As part of ViacomCBS’ worldwide streaming drive, Brian Robbins is taking official control of kids and family content for Paramount+. He utilized the franchise approach to revitalize Nickelodeon. The new ‘Fairly OddParents‘ series picks up years after the original series ended and follows Timmy Turner’s cousin, Vivian Turner, and her stepbrother, who are entrusted with Wanda & Cosmo.
In ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish’s first wave of management moves, the Awesomeness TV exec took over Nickelodeon in October 2018, filling the vacuum left by the departure of three-decade veteran Cyma Zarghami. In the three years since joining Nickelodeon, Robbins has brought back key Nickelodeon franchises such as SpongeBob SquarePants (spinoffs Kamp Koral on Paramount+ and The Patrick Star Show on linear), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (see the Seth Rogen-produced feature and The Loud House Movie), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (see the Seth Rogen-produced feature and The Loud House Movie) (due next month on Netflix).
As part of Bakish’s recent leadership reorganization, Robbins is now charged for delivering the Nickelodeon brand to a worldwide streaming audience. Robbins is one of a handful of executives at Paramount+, the old CBS All Access that was renamed as Viacom in March, who just acquired global stripes and greenlight power. CBS, like every other media behemoth, is looking to put its best foot forward in the streaming industry. Bakish believes that the changes would help bring the best of ViacomCBS’ brands to streaming, with Robbins having already spent most of the last year putting together a creative pipeline that includes reboots and spinoffs of popular (and profitable) properties like SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly.
In his first interview since taking over worldwide and streaming control of Nickelodeon, Robbins tells The Hollywood Reporter that in the years since the cabler severed company with hit-maker Dan Schneider, “Nick had lost its way for a spell.” Six months before Robbins — who co-starred with Schneider on ABC’s late-’80s sitcom Head of the Class — took over the network from Zarghami, Nickelodeon severed company with the creator of such a successful series like iCarly, Drake & Josh, All That, and Victorious. Nickelodeon purchased Schneider’s contract after claims of domestic violence and a cloud of suspicion around other dubious behavior from the network’s top creator.
Robbins now aims to duplicate his franchise strategy to better position Nickelodeon to compete with Disney and Netflix in the ultra-competitive kids programming sector. The executive, who developed Netflix’s To All the Boys franchise, Hulu’s PEN15, The CW’s Smallville, and MTV’s YA film Varsity Blues, plans to bring Nickelodeon back into the feature film business with new films from LeBron James and genre drama Hush, Hush, set to debut in 2022 as part of a planned slate of a dozen features, plans to bring Nickelodeon back into the feature film business with new films from LeBron While Fantasy Football and Hush, Hush is slated for Paramount+, Robbins claims that other films, like Paw Patrol and Seth Rogen’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, will be released in theatres.
Robbins discusses his YA and film pushes, how Nickelodeon will utilize Netflix to boost its brands, and if his old pal Schneider, who just told the New York Times that he’s planning a return to kids programming, might ever return to Viacom. “Right now, we’re not thinking about collaborating.”