A new SpongeBob Squarepants spinoff described as a “music-based project” centered around Spongebob’s iconic neighborhood octopus Squidward is heading to Netflix, according to The New York Times.
The show is reportedly part of a new multi-year deal between Nickelodeon and Netflix that was confirmed earlier today, one estimated at a reported $200 million. The deal will see Nickelodeon produce a slate of original animated films and series based on both existing and new characters, with the Times reporting that Squidward’s new venture is one of the shows Netflix will receive as part of the nine-figure deal. A representative for Nickelodeon declined to confirm Squidward’s participation to The Verge, however. A separate SpongeBob Squarepants movie is also in the works at Paramount Pictures; both Paramount and Nickelodeon are owned by ViacomCBS.
Netflix and Nickelodeon had a relationship prior to the announcement. The streamer acquired Nickelodeon’s recent made-for-TV movies Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, which are based on beloved series from the ‘90s. Just recently, Netflix added a slew of Nickelodeon titles, including Victorious, Sam & Cat, and Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie.
Although Netflix is set to receive a number of new Nickelodeon shows and films in the deal, older beloved titles may not show up on the platform. Drake and Josh, the live-action sitcom from the early ‘00s that starred Drake Bell and Josh Peck, is currently on Hulu. Other series, including SpongeBob Squarepants original seasons and Dora the Explorer, are available on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon and Viacom originally signed a big, multi-year deal in 2013, following Netflix’s decision not to renew an expired contract with Viacom.
There’s always a chance that all of Spongebob Squarepants’ library, along with other shows, could end up on Netflix. But Nickelodeon shows are available through a number of streaming portals — including a separate streaming video on demand app launched this year called NickHits that runs $7.99 a month.
Having a SpongeBob Squarepants show on Netflix is a big deal for the streamer, especially in the wake of the Disney+ launch. Disney’s streaming platform, which surpassed 10 million subscribers within its first day, is home to some of the most beloved children’s shows and properties. That list includes a ton of Disney Channel originals, Pixar movies, and animated superhero shows throughout the decades. While Netflix has a seemingly endless list of shows and movies for people to stream, the platform is losing much of its recognizable licensed content to competitors. SpongeBob Squarepants, a name recognized around the world, may help draw in and retain Netflix subscribers.