Top 5 Rejected Nickelodeon Shows or Pilots That Should Have Been Made

For the past 13 weeks, the admins at the Re-Open Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, FL Facebook page and I did a podcast miniseries called Nicksmissal. In it, we discussed about the Nickelodeon shows or pilots that were eventually rejected or scrapped completely. There were some pilots or shows that I would have absolutely loved to have seen on the network and there were some others that I’m glad never came out. So I decided to make my top 5 shows that, in my opinion, should and shouldn’t have been made. Let’s start with the shows I wanted to see come out.

5. Morph Sports and Slime Survivor

Around the late 80’s and early 90’s, game shows at Nickelodeon were fun, creative, and epic. It was either slimy and messy like Double Dare or Wild & Crazy Kids or action packed like Nickelodeon GUTS and Legends of the Hidden Temple. Around the late 90’s, game shows became lackluster with Figure it Out and You’re On! and pretty much died out around 2000 when game shows were mostly revivals. With that said, there was a video that Universal Studios did from 1996-2000 showcasing the programs that were featured at the time and pilots to upcoming shows. There were 4 game shows that featured in that video; Morph Sports, Tooned In, Who Knew?, and Slime Survivor. The ones that stood out to me were Morph Sports and Slime Survivor. Morph Sports would have came out in 1996 and looked like a mixture of Nickelodeon GUTS mixed with Double Dare featuring kids playing giant versions of sports games. Slime Survivor would have came out in 2000 and had 100 kids participating in things from slimy games, obstacles, and trivia until 1 was left standing. In my opinion, it would have been great if these would have came out. Maybe game shows wouldn’t be as dead as they are now.

To watch the video from Universal Studios, check out the video here. To know a little bit more about our opinions of these rejected game shows, check out the video here.

4. Ned’s Declassified High School Survival Guide

Around the 2000’s, Dan Schneider was the king of live action shows with Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, and iCarly. Pretty much all the live action shows that weren’t made by Schneider were either mediocre, overshadowed and forgotten, or abhorrent. That is except for Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide created by Weinerville actor and The Fairly OddParents writer Scott Fellows. The show became very popular. After Ned’s Declassified ended its run, Fellows planned on doing a spinoff series that had the characters of Ned, Cookie, and Moze going to high school. However, due to budget issues and numerous delays, the show never came out. This makes me so mad since I absolutely loved Ned’s Declassified and found it to be creative and funny and, in my opinion, was better than Drake & Josh. It was essentially The Adventures of Pete & Pete of the 2000’s. Unfortunately, after Ned’s Declassified ended its run, no other show that wasn’t created by Schneider was able to become successful which eventually had Nickelodeon relying on Schneider shows that brings up ratings. Oh, don’t worry. We’ll get back to Schneider.

To learn more about Ned’s Declassified High School Survival Guide, click here. To know a little bit more about our opinions of Ned’s Declassified High School Survival Guide, check out the video here.

3. The Pataki’s 

Hey Arnold! is not only one of the greatest Nicktoons ever made, but one of the best cartoons of all time. It’s unfortunate that Nickelodeon didn’t treat with the respect it deserved. I’m sure that many people already know about The Jungle Movie, but before that Craig Bartlett tried to make a spinoff series for Nick-at-Nite that focused on the Pataki family. It took place 5 years later with 13-year-old Helga being depressed all the time due to Arnold moving away to a new city with his family. Nickelodeon rejected it because they felt that it was too dark and depressing for children. While I can somewhat understand their conclusion, I still want to see this come out. It would showcase the inner struggles of Helga trying to cope with depression of a lost love which would relate to a lot of teenagers going through similar situations. Also, knowing Craig Bartlett, he would have had lighter, funny moments to off set the depressing moments since Hey Arnold! brought in so much variety in the story telling and character development. With Hey Arnold! growing in popularity ever since The 90’s Are All That featured the reruns, the Hey Arnold! complete series released on DVD being sold out on my Wal-Mart, and Craig Bartlett returning to Nickelodeon to create a new show, it would be smart if Nickelodeon would let him release The Pataki’s. Also The Jungle Movie as well.

To learn more about The Pataki’s, click here. To know a little bit more about our opinions of The Pataki’s, check out the video here.

2. Constant Payne

Anime became a huge hit in America around the late 90’s with shows such as Sailor Moon, DragonBall Z, Cowboy Bebop, and Pokemon. Cartoon Network created a lineup to showcase anime called Toonami and it became hugely popular. Nickelodeon decided to cash in on the popularity with Constant Payne created by The Angry Beavers writer Micah Wright. However, there were many issues that occured. One of them included a scene in which a blimp went between 2 towers and it almost crashed that. That scene would have reminded people of the attacks of the World Trade Center of 9/11 despite the pilot being made on March 2001. But the biggest reason why it was scrapped was because Nickelodeon wasn’t paying the animators and writers at Nickelodeon Animation Studios enough money and Wright decided to help unionize them. Nickelodeon dismissed the idea, cancelled Constant Payne, and fired him. It’s such a shame that this never came out because it was the very first Americanized anime to have ever came out and had many things that no Nicktoon had at the time such as action, fighting scenes, and a witty style of humor. It was way ahead of its time and it would have definitely been a huge game changer for not only Nickelodeon, but for animation in general. It would have giving another reason for people to tune in to Nickelodeon since it was a fresh, new idea way different than anything they would had or have done. Anime is still popular to this day and Cartoon Network is smart enough to bring Toonami back when they did their April Fool’s joke. Nickelodeon is still not.

To learn more about Constant Payne, watch the pilot here. To know a little bit more about our opinions of The Pataki’s, check out the video here.

1. The Modifyers

Back in 2007, Nickelodeon was going through their slump of releasing mediocre or awful animated and live action shows. They needed something fresh and new to bring them back on top. With that, The Ren & Stimpy Show animators and writers Chris Reccardi and Lynne Naylor created The Modifyers which featured a secret agent named Agent Xero who disguised herself as one of the villian’s henchmen to steal back an artifact named The All Seeing Eye while keeping her identity a secret. However, it was rejected because it had a female protagonist and Nickelodeon didn’t want any more female protagonists since none of their programs that featured them became huge hits compared to shows that had male protagonists. That’s just ridiculous. Even to this day, especially Cartoon Network, shows are rarely showcasing female protagonists due to toy sales. With the huge success of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, this mindset is outdated and irrelevant. A show can be very successful, be it male or female characters, as long as you have great writing, memorable characters, and a good story. I felt that The Modifyers would have picked up Nickelodeon from its downfall and would have probably got them back on track. Instead, they picked up The Mighty B! instead and Nickelodeon is still in their slump.

To learn more about The Modifyers, watch the pilot here. To know a little bit more about our opinions of The Modifyers, check out the video here.

That’s my top 5 list. Which of these rejected Nickelodeon shows or pilots would you have loved to have seen come out? Post in the comments down below. Tune in next time as I continue with the top 5 rejected Nickelodeon shows or pilots that I’m glad never came out.

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


5 replies
  1. the-second-opinion
    the-second-opinion says:

    Nickelodeon… a show about a female secret agent from the creators of Ren and Stimpy isn’t worth taking a chance on, but a show about tween girls jumping up and down and screaming in front of a camera, then making a web show out of it we’re expected to believe people watch, is absolute gold, worth marketing with all your might? What?!

    As for this article, well, it sounds like Nick had a lot more missed opportunities than I expected. I would have been interested in seeing shows 1-3.

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  2. moviefan
    moviefan says:

    Something like the Modifyers would be nice but I’m not sure that Nick would treat a show like that with respect. Look at what they did to Korra, their only show that had a female lead. Sure, you could argue Gia and Emma in Power Rangers: Super Megaforce are female leads but Korra was the true main star of her show and Nick screwed her over. And I fear that Nick would do the same with the Modifyers. And to add on to that, shows like MLP have shown that female led shows can develop a strong fan base. My avatar is a character from My Little Pony and I’m a GUY, so to say that a show would not do well because of a female lead is bull. Did Nick never look at their competition and see that Disney Channel had one of the greatest animated series that was led by a female. I’m talking about Kim Possible.

    And the things that make both MLP & Kim Possible work are that the Mane Six and KP are characters first and their gender doesn’t make up, who they were. The audience is allowed to know Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy (yay), Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack for who they are and the same is true of Kim Possible. As someone that would put both Kim Possible and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic on his list of all time favorite animated shows, I can tell you that animated shows with female leads can work, when given the chance and clearly, Nick didn’t want to give this show a chance.

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