Please wait...
Please wait...

Awesomeness founder heads Nickelodeon

US media giant Viacom has appointed the co-founder of AwesomenessTV as president of its flagship kids’ network Nickelodeon.

Brian Robbins

Brian Robbins, previously president of Viacom-owned Paramount Players, a film studio division of Paramount Pictures, has taken up his new role effective immediately and will now helm creative and business operations at Nickelodeon. He replaces Cyma Zarghami, who left in June.

Robbins will also be charged with evolving the Nickelodeon brand for a new generation of young audiences, further bolstering its content pipeline through fresh and existing IP and accelerating its push into next-generation platforms and feature film.

At Paramount Players, which he joined in summer 2017, Robbins worked with Nickelodeon and other Viacom subsidiaries to find talent and content that could be developed into co-branded feature films.

Paramount Players is currently preparing the film version of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series Dora the Explorer, which is due for release in 2019.

Prior to Viacom, Robbins was co-founder and CEO of youth-skewing digital network AwesomenessTV, which was bought by Viacom earlier this year for a reported US$50m.

He oversaw the expansion of Awesomeness, which started as a YouTube channel in 2012. The firm had a variety of high-profile investors, having been taken over by DreamWorks Animation (DWA) in 2013. DWA later sold stakes in the company to Hearst and Verizon before itself being taken over by Comcast in 2016.

Robbins also co-founded prodco Tollins/Robbins Productions and was the founder and president of Varsity Pictures, where he exec produced Nickelodeon series Keenan & Kel. His other television credits included One Tree Hill, Smallville and Blue Mountain State.

“Brian is a creative powerhouse who has spent his career on the frontlines of our industry, anticipating and driving changes in television, film and digital media,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom’s CEO.

“With his unmatched credentials in kids’ entertainment and his first-hand knowledge of Nickelodeon, I have asked Brian to drive the innovation and transformation that will ensure the brand remains the dominant force with young audiences.”

Wyck Godfrey, president of Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group, has assumed day-to-day operations at Paramount Players, while Viacom looks for a successor to Robbins.

Please wait...