ViacomCBS’s streaming service Paramount Plus, the post-merger rebrand of CBS All Access, has officially launched in the United States. One of the most noteworthy assets of the streamer’s library is Kamp Koral, a brand-new 3D spinoff of the long-running Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, Variety reports. Nickelodeon has allegedly placed an order for thirteen additional episodes of Kamp Koral and plans to air the series as part of the channel’s linear programming schedule once it is all made accessible via Paramount Plus, as reported by Variety.
Nickelodeon has additionally greenlit a second spinoff, one centered around Patrick Star, the dim-witted and cheery pink starfish who SpongeBob calls his best friend, according to Variety. The Patrick Star Show will reportedly offer longtime fans of the original series the opportunity to peer into the home life of the endearing titular starfish: “[It] will focus on a younger version of the character who hosts a TV program and lives with his family,” via Variety. The series has set a tentative summer 2021 release date, Variety reports.
Bill Fagerbakke (How I Met Your Mother, Transformers: Animated) has been attached to reprise his role as Patrick in the upcoming series. Jill Talley (Mr. Show, The Boondocks), who voices the computer wife of Plankton (Mr. Lawrence, Rocko’s Modern Life) in the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise, will reportedly play Patrick’s sister Squidina, according to Variety. Cree Summer (Drawn Together, Rugrats) and Tom F. Wilson (Back to the Future, DreamWorks Dragons) will play Patrick’s parents, Bunny and Cecil Star, as reported by Variety. Casting Wilson is a sly reference to the fact that he voiced Patrick’s father in a couple of episodes from the mothership series, although Summer’s role was originally played by Susan Boyajian (Everybody Hates Chris, Kirby Buckets).
Tom Kenny (Mr. Show, Adventure Time), Talley’s husband and the voice of SpongeBob, is also allegedly part of the supporting cast, as are several other SpongeBob SquarePants voice actors, such as Mr. Lawrence, Rodger Bumpass (Invader Zim), Clancy Brown (Pet Sematary Two), and Carolyn Lawrence (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius), Variety reports. Lawrence, Brown and Fagerbakke all participated in a remotely conducted ScreenRant interview about Kamp Koral and the third SpongeBob SquarePants feature film Sponge on the Run, which you can view below:
Kamp Koral and The Patrick Star Show are allegedly the byproduct of conversations that producer Brian Robbins (All That, Smallville) had with Nickelodeon higher-ups about expanding the universe of SpongeBob SquarePants, according to Variety. Robbins, now the company’s top exec, spoke to Variety about how he believes the new programs fit into the vision of Stephen Hillenburg (Rocko’s Modern Life, House of Mouse), the franchise’s creator who passed away in 2018 due to complications related to ALS.
“It’s very important for the creative team.. to be really respectful of what he’s built, and we always keep that in mind,” Robbins stated, via Variety. SpongeBob SquarePants showrunner Paul Tibbitt (CatDog, The Mighty Ones) recalled that Hillenburg was highly suspicious of spinoffs, especially those featuring aged-down versions of the original characters: “In the animation business, you know, there always used to be the sort of joke [that] what you run out of ideas, you just do Muppet Babies. Steve would always say to me, ‘You know, one of these days, they’re going to want to make SpongeBob Babies. That’s when I’m out of here,’ ” via Longreads.