Nickelodeon will debut the CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a one-hour special event on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. (ET/PT). The half-hour cartoon, full of action and comedy, will then run on Nickelodeon weekly for 26 episodes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set in present day New York City, from the glittering towers of Manhattan to the dark depths of the sewers, and follows the adventures of four humanoid turtles and a six-foot-tall rat, Master Splinter. One day, while living a life in seclusion with his four pet turtles, the once human, Splinter, encountered a mysterious green ooze that covered him and his pets. Overcome by the mutagen, he was transformed into a rat and his four pets became humanoid turtles. Fearing persecution from humans, he brought the Turtles underground and raised them, training them to become ninjas. Years have passed since that point and the four turtles, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, are now headstrong teenagers, filled with the confidence of youth and a burning desire to see the world.
Nickelodeon hopes to breath new life into, and introduce a new generation to, the four reptile brothers named Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, a.k.a. the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an origin story, beginning as the turtles emerge from their hidden lair in the sewers for the very first time, ready to confront the wondrous and hostile world of New York City. The show will explore the companionship of four teenage brothers learning to rely on themselves and one another as they unravel the mystery of their existence and grow to become the heroes in a half-shell that they are destined to be, fighting enemies with Ninjitzu and eating pizza.
Executive producers Ciro Nieli, Joshua Sternin, Jeff Ventimilia and Peter Hastings were smart to tell their story from the very start. As Batman Begins and The Amazing Spider-Man prove, an origin story is always intriguing and usually brings in big audiences.
The Turtles are sarcastic and silly, appealing to kids who want to speak their minds. But the Turtles always seem to be trying to hard, like those kids at school who desperately wanted to fit in; they tried to be witty but ended up shooting milk out their noses. In the Turtles' case, quips about snot or stink during combat are too childish to be cool.
The first cartoon aired as a miniseries in December 1987 before becoming a weekly cartoon. CBS aired two primetime specials: "Planet of the Turtletoids" in 1992 and "The Cufflink Caper" in 1990.
In 2003, FOX revived Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on 4KidsTV, airing for four seasons. Starting July 29, 2006, the Turtles got new costumes and weapons for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Fast Forward, which took place in 2015.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appeared on the big screen in 2007. Warner Bros. released the computer-animated movie which ranked first for the weekend of March 23, raking in over $25 million. That's an amazing haul for a group of characters who had faded from pop culture. Hollywood stars Patrick Stewart, Chris Evans and Sarah Michelle Gellar lent their voices to the movie, along with Kevin Smith.
- Jason Biggs (American Pie) as Leonardo
- Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) as Raphael
- Greg Cipes (Teen Titans) as Michelangelo
- Rob Paulsen (ThunderCats) as Donatello (Paulsen also voiced the original Raphael from 1987-1996 in the very first TMNT series)
- Mae Whitman (Avatar: The Last Airbender) as April O'Neil, a gutsy and independent sixteen-year-old who befriends the Turtles after they save her from an alien attack
- Hoon Lee (Royal Pains) as Master Splinter, the Turtles' sensei and father figure
- Kevin Michael Richardson (The Penguins of Madagascar) as Shredder, the commander of an evil ninja army called the Foot Clan
"The Unknown Ninja"
When Lord Dregg, a wanted criminal, successfully escapes his pursuers and arrives in Earth's region of space, he immediately schemes to replenish his power supply with the gold resources found on the planet. The Turtles foil his first attempts, stopping his army of Technogangsters from looting a vault. Meanwhile, the TMNT discover that they have been watched and aided secretly by a mysterious ninja biker, who seeks to learn from them.
"Dregg of the Earth"
The Turtles and Carter find themselves at odds as their differences in opinion on what qualifies as teamwork threaten to sever their relationship. Lord Dregg makes his presence known on Earth, but dawns the cloak of sincerity, working in service of humanity. Can the TMNT expose him?
"The Wrath of Medusa"
Lord Dregg summons the criminal bounty hunter Medusa to attack and defeat the Turtles, while his Technogangsters raid the neutrinium mines on Earth without interference. Carter runs into problems with his maverick mutation disease when he accidentally damages a dam, endangering lives.