Feature writer Shawn Smith has the latest on the psychedelic kiddie show scene:
The gamble paid off. Yo Gabba Gabba creators Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz (our cover boys a few weeks back) got the news they’ve been waiting for. Yo Gabba Gabba, the frenetically fun kids show with the dancing Cyclops and infectious beats that airs during the pee-wee hours on Nickelodeon, just got its 20-episode renewal. After years of struggling to see their vision of a Utopian dancey-dance world come to fruition, after putting it all on the line and pushing their wives’ patience to the limits—they got their second season. And that means merchandising moolah, eventually.
"Yo Gabba Gabba! is like nothing else on TV, and the show is quickly becoming a pop-culture phenomenon," said Brown Johnson, executive vice president/executive creative director of Nickelodeon Preschool, via a press release. "We can't wait to introduce our audience to more hip music, funky dance moves, catchy life lessons and exciting guest stars."
First, Jacobs and Schultz need to write a second season, slated to air in summer or fall 2008. They plan to go back to the original list they made of people they wanted to work with on the show the first season and make some calls to the ones whose schedules didn’t work out before. Then they’ll work on fleshing out the characters a bit more, writing songs.
And as if all this isn’t already exciting enough to make their heads spin uncontrollably, as if being on the cover of their hometown alternative newsweekly wasn’t stoke enough, and news that the show has streamed 17.8 million times, according to Advertising Age, isn’t completely rocking their worlds—they’ve recently been named by TIME magazine as the No. 8 best new TV series of 2007. What do they think about the hubbub? “It’s pretty rad,” Jacobs says.
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Still, the news was a little bittersweet for Jacobs. Pushing things as far as he could, he and his wife decided to put their beloved Huntington Beach townhouse up for sale, just in case. The Gabba guys got the news about the pick up just as Jacobs was loading a moving truck after it sold. Still, he’s stoked, he says, and is looking forward to having a job for another year. As is his wife, who knows her husband gets a bit cranky when he has to work for the man and not doing something creative on his own terms. And his new roommate, his father-in-law, is just as thrilled. “Yeah, so I’ve got that going for me,” he quips about moving in with his wife’s parents, who he would like to state for the record are very, very supportive. But still . . .
Things are definitely looking promising from here on out for the Yo Gabba Gabba crew. And when Jacobs walks by Dad on the way to the shower in the morn, he can always remind him about that whole TIME magazine thing, or that the show will be airing in the United Kingdom and Italy soon.
“The pressure is off,” he says. “But it’s not like we’ve hit the jackpot. We’re still plugging away. So in other ways, the pressure is on again.”
Editor's note: This post was originally published Dec. 12. We took it down at the YGG crew's request as Nickelodeon had not officially given the show it's stamp of approval - though the creators had been given the unofficial thumbs up.