Sunday, December 01, 2019

Nickelodeon International Renames 'The Covurts' as 'Spyders'; To Premiere in 2020

Nickelodeon International has renamed its upcoming live-action series The Covurts to the new title of Spyders!


Spyders is the first original co-production between Nickelodeon International and Israeli Nutz Productions—the subsidiary production arm of Ananey Communications Group—together with Israeli cable network HOT.

Spyders focuses on Anna and Noah Fisher, highly highly skilled undercover agents who work for a ECCO – Environmental Counter Crime Organization, and are tasked with fighting criminals who endanger nature or the environment. Little do they know that their three kids – Daniel (16), Nikki (15) and Tommy (12) – have discovered their secret occupation and have formed a task force of their own, named Spyders

Nickelodeon has ordered 40 x 22-minute episodes, which will be distributed to Nickelodeon's international audiences spanning 170+ countries and territories via the brand’s more than 100 channels and branded blocks in 2020.

Spyders is created by Michal Cooper Keren, Tom Riles, David Guest and Patrick Quinn. The head writer is Israeli screenwriter Michal Cooper Keren, the creator of Nickelodeon Israel's Spell Keepers. The series is an original co-production between Nickelodeon International, Nutz Productions and Ananey Communications Group.

Michal Cooper Keren, the who created Nickelodeon Israel's Spell Keepers, is also the series' head writer. The series is an original co-production between Nickelodeon International, Nutz Productions and Ananey Communications Group.

Michal has been treating fans to behind-the-scenes photos and videos from the production of Spyders on her Instagram:



A post shared by Michal Cooper Keren (@cooperkeren) on

The series commenced filming in Israel earlier this summer and will wrapping production this week.

“After a long history of collaboration with Ananey, we are so excited to kick off our first co-production together with our partners in Israel,” said Nina Hahn, the Senior Vice President (SVP) of International Production and Development for Nickelodeon, when the show was first announced at global TV and digital content market MIPTV in April 2018. “We can’t wait for young fans around the world to meet The Spyders!”

Orly Atlas-Katz, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) OF Ananey Communications said, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Nickelodeon International. I am certain that with their vast experience in content for kids, HOT's programming expertise and our high-end productions abilities, this show will be something to look forward to."

Ananey is an Israeli content producer and pay-TV provider that serves as the Israeli licensor of several of Viacom’s biggest brands, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV, and produces both local and international original content.

Under the partnership, Nickelodeon has become Israel's No. 1 children's channel and, alongside Nick Jr., reaches 49 percent of the youth audience, due in large part to Ananey’s original local productions for kids and teens.

The greenlight of The Spyders comes on the heels of Viacom purchasing a minority stake in Ananey Communications Group in 2017.

Nutz entered a co-pro deal with Bunim/Murray Productions’ new BMP Kids division on the youth prank show Gotcha, which bowed on Nick Israel last December. Other popular Nutz series currently airing on Nick Israel include Spell Keepers, Bed & Biscuit and The Hood, which just entered its third season.

About Nickelodeon International:

Nickelodeon, now in its 40th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, recreation, books and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

About Nutz Productions:

Founded in 2010, Nutz Productions is a high-end concept and production arm for Ananey Communications Group. Nutz produces all the original series for the Viacom brands (including shows on the Israeli Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Teen Nick and MTV Israel), as well as for other Israeli networks. The company also develops content in close cooperation with foreign production entities, honing its expertise in international productions. Recently, Nutz Productions was commissioned by Netflix to produce its remake production of Greenhouse Academy – an original live-action daily-drama series which was first broadcast for 4 seasons on Nickelodeon Israel and locally produced by Nutz as well.

From The Jerusalem Post:

Nickelodeon partners with Israeli team to create ‘Spyders’

Spyders is a "dramedy," intended to appeal to children from 9-12.


From left to right: Osnat Saraga, CEO, Nutz Productions; Shirley Oren, VP content Viacom channels Israel at Ananey Communications; Orly Atlas Katz, CEO, Ananey Communications; Nina Hahn, SVP, International Production and Development. (photo credit: Courtesy)

People may think that a making a television show is glamorous, but the set of Spyders – the first original co-production between Viacom’s Nickelodeon International and Israeli Nutz Productions, the subsidiary production arm of Ananey Communications Group, together with Israeli cable network HOT – is anything but.

It’s a hot dusty day in early October and filming is taking place in and around an empty barn in a moshav, but that doesn’t bother Nina Hahn, Nickelodeon senior vice president in charge of international production and development, who has flown in from England to meet with the show’s creators.

“Nickelodeon is everywhere kids are, and we have been so excited about partnering with this amazing team in Israel to create ‘glocal' content – content that is both local and global, and to find something that will work in Israel and will resonate with audiences outside of Israel,” she said.

Spyders focuses on Anna and Noah Fisher, highly skilled undercover agents who work for ECCO, Environmental Counter Crime Organization, and are tasked with fighting criminals who endanger nature or the environment. Little do they know that their three kids – Daniel, Nikki and Tommy – have discovered their secret occupation and have formed a task force of their own, named Spyders.

Nickelodeon has ordered 40 episodes, each 22 minutes long, which will be distributed to Nickelodeon's international audiences in more than 170 countries and territories via the brand’s more than 100 channels and branded blocks in 2020.

Spyders was created and written by Michal Cooper Keren, the creator of Nickelodeon Israel's Spell Keepers. It was based on an idea by Tom Riles, David Guest and Patrick Quinn. It stars Nati Kluger, Kobi Maymon, Kim Or Azulay, Jonathan Gotlieb and Amit Hechter.

“The series is grounded in reality and authenticity,” said Hahn. “We describe families as tribes. This is about sharing family pride. The kids are heroes who save the family. Children can do things that grown-ups can’t. This is about kids who want to be agents like their parents, and then end up being even better than they are.”

One key element of Nickelodeon programs, said Hahn, is that, “We don’t talk down to kids. Our DNA is equal parts: Art Fart Smart. We can be funny and broad, but we also know how to do drama and suspense.”

Spyders, she said, would be a “dramedy,” intended to appeal to children from 9-12. “Our sweet spot is about 10,” said Hahn. But like all Nickelodeon series, “It’s something that a family can watch together.”

The series will air with five episodes a week, the kind of “appointment television” – TV that is watched when it airs rather than streamed – that ends on cliffhangers and keeps audiences in suspense until the next episode. Although once it has aired, Hahn said, “It can be consumed in any number of ways.”

In terms of partnering with an Israeli team and production companies, Hahn said, “Everything that felt good for them, was good for us. The series will work for Israel, for the United States, for countries all over the world.

“Spyders really fits in with trends from around the world, of this decade’s kids trying to save the earth,” Hahn said. “And it’s very appropriate that the series reflects two very different teams from different parts of the globe coming together to birth one baby.”

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More Nick: Nickelodeon Embarks on New Direction with its Biggest, Most Wide-Ranging Content Slate Ever!

Originally published: Monday, September 23, 2019.

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