7:30am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
John Cena to Voice 'Ninja Turtles' Character, Produce Competition Series for Nickelodeon
John Cena is expanding his relationship with Nickelodeon in a big way.
The actor and WWE superstar has signed on for three projects at the kids' channel, including voicing a role in the new 2D animated series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He'll play an original villain named Baron Draxum, an alchemist warrior mutant who seeks to turn all of humanity into mutants.
Cena's recurring character will appear in the premiere episode and throughout the series, which follows the band of brothers as they encounter new mutants and villains and discover a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City. Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set to premiere later this year.
Rise of the Turtles is co-executive produced by Andy Suriano and Ant Ward at Nickelodeon in Burbank. Veteran voice actor Rob Paulsen is voice directing the series.
In addition, Cena is executive producing a new competition series, Keep It Spotless, in which teams of kids take part in physical, paint-filled challenges designed with one goal in mind — to stay as clean as possible.
After each game, a 360-degree scanner will measure each team's mess to determine just how spotless they really are. The winning team will face the Gauntlet, a multiple-challenge obstacle course with potential cash prizes.
Keep It Spotless, produced by ITV Entertainment and Hard Nocks and based on a U.K. format from Possessed, is scheduled to premiere later this year. Along with Cena, David Eilenberg, David George, Jason Carey and Shye Sutherland are executive producers.
Cena also is returning as host of the Kids' Choice Awards for a second consecutive year. The awards show, which honors young viewers' favorite movies, TV series, music and more, will air live on March 24, from 8-9:30 p.m. (ET/PT), returning to the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. It will air worldwide on Nickelodeon channels in more than 170 countries and territories.
Additional KCA news, including categories and presenters, is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The show is produced by Nickelodeon Productions, with Elizabeth Kelly, Michael Dempsey, Shelly Sumpter Gillyard and Jay Schmalholz serving as executive producers.
"I'm thrilled to partner with Nickelodeon on three big projects that run the range of what kids love: slime-filled live events, awesomely cool animation and competition shows where kids take their shot at being the best," Cena told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "It's an honor to come back a second time to host the biggest, slimiest party of the year, the Kids' Choice Awards. Not only do I get to be a cartoon character in the new Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, but I get to be a villain, too. And to top it all off, I’m stepping behind the camera to executive produce Nick’s new competition series Keep It Spotless, which gives a whole new meaning to staying clean.”