'SpongeBob SquarePants' Musical Set to Debut on Nickelodeon

Courtesy of Joan Marcus

The televised event, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the series, brings back original Broadway star Ethan Slater in the title role.

Following its Broadway engagement, the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, an adaptation of Stephen Hillenburg's long-running animated series, is set to debut on Nickelodeon in December. The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage! will be filmed in front of a live theater audience. 

"I’m so thrilled to be able to revisit the show in a new light and with our original cast members," said director Tina Landau in a statement. "The whole creative and I are excited to go back into the world of Bikini Bottom and discover its new life in TV broadcast form.  But above all, I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share the joy and spirit of our show with a wider audience. That’s what matters most to me — the joy."

The televised event, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the series, features a book by Kyle Jarrow and includes members of the original Broadway production. Ethan Slater returns in the title role of SpongeBob SquarePants, with Gavin Lee as Squidward Q. Tentacles. Danny Skinner, Brian Ray Norris, Wesley Taylor and Christina Sajous round out the cast.

Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith contribute to the slate of original pop and rock songs, along with Sara Bareilles, The Flaming Lips, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! at the Disco and Lady Antebellum, among others. Tom Kitt heads up the music supervision, orchestration and arrangements, with choreography from Christopher Gattelli. 

During its run on Broadway, the $18 million stage production earned 12 Tony Award nominations, including best musical — becoming the most nominated musical of the 2017-2018 season.