Magazine article Variety

Creators Drive Content at Nickelodeon

Magazine article Variety

Creators Drive Content at Nickelodeon

Article excerpt

Nickelodeon animation studio has big plans for the future.

With 31 titles currently in production, including live action, movies and shorts, spread out across various L.A. areas from Glendale to Santa Monica, the company aims to unite the entire Nick family in a single facility opening in Burbank next year. And the studio hopes the new state-of-the-art five-story glass structure will become a hub for the entire animation industry.

"This will be the first time all our creative teams are actually together," says Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon's president of content development and production. "Currently, 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is being done in Glendale, 'Dora the Explorer' in downtown Burbank and 'SpongeBob' is housed at the animation studio. It will be the first time these major brands and creative hubs come together under one roof. I think it's going to create a very exciting time and help next generation of creativity."

Since the new site will house both live action and toon productions, the studio will also officially change its name from Nickelodeon Animation Studio to simply Nickelodeon Studios.

The opening coincides with Nickelodeon Animation's 25th anniversary in 2016 - its three original series, "Rugrats," "Doug" and "Ren & Stimpy" bowed in 1991 - and one of the goals for the new facility is to draw upon that history.

"We will tell our story throughout the whole building," Hicks says. "When you walk in you'll see the first creators. Our philosophy is creator-driven content, they are the ones who have a vision and we wrap a studio around them to support that vision. …

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