Following burger dive proprietor Bob (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) and his family of misfits -- including wife Linda (John Roberts) and children Louise (Kristen Schaal), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Tina (Dan Mintz) -- the show isn't afraid of a little weird (like Louise's ever-present and adorable bunny ears) and a lot of awkward (daughter Tina, voiced by a man, had a serious case of itchy crotch in episode one).
I caught up with the cast to find out a little more about their characters, which big names are lending their voices to the show and what's next for Bob and his possibly inhumane/possibly human burger meat.
According to Deadline Hollywood, 'SpongeBob' has been renewed for a 26-episode season 9 that will begin in 2012. The series has been Nickelodeon's top series among children ages 2-11 for 10 years.
"We never imagined we would be on for that long but we're going to keep going," executive producer Paul Tibbitt said. "The trick is to try to keep the episodes funny and simple and press from there."
The 'SpongeBob' special, 'Mystery with a Twistery,' brought in 6.6 million viewers in November. The next special, 'Legends of Bikini Bottom,' premieres Jan. 28.
In other TV news ...
• Dina Manzo, former star of Bravo's 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' is returning to TV. However, the former reality star said it won't be a reality project. [PopEater]
• A 14-year-old boy who was stranded on a mountain in Oregon said he survived by using tactics learned on TV. Jake Denham said tips from 'Man Vs. Wild' and 'Survivorman' kept him alive on New Years Eve. [ABC News]
• John Roberts is leaving CNN and heading to Fox News. Roberts will act as a senior national correspondent. Roberts formerly anchored CNN's 'American Morning.' [Deadline Hollywood]
• USA Network has officially revived 'WWE: Tough Enough.' The reality series is the first in five years for USA. The 10-episode series debuts April 4. [Deadline Hollywood]
According to Variety, things change in Hallelujah, Tenn. when a stranger comes to town and brings in peace, justice and faith.
Cherry has been with 'Desperate Housewives' since its launch in 2004 and is contracted until 2013, but the stars are only signed until the end of this season. The creator also has a two-year deal with ABC.
In other TV news ...
• WABC weather anchor Heidi Jones was arrested for filing a false police report. The weather anchor, who regularly fills in on 'Good Morning America,' was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for filing a report that a man tried to rape her in Central Park. She faces up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. [NY Post]
• The first 'American Idol' promo poster has been released. Those new judges certainly seem happy. [EW]
• A&E has ordered pilots for two hour-long dramas. 'Big Mike,' from Happy Madison and Sony Pictures TV, follows a plus-sized detective with the San Diego Police Department. He's an ace detective with a crappy romantic life. The other project, 'Longmire,' is based on the 'Walt Longmire Mystery' novels by Craig Johnson, about a small-town sheriff. [Deadline Hollywood]
- So Rick Springfield's character was supposed to perform on General Hospital but got injured, so his identical twin sang instead? Huh?
- TV Newser has five questions for CNN's John Roberts. On a related note, here's video of Roberts in the 80s as MacGyver-ish VJ, interviewing Stan Ridgway.
- Yes, this really is Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
- New Mexico is investigating Kid Nation, but CBS says it didn't break any laws.
- Did an HBO show convince a football star to sign his contract?
- Tim Goodman wonders, what are the best TV shows about school?
- On the CSI shows, sex = death.
TV Week is reporting that CNN will make an official annoucement today about the fate of their morning show American Morning and the show's anchors, Miles O'Brien and Soledad O'Brien (from now on referred to as "The O'Briens.")
The two anchors are leaving the CNN program (ratings are down) and they are expected to be replaced by John Roberts and Kiran Chetry. If you're not sure about that name, Kiran Chetry is a woman who used to be on FOX News Channel's Fox & Friends. John Roberts came over to CNN last year and is, of course, a man.
This is how the web works.
Last night I thought of an old song that I like ("old" as in 1986 or so) by Stan Ridgway, former lead singer of Wall of Voodoo, of "Mexican Radio" fame. So I downloaded the song ("The Big Heat") from iTunes, then went to YouTube to see if they had the video. Of course, they did! Odd video. Film noir, but with lots of artsy sci-fi touches too.
Anyway, I'm looking around at the other Ridgway videos they have, and came across this. He's interviewed on Canada's MuchMusic channel, probably right around 1986-88, about his new album and the music business. The interviewer looked familiar to me, even if he was sporting a MacGyver-like hairdo and hip New Wave shirt. Can you guess who it is?
A hint: he's a former CBS anchor/correspondent, now on CNN. Don't cheat by reading the description or comments!
Actually, according to the AP article that I linked to, Roberts wasn't even in the running for the anchor job anymore. News president Sean McManus told reporters that if they couldn't get Katie Couric to make the jump, the new anchor would not come from inside the ranks of CBS News. So, it looks like Roberts knows not to stick around somewhere he's not wanted. Sometimes you need to be smacked in the face to make a change, you know what I mean?
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