Netflix and Nickelodeon have struck a multi-year output deal for original animated feature films and TV series that could see a Spongebob spin-off heading to the streaming giant.
The new programmes will be based on Nickelodeon’s roster of characters as well as new IP. The deal, which will bolster the kid and teen-friendly content on the streaming giant, comes just days after the launch of Disney+.
According to The New York Times, a music-centric programme centred on Spongebob character Squidward is in the works as part of the deal, which is believed to be worth more than $200m for the Viacom-owned Nickelodeon.
The deal comes as Viacom bolsters its production might globally. Speaking at the MTV European Music Awards in Spain earlier this month, Viacom boss Bob Bakish trumpeted the importance of content for the business in a presentation that hammered home Viacom’s array of programmes for external partners. A key priority for Viacom in the past year, particularly in Europe and Latin America, has been expanding Viacom International Studios as a go-to production studio for broadcasters and platforms.
Nickelodeon titles that have already been licensed to Netflix include animated specials Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter The Florpus. Forthcoming specials are based on The Loud House and Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Melissa Cobb, VP of original animation for Netflix, said: “Nickelodeon has generated scores of characters that kids love, and we look forward to telling wholly original stories that re-imagine and expand on the worlds they inhabit.
“We’re thrilled to continue collaborating with Brian Robbins, Ramsey Naito and the creative team at Nickelodeon in new ways as we look to find fresh voices and bring bold stories to our global audience on Netflix.”
Netflix’s animation slate includes family-focused animated feature film Klaus from Sergio Pablos, Japanese kids animated series Dino Girl Gauko, adult animated film I Lost My Body from Jérémy Clapin and Fast & Furious Spy Racers.
Brian Robbins, president of Nickelodeon, added: “Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal.
“The Nickelodeon Animation Studio is home to the world-class artists and storytellers behind some of the most iconic characters and shows ever made, and our head of animation, Ramsey Naito, has been building on that legacy over the past year by ramping up development and production exponentially. The ideas and work at our Studio are flowing, and we can’t wait to work with Melissa and the Netflix team on a premium slate of original animated content for kids and families around the world.”