Nickelodeon announced at this year's Television Critics Association press tour that it had renewed Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a second season of 26 more episodes, ahead of the series premiere this fall. This is a fairly uncommon move, but reactions to the animated show have been strong since the network first debuted sneak peek footage during San Diego Comic-Con last week.
Following everyone's favorite heroes in a half shell, Rise is a bit more like a prequel, focusing on the titular characters in their early days of their crime-fighting, as they still discover and hone their ninja skills.
“It’s not a reboot of the original franchise,” said executive producer Ant Ward, writes Nerdist. “It’s a reimagining of the original franchise.”
Ward's fellow EP Andy Suriano added:
“We entered this almost science fantasy play-space that fits organically within the whole franchise as a whole."
The cast consists of Omar Miller (Ballers) as Raphael, Ben Schwartz (Duck Tales) as Leonardo, Josh Brener (Silicon Valley) as Donatello, Brandon Mychal Smith (You’re The Worst) as Michelangelo and Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) as April O’Neil, and Eric Bauza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Master Splinter.
“It’s all about the family unit,” Suriano said. “The fighting and the ninja skills is a neat backdrop but it all boils down to character and true family dynamics.”
As for the bad guys, get ready for the insane guest talents of John Cena, Lena Headey, Johnny Rotten, Rhys Darby, and John Michael Higgens. All of them will be voicing a new set of villains, as the producers didn't want to be predictable and go with the obvious choices like classic TMNT baddie, the Shredder.
"We wanted to explore a whole new Rogues Gallery of villains, so you never know who’s going to show up each week," Suriano added. He went on to reveal that one of the new villains is named "Meat Sweats" and was inspired by a meatball eating contest.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles officially airs its first episode on Nickelodeon Sep. 17. Legendary voice actor Rob Paulsen (a TMNT alum himself) serves as voice director on the show.
Nickelodeon also announced renewals for Knight Squad, The Dude Perfect Show, Hunter Street, and Henry Danger.