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SpongeBob SquarePants (television series)

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SpongeBob SquarePants is an animated television series created by Stephen Hillenburg. It stars the title character, and is the main part of the overall SpongeBob SquarePants franchise. A preview of the series was first held in the United States on May 1, 1999, right after the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards. The first episode consists of three segments, "Help Wanted", "Reef Blower", and "Tea at the Treedome". The series officially premiered on July 17, 1999.

Many of the series' ideas originated in The Intertidal Zone, an unpublished educational book that Hillenburg created in 1989 to teach his students about undersea life. He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants into a television series in 1996, and in 1997, a seven-minute pilot was pitched to Nickelodeon. The network's executives wanted SpongeBob to be a child in school, but Hillenburg preferred SpongeBob to be an adult character. He was prepared to "walk out" on Nickelodeon and abandon the series, but he compromised by creating Mrs. Puff and her boating school so that SpongeBob could attend school as an adult.

Since its premiere, SpongeBob SquarePants quickly grew in popularity, and has become one of the most popular and iconic cartoons of all time. The show still receives season renewals to date. It has received worldwide critical acclaim since its premiere and had gained enormous popularity by its second season. The thirteenth season began airing in October 2020. The series has inspired three feature films: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004), Sponge Out of Water (2015), and Sponge on the Run (2020). Two spin-off series, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years and The Patrick Star Show, premiered in 2021. An additional spin-off, an untitled project based on Squidward Tentacles, is in development as of 2020. An additional spin-off style movie was announced for Sandy Cheeks in May 2021.

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