Nickelodeon will be developing spinoff shows from their popular series Spongebob Squarepants. The show centers around a talking yellow sponge who goes on adventures around Bikini Bottom with his friends Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke), Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass), Sandy Cheeks (Carolyn Lawrence), and Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown).
The character of Spongebob first appeared on Nickelodeon in 1999, with Tom Kenny providing the voice of the yellow sponge. The series was created by the late Stephen Hillenburg, Tim Hill, Nick Jennings, and Derek Drymon. Quickly after the series debuted, Spongebob Squarepants started to grow a big fan base among young and adult viewers. The character has appeared in a number of video games, books, feature-length films, and is only continuing to grow. Now, it looks like Nickelodeon is ready to further expand the television side of the character.
According to Variety, Nickelodeon is developing spinoff shows for Spongebob Squarepants centering around other characters on the show. The decision was part of Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins' plan to keep younger audiences tuning into Nickelodeon, despite the growing number of streaming services on the market. When comparing the long-running success of Spongebob to the Marvel Universe and explaining ideas for spinoffs, Robbins suggested Nickelodeon could, "tell an original story about SpongeBob and Patrick, or maybe tell a Sandy Cheeks stand-alone story, or can Plankton have his own?" Robbins also mentioned the popularity of the franchise saying, "I think the fans are clamoring for it".
While new episodes of Spongebob Squarepants are still being released to this day, Nickelodeon is also working on a third Spongebob movie called The Spongebob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge. Spongebob may currently be Nickelodeon's most lucrative property, but they are also looking to expand their other franchises by creating a live-action Dora the Explorer movie and an Are You Afraid of the Dark? film. Nickelodeon is also said to be rebooting Rugrats by bringing the series back for a new animated series, as well as a live-action Rugrats movie.
While the quality of Spongebob Squarepants has varied over the past 20 years, the show continues to remain popular between several generations of fans. Many people who grew up with Spongebob may now be introducing the show to their own kids. Spongebob was even popular enough to get a cameo at this year's Super Bowl, even though it wasn't exactly what fans were looking for. It is currently a mystery as to which character will be the first to receive a spinoff, but given the long-standing popularity of the characters, it's likely that Nickelodeon will have people tuning in to see the first ever Spongebob Squarepants spinoff no matter what.