'Baby Shark' TV Series Based On Viral Song in the Works at Nickelodeon

The Viacom kids brand has partnered with SmartStudy's Pinkfong to make the social media sensation into a TV and consumer products property.

Viacom's Nickelodeon has partnered with the team behind YouTube viral hit song "Baby Shark" to develop an original preschool animated series based on it.

Nickelodeon and SmartStudy, the entertainment company behind children’s content brand Pinkfong, are teaming on the series based on the social media sensation for global distribution, with Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products set to manage consumer products licensing worldwide, excluding Asia, for the property.

"Baby Shark" launched on YouTube in November 2015 and became a sensation. "With music, characters, story and dance all combined together, 'Baby Shark' took the world by storm, amassing 2.9 billion YouTube views and becoming the ninth most-watched video in the platform’s history," Nickelodeon said.

The song recorded a 20-week streak on the Billboard Hot 100 list and spawned #BabySharkChallenge, which generated more than 700,000 cover videos worldwide.

"Baby Shark" is "a multiplatform phenomenon, and appetite for more content and products is strong around the world," said Pam Kaufman, president, Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “Our outstanding creative teams are moving fast to get more 'Baby Shark' product across multiple categories to retailers, and our content team is excited to develop a terrific original animated series that will bring this property to new heights and even more fans.”

Under president Brian Robbins, Nickelodeon has been focusing on creating and seeking out content in new formats and from other platforms. For example, it brought YouTube sensation Ryan from Ryan ToysReview to TV in preschool series Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, which launched in April.

“'Baby Shark' has captured the imagination of millions of fans around the world, so it’s no surprise it’s one of the top 10 most-viewed videos on YouTube ever,” said Ramsey Naito, executive vp, Nickelodeon Animation. “At the heart of any popular piece of content is a terrific character, and we have a great opportunity to further explore the world of Baby Shark and follow this family through some great animated adventures on Nickelodeon.”

Founded in June 2010, SmartStudy has focused on creating original content across children’s education, games and animation. Through Pinkfong, the company produces modern-day songs and stories to provide "stimulating, fun learning experiences" for children.