Sep 6, 2012, 7:59 PM
Nickelodeon and the National Football League continue their relationship with NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians, the first-ever original half-hour animated series developed by a major United States sports league and a cable network, the two entities jointly announced Thursday.
NFL Rush Zone to premiere on Nicktoons in November
The second installment of the Nicktoons series (24 episodes) -- based on NFLRUSH ZONE, the NFL's online world for kids -- is set to premiere on Nicktoons this November and follows kid protagonist Ishmael (Ish) and his friends on a journey to protect the league's 32 teams and the world from a plotting master villain.
During each episode, viewers will hear NFL players and coaches voicing their animated personas, including New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who passed for an NFL record 5,476 yards in 2011; Detroit Lions All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson; Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware; and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
"We are proud to partner with the NFL to bring Nicktoons viewers a full-length second season of NFL Rush Zone," said Keith Dawkins, senior vice-president and general manager of Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr. "Combining rich storytelling, animation, fantasy and kid-relatable content with teamwork, competition and the world of the NFL, NFL Rush Zone truly reflects the best of our two worlds."
"We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Nickelodeon by expanding the NFLRUSH ZONE world that kids love through a first-of-its-kind, animated series," said NFL vice-president of fan strategy and marketing Peter O'Reilly. "Young fans and parents will relate to our unlikely heroes while also experiencing their favorite NFL teams and players in a whole new animated way."
In addition to the new series, Nicktoons and the NFL will create exclusive video segments with NFL Network analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. During the weekly video segments, which premiere on Nicktoons following Sunday's NFL action, Sanders will provide his top three plays from games played that week.
Season 2 begins with Ish and his family relocating to Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he discovers the NFL is facing a new foe, Wild Card, and his wingman, Drop Kick. The pair schemes to destroy the NFL and the world by targeting the 32 teams' Megacores -- the essence of each team, its fans and its community -- and the Core itself. With the escalation of this conflict, Ish heightens his own training, skills and powers and is joined by an unlikely group of heroes, members of his local Youth Football Tackle league.
NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians will be accessible on Nicktoons.com and NFLRUSH.com following each episode's on-air premiere. They will also be reaired on NFL Network and produced in high definition for availability on video boards in NFL stadiums across the U.S.
NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians is produced by Rollman Entertainment, Inc. The team is led by Rollman Entertainment CEO Eric Rollman, who previously served as president of Marvel Animation and worked on numerous animated TV series, including The Avengers: World's Greatest Heroes, Marvel's Super Hero Squad and Iron Man Armored Adventures.
Nickelodeon and the NFL initiated their partnership in 2010 with Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core, which launched as a short-form series. The 22-chapter micro-series followed 10-year-old unlikely kid hero Ish on his destiny to protect shards of a power source that were fortified in NFL stadiums across the country. Ish's powerful enemy, Sudden Death, used an army of Blitz Botz in a plan to hunt down the shards and destroy the NFL in an attempt to take over the world. However, with a secret avatar, known as "The Sub," Ish ultimately defeated Sudden Death in the season finale at Cowboys Stadium during Super bowl XLV.
The NFLRUSH ZONE, a role playing game on NFLRUSH.com, was launched in December 2007 and today has more than 2.5 million registered users. The NFLRUSH ZONE is an immersive virtual world where kids are able to create avatars, join their favorite team, play games, chat, and compete with friends in a safe and fun environment. All 32 teams are represented within the NFLRUSH ZONE with distinct team lands and team Rusherz and Avatars.
NFLRUSH ZONE will be accessible on mobile devices this season and will feature exclusive content associated with the animated TV series, including achievements and games linked to the show. Users will become NFLRUSH Zone Guardians, immersing themselves in the world as they "Enter the RUSH ZONE" with Ish and his fellow Guardians.
"Oh boy." -- Allan Sherman