Nickelodeon & NFL Teaming Up for Animated Series

Nickelodeon has announced that it’s working with the NFL to create a new short animated series based on the NFL’s online community for kids. No news yet about a possible Sponge Bob cameo.

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Nickelodeon and the National Football League have announced that they’re joining forces to put out a new animated series. The series, Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core, is set to feature New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton and New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning, as well as a number of other sports stars. If the title sounds familiar, that’s because the show is going to be based on the NFL’s online community for kids, NFL Rush Zone.

The premise of the series is more than a little vague. “The 22-episode series… is comprised of two-to-five minute shorts,” Nickelodeon and NFL explained when they announced the project, “featuring an unexpected new hero, all 32 NFL teams and the voices of NFL players and coaches as themselves, such as Coach Sean Payton, who led the New Orleans Saints to victory in Super Bowl XLIV, and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning… This new series combines fantasy, sports, game play, team work, competition and the age old theme of good vs. evil, under one compelling new narrative.”

The series is set to air once a week during the upcoming NFL season, from September through February, with a one-hour movie special airing the day of the Super Bowl. Aside from being available on NFLRush.com and Nicktoons.com, the animated shorts are also going to be shown (in high definition) on Jumbotron screens in NFL stadiums.

I vaguely remember a Saturday Morning Cartoon called ProStars having a similar premise, though instead of just starring NFL teams it featured athletes from various sports franchises (with Bo Jackson representing both Football and Baseball). There were thrills, chills, and spills designed to entertain kid viewers. As I remember, it was also awful. This new series doesn’t sound like it’s going to be much better, though it might have some potential if it deals with situations involving sex scandals, steroid abuse, and ridiculous payroll demands.

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