Nickelodeon’s ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark? — Curse of the Shadows’ Due on DVD Aug. 10

Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? — Curse of the Shadows, a follow-up to 2019’s reimagined limited series horror anthology, will come out on DVD Aug. 10 from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment.

Based on the ‘90s kids’ cult classic and featuring a  new story, the second season includes six hour-long episodes that follow an all-new group of kids as they tell the tale of a curse that has been cast over their small seaside town, haunted by a villain named the Shadowman. After their leader goes missing, it’s up to the remaining members of the Midnight Society to break the curse and free the Shadowman’s victims, before they too disappear into the shadows.

The members of the newest chapter of the Midnight Society are: Luke, played by Bryce Gheisar (Wonder, Nickelodeon’s “The Astronauts”); Jai, played by Arjun Athalye; Hanna, played by Beatrice Kitsos (Child’s Play); Gabby, played by Malia Baker (“The Baby-Sitters Club”); Seth, played by Dominic Mariche (The Christmas Yule Blog); and Connor, played by Parker Queenan (“Party of Five”). The Shadowman is played by Kyle Strauts (“Flora & Ulysses”).

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Are You Afraid of the Dark? — Curse of the Shadows episodes include “The Tale of the Haunted Woods,” “The Tale of the Night Frights,” “The Tale of the Phantom Light,” “The Tale of the Danse Macabre,” “The Tale of the Midnight Magic” and “The Tale of the Darkhouse.”

ViacomCBS Launching Nickelodeon-Branded Kids SmartWatch

ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), a division of ViacomCBS, June 29 unveiled the first-ever connected smart “NickWatch” by Nickelodeon at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

This new family-centric wearable device, manufactured by Israeli technology startup Watchinu, offers entertainment and communication safety features. Pricing, retail and distribution partners, as well as market availability, will be announced at a later date by VCNI. The device will be available for purchase in 2022.

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“This strategic product launch will leverage our IP and content to further strengthen our position … with diverse consumer touchpoints creating a new immersive experience,” Raffaele Annecchino, CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International, said in a statement.

The NickWatch aims to provide a direct line of communication to family and friends, promote physical activity, independence and help kids explore their world. Each device comes with the smart watch body, two watch bands (one Nickelodeon band and one more adult, premium band) and a character-led charging base.

The product aims to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids by promoting physical and social play activities. Kids can play alone or with friends who have a NickWatch to set off on the same quest together.

Entertainment based on Nickelodeon IP will include photo filters, motion sound effects and musical instruments that play out according to hand movements. Regular content updates with new games, new stickers, and new sound effects will be added on an ongoing basis.

The platform will allow two primary modes of communication: text and voice. The parent or caregiver can text the child from their phone, and kids can respond with pre-written responses, voice-to-text, emojis, or photos. The child can also call their parents/contacts within their directory, and they can receive incoming calls from pre-selected contacts. Caregivers can create group threads and can also send sticker messages, timers, reminders, photos, voice messages, and create polls.

Kids and parents can stay connected via a map feature that will allow the latter to see the current location of everyone in the family via GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular towers, by downloading the app on their device.

Hulu + Live TV Adds Nine ViacomCBS Networks

Hulu + Live TV is adding nine ViacomCBS networks to its channel lineup, including Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, VH1, CMT, MTV, TV Land and the Paramount Network.

Subscribers will also have on-demand access to TV series titles such as “Freaks & Geeks,” “Moesha” and “Sister Sister.”

Monthly subscription pricing for Hulu + Live TV will remain at $64.99 per month.

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Five ViacomCBS networks — BETher, MTV2, NickToons, TeenNick and MTV Classic — will join Hulu’s entertainment add-on.

Hulu + Live TV offers more than 65 live TV channels, plus the core Hulu on-demand service (normally $5.99 per month as a standalone offering).

Nickelodeon Live-Streaming ‘Paw Patrol’ Stage Show to Preschoolers, Families

Nickelodeon March 31 announced it would live-stream “Paw Patrol Live! At Home,” an interactive streaming event targeting preschoolers April 24-25.  The virtual extravaganza includes: a 45-minute interactive stage show that puts kids at the center of the action; an opportunity to watch the show in a shared viewing room with friends and family; and an immersive pre-show area with games, videos, printable activities and more.

“As we look forward to a return to normalcy and welcoming families back to our live events, we continue to invest in innovative ways to grow our Nickelodeon Experiences business during these unprecedented times,” Amy Hyland, EVP of Nickelodeon strategy, business development and operations, said in a statement.

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The “Paw Patrol Live! At Home” show, which will be available in English and Spanish, was originally conceived for the stage by VStar Entertainment as “Paw Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue.” This reimagined production recreates a communal theater-like experience enhanced by the interactive livestream production.

Accessible immediately following ticket purchase, parents can log onto the “Race Ready Room,” a fully immersive area that features digital games, printable activity sheets, an e-shop, a Pup Pup Boogie dance-along video; a series of ‘how to’ videos to help families navigate the pre-show area and interactive show elements and more.

A fully customizable AR avatar responds to viewers’ participation via motion and sound capture, while a virtual, customizable screen overlay version of Ryder’s communication device allows guests to click on the badge of one of the members of the Paw Patrol and have their virtual pad display in the core colors of that pup. Their selected character will also speak directly to them during select moments in the show.

Purchase options include a single ticket, which allows access on one device; as well as a group ticket which includes a single ticket and three additional access codes that can be shared with friends and family, allowing guests to experience the show in a shared viewing room and communicate through a “watch together” video chat. Guests can also choose from three show times — 7 a.m. PT/10 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET, and 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET. Additionally, beginning April 26, families who purchased a single or group access ticket will be able to log on and re-watch the show through May 2.

Mattel, Nickelodeon to Produce Animated Series, Live-Action Movie Musical Based on ‘Monster High’ Franchise

Mattel and Nickelodeon Feb. 23 announced plans to produce a new animated series and live-action television movie musical based on “Monster High,” the franchise about the children of famous monsters and creatures.

The new series follows characters Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura and Frankie Stein as they navigate high school at Monster High. The show, which will be available globally across Nickelodeon platforms, including Paramount+, is scheduled to premiere in 2022. Similarly, the movie musical event, which marks the first time Monster High will be featured in a live-action feature film, will be available on Nickelodeon platforms globally next year. Monster High was first introduced in 2010.

“Monster High’s strong message of inclusivity is more relevant than ever,” Fred Soulie, GM of Mattel Television, said in a statement. “Nickelodeon shares our passion for the brand and its purpose having worked on the franchise when it first launched more than a decade ago. They are the ideal partners to bring these beloved characters and their stories to life through episodic television and the live-action television movie.”

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The “Monster High” series and movie musical event join other Mattel Television content in production, including series and specials based on Barbie, Masters of the Universe, Thomas & Friends, Polly Pocket and Fireman Sam, to name a few.

The forthcoming “Monster High” series and movie underscore a key element of Nickelodeon’s content strategy, to build and expand the worlds of enormously popular franchises such as “Star Trek,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Henry Danger,” “Big Nate” and “Real Pigeons Fight Crime,” among others.

Nickelodeon’s new content slate is informed by the network’s ongoing research and insights into today’s generation of kids, who, the media company says, are the most diverse generation ever and expect to see themselves authentically represented in media and in the world around them; want to make a positive difference in the world as they grow up; consider social media stars as their top role models, alongside their parents; and increasingly meet their much-desired need for family time by co-viewing entertainment content together.

NFL Wildcard Weekend Broke Broadcast/Streaming Molds

The NFL’s just-concluded busy wildcard playoff weekend saw 12 teams reduced to eight advancing to the divisional round, beginning Jan. 16. Notably, for the first time playoff games were live-streamed (ESPN+, Peacock) and broadcast on a children’s network (Nickelodeon), in addition to the usual TV networks.

During the New Orleans Saints’ win over the Chicago Bears, Nickelodeon viewers got see trademark green slime sprayed virtually into the end zone and across the screen after Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas scored a touchdown. The game drew Nickelodeon’s largest audience in four years with 2 million viewers.

While the simulcast with CBS Sports underscored ViacomCBS’s desire to involve its brands (Nickelodeon) across new markets, for the NFL, the game represented an opportunity to reach a new demo early.

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“Our entire model is based on reach,” Hans Schroeder, EVP and COO of NFL Media, said in an interview Sunday night. “The positive responses have been overwhelming [for the Nickelodeon game], but what we did with CBS was a continuation of what we did across Sunday.”

On Disney-owned ESPN+, streamers saw analytics on steroids with an individual play’s likelihood of succeeding put on display. Indeed, an interception thrown by Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson only had only a 28% chance of being caught by the receiver initially.

Amazon Prime Video and sister company Twitch were the first streaming platforms to offer live NFL coverage through “Thursday Night Football,” featuring the sport’s first female broadcast team.

“When you have as broad appeal as we’re fortunate to have, we want to make sure we’re putting out a broad set of experiences on as many screens as we can, and increase the way our fans engage and enjoy the games,” Schroeder said.

Indeed, ESPN will feature tonight NCAA College Football National Championship Game between The Ohio State Buckeyes and University of Alabama Crimson Tide across 14 separate broadcasts, including streaming.

‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Season 12 on DVD Jan. 12

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Twelfth Season on DVD Jan. 12, 2021.

In the 12th season, Gary tries out a new pair of legs to keep up with SpongeBob and Plankton and practice ruling the world in SpongeBob’s aquarium. Plankton as he creates clones of himself and Mr. Krabs, while Squidward tries out another line of work before SpongeBob and Patrick come to ruin it. The newly reformed “Clean Bubble” takes a job at the Krusty Krab, and Mrs. Puff, Karen, and Sandy take Pearl to a cabin in the kelp for a fun weekend.

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The three-DVD set includes the following episodes:

Disc 1:
FarmerBob / Gary & Spot
The Nitwitting / The Ballad of Filthy Muck
The Krusty Slammer / Pineapple RV
Gary’s Got Legs / King Plankton
Plankton’s Old Chum / Stormy Weather
Swamp Mates / One Trick Sponge
The Krusty Bucket / Squid’s on a Bus
Sandy’s Nutty Nieces / Insecurity Guards
Broken Alarm / Karen’s Baby

Disc 2:
Shell Games / Senior Discount
Mind the Gap / Dirty Bubble Returns
Jolly Lodgers / Biddy Sitting
SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout
SpongeBob in RandomLand / SpongeBob’s Bad Habit
Handemonium / Breakin’
Boss for a Day / The Goofy Newbie
The Ghost of Plankton / My Two Krabses

Disc 3:
Knock, Knock Who’s There? / Pat Hearts Squid
Lighthouse Louie / Hiccup Plague
A Cabin in the Kelp / The Hankering
Who R Zoo?
Plankton’s Intern / Patrick’s Tantrum
BubbleBass’s Tab / Kooky Cooks
Escape From Beneath Glove World
Krusty Koncessionaires / Dream Hoppers

CBS All Access Expands Kids Programming

SVOD platform CBS All Access Dec. 9 announced new product features for families and the addition of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. library programming, of its upcoming rebrand to Paramount+ in 2021.

The new family-friendly features include the ability to create up to six profiles per account and manage each profile using “Kids Mode,” which allows parents to create profiles that limit content to older children or younger children based on content ratings. The service’s existing parental PIN controls’ option for mature content, which locks access to certain content based on its content rating, will also still be available to use across profiles.

“With today’s new product enhancements, like ‘Kids Mode’ and multiple profiles, we can create customized experiences for each member of the household, while giving our subscribers even more opportunities to discover and watch family programming together, and allowing parents additional peace of mind with the ability to further customize what programming is available to their kids,” Rob Gelick, EVP and GM, streaming services and chief product officer, ViacomCBS Streaming, said in a statement.

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In addition, CBS All Access introduced nearly 800 more episodes of children’s programming to the service, including select past seasons of Nick Jr. favorites “Paw Patrol,” “Blaze and the Monster Machines,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Bubble Guppies,” “Dora the Explorer” and “Shimmer and Shine,” among others.

All Access children’s programming is available commercial-free. The new library content being added to the service joins an already robust roster of more than 1,000 episodes of library and original children’s programming, including the service’s previously launched original children’s series, WildBrain’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” Boat Rocker’s new “Danger Mouse” and new editions of “Lassie,” “George of the Jungle” and “Mr. Magoo” from DreamWorks Animation’s Classic Media.

Original children’s programming on the service will continue to expand with the first spinoff from one of ViacomCBS’s biggest global franchises, Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” when new series “Kamp Koral” premieres in early 2021. The service will also be the exclusive home to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, the upcoming feature film that follows “SpongeBob,” his best friend Patrick Star, and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event.

‘Antebellum’ Arrives on Disc; Complete ‘Game of Thrones’ Series Now Out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Lionsgate’s  Antebellum, Paramount’s SpongeBob SquarePants: The SpongeBob Musical — Live on Stage! and the third season of “The Crown,” the Netflix historical series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, top the slate of new releases available for home viewers beginning Nov. 3.

Also newly available for purchase are 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions of V for Vendetta and the complete HBO series “Game of Thrones,” both from Warner Bros., and Lionsgate’s Kick-Ass.

The time-shifting horror drama Antebellum is now available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. It was initially released by Lionsgate on premium VOD at $20 on Sept. 18. The film stars Janelle Monáe as a successful modern-day writer trapped during America’s slavery era.

Read an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Janelle Monáe here!

SpongeBob SquarePants: The SpongeBob Musical — Live on Stage!, from Nickelodeon, is making its DVD debut on Nov. 3 at $9.99. The disc edition includes an exclusive, extended sing-along version.

The Crown: The Complete Third Season is now out as a four-disc Blu-ray and DVD set from Sony Pictures.  The series is produced by Left Bank Pictures and Sony Pictures Television for Netflix. Season 3 takes place between 1964 and 1977 and introduces Camilla Parker Bowles, who would later marry Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.

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V for Vendetta and Kick-Ass are the latest high-profile films to be released on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, which is getting a renewed push by the big Hollywood movie studios as they continue to grapple with a lack of fresh theatrical product.

Also newly available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on Nov. 3 is Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection. The set, listed at $254.99, includes all 73 episodes, plus more than 15 hours of bonus content, and a digital copy of the episodes.

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Extras include material previously released in the “Game of Thrones” complete season sets and the 2019 complete series on standard Blu-ray, including a two-part reunion special hosted by Conan O’Brien; the documentary Game of Thrones: The Last Watch chronicling the making of the final season; Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of Seven Kingdoms; and audio commentaries, deleted and extended scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and more.

A 4K “Game of Thrones” complete-series set also is available in an exclusive limited-edition version at Best Buy at $285.43, with all eight seasons featured in individual Steelbooks and housed in individually numbered metal cases.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

New ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Animated Series Announced for Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon and CBS Television Studios July 23 announced a new animated series called “Star Trek: Prodigy” to debut in 2021. The title and logo were revealed during an online Comic-Con@Home panel.

The CG-animated series will air exclusively on Nickelodeon and follows a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation.

The series is being developed by Emmy winners Kevin and Dan Hageman (“Trollhunters” and “Ninjago”) and overseen for Nickelodeon by Ramsey Naito, EVP of animation production and development at Nickelodeon.

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The series will be from CBS’s Eye Animation Productions, CBS Television Studios’ new animation arm; production company Secret Hideout, which oversees the “Trek” franchise; and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Katie Krentz, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth will serve as executive producers alongside Kevin and Dan Hageman. Aaron Baiers will serve as a co-executive producer.

“Star Trek: Prodigy” is being billed as the first “Trek” series aimed at younger audiences for Nickelodeon. It will be the third animated “Star Trek” series, following the 1973-74 FIlmation series featuring the cast of the original series, and “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” which arrives on the CBS All Access Streaming Service Aug. 6.

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Current CBS All Access live-action series include “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Picard.” Series in development for the streaming service include the Capt. Pike spinoff “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” as well as a series based on Section 31, the enigmatic Starfleet intelligence service.