Nickelodeon is launching unique new projects for two of its most popular series, SpongeBob SquarePants and Avatar: The Last Airbender. On Monday, the network announced that it is creating an accompanying podcast for each of the beloved shows. They will be titled SpongeBob BingePants and Avatar: Braving the Elements respectively.
Nickelodeon is partnering with iHeartRadio to create these new original podcasts, which will serve as "companions" to the TV series they are about. The Avatar podcast will feature original voice talent Dante Basco (Prince Zuko) and Janet Varney (Avatar Korra). Meanwhile, the SpongeBob podcast will be hosted by actors Frankie Grande and Hector Navarro. Nickelodeon executive Douglas Rosen expressed his hope that these productions would be beloved by fans while also pioneering new territory for the podcast medium itself.
Braving the Elements Premieres Tuesday June 22nd! And @dantebasco & I CAN'T WAIT to start getting the fans involved! STAY TUNED! #BravingtheElements #Aang #ATLA @NickAnimation @Nickelodeon https://t.co/6sIskE8SlL pic.twitter.com/C27aUtSaL5— Janet Varney 🏳️🌈 (@janetvarney) May 15, 2021
"The family podcast market is still nascent, and we're thrilled to be working closely with our good friends at iHeartRadio producing exciting new content for all audio platforms," he said. "Not only are we extending our beloved franchises and IP to the audio landscape, but we're also working with creative talent to produce new ideas and concepts for all audiences."
iHeartRadio COO Will Pearson added: "We're thrilled to be partnering with the team at Nickelodeon to bring such incredibly fun shows to audiences everywhere. I'm not sure you could pick two better franchises to kick things off, and there's much more to come. We can't wait for fans to hear these shows."
Each of the podcasts will be 40 episodes long. Braving the Elements has a confirmed release date of Tuesday, June 22 while SpongeBob BingePants is expected "later this year." The partners reportedly have other companion podcasts in the works as well.
The timing is notable for both of these projects. Although they revolve around the beloved original series in their respective franchises, both are actively growing as well. The prequel series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years is streaming now on Paramount+ — available here with a free trial for new subscribers — and multiple Avatar spinoffs are now in production. Netflix is currently working on a live-action remake of the original series, while ViacomCBS has launched Avatar Studios, an entire division of Nickelodeon dedicated to movies and films set in the Avatar universe.
All of this is sure to drive excitement for these beloved series and test the longevity of cartoons among young audiences in the age of streaming. SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kamp Koral and The Legend of Korra are all streaming now on Paramount+.