A Lot Riding on 'Turtles'
Premiering this Weekend
Published: 09/28/2012 02:49am
A lot is riding on the new computer-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which premieres this weekend on Nickelodeon (see "New 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Toon Debut Set"), not only for the property, which is undergoing an expensive relaunch, but also for Nickelodeon parent Viacom. Viacom has been struggling lately, with revenue down 14% and profits down 7% in its most recent quarter. The Nickelodeon channels account for 37% of Viacom’s cash flow, according to the Los Angeles Times, and over the past year it’s lost 28% of its audience. And it’s been passed by Disney Channel in its target audience of kids 2 to 11.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is part of a bigger slate of new programming for Nickelodeon, which includes over a dozen new shows in development. Nick’s trying to replace its aging hit franchise, Spongebob Squarepants, which is losing ground in the ratings.
The good news is that interest in the new series is high, with licensing also strong (the IDW Publishing comics have sold very well). If early interest is any indication, the show should be a success. That will also buy some time for the reworking of the Turtles film by Nickelodeon sister company Paramount, which had to delay release for a rewrite after negative response to the first script (see "'Turtles' Movie Pushed Back to 2014").
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