Concept

Nickelodeon Studios

Summary
Nickelodeon Studios was a production studio and theme park attraction run by the television network Nickelodeon at Universal Studios Florida. Opening on June 7, 1990, as The First World Headquarters for Kids, the studio attracted young tourists as contestants and audience members for Nickelodeon's live-action programming. At its peak, the studio employed 400 people and was the largest production studio in Florida, bringing $110 million in business to the state by 1994. The studio closed permanently on April 30, 2005, after much of Nickelodeon's production had moved to Nickelodeon on Sunset. Nickelodeon Studios ended its run having produced over 2,000 episodes of original programming. In November 1988, Nickelodeon contracted space within the soon to be built Universal Studios Florida for its first production studio. Universal had determined through market research that a working studio was crucial in attracting guests to a movie themed park, and they offered Nickelodeon a sweetheart deal to supply that production. The promise of a custom-built studio at no expense, coupled with rent-free production, lured Nickelodeon away from negotiating with Disney-MGM Studios. The contract stipulated that Nickelodeon promote Universal Studios Florida on-air 1,000 times per year, while also broadcasting the park's television commercials. Turner Construction Company began erecting two soundstages (Stages 18 and 19) and an adjacent video production facility within the Production Central area of the park in 1989. The exterior of the facility was designed by network production designer Byron Taylor, and the interior was designed by network art director Don St. Mars. Viacom senior vice president Scott Davis would supervise the design and construction of the complex, and he was later named the first general manager of Nickelodeon Studios. Super Sloppy Double Dare in April 1989 and Think Fast in January 1990 were the first Nickelodeon productions filmed at Universal Studios Florida, and they were shot on the Stage 21 while Nickelodeon Studios was still being constructed.
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