Nickelodeon orders more 'Big Time Rush,' adds to musical TV arsenal
One of the most successful in the genre, "Big Time Rush," will get a third season on Nickelodeon, the cable channel announced Tuesday. The live-action show will start production in January 2012 on 20 new episodes.
It's no surprise that Nickelodeon renewed the series, created by Scott Fellows ("Ned's Declassified Survival Guide") and produced in partnership with Sony Music. Year to date, it's the top show with kids ages 6 to 11 and the best-rated live-action series with kids 2 to 11 across TV. It averages 3.9 million viewers an episode. (Its series premiere two years ago drew a whopping 6.8 million viewers). It's also a top-10 show in international markets such as Germany, Mexico, Korea, Brazil and Sweden.
"Big Time Rush" follows four friends from Minnesota who move to Los Angeles to launch their music careers. It stars Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena and Logan Henderson. (The band's debut CD -- in real life, not on the show -- has been certified gold.)
The powerhouse kid cable network will air the group's music video, for the single "Worldwide," next month as a precursor to the boy band's U.S. and European tour. The four youngsters are expected to make a second record before year's end.
Kid channels are rife with squeaky clean musical shows, from TV movies "Lemonade Mouth" and the "Camp Rock" franchise starring the Jonas Brothers on Disney Channel to Nickelodeon series "Victorious." Disney, which puts the full force of its corporate synergy behind the projects, created and nurtured forerunners in the genre such as "Hannah Montana" and "High School Musical."
Nickelodeon announced earlier this week that it's ordered 20 episodes of the musically inclined "How to Rock," starring Cymphonique Miller as a lead singer in a pop/hip-hop band. The network plans to launch it next year.
-- T.L. Stanley
Photo: Carlos Pena Jr., left, James Maslow, Logan Henderson and Kendall Schmidt. Credit: Kevin Kolczynski / Getty Images