Can TMNT help Nickelodeon?

Posted by David Konow

With all the craziness on the 'Net we’ve seen about Michael Bay's movie reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it’s easy to forget our favorite heroes in a half-shell are back on television on Nickelodeon.

It’s amazing the following the Turtles still has after all these years, and they’re being called in for one of their toughest challenges yet, trying to save Nickelodeon’s ratings.

And at least one writer is very excited the Turtles are back.

As Chris Jancelewicz of the Huffington Post wrote, "I’m hard-pressed to think of a cartoon that better defined my childhood, then later, my early adolescence. TMNT was a special cartoon in that so many people from different walks of life could identify with it; oddly, a show about four mutant turtles and a rat managed to transcend boundaries."

Jancelewicz also reverted back to kid mode, getting very excited about the upcoming Turtles merchandise.

"The toys/action figures coming out for TMNT are bad-ass. The new toys are bigger, better, and the action figures are ultra-flexible and much easier to stage intricate fights with.” Jancelewicz also happily reports the show “doesn’t suck, and I say that as a true fan."

That’s good, because Nickelodeon has a lot riding on the Turtles. The L.A. Times reported that the network’s ratings are down 28% because audiences are growing up and out of shows like SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly. Gaming is often blamed for other industries being in trouble, and apparently some of the Nickelodeon audience has turned to gaming instead of SpongeBob and iCarly.

There’s pressure on Nickelodeon because the network brings in a lot of money for Viacom, and while Viacom’s stock is still in good shape, the company’s worried about the youth audience growing older, and moving away from their programing. To try and calm their fears, the rights to the Ninja Turtles were bought for $60 million, and the show is set to debut on September 29 at 11 a.m. eastern time.

Voicing the Turtles this time around are Sean Astin from Lord of the Rings as Raphael, Greg Cipes as Michelangelo, Jason Biggs from American Pie as Leonardo, and Rob Paulsen as Donatello.