BURBANK – Nickelodeon continues to fuel its ever-expanding content slate with the greenlight of two new creator-driven 2D-animated series: ZJ Sparkleton (working title) for Kids 6-11 and The Hamster Show (working title) for preschoolers. Buddy comedy ZJ Sparkleton (26 half-hour episodes) follows creative vlogger Ruby and her goofy alien best friend ZJ Sparkleton as they film their daily mishaps and adventures around their town. The Hamster Show (26 half-hour episodes) centers on a motley crew of hamsters that work together to protect their owner, who they mistake as their King and beloved ruler of their elaborate tubed kingdom. Both ZJ Sparkleton and The Hamster Show are produced by Nelvana, a world-leading international producer, distributor and licensor of children’s animated and live-action content, and slated to premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. in 2022, with international markets to follow.
“ZJ Sparkleton and The Hamster Show are great additions to Nickelodeon’s growing slate of new content because friendship, humor and relatable characters are at the core,” said Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation. “The series creators, Brian Morante and Zach Smith, have a history of bringing unique stories to life at Nickelodeon and we can’t wait to dive in with our production partners at Nelvana on these originals.”
“Nelvana is excited to build upon our partnership with Nickelodeon and contribute to their massive animation pipeline with new IP for a global audience,” said Pam Westman, President, Nelvana. “With lovable characters and hilarious storylines, ZJ Sparkleton and The Hamster Show are two titles that we look forward to adding to our production slate.”
In ZJ Sparkleton, quirky 10-year-old vlogger Ruby discovers her only video channel follower is a tail-zapping space alien from the planet Pudge named ZJ Sparkleton, and they quickly become best friends. Along with their friend Earl, a talking con-man squirrel, Ruby teaches ZJ about her version of Earth, while ZJ learns to control his unpredictable powers.
In The Hamster Show, 8-year-old Harry is the proud owner of a crew of hamsters and the builder of their detailed and expansive tubed home. Little does Harry know that his furry friends are constantly watching him, believing that Harry is their King and they are his heroic protectors. Together, the hamsters explore their kingdom, comedically misunderstanding the human world and braving “royal missions,” such as saving King Harry from daily doom, granting his wishes and keeping his life running smoothly.
ZJ Sparkleton and The Hamster Show are taking their place alongside other series from Nickelodeon’s animated content pipeline — the largest in its history to ever be produced. Titles in the forthcoming slate include: Star Trek: Prodigy, Rugrats, Middlemost Post, Baby Shark’s Big Show!, The Smurfs, The Patrick Star Show, Big Nate, The Tiny Chef Show (working title) and more.
ZJ Sparkleton is created by Brian Morante (Penguins of Madagascar, Breadwinners, SpongeBob SquarePants). Mike Geiger (3 Amigonauts, Winston Steinburger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong) is the director and Lynne Warner (Corn & Peg, The Most Magnificent Thing) is the supervising producer for Nelvana. Kari Kim, Vice President, Animation Development, Nickelodeon; Claudia Spinelli, Senior Vice President, Animation Development, Nickelodeon; and Conrad Montgomery, Vice President, Current Series Animation, Nickelodeon, are overseeing production of the series for Nickelodeon.
The Hamster Show is created by Zach Smith (Baby Shark’s Big Show!). Jason Groh (Go Away, Unicorn!, Wishfart) is the director and Lynne Warner (Corn & Peg, The Most Magnificent Thing) is the supervising producer for Nelvana. Eryk Casemiro, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Preschool, is overseeing production of the series for Nickelodeon.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.