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Nickelodeon reveals refreshed line-up

US children’s broadcaster Nickelodeon has greenlit a variety of animated, live-action and entertainment shows, including original animated comedy series Pony, as part of its 2018/19 line-up.

Pony has been created by Ant Blades

At its annual Upfront presentation in New York yesterday, the Viacom-owned channel announced more than 800 episodes of new and returning series, a 20% increase from last year.

Pony follows the life of a young girl and her adventures with a talking pony who comes to live with her and her family in their city apartment. The 2D animated series has been created by Ant Blades, director of London-based animation outfit Birdbox Studio, and is being developed by Nickelodeon International in the UK for the US.

Nickelodeon also announced it is developing Los Casagrandes (working title), a companion cartoon series to animated hit The Loud House, with the new show focusing on The Loud House protagonist Lincoln Loud’s friend Ronnie Anne and her extended family, the Casagrandes. Los Casagrandes’ announcement coincides with the renewal of The Loud House for a fourth season.

The series is co-executive produced by Mike Rubiner (KaBlam!), who previously served as story editor since its launch in 2016. American cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz (Coco) will be a cultural consultant and consulting producer for the six-episode fourth season.

Also newly announced in the animation field is the revamp of preschool series Blue’s Clues. Commissioned for 20 episodes, Blue’s Clues centres on a puppy called Blue who invites viewers into her animated world to help solve puzzles with the help of a live-action host.

Other new series in the preschool band include animations Abby Hatcher, Fuzzly Catcher, Butterbean’s Café, Fashion Ally and The Swashbuckling Adventures of Capitán Calavera (working title).

Meanwhile, the network has ordered 10-episode digital shortform series Musical Dares (working title) from actor and presenter Nick Cannon. The live-action gameshow presents a new take on the classic musical chairs game and will feature real children competing against each other in physical and messy challenges.

The series, which is the first project by Viacom Digital Studios for Nickelodeon’s YouTube channel, was created by Cannon, who will also exec produce for his NCredible Entertainment label alongside showrunner Elizabeth Kelly. Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin’s Matador Content will produce.

Additionally, Cannon-presented competition series Lip Sync Battle Shorties has been renewed for a second season. The 10×30’ run will again feature real kids lip-syncing to pop songs in celebration of their favourite artists, while competing for the coveted ‘Shorties’ microphone prize.

A spin-off from Paramount Network’s Lip Sync Battle, Lip Sync Battle Shorties is exec produced by Casey Patterson of Casey Patterson Entertainment, Jay Peterson of Matador Content, James Sunderland, LL Cool J, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, Rick Schwartz and Eight Million Plus Productions.

Alongside the new series and renewals, Nickelodeon has also announced a raft of new episodes for well-known animated brands such as Paw Patrol, Blaze & the Monster Machines, Shimmer & Shine, Nella the Princess Knight, SpongeBob SquarePants and the revamped Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Live-action shows getting new episodes include Henry Danger, The Thundermans, Keep it Spotless, Knight Squad and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.

Nickelodeon rounds off its line-up with TV movies and tentpoles including Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim specials.

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