Nick Crows About Multiple Screens at Upfront Preso

Nickelodeon presented its new and returning properties on multiple screens at its upfront presentation yesterday morning. Cross-platform programming was the theme conveyed to a theater full of advertisers and media buyers.

All of the network’s programming going forward will be created not just for the TV, but for the Web and other channels, according to Jim Perry, EVP of 360 Brand Sales at Nickelodeon/MTV Kids and Family Group. “We no longer look to create ideas across our television shows, but they live across platform,” he said.

Among the new properties built for TV and the Web are an environment driven show and online experience, “The Big Green Help,” and an interactive dance show, “Dance on Sunset.” Nickelodeon big green help.jpgThe Big Green Help” to play a SpongeBob-themed eco-game on the site. In November a multiplayer game will be added with objectives like lowering the levels of CO2 on a virtual Earth.

The environment is among kids’ top concerns these days, said Judy McGrath, chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, citing a study conducted in collaboration with Pew Center on Global Climate Change, “Keeping It Cool: Kids, Parents and the Global Environment.” Based on that finding, Nick has billed the program as a multi-screen environmental campaign meant to empower kids.

“The Big Green Help” will begin in the U.S. and spread to other countries where Nickelodeon has broadcast channels, starting with the U.K., Germany, Korea, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

The network will also premier “Dance on Sunset,” a half hour series focused on free-style dance competitions, a venue for kids to learn new moves and see celebrities dance. “Sunset” features a Web component where viewers can learn and practice “fresh squeezed” dance moves from the show and get exclusive Web content, upload their own dance videos, and view highlights from guest performances. The “Dance On Sunset” Web site will also feature weekly blogs, questions, comments, polls, and games.

“This is a new format for us, I think it will skew a little older,” said Perry. “That’s the one thing you’ll start to see with our brand, and also with the advertisers you’ll see with our brand, the entire family unit together.”

A returning show, and one that broke ground for living on the Web and TV simultaneously, is “iCarly.” The audience participates through the Web by chatting, commenting, and uploading videos of stunts and tricks. Many of those videos are then played on the television show. The success of “iCarly” has paved the way for development of additional shows with crossover potential, executives said.

“What you’ve seen in the last year, convergence with other screens, is very appealing, not only with audiences but with marketers. The audience is more engaged… experiencing it in different ways,” said Perry.

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