Nickelodeon

Nick Jr.’s Nella the Princess Knight Captures the Zeitgeist of Diverse America

Not all super heroes wear capes—some wear sparkly ball gowns.

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Nella rides into town with a message of self-empowerment. Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon.

Nella, the titular character in Nick Jr.’s Nella the Princess Knight is shattering princess norms.

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This biracial princess knight slays gender norms. Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon.

Equal parts glam, girly-girl and brave warrior, Nella lives in a castle and gossips with her pet unicorn about fashion—yet she’s not afraid to get her pink gloves dirty when trouble arises.

Nella grabs her glittering sword and dons pastel armor, embarking on treacherous quests to save her kingdom.

Oh, and she’s biracial.

Since the show premiered earlier this month, Nella’s attracted legions of fans (besides Nick Jr.’s target audience of preschoolers).

Nella is a hero. Not just for the citizens of her fictional village, but for parents, journalists, television critics, African-American bloggers, college students, women’s studies professors, and child media advocacy groups.

According to People, “[Nella] stands for everything our world needs.”

Here’s why.

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It’s the Kids Turn to Vote as Nick Releases 2017 Kids’ Choice Award Nominees

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Hey kids, it’s your turn.

For about four years now, American adults have been obsessed with a presidential election that happens… every four years. And though Nick gave you the chance to have your say in that race, they decided that they won’t make you wait another four years to stamp another ballot – it’s time to cast your votes for the 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards (KCA).

The awards show will hit your screens on Saturday, March 11, but voting is already going on across 28 categories, including some pretty cool new ones, including “Favorite Frenemies,” “Most Wanted Pet,” and “#Squad.” Start voting right now by clicking here. Want more KCA? There’s plenty here.

You can preview all the categories and nominees below, then vote. WWE superstar John Cena will host the event from Los Angeles. We’re not ready to announce who else will be there yet, but we can promise this much: there will be slime.

While you’re at it, check out Cena’s top five reasons why he’s pumped up to host the awards:


Nominees and categories for Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards (*new categories):

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History Echoes and Present Zooms at Nick’s New Burbank Studio

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

In a rousing ribbon-cutting attended by Viacom executives and the real-life embodiments of SpongeBob and Squidward, Nickelodeon opened a vast expansion of its Burbank studio earlier this month, planting a modern and well-appointed workspace for 700 employees at the heart of one of the world’s entertainment capitals.

“The opening of our new offices in Burbank is a significant moment for Nickelodeon,” said Nickelodeon Group President Cyma Zarghami. “We are ushering in a new era of creative excellence and increased collaboration for everyone who works here. Since we first planted our flag on the West Coast in the early ‘90s, Nickelodeon in Burbank has been a beacon to the creative community, and our new complex now signals our increased commitment to giving our creators and employees the very best environment and resources to be successful.”

(L-R) Actor Benjamin Flores Jr. from Game Shakers, voice of SpongeBob SquarePants Tom Kenny, Mayor of Burbank Jess Talamantes, President of Nickelodeon Cyma Zarghami, President and CEO of Viacom Inc. Robert Bakish, Vice Chair of the Board Shari Redstone, voice of Patrick Star Bill Fagerbakke, and actor Cree Cicchino from Game Shakers attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the Grand Opening of Nickelodeon's State-of-the-Art Complex on January 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

(L-R) Actor Benjamin Flores Jr. from Game Shakers, voice of SpongeBob SquarePants Tom Kenny, Mayor of Burbank Jess Talamantes, President of Nickelodeon Cyma Zarghami, President and CEO of Viacom Inc. Robert Bakish, Vice Chair of the Board Shari Redstone, voice of Patrick Star Bill Fagerbakke, and actor Cree Cicchino from Game Shakers attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the Grand Opening of Nickelodeon’s State-of-the-Art Complex on January 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

The more-than 200,000-square-foot space expands upon Nick’s adjacent legacy studio with room to host more than 20 show productions, including smash hits The Loud House, SpongeBob SquarePants and Shimmer and Shine.

The building distills the essence of Nick’s kid-centric brand into a grown-up workspace dotted with customizable work stations and ample collaborative spaces. Archival libraries warehouse the brand’s deep well of iconic work, while rotating galleries showcase the best of contemporary artists’ efforts from both inside and outside of the company. Threaded throughout the five-story space is an 88-seat screening room, voiceover studios, a café, and rooms dedicated to fitness, music and gaming.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony To Celebrate Grand Opening…
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony To Celebrate Grand Opening…
Stuart Stuart

attends the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the Grand Opening of Nickelodeon's State-of-the-Art… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Stuart Stuart

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA. Photo: Bruce Damonte/NICKELODEON© 2016 Viacom Internation… Read More

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Jason Derulo Jams Alongside Hailee Steinfeld and More to Celebrate Nickelodeon’s 2016 HALO Honorees

Nickelodeon finished up 2016 strong on Sunday, Nov. 27. The show was full of stunning performances by stars like Jason Derulo, heartfelt collaborations between artists such as Jake Miller and Jacob Whitesides, and one purple Mohawk—courtesy of host Nick Cannon.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Nick Cannon hosts the Nickelodeon Halo Awards 2016 at Pier 36 on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 11: Nick Cannon hosts the Nickelodeon Halo Awards 2016 at Pier 36 on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)

But the biggest stars of the night were the honorees, four teens who embody the spirit of HALO (Helping And Leading Others).

Meet the honorees:

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Nick’s Strong Programming Run Grows Deep Roots With Albert

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Nick keeps rolling with its original movies this fall, first with the new Legends of the Hidden Temple dropping on Thanksgiving weekend, and now with Albert, which will feature the voices of Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan, Sasheer Zamata and Cheri Oteri:

The adventurous anthropomorphic  pine tree  bounces into towering forests, stows away in the back of a highway-charging truck, and even hitches a ride on a helicopter as  his rollicking band of fellow flora take on an unlikely gang of snowbound cactii.

Nick has been steamrolling along lately, spending five consecutive quarters as the top net for kids 2-11 and 2-5 behind hit shows such as The Loud House (which was renewed for a third season before the second even aired), Henry Danger and Blaze and the Monster MachinesThe network owns 12 of the top 20 shows on cable for the same demos, and recently announced that a 30th anniversary special commemorating its much-loved Double Dare will air later this month.

Albert will air Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. ET.

TV’s Top Animated House Gets Louder With Season Three Renewal

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

via GIPHY

They’re partying right now at The Loud House. And no wonder: Nick’s rollicking portrait of young Lincoln Loud growing up as the only boy in a house of 10 sisters is a smash hit. It’s the number one animated show on television, with an average of 2 million viewers per episode, and the net just renewed it for a third season. Read all about it by clicking through below:

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Nick’s Next Star Is Rising in Burbank

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

One of the most exciting projects happening at Nickelodeon right now will never crack the top of the children’s ratings (as so many Nick shows have lately). It will not feature a talking sponge or a gaggle of rambunctious children or anthropomorphic monster trucks. It will never be on television at all.

Instead, it will serve as an animation and idea factory that will help launch all of these things and much more out into the wider world. It is Nick’s new Burbank animation studio, currently rising on a busy intersection between the Verdugo and Santa Monica Mountains in Southern California.

Viacom commissioned Southern California filmmaker and photographer Brian Hawkins to distill the project’s energy as it rose in the sun-dappled landscape. He’s headquartered nearby and was able to visit the site several times per month. The result was this stunning video:

I caught up with Hawkins to ask him a bit about how he executed the project and what he thought about Nick’s spectacular new building. The conversation below is edited for length and clarity.

Stuart Winchester: Really awesome video. What was your process for shooting and editing this?

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Nick Gives Assistance Dog Group a Canine Companion of Its Own

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Canine Companions for Independence does all kinds of awesome things.

They gave an assistance dog to a quadriplegic girl so she wouldn’t have to call a family member to pick up dropped or needed items around her. They connected 10-year-old Matthias with Aubrey, a similar companion, to ease him through the complex and ongoing battery of appointments necessary to deal with his rare genetic disorder. And they provided wheelchair-bound student Savannah with the nuzzling attention she needs to get through the daily obstacle of hour-long medical procedures.

And they do it all for free.

To bolster that incredible work, the organization is getting a canine companion of its own: the pups of Nickelodeon’s hit show Paw Patrol. The partnership will begin with a variety of events around the country this fall, along with this PSA, which will air across Nick Jr.’s digital properties:

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Legends of the Hidden Temple Isn’t Playing Around With This Movie Trailer

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Remember the award-winning Legends of the Hidden Temple gameshow from the early 90s? It’s back, in movie form, and Nickelodeon just dropped this incredible trailer to give us a hint of what might be waiting there in the jungle depths: rolling canopied landscapes, hidden caverns, sibling camaraderie, and, bellowing at his very finest, the iconic Olmec (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker). Here’s a bit of what you can expect when Sadie (Isabela Moner), Dudley (Jet Jurgensmeyer), Noah and Kirk Fogg stumble into their renewed adventure on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. ET:

A Closed Fist Gets You Nothing: Nickelodeon’s Gerald Yarborough Finds a Path to His Dreams

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

“Follow your dreams. Do what you want to do. Don’t screw up.”

These were among the last words Gerald Yarborough’s mother had spoken to him before she passed away, and they had been his motivation through his adult life. It was late 1998, and he was a freshman at St. John’s University, settling into his studies as a pharmacy major. He had everything lined up: a five-year scholarship with a good-paying job in a high-demand field likely upon graduation. Yet, his mother’s directive was persistent.

He was not following his dreams. He was not living his purpose. He felt this more strongly every day. Pharmaceuticals just wasn’t for him. He felt as though he was wasting his true gift: art.

So that is where he focused his full energies: his art electives. But after one year, St. John’s warned him that if he did not start taking sciences courses, he would lose his scholarship.

His mother’s simple proclamation gnawing at him, uncertain where to go, he left school instead of falling into debt with student loans. He told himself that if art was his true purpose in life, God would make a way. It appeared as though school was no longer in his plan. So he joined Geico, working in customer service.

He would spend the next three years there. But those last words from his mother hung with him, refusing to let his dreams dry up.

While he once struggled to find his purpose in school, Gerald Yarborough now devotes time to helping others see their own potential.

While he once struggled to find his purpose in school, Gerald Yarborough now devotes time to helping others see their own potential.

Helping others find their dreams

His name was Jonathan.

Gerald had met him at Nassau County Correctional Facility. They had encountered one another there many times before, Jonathan as the inmate, Gerald a visitor.

“I was doing good until somebody called the cops,” Jonathan would say.

“If you wouldn’t have been doing that, nobody would have called the police,” Gerald would counter.

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