From Teddy Ruxpin to Scooby-Doo, Powerpuff Girls to SpongeBob SquarePants, and dozens of beloved characters in between, Russell Hicks has spent the past 25 years establishing an extraordinary career building world-renowned brands and iconic properties that have defined children’s entertainment.
In his recent role as President of Content Development and Production for Nickelodeon Group, Hicks was the leader and visionary guiding the company’s live-action series, animation, movies, music, talent, live events, theatrical productions, recreation, international development and production teams for all of Nickelodeon’s content platforms.
Hicks is the mastermind behind the most robust development and production slate in Viacom’s history, overseeing more than 500 new episodes over the past two years across live-action, animation, movies and multi-platform projects as part of Nickelodeon’s deep commitment to new content for the next generation of kids.
Revived Nickelodeon to its #1 rating status with new hit programing, Sam and Cat, Henry Danger, The Thundermans, Nicky, Ricky Dicky and Dawn, Game Shackers, Bella and the Bulldogs, Haunted Hathaways. New Animation The Loud House, new seasons of Spongebob, Harvey Beaks, Sanjay and Craig , Bread Winners, Pig goat Banana Cricket, Miraculous, Pinky Malinky. Quarterly movies Santa Hunters, Rufus, Jinxed, Liar, Liar Vampire, Splitting Adam, Swindle, Lost in the West, Albert, the legends of the Hidden Temple, Escape From Mr Lemoncello’s Library. And first ever digital series Welcome to the Wayne (moving to tv) and Bug Salad.
Hicks also ushered in a new paradigm for Nickelodeon as a multi-platform studio, recently green-lighting the network’s first television program that originally was a digital short-form series. He has reinvented and re-energized every part of Nickelodeon Animation Studio, cementing it as the only creator-driven studio in the industry. Additionally, he is overseeing the build, design and programming of the new Nickelodeon Studios campus, which opened in January 2017.
Hicks has been a trailblazer in fostering an environment at Nickelodeon where new talent, writers and producers can incubate new ideas and work at the network. In animation, he created multiple new development pipelines, talent outreach and mentoring efforts, including an animated shorts program to attract new talent and projects. In its inaugural year in 2012, the program accepted over 600 pitches from aspiring creators and made 12 shorts, green-lighting five for series development. The following year, the program expanded globally and accepted 100 pitches from around the world.
Currently Hicks is off on a new adventure creating a new company focused on entertainment for both Kids and Families across digital platforms in this new golden age of entertainment.