Nickelodeon Greenlights Unscripted Holiday Series TOP ELF, Orders THE SUBSTITUTE
Nickelodeon has greenlit a new high-stakes competition series, Top Elf, and ordered a full series pickup of The Substitute, it was announced today by Rob Bagshaw, Executive Vice President, Unscripted Content. Top Elf, which begins production in September on five one-hour episodes, features kid contestants with extraordinary building and design skills competing for the coveted title of Top Elf.
Hidden camera prank show THE SUBSTITUTE has been picked up for a full 10-episode series order, following the strong performance of two specials which aired earlier this year. Production on THE SUBSTITUTE is underway, with the series premiere airing this October.
Said Bagshaw, "Giving our audience a range of unscripted content in different formats is one of our top priorities. Top Elf is an irresistible opportunity to celebrate the holidays with a uniquely comedic approach to a high-stakes competition. Our first new format from this division earned high marks from our audience, so we're very pleased to order THE SUBSTITUTE for a full series."
In Top Elf, Santa has invited seven civilian "Elf-testants" to the North Pole in a competition that tests their skills in a series of holiday-themed challenges. Demonstrating the true spirit of the holidays, the Elf-testants compete to have their wish lists granted--not for themselves, but for someone in their community.
The Substitute features stars who are transformed by a team of Hollywood special effects artists to go undercover as professionals in various fields, surprising unsuspecting kids in schools, camps and other locations. During the reveal at the end of the day, each organization receives a $25,000 donation. The Substitute's first special debuted in April with guest star Jace Norman (Henry Danger), and the second special premiered in May, guest starring multitalented comedian Lilly Singh.
Top Elf is created by Mike Duffy and Tim Duffy of Ugly Brother Studios, who will executive produce the series along with Jimmy FOX at Main Event Media, an All3Media America company. Bob Schermerhorn (Project Runway All Stars, America's Next Top Model) and Lisa Fletcher (The Titan Games) are executive producers, with Fletcher also serving as the showrunner. Nickelodeon's Vice Presidents of Unscripted Content Paul J Medford and Mandel Ilagan also serve as executive producers. Michael Pearlman (Chopped, PROJECT RUNWAY All Stars) will direct the series.
The Substitute is produced by Industrial Media's The Intellectual Property Corporation. Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman and Todd Hurvitz (Punk'd), serve as executive producers, with Hurvitz also serving as the showrunner. Jessica Brown, Nickelodeon's executive in charge of production and Vice President of Current Series, also serves as an executive producer.