9:43am PT by Marisa Guthrie
Nickelodeon to Launch Kids' Choice Sports Awards, Michael Strahan to Host
NEW YORK -- Nickelodeon is gearing up to dump its trademark green slime on sports celebrities. The network is expanding its popular, long-running Kids' Choice Awards franchise into sports. Kids' Choice Sports will be hosted by former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan. The Live! With Kelly and Michael co-host also will serve as executive producer on the new awards show, which is set to bow July 17 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.
The announcement was made Thursday morning at Nick's annual upfront presentation to advertisers in New York. Like the Kids' Choice Awards, the sports iteration will have Nick viewers voting on their favorite athletes, teams and sports moments from the past year. The show also will feature a slime-filled sports stunt, naturally. The Kids' Choice Awards have been an important ratings and branding component for Nick. And in an era of rampant time-shifting -- which is especially pronounced among young viewers -- a new live franchise has significant upside potential.
"It is a real honor to be the inaugural host of the Kids' Choice Sports awards," said Strahan. "As an athlete and as a father to four kids who grew up with Nickelodeon, I know firsthand what an important role sports plays in kids' lives. This is going to be a kids' Super Bowl-sized event that will have the best athletes, the best entertainment, the most fun and, of course, the best slimings the world of sports has ever seen for the whole family to watch together."
The network also has ordered three live-action series: Henry Danger, Bell and Bullfrogs and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn. All three shows begin production this summer and will bow later this year.
Dan Schneider (Sam & Cat, iCarly, Victorious, Drake & Josh) and Dana Olsen's (George of the Jungle, Inspector Gadget) Henry Danger is about a 13-year-old (Jace Norman) who lands a part-time job as Kid Danger, a sidekick-in-training to super crime-fighter Captain Man (Cooper Barnes). Bella and the Bullfrogs follows a head cheerleader (Brec Bassinger, The Haunted Hathaways) whose life in Texas takes an unexpected twist when she becomes the new quarterback for her school team, the Bullfrogs. Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn is about a 10-year-old girl (Lizzy Greene) and her quadruplet brothers played by Aidan Gallagher (Modern Family), Casey Simpson (The Goldbergs) and Mace Coronel (Bold and the Beautiful).
Additionally, the network will premiere more than 100 episodes of educational preschool series during the 2014-15 season, the network's biggest content pipeline ever. Those series include Dora and Friends: Into the City!; Blaze and the Monster Machines; Shimmer & Shine, an animated show starring twin genies-in-training; and Fresh Beat Band of Spies, an animated version of the live-action series The Fresh Beat Band.
And following the introduction of its Nick App, the Viacom-owned network also will roll out a Nick Jr. App for iPad this spring.