SpongeBob SquarePants (or simply SpongeBob) is an American animated comedy television series created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. It chronicles the adventures of the title character and his aquatic friends in the fictional underwater city of ****** Bottom. The fifth-longest-running American animated series, its high popularity has made it a media franchise. It is the highest rated Nickelodeon series and the most profitable property for Paramount Consumer Products, generating over $13 billion in merchandising revenue as of 2019.Many of the series's ideas originated in The Intertidal Zone, an unpublished educational comic book Hillenburg created in 1989 to teach his students about undersea life. He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants into a television series in 1996, and in 1997, a seven-minute pilot was pitched to Nickelodeon. The network's executives wanted SpongeBob to be a child in school, but Hillenburg preferred SpongeBob to be an ãdül† character. He was prepared to abandon the series, but compromised by creating Mrs. Puff and her boating school so SpongeBob could attend school as an ãdül†.Nickelodeon aired a preview for the series in the United States on May 1, 1999, after the airing of the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards. The series officially premiered on July 17, 1999. It gained enormous popularity by its second season, and has subsequently received worldwide critical acclaim. The thirteenth season began in October 2020, and the series was renewed for a fourteenth season on March 24, 2022. It has inspired three feature films: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004), Sponge Out of Water (2015), and Sponge on the Run (2020). Two spin-off series, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years and The Patrick Star Show, premiered in 2021. As of February 2022, four additional films are planned: three character spinoff films for Paramount+, and a new theatrical SpongeBob film.
SpongeBob SquarePants has won a variety of awards including six Annie Awards, eight Golden Reel Awards, four Emmy Awards, 19 Kids' Choice Awards, and two BAFTA Children's Awards. A Broadway musical based on it opened in 2017 to critical acclaim.
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