SpongeBob Turns 10; Still A Yellow, Porous Ratings Absorber
The President’s favorite television character turns 10 this year. And Nickelodeon, which owes a substantial portion of its fixture atop the total day cable network average viewer ratings to him, is pulling out all the stops to celebrate.
From the NYTimes:
To fete the show’s 10th anniversary, Nickelodeon plans to wring “SpongeBob” of every drop with a 50-episode weekend marathon on Friday that will include 10 new episodes, while its sister network, VH1, plans on Tuesday to show a documentary, “Square Roots: The Story of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ ” that interviews its creator, Stephen Hillenburg, an illustrator and marine biologist; many of its writers and animators; media scholars; and celebrities like the comedian Ricky Gervais, who explains with a smirk, “I like the fact that he’s yellow, I like the fact that he’s porous, and I like the fact that he wears pants.”
I’m going to guess that 10 new episodes of SpongeBob in a single week are going to make a lot of adults gnash their teeth as he pushes their favorite cable shows out of the top 20 cable show ratings for the week.
Those adults may take heart, some would find chinks in the Bob’s armor:
So far 2009 is the first year in the last seven in which “SpongeBob” has not been Nickelodeon’s top-rated series. At the moment “iCarly,” a tween-aimed live-action series, is the channel’s No. 1 show, followed by “Penguins of Madagascar,” which is made with computer-generated animation and based on a hit DreamWorks movie, and has that tell-tale 3-D sheen. “SpongeBob” is third, but neither “iCarly” nor “Penguins” has the same sweetness or inspired asides of animated lunacy, like a squid whose long, drooping arms are milked like a cow’s udder.
My guess is that it just means more kids shows atop the cable ratings lists. ;)