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Big News From Nickelodeon Upfront

Nickelodeon announced several initiatives at its Upfront presentation, a star-studded affair at New York’s Lincoln Center today. The network will release 450 episodes of new animation programming over the next three years, with nearly 200 of those rolling out on Saturday mornings in 2012. Additionally, Nick announced a crossover TV movie between iCarly and Victorious, iParty with Victorious, slated for a June 10th airdate, and an addition of 125 episodes of the network’s top-rated preschool programs. Finally, Nick announced that it has added Friends and Yes, Dear to Nick at Nite’s lineup this September.

The presentation was set to begin with Victoria Justice, star of Victorious, debuting her new single, “Beggin’ on Your Knees.” Guest appearances were scheduled by iCarly stars Miranda Cosgrove and Jerry Trainor (who is the voice of Nick’s T.U.F.F. Puppy); Nick alumnus Kenan Thompson, currently of Saturday Night Live; Jason Biggs, who will voice Leonardo in the new CG-animated version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; and Jennifer Hudson and Raphael Saadiq, who were set to close the event with a cover of the Motown classic “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and performances of their latest two singles, respectively, “Where You At” and “Radio.”

At the upfront Nick announced that it is expected to close Q1 2011 as basic cable’s No. 1 network in total day with kids 2-11, 6-11 and total viewers and post its best quarter ever with total viewers.

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