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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Home Strange Home: Nickelodeon Welcomes Us To The Wayne

A cool cast of kids explore oddball happenings in their apartment building in Nickelodeon’s most-recent animated series, Welcome to the Wayne.

Home is where the weird is — at least it is at a New York City apartment building called the Wayne, which is the setting for Nickelodeon’s newest animated series.

(From L-R) Olly, Ansi, and Saraline from Nickelodeon’s Welcome To The Wayne

Created and written by Emmy Award-winning writer and composer Billy Lopez (The Wonder Pets, Phineas and Ferb), Welcome to the Wayne premiered its 20-episode first season on July 24. Originating as Nick’s first web-exclusive series, Welcome to the Wayne follows the adventures of Olly Timbers (voiced by Lopez), his sister Saraline (Dana Steingold, Avenue Q musical), and their pal Ansi Molina (Alanna Ubach, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce), as they explore the crazy, unpredictable world of the Wayne.

Lopez says he imagined having a lot of adventures in the New York City apartment buildings he lived in as a kid. “I wasn’t nearly as adventurous as the kids in the Wayne,” he told Animation Magazine. “But I loved imagining adventures that could take place in the buildings I lived in. I’d come home and stroll through my lobby pretending I was heading off to my secret, after-school job of monster-slaying.”

The show’s web version informed Lopez’s approach to making it a series. “I knew the full-length show had to be serialized, meaning each episode had to directly follow the previous one in terms of its overarching story, but it was a creative struggle to ensure that a viewer could tune in at any random episode and not feel lost or confused,” he says. “In the end, we tried to have it both ways: There’s a season-long story, but each episode is also a complete tale with a beginning, middle and end.”

Animated by Toronto-based Yowza, Welcome to the Wayne is script-driven, with rapid, joke-filled dialog inspired by shows like 30 Rock, Lopez says. “I always wanted the rhythm of the dialogue to be ‘joke, joke, plot advancement or exposition, joke … ‘ and so on,” he says. “We don’t have a joke quota or anything like that, but we’re all aware that we’re writing a comedy.”

Lopez says he has plenty of ideas for the show, and hopes the show earned a long run that will let Team Timbers fully explore the Wayne. “As long as people want to see the show, and I’m afforded the chance to tell the stories I want to tell, and we keep getting better with each season, it could go on for quite a while,” he says.

Brand-new episodes of Welcome to the Wayne return in September. Fans can catch up on the shows first five episodes Saturdays at 10:30am ET/PT on Nick USA, as well as online on and via the Nick App. Fans can also immerse themselves in the Wayne by following the official Instagram account to discover more about the show, characters, and mysteries within.

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