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Spongebob Squarepants Goes Live-Action for His Birthday

ALSO: Shangri-La, Blown Away, Extreme Engagement, Point Blank, and more
  • Spongebob Squarepants and friends celebrate his twentieth birthday in Spongebob's Big Birthday Blowout. (Nickelodeon)
    Spongebob Squarepants and friends celebrate his twentieth birthday in Spongebob's Big Birthday Blowout. (Nickelodeon)

    Spongebob Squarepants has had an exciting last few years for an animated character who debuted on television way back in 1999. Between a Broadway show that was nominated for a bunch of Tony Awards and a theatrical movie in 2015, Spongebob has exhibited a longevity that has far outpaced the stoner-fave cartoon series of old (R.I.P. Ren and Stimpy).

    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Spongebob Squarepants, Nickelodeon has invited  a collection of celebrity well-wishers (including, yes, David Hasseloff) for an hour-long Spongebob's Big Birthday Blowout. The animated undersea characters we know and love — Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabbs, Sandy Cheeks, Plankton — will take a trip to the live-action world to observe the voice actors from Spongebob playing weird mirror versions of their animated selves. All in all, it feels like a perfectly weird way to celebrate the square one's birthday. 7:00 PM ET on Nickelodeon

    SERIES PREMIERE: Showtime's four-part docu-series Shangri-La comes from acclaimed documentary filmmakers Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) and Jeff Maimberg (Marwencol), in partnership with legendary music producer Rick Rubin. The series is set in the titular music studio in Malibu that's been run by Rubin since 2011, and is set to be a "creative conversation" about the "emotional side of music-making." The series will air new episodes each week, but the entire four-episode series is available on Showtime's streaming platform as of today. 9:00 PM ET on Showtime

    SERIES PREMIERE You've watched reality competitions about baking, fashion, modeling, and miniature golf. Now prepare for Blown Away, the glass-blowing competition show you never knoew you wanted. Streaming on Netflix

    SERIES PREMIERE: Television has done so much within the microgenre of Extreme Programming. We've gotten Extreme Makeovers, both home and personal. We've gotten cakes, couponing, and hotels — all Extreme. And now, the most extreme of them all: Extreme Engagement. And while it sounds like a tactic you'd learn in business school to pay closer attention in meetings, in this case it's a reality show about an engaged couple traveling the world, examining marriage customs in other places, and discovering whether their own union is built to last. Streaming on Netflix


    • Taco Chronicles is exactly what it sounds like: a tribute to the history snd cultural significance of the classic taco. Streaming on Netflix
    • Point Blank is the latest Netflix original film, a buddy-cop thriller starring a most unlikely reunion from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo. Streaming on Netflix
    • Los Espookys continues its delightful first season as John Early (Search Party) guest stars as a threatening CEO. 11:00 PM ET on HBO

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: SpongeBob SquarePants, Nickelodeon