Category: Nickelodeon

TV dances with ballet shows, from 'Bunheads' to 'Breaking Pointe'

Sutton foster bunheads

As an aspiring ballerina, Amy Sherman-Palladino spent the first 20 years of her life with her hair tucked into a tidy bun. She has joked that if television writing hadn’t come along, she might have ended up playing Rumpelteazer in a bus and truck tour of “Cats.”

As creator of the beloved drama “Gilmore Girls,” Sherman-Palladino modeled a town gathering spot, Miss Patty’s Dance Studio, on the place she spent countless hours as a kid working on pirouettes and plies.

Now she’s leaping fully into the dance world with “Bunheads,” an ABC Family series starring Tony-winner Sutton Foster in which tutus and toe shoes are as much in the spotlight as her signature strong female characters and quip-filled dialogue.

PHOTOS: Meet the summer TV shows

But the dramedy, launching June 11, won’t be going solo this summer. It’s one of a number of upcoming TV shows that center on classical dance, so there are plenty more bunheads (and their male counterparts) on the horizon.

The CW, looking for a reality hit, is tonight premiering “Breaking Pointe,” a peek behind the scenes of Salt Lake City’s celebrated Ballet West. Arts cable channel Ovation plans “A Chance to Dance” in August from dance impresario Nigel Lythgoe and his son, Simon. The docuseries follows a couple of former Royal Ballet dancers, dubbed the BalletBoyz, as they build an American dance company.

The shows join Australian import “Dance Academy,” a ballet drama airing since February on Nickelodeon, and several projects in development, including Oxygen’s “All the Right Moves,” which will center on “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Travis Wall’s attempt to start a new dance troupe.

The sudden interest in classical dance doesn’t surprise many industry watchers, since the dial is already loaded with celebrity dancing shows, urban-flavored competitions and talent searches.

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NickMom picks up three new series

Judi and KateNickMom, the nightly TV block of programming for moms that airs on Nick Jr. (after the target demo is tucked away in their cribs), has picked up three new series.

"The Judi and Kate Show" (working title) features the real-life Laverne-and-Shirley-style adventures of mom video bloggers Judi Diamond and Kate Frisina of St. Louis.

"Parental Discretion With Stefanie Wilder Taylor" (working title) is a multimedia show hosted by comedian  Taylor that blends interviews, panel discussions, hidden camera stunts and sketch comedy all based around themes of parenting.

"What Carol Brady Thinks" (also a working title) gives the "Pop-Up Video" treatment to old episodes of "The Brady Bunch," allowing viewers to get deeper insight into what Carol Brady (played by Florence Henderson) is thinking in any given scene.

The three series join the previously announced stand-up comedy showcase "NickMom Night Out," featuring stand-up performances by Judy Gold, Corey Kahaney, B Phlat and Dena Blizzard.


Rachel Crow settles into Nickelodeon gig

Justin Bieber, slimed? Kids' Choice Awards beats out Oscars

Big Time Rush follows in Justin Bieber's viral video footsteps

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Kate Frisina, left, and Judi Diamond on their original video blog, LipsticknLaundry. Credit:

Rachel Crow settles into Nickelodeon gig

Rachel Crow settles into Nickelodeon

Just last year, she was the spunky 13-year-old girl charming "The X Factor's" panel of judges with her sassy rendition of "Mercy." A few months later, she was the girl who fell to the floor sobbing and wailing after an earlier-than-expected elimination sent her packing from the reality competition. These days, she's being groomed to be Nickelodeon's next teen sensation.

"Tired is not really in my vocabulary anymore," said Rachel Crow. On a recent weekday, the Colorado native is seated in a chair inside the Nickelodeon offices in Santa Monica, her feet barely touching the floor. She's every bit the bubbly personality that she exuded during her "X Factor" debut as she speaks with aplomb about her new endeavors. She's almost a little too poised (as you may surmise from her answers) for her age, now 14. 

"It's amazing to think that a small town girl like me can find themselves on Nickelodeon," she said.

Crow, who is now a Sherman Oaks transplant, will star in her own show on the network in the near future. But before then, she's getting comfortable on the youth-centered network with a recurring role on "Fred: The Show"--she plays Starr, Fred’s (Lucas Cruikshank) spirited, yet awkward classmate who--fittingly--has ambitions to be a famous actress and singer. She made her debut last week, and in Friday's episode continues her arc.

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Big Time Rush follows in Justin Bieber's viral video footsteps

KCA 2012: Big Time Rush: "Time of Our Life"
Get More: Kids' Choice Awards Episodes,Kids' Choice Awards,Kids' Choice Awards Games

Nickelodeon is seeking to emulate the virtuoso of viral video, Justin Bieber.

The pop music phenomenon, discovered on YouTube, used the online video site to propel fellow Canadian artist Carly Rae Jepsen onto the Billboard charts in the U.S.

Bieber and a group of friends — including girlfriend (and "Wizards of Waverly Place" star) Selena Gomez, (former Disney Channel star) Ashley Tisdale and Carlos Pena Jr. of Nickelodeon's boy band, Big Time Rush — created an infectious music video in which they lip sync to Jepsen's single "Call Me Maybe."

Boy bands are back, but will they be as successful?

"I figured how interesting would it be to take a video with young teen celebrities who are all friends and show people that we're just like everybody else," said Pena, who worked on the video for more than a month, shooting as he and his friends hung out.

Big Time Rush bandmates Logan Henderson, Kendall Schmidt and James Maslow joined in the soon-to-be-viral video, with scenes recorded while the band toured in London and Germany. Martin Johnson, lead singer from Boys Like Girls, also appeared.

The goofy, frolicsome video — in which these luminaries of young Hollywood don sunglasses and fake handlebar mustaches as they sing and dance along with the song — was the stuff of YouTube gold. It has logged nearly 30 million views and not coincidentally helped push "Call Me Maybe" into the Top 10 of Billboard's Digital Charts. 

PHOTOS: A guide to the top four ensembles

"It was real and spontaneous," said Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, who signed Jepsen to SchoolBoy Records. "I would have preferred to launch it on a Monday, not on a Sunday of a three-day weekend, where Monday's a day off."

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Justin Bieber, slimed? Kids' Choice Awards beats out Oscars

Kids' Choice Awards
This post has been corrected. See the bottom of the post for details.

Tinseltown loves award shows and deep down, so do we -- but there's always SOMETHING to complain about. "Too old," the critics moan when they look at the Oscar voters and their tastes. "Too young," the same critics say when they listen to the shrill sound of the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Both are accurate appraisals, but which of the two shows is serving its audience best?

On Saturday, the 25th edition of the Kids’ Choice Awards brought its tween screams to USC's Galen Center. The show handed out its trophies (bright orange blimps that weigh about 2 pounds) and reveled in its grand tradition of drenching celebrities in slime (Halle Berry once got surprised with a kiss at the Academy Awards; on Saturday she got a face full of soupy green goop), but also offered moments of unintentional hilarity.

A boy band called Big Time Rush won a Blimp for favorite music act, and one of the members poignantly declared that the group had “waited a long time for this” because, well, you know, it’s been 15 whole months since their debut album was released.

PHOTOS: Kids' Choice Awards

Still, is it better to be coated in green or tinged with gray? We attended the Saturday show with a plan to compare the Oscars and Kids' Choice Awards to see which one is really pushing the envelope in audience satisfaction. Here’s how we graded the galas.

The Carpet: The rug is red at the Oscars, but for the Kids' Choice Awards they roll out an orange carpet. Instead of Brad Pitt, the man of the hour on Saturday was Josh Hutcherson of "The Hunger Games" and (according to an unscientific measure of sidewalk screaming) he is second only to Justin Bieber as the most desired boyfriend in the Clearasil nation. The Academy Awards are haute couture, Kids' Choice Awards are Hot Topic. Inane questions and comments await the celebrities walking down both carpets, but there are some differences. "You look like you've grown since last year," one chipper KCAs announcer told teen heartthrob Cody Simpson. EDGE: OSCARS

The Audience: The Oscars audience is producers, actors, agents, executives -- the elite of Hollywood in rented gowns and insured jewelry. The Nickelodeon audience is kids (and their shellshocked parents) who cheer, scream, dance, sing and never ever grow weary of famous people getting slimed. (The weird thing is the stars are always surprised. Taylor Lautner totally should have seen that coming, right?) The KCA crowd is unflagging in its enthusiasm; they greeted singer Katy Perry with a passionate chant of "Kay-tee! Kay-tee!" and kept cheering even after her shaky-key performance. Even when faced with Perry's farewell threat -- "I can't wait to do 'Smurfs 2'!" -- they just kept cheering. Clearly, this is a crowd drinking the Kool-Aid. EDGE: BLIMPS

The Voters: The Oscars voters take heat for being stuffy, too old and out of touch with mainstream tastes. The Kids' Choice Awards voters (anyone with access to the Internet) handed their favorite actor award to Adam Sandler. For "Jack & Jill." EDGE: OSCARS

The Hosts: Tough call. Old reliable Billy Crystal was back as Oscars host this year, but Saturday's host, Will Smith, is the king of the KCAs -- he has won more Blimps than any other star. Smith was lowered from the rafters, danced, sang and went into the crowd to mug for the cameras -- but he was oddly flat for much of the show. However, he did two extraordinary things: First, he never once plugged his upcoming film "Men in Black 3" or mentioned its release date. Second, at the end of the show he grabbed Bieber, pinned back his arms and held the pop star helpless as he was pounded by an impressive geyser of green slime. Way to finish, Big Willie. EDGE: BLIMPS

The Tiebreaker: Both shows have their faults, each has its special magic. So how to choose a winner? Well, the 84th Academy Awards stretched out to three hours and 14 minutes. The Kids’ Choice Awards, on the other hand, started at 5 p.m. and had us out the door by 6:40 p.m. Suddenly, Big Time Rush sounds like a good idea, because none of us are getting any younger. OUR WINNER: BLIMPS

[For the record, 8:13 a.m. April 1: An earlier version of this post said Saturday marked the 21st edition of the Kids' Choice Awards. It was the 25th year of the awards.]


Michelle Obama to appear at Kids' Choice Awards

'Bully' will get re-cut to land a PG-13, sources say

Tracing the history of music with Spotify's new Facebook timeline

-- Geoff Boucher

Photo: From left, Big Time Rush members Carlos Pena, Logan Henderson, James Maslow and Kendall Schmidt accept the Blimp for favorite music group at Nickelodeon's 25th Annual Kids' Choice Awards. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Michelle Obama to make appearance at Kids' Choice Awards

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is expected to make her first-ever in-person appearance at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, where she will present Taylor Swift with the Big Help Award in recognition of her philanthropic work.

This isn't the first lady's first time on the Kids' Choice Awards. She appeared via video to accept the Big Help Award herself in 2010. But this time, Obama is expected to step foot on stage at the USC Galen Center, where the awards will be handed out Saturday.

So here's the big question: Will she get slimed?

It's doubtful any government press person in his or her right mind would allow the first lady to get a bucket of green gak dumped on her head, especially during an election year. But Obama has proved herself to have a decent sense of humor. She appeared with Jimmy Fallon in a goofy taped bit earlier this year to promote her Let's Move! campaign and random danced for "iCarly," so she's not above going for a laugh. Still, to slime or not to slime must have come up at some point in the awards' planning stages.

Swift has been working hard to raise funds and awareness to help the victims of the recent spate of natural disasters that has plagued the U.S. She recently opened her last dress rehearsal of her Speak Now tour to fans as a fundraiser and raised more than $750,000 to help the victims of the tornadoes in the Southeast.

She's also heavily involved in work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Medical Center, Habitat for Humanity, TJ Martell Foundation, Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Nick's Kids and the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

The awards this year will be hosted by Will Smith, who's busy promoting "Men in Black 3." And will feature live performances from the history-making pop act One Direction and the newly divorced Katy Perry.

Will One Direction cause tween girls to faint? Will Katy Perry send any coded messages to ex-hubby Russell Brand? Will the first lady get slimed? There should be plenty talk about Sunday morning.


Nickelodeon to launch prime-time block for moms

Late Night: Michelle Obama tears up talking to David Letterman

Jimmy Fallon challenges Michelle Obama to potato sack race [Video]

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Michelle Obama. Credit: Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press

Big Time Rush's 'Big Time Movie': 'The Monkees' for post-Millennials


In writing about the death of Davy Jones last week, I made reference to "Big Time Rush," the Nickelodeon boy-band series that takes most of its formal cues, and many informal ones, from "The Monkees." Saturday coincidentally brings a feature-ish-length film (the series' fifth), "Big Time Movie," which takes the group, also called Big Time Rush, to London into what used to be called a spy spoof, a welter of Beatles references and a pocketful of Beatles covers.

In the least generous terms, Big Time Rush -- or BTR, which takes just as long to say though is quicker to text -- is an imitation of an imitation, but the models (which were temporally coexistent) are both solid, and the imitation is sincere. Those were different times, to be sure. There are too many avenues now, too many insular niches, too much possibility to create even a roughly cohesive counterculture that might find room for Beatles and Monkees under the same umbrella.

In the smaller world into which "The Monkees" was born, any music you could call "pop" was driven through the same narrow funnel of Top 40 radio; at its best, this system created an energetic mix of the ridiculous and the sublime, the avant-garde and the rear-guard, the carefully crafted commercial and unexpected left-field weirdness. (The Beatles, to whose songs "Big Time Movie" applies modern dance beats and the sanitizing filter of Auto-Tune, in a not totally bad way, were all those things by turn -- as were the Monkees, as they walked in their booted footsteps.)

"Big Time Rush" belongs to a new age of industrial kid-pop, when the circular formula the Monkees exploited -- the show sells the band that sells the songs that sell the show -- is just established good business practice. It's the engine that drives or drove "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana," "American Idol" and "Glee" and all their many variations. What's different about "Big Time Rush" within this context is that it's smarter and weirder than it needs to be, and creator Scott Fellows, who also thought up "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide," remains fiercely protective of its profound goofiness.

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'X Factor' alum Rachel Crow lands Nickelodeon, recording deal

Rachel Crowe lands Nickelodeon deal, recording contract

Maybe the crying for Rachel Crow will stop now? “The X Factor” contestant from last season has signed a talent deal with Nickelodeon. If that weren’t enough to keep the tears at bay, the 14-year-old has also wrangled a recording deal with Columbia Records. 

In addition to starring in her own pilot on Nickelodeon, Crow will have a recurring role in the network’s new comedy series “Fred: The Show," where she'll play an awkward teenager whose acting and singing abilities aren’t taken seriously by her classmates.

Crow has also been signed by Sony Music's Columbia Records in partnership with her "X Factor" mentor Simon Cowell's company, Syco.

“It’s such an honor to be signed to Columbia Records,” Crow said in a statement. “To think that I am signed to the same label as my idols is a dream come true. I can’t wait to get in the studio and start making music.” Added Crow, “And I am so excited to now be a part of the Nickelodeon family. I grew up watching Nick, and I’m a huge fan.”

Crow’s perky persona charmed “X Factor” judges and audiences during her stint last season. She placed fifth in the competition, with former judge Nicole Scherzinger drawing ire in the process.

Cowell offered the following canned statement: “I am incredibly happy for Rachel. This girl has it. We saw her potential at the first audition, and Nickelodeon and Columbia are the right homes for her.”



'X-Factor': 'Crowing' about Nicole Scherzinger's ouster from show

Paula Abdul caught in shakeup at Simon Cowell's 'X Factor'

'X Factor' winner Melanie Amaro on how victory feels

 --Yvonne Villarreal

How Michelle Obama ended up 'random dancing' with 'iCarly' [video]

Michelle obama icarly nickelodeon
"I'd planned to keep a respectful distance so no security people would wrestle me to the ground or Tase me," said Dan Schneider, executive producer of Nickelodeon series "iCarly," about Michelle Obama's guest appearance on the show, airing Tuesday night. "But she was so warm and down to earth, not intimidating at all. She hugged me and said how excited she was to be on the show."

Apparently a longtime fan of the show with daughters Malia and Sasha, Obama contacted the producers about being written into the series, and is included on an episode honoring military families. The episode, dubbed "iMeet the First Lady," has Carly (Miranda Cosgrove) prepping for a birthday party for her dad, an Air Force colonel, who's expected to finally come home from active duty.

Obama spent nearly four hours last summer on the "iCarly" set on Sunset Boulevard and "nailed it," Schneider said.  She even threw herself into the silly series ritual known as "random dancing," as you can see in the video below.

"We'd asked if she would be OK with really mixing it up and having fun," Schneider said. "There was no apprehension on her part at all. She was a totally good sport." Here's more on Obama's visit to "iCarly."



What is President Obama watching on TV?

Is Miranda Cosgrove too cool for school?

'iCarly' star Miranda Cosgrove's bad day

-- Joy Press

Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama with Miranda Cosgrove, left, and Jennette McCurdy. Credit: Cliff Owen / Associated Press


Nickelodeon to launch prime-time block for moms

Nickelodeon to add a nightly programming block aimed at moms
Mother's Day just wasn't enough. Nickelodeon wants it to be mommy night every single evening.

The kids-oriented cable network will launch NickMom, a new nightly programming block on Nick Jr. directed at moms.

In a statement, Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon Networks, a division of Viacom, said: “Today’s moms who grew up with Nickelodeon have a renewed relationship with us through their kids, and now we have something for them as adults in NickMom.This generation of moms is very different than any one before it and we are very excited to offer a destination that is unique in today’s entertainment landscape with content that taps into the Nickelodeon’s comedic DNA.”

Launching in the fourth quarter of 2012, the NickMom block will air nightly from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET. It will be made up of long- and short-form humor programs, including talk shows, stand-up and sketch comedy. 

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TV This Week for August 28th - September 3rd

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 28 - Sept. 3 in PDF format

TV listings for the week of Aug. 28 - Sept. 3 in PDF format (from

Weekly TV Listings and more can be found at:

This week's TV Movies



In the special “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview,” the 43rd president shares his moment-by-moment recollections – illustrated with previously unreleased archival footage – of that darkest of days in 2001. (National Geographic, 7 and 10 p.m.)

Adore Adele? Gaga over Lady Gaga? Like a little Lil Wayne? The soulful British songstress, the fashion-forward dance-pop diva and the tatted-up rapper are just some of the many performers slated for the “2011 MTV Video Music Awards.” (MTV, VH1, 9 p.m.)


Serious foodies will journey far and wide for the tastes they “Crave,” and host Troy Johnson does likewise, visiting New York, Chicago and San Francisco in search of that perfect slice of pizza in the debut installment of this culinary travelogue. (Food, 8:30 p.m.)


Ahead of the curves: The new reality series “Big Sexy” follows Nikki, Heather, Audrey, Leslie and Tiffany (above, from left), five shapely young women looking to reshape society's notions of beauty while pursuing their own fashion-biz dreams. (TLC, 10 p.m.)


Hit movies like “The Hangover” often provide fresh plotlines that sitcom writers can then steal … um, borrow, rather… for their own shows, like when Elka (Betty White) goes MIA after her bachelorette party on a new “Hot in Cleveland.” (TV Land, 10 p.m.)


With the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 bringing a flood of disturbing images back to televisions in the coming weeks, “Nick News With Linda Ellerbee” seeks to explain that national tragedy to its audience of young children, many of whom were not yet born on that fateful day. (Nickelodeon, 9 p.m.)


Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to ancient Britain and hid it in a mystical place, near the spot where some of today's legendary pop-music acts – including U2, Coldplay and Beyoncé – can be seen performing in the new concert special “Glastonbury 2011.” (11 p.m. VH1)


Look at that big brain on “Megamind.” Will Ferrell provides the voice of the blue-hued super-villain (below), with Brad Pitt as his superhero archrival, Metro Man, and Tina Fey as a plucky girl reporter in this computer-animated 2010 send-up. (HBO, 8 p.m.)

Photo: "Big Sexy"; credit: James Hercule / TLC

'iCarly' star Miranda Cosgrove's bad day: bus crash, broken ankle, postponed tour

Miranda Cosgrove of 'iCarly' forced to postpone the remainder of her 'Dancing Crazy Summer Tour' after sustaining a broken ankle when her tour bus crashed early Thursday.

Where's the Web camera when you need it? Thursday brought bad luck to "iCarly" star Miranda Cosgrove: She was in a bus accident, broke her ankle and had to postpone her summer tour.

The 18-year-old starlet was forced to postpone the remainder of her "Dancing Crazy Summer Tour" after sustaining a broken ankle when her tour bus crashed early Thursday morning, a spokesperson said in a statement. The accident occurred as Cosgrove's bus was traveling on I-70 in Illinois, just outside of Vandalia. There were five passengers on the bus.

"We are told that everyone will be fine," the statment went on. "Miranda thanks everyone for their understanding and support."

The Nickelodeon royalty performed Wednesday at Kettering, Ohio's, Fraze Pavilion. She had been scheduled to perform at the L.A. County Fair on Sept. 17. The tour was scheduled to wrap Oct. 23 in Arizona.

No word on whether dates will be rescheduled.


Is Miranda Cosgrove too cool for school?

Miranda Cosgrove of 'iCarly' hurt in tour bus crash

Miranda Cosgrove reveals: Nickelodeon slime is edible!

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Miranda Cosgrove, center, with "iCarly" costars Nathan Kress and Jennette McCurdy. Credit: Nickelodeon.


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