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Nickelodeon denies 'Sam & Cat' cancellation rumors

After personal photos of Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy leaked online, rumors surfaced that Nickelodeon was canceling the show — a hit spinoff that’s drawn big ratings for the kid-centric channel. (An hourlong special that reunited various characters from Sam & Cat‘s precedessors, Victorious and iCarly, was watched by an audience of 4.8 million in January.)

Nickelodeon, however, says these whispers aren’t true. According to the network, Sam & Cat is simply taking a scheduled production hiatus.

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Mark Wahlberg to host 2014 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards

Mark Wahlberg will be playing to a very different audience than some of his last films for his next gig. The Lone Survivor star and father of four will host this year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, airing live from Los Angeles on Saturday, March 29, from 8-9:30 pm ET.

“We are thrilled to welcome a superstar like Mark Wahlberg as he takes the helm as our master of ceremonies at the biggest kid event of the year,” said Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s president of content development and production. “We can’t wait for him to host and have lots of slime-filled fun with Hollywood’s biggest stars and our audience.”

Wahlberg will next star in the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise, Age of Extinction and the sequel to Ted. Josh Duhmael hosted last year’s awards, which garnered a record 392 million votes in 22 categories. Past hosts have included Will Smith, Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Justin Timberlake, Rosie O’Donnell, Cameron Diaz, Mike Myers, and Ben Stiller.

'Legend of Korra': Aubrey Plaza, James Remar, Lisa Edelstein join cast for Book 2 -- EXCLUSIVE

The Legend of Korra has added several familiar names to its cast for Book 2: Aubrey Plaza, Lisa Edelstein and James Remar are among those voicing characters on upcoming episodes of Nickelodeon’s animated action-adventure series, EW has learned.
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'Kids Choice' builds in tot demo

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A strong showing from Josh Duhamel and the Kids Choice Awards helped Nickelodeon to post its highest rated telecast in four months since the iCarly finale. Saturday night’s live premiere averaged 5.8 million total viewers and 2.7 million kids ages 2-11, up slightly from last year’s show. Among kids 6-11, the awards show averaged 2.0 million and among 9-14, it lured 1.9 million.

Kids picked their favorites for the show in a record-breaking 392 million votes. READ FULL STORY

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' producer: How 'booyakasha' became the new 'cowabunga'

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Old-school fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise may have noticed something interesting in the run-up to Nickelodeon’s upcoming animated reboot: the lack of cowabungas.

The Turtles’ standby catch phrase — first introduced in the ’50s by The Howdy Doody Show and later popularized by TMNT‘s Michelangelo – has so far been conspicuously absent from the new series. Meanwhile, another four-syllable exclamation has appeared in its stead: booyakasha, a word strongly associated with Sacha Baron-Cohen’s Ali G character.

What, we wondered, is up with that? Ciro Nieli, executive producer of Nickelodeon’s TMNT update, had some answers for us.

“There was a lot of talk about what the new ‘cowabunga’ was, or whether it should even remain ‘cowabunga,’” Neili tells EW. “We hadn’t initially come up with anything yet because we didn’t really necessarily need it [at the time].”

“But then when we were at the record, one of the actors — Greg Cipes, who actually plays Michelangelo — just kind of went for it,” Nieli explains. “When he said it in the room, there were a lot of executives there. I think it was our first record. And it was that moment when he said it — I think he just really pulled it off and kind of won everybody over in the room. And it stuck.”

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'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': New clip shows off updated weapons and sensei Splinter -- EXCLUSIVE

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Bust out some pizza slices (no anchovies!), because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are finally back!

You’ve already been treated to trailers and teasers from the rebooted cartoon, which premieres this Saturday on Nickelodeon, but now you can watch a scene from the series exclusively here.

Each Turtle gets to show off their weapon of choice in the clip, but since these guys are as Teenage as they are Ninja, they also have to sit through a lecture with their sensei, Splinter. Take a look below:

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A 'Sopranos' reunion...on Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon is reuniting four members of the classic mob drama The Sopranos for a kids TV movie.

The new film, Nicky Deuce, stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa. They played gang members Christopher and Bobby. Also starring are Tony Sirico and Vincent Curatola, who played fellow mobster Paulie and rival boss Johnny “Sack.”

It’s the first time they have performed together since The Sopranos ended five years ago. READ FULL STORY

'How To Rock' star Cymphonique Miller spills on Cee Lo, Demi Lovato, and her famous family

The Voice‘s zaniest coach Cee Lo Green is given to rocking jumpsuits that look like they’re made of Muppets and stroking his stuffed cat Purrfect. Does that make him crazy? Possibly. But when Green showed up for a guest stint on Nick’s How to Rock (airing tonight at 8 p.m. ET), he was surprisingly understated, donning a plain black T-shirt and relatively few flashes of bling. “I’m used to seeing him in big, colorful feathers and all these crazy outfits,” laughs the show’s 15-year-old star Cymphonique Miller, “and he was really down-to-earth with his outfits when he came on set.”

Green’s no-nonsense air didn’t end with his ensemble, says Miller. “Whenever I work with an artist or someone from the music industry [who comes] into the acting world, it’s always interesting to see if they memorize lines or take the acting seriously,” she notes, adding happily that Green was “really cool and professional…. He really brought his own flavor to the role.” Green also brought his family, a fact Miller appreciated given her own famous pedigree — she’s the daughter of Master P and sister to the artist formerly known as Lil’ Romeo. Below, Miller dishes on what exactly she is doing on stage with Green, another exciting star cameo to come, and the best advice she got from upcoming X Factor judge Demi Lovato.

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Nick Jr. launches new comedy block for adults

Nick Jr. – not just for kids anymore!

Nickelodeon announced today that starting Oct. 1, there will be a new four-hour (well, really two hours, and then the network will immediately re-air) primetime TV comedy block just for moms: NickMom.

The programming block will feature a mix of “original long- and short-form programming, including talk shows, stand-up and sketch comedy, docu-series and more. Additionally, NickMom has greenlit 13 episodes of a new docu-comedy TV series, My 63 Moms, which will be added to the block’s rotation in 2013.” My 63 Moms will star comic Andrea Rosen. Each week she’ll visit a few families and “[seek] advice and confirmation that she is not alone in the insanity that is motherhood.”

“NickMom is a unique TV and digital destination that gives moms permission to wind down from the day and laugh out loud at the shared experiences of motherhood,” Bronwen O’Keefe, Senior Vice President of NickMom, said in a press release. “From the comedy of our long- and short-form programming, to the engagement our web site provides, NickMom has the heart and humor of Nickelodeon, but with a specific mom point of view.” READ FULL STORY

Nickelodeon greenlights spin-off pilots for 'iCarly,' 'Victorious' from creator Dan Schneider -- EXCLUSIVE

Although iCarly will soon air its final episode, you may not have to bid farewell to the entire gang. EW has learned that Nickelodeon has ordered spin-off pilots for Sam Puckett (Jennette McCurdy) and Gibby Gibson (Noah Munck) from iCarly creator/executive producer Dan Schneider. Sam’s prospective show also would serve a spin-off vehicle for Cat Valentine (Ariana Grande), a popular character from Schneider’s other Nick comedy, Victorious. READ FULL STORY

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': Newest trailer showcases some mean baddies

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the special one-hour premiere of Nickelodeon’s animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is set for Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. But two months is a long time to wait, so the cable network’s whipped up a brand-new trailer for the series. While the trailer we debuted last month focused on the Turtles’ origin story, the latest 45-second spot emphasizes their ninja qualities. The gang gets a chance to show off their weaponry, martial-arts skills, and mad ups while fighting some intriguing new villains, including menacingly red-eyed robots, psychedelic-looking little blobs, and a pants-wearing mutant monkey. Needless to say, ample screentime is also given to the franchise’s chief baddie Shredder, who looks meaner than ever. Watch below. READ FULL STORY

Nickelodeon orders second season of 'The Legend of Korra' -- EXCLUSIVE

It’s official: The Legend continues! Nickelodeon has picked up a second season of the animated adventure series The Legend of Korra, EW has learned. After averaging 3.8 million viewers for Season 1, Book 1, which concluded June 23, the Avatar: The Last Airbender sequel is receiving a second-season order of 26 episodes that presumably will be divided into two parts called Books 3 and 4, bringing the total number of episodes to 52.

The series is already set to return in 2013 with the premiere of Season 1, Book 2 (which consists of 14 previously ordered episodes), as 17-year-old chosen one Korra (voiced by Janet Varney) has now become a fully realized Avatar. The cast also includes Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), David Faustino (Married… with Children), and P.J. Byrne (Horrible Bosses).

Related:
Nickelodeon’s ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ reboot: See the show’s trailer here! — EXCLUSIVE
Nickelodeon’s ‘Figure It Out’ reboot slimes its first star — EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Nickelodeon's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' reboot: See the show's trailer here! -- EXCLUSIVE

TMNT-TRAILER

EW gave you an exclusive first look at Nickelodeon’s new and improved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series last year. But now, as the series’ TBD fall launch nears, we’ve got another special treat for you: an exclusive look at the show’s official trailer.

Natch, the trailer quickly goes into the origin story of the Turtles. “They were created by accident,” the voice in the trailer tells us. “They were kept a secret. They were trained for battle. And now, when their city is under siege, the fate of humanity is in the hands of these four…turtles!” And it continues: “When evil threatens our universe, these four brothers are destined to save the world!” Then it takes a few moments to introduce each of the four green guys: Leonardo, “the leader”; Donatello, “the brains”; Raphael, “the muscle”; and Michelangelo, “the wild one.” However, there seems to be no sign of Splinter or April in this trailer, unfortunately.

EW recently spoke with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles executive producer Ciro Neili, who explained how this iteration of the characters fits into the Turtles universe. “I tried to boil it down and get to really what’s at the core of it,” Neili says, “which is this sense of brothers and camaraderie. Everything grew out of that. It’s like a band. You want a Beatles thing.”

The trailer — which you can find embedded below — will premiere on Nick.com tomorrow and Nickelodeon this Saturday, June 23, during the season 1, book 1 finale of Legend of Korra, which is an hour-long TV event featuring two back-to-back episodes.

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