LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Nickelodeon and the National Football League are teaming on an animated short-form series called "Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core" for Nicktoons.
The 22-episode series is based on the NFLRush Zone, the league's online world for kids. The series will be comprised of two- to five-minute shorts featuring a kid as the hero, and feature all 32 NFL teams and the voices of NFL players and coaches. These latter include coach Sean Payton, who led the New Orleans Saints to victory in Super Bowl XLIV, and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
"Rush Zone" will air weekly to coincide with the upcoming football season from September through February, and will culminate with a one-hour movie special to air on February 5, the day before Super Bowl XLV.
The series also will be available on Nicktoons.com and NFLRush.com, the NFL's official website for kids, following its premiere on Nicktoons. Additionally, the series is being created in high definition for use on Jumbotrons in NFL stadiums.
"Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core" focuses on a 10-year-old boy named Ishmael who was just an ordinary kid until learning that all 32 NFL stadiums also serve as secret strongholds of a benevolent life force that he has been chosen to guard.
Nicktoons is pacing to have its highest-rated quarter with its target demos of boys 6-11 and boys 9-14 as well as among all tweens 9-14 and total viewers. The NFLRush Zone was launched in December 2007 and currently has 2 million registered users.