Just in time for the turn of the century, Spongebob Squarepants debuted on Nickelodeon in the summer of 1999. A staple in the childhood of many young adults, it is now the fifth longest-running animated series on television with nearly three hundred episodes and multiple movies under its belt. An impressive run for any TV show let alone a children’s cartoon about a sea sponge, and Nickelodeon isn’t done here either. Yesterday the company announced it had greenlit a Spongebob Squarepants spinoff series based upon Spongebob’s best friend, The Patrick Star Show.
After following the chipper yellow sponge through a variety of antics for over two decades, Nickelodeon is seemingly shifting their focus. The new series will instead be set in a time period prior to the events of Spongebob Squarepants and will establish a standalone series where the titular character Patrick Star is still living at home with his family. This will introduce a new array of characters that includes Patrick’s parents and his younger sister as Patrick “hosts his own show for the neighborhood from his television-turned-bedroom,” per Nickelodeon. Thirteen episodes have been ordered and are set to air this summer.
When Stephen Hillenburg first came up with the idea for Spongebob Squarepants I am quite certain he did not expect it to become what it is today. A 2009 article estimated the value of the franchise at $8 billion, and it has likely only ballooned in recent years. This isn’t even the first spinoff series of the franchise, with plans for another prequel series titled Kamp Koral that follows the earlier years of Spongebob and company in the works. While no official release date has been announced for either series, their release is imminent and it looks like the Spongebob Squarepants franchise will entertain another generation of children.