff Rense show, they don't make a move without doing their research first. Seems these animation execs just can't figure their left glove from their right!

Anonymous said...

Okay, who let Tony Robbins in the room?

Anonymous said...

To Greg B - Nick has been the leader in total day ratings in ALL OF CABLE for about over a decade now. I think they're doing fine without your advice about needing to diversify their programming.

Fibber McGee said...

"I've worked for just about every major news media company out there, and extensively in radio"-------

No, no, no ... Don't do that stuff here.

Greg B: Seriously now, WHAT "major news media companies" have you worked for and in what capacity ? Name them, the years you were there, and what you did.

Ditto with the radio stations. What radio stations did you work for , when , and in what capacity ?

Anonymous said...

Any news on the fate of "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan"?

Midori said...

I hope Ni Hao Kai-Lan is not canceled. My daughter loves the show as well as her cousin. They are both part Chinese and love that a cartoon reflects it other than Sagwa and I don't know if that's on anymore. I love it that Kai-Lan is on at a time I can watch with her before going to work. It will be said if this cartoon ends because we just don't relate to nor care for Dora.

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