Nickelodeon has named Chris Viscardi, co-creator of the kids’ classic The Adventures of Pete and Pete, to the newly created role of Senior Vice President, Content Development, Nickelodeon Franchise Properties. Viscardi will oversee the creative strategies for the network’s key franchises, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer; and mine the network’s rich library of original series to reimagine and develop select shows for today’s audiences. Additionally, he will work closely with other Viacom divisions like Paramount Pictures to explore partnership opportunities for Nick. Viscardi will be based in Nickelodeon’s Burbank, Calif. headquarters, reporting to Russell Hicks, President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon Group.
First up for Viscardi is the development of a Hey Arnold! original TV movie, with the beloved series’ original creator Craig Bartlett returning as writer and executive producer. The new TV movie will feature a storyline that picks up from where the original series ended in 2004 and will resolve unanswered questions and plotlines–including Arnold finally getting answers about the whereabouts of his missing parents.
“Chris is a creator who innately understands the Nickelodeon DNA and our audience because of his long history with us,” said Hicks. “As someone who has worked on two generations of Nickelodeon hit shows, Chris is the perfect person to manage our most important franchises and reimagine stories and characters from our library for today’s kids and for the Millennial generation who grew up on them. It’s also incredibly exciting to pair Chris with another master storyteller, Craig Bartlett, to bring our iconic Hey Arnold! back to life in a new, modern way.”
Currently, Viscardi serves as one of the executive producers on Nickelodeon’s Emmy-nominated animated series Sanjay and Craig, where he plays an integral role in mentoring the show’s first-time creators and co-executive producers Jim Dirschberger and Jay Howell. Under his guidance, the show launched to almost 4 million viewers, and it is now in its third season, attracting a bevy of celebrity guest stars including Anthony Bourdain, Snoop Dogg and John Leguizamo, among others.
Viscardi began his career at Nickelodeon, where he and Will McRobb created the award-winning series The Adventures of Pete & Pete, along with the groundbreaking alternative animation series Kablam! Noteworthy writing and producing credits include Ed, Necessary Roughness, Bravest Warriors and Brutally Normal. He also co-wrote the films Alvin and The Chipmunks and The Tale of Despereaux, as well as the Nickelodeon/Paramount films Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Snow Day.