Hey gang, Butch here -
It has always been my desire to be forthright and honest with my fans. I've never really pulled any punches or sugarcoated any of my opinions when it comes to any aspect of my work and I'm certainly not going to start now. You all are such devoted fans of, not only my shows, but of animation and entertainment in general, that I feel you deserve the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to anything regarding Fairly Oddparents and Danny Phantom.' 'That being said, I have two bits of sad news to tell you.
The first is in regard to the Fairly Oddparents. As many of you may or may not have heard - and if you did hear, you didn't hear it from me, this is the first time I've spoken about this publicly - we are currently in the process of wrapping up our very last episode of FOP. Yep. Hard to believe, huh? Episode #80 - that's right #80! - Of FOP should be finished sometime next month. It's actually not even a full FOP episode. It's the third installment of the "Jimmy/Timmy Power Hour" specials. "Jimmy/Timmy 3" is hilarious and the best of the JT specials in my opinion and it's going to be coming out in June of this year. But after we finish making this special - that's it! We're done! Nickelodeon has decided that 80 half hours of FOP is enough for now, and we're gonna stop production. But that's okay with me, really. I've been working with an incredible studio and crew for the last (nearly) 9 years on FOP (if you count the "Oh Yeah!" shorts) and quite honestly, it will be nice to take a bit of a break. We (the writers, artists, cast, crew, studio execs and myself) have taken Timmy, Cosmo, Wanda and the rest to a billion different places and have had a billion different laughs with them, as I'm sure you all have, too. So I'm pretty "at peace" with this decision. For Nickelodeon to pick up 80 half hours of ANY show is truly a blessing and I'm just glad it's FOP they decided to go with! Think about it: this series has kept dozens and dozens of talented artists, writers and crew members employed for 6 years running! That's a mighty thing to do in this fickle town we call Hollywood. Nickelodeon has had nothing but faith in FOP since it started production as a series back in January of 2000 and for that, I am eternally grateful!! I can't possibly thank them enough and I am more than ready to do more episodes should they decide to do more! But for now, after 80, that's it. I just wanted all of you devoted fans to hear the news from me first and not someone else. This decision was made a while ago, but I really wasn't ready to announce it until just now. Please respect my reasons for this. And just so you all know, yes, a "Fairly Oddparents" movie script was written (by myself and Steve Marmel) and Nick Movies had every intention of producing it about 2 years ago, but at the last minute a regime change at Paramount made them re-think their decision for some reason and the FOP movie will NOT be going ahead as originally planned, but I would like to make it as a DVD release if they'll allow me someday. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but it's important to get across, the network has been incredibly good to me and I'm not gonna complain. They have their reasons I'm sure. But, hey, it was a fun movie to write! And FOP was the coolest series ever to make!
In other news - and this is gonna freak a lot of you out, so let me just say 'sorry' in advance - I just had a meeting with the Nickelodeon execs just last week and they said that, as of episode #53, we are officially going to stop production of "Danny Phantom". Yep. We're gonna do 53 episodes and that's it. Am I bummed? You bet! Am I angry? Again, not really. I can't be. Here's why: the network has been awesome in not only letting me make an awesome show like "Danny Phantom" in the first place, but for letting me make 53 episodes of it, AND for trusting me enough to make it AT THE SAME TIME that I was making FOP! That's trust, I tell ya. And I have nothing but tremendous respect and gratitude towards them. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to respect there is no one I respect more than my staff of writers, artists, cast and production people. For without them I could never made a show as awesome as "DP". That being said, as with FOP, would I like to make more "Danny Phantom" episodes? YOU BET I WOULD! Heck, I was just getting started! We had some awesome plans and surprises coming up, but, alas, for now at least, you'll have to be satisfied with 53 high-quality episodes of Danny. Now, just to give you an update on where the production currently stands, here is a short list of facts:
We just recently aired Danny episode #34; Flirting with Disaster".' 'That means we have just 19 - count 'em - 19 episodes left to finish.' 'We are currently in various stages of production on the final 19 - episodes #35 - #53 - and I am just beginning the writing process on episode #53. It's a great story idea, and, since it's now gonna be the series finale' (which wasn't planned) you can bet we'll put every extra effort we can into making it one killer episode!' 'Right now, as our current production schedule stands, we are set to finish episode #53 sometime NEXT February, 2007. Yes, you heard me 2007. So we still have a year's worth of work left. So we're not stopping right away.
Again, I love making Danny Phantom and I always have. Should the network ever decide to make more, I'm gonna be here for them. But, right now, their reasons are their own and I have to respect them. Hey, like I've been saying, they've been super good to me and I'm not going to start belly-aching now. 53 is a very respectable number of episodes so I really have nothing to complain about. (Many shows these days only get 40) The only real bummer is that I didn't get to tell as many stories with Danny as I did with FOP. Whereas FOP had two 11 minute episodes per half hour - meaning we told roughly 140 FOP stories (I'm taking into consideration "Abra-Catastrophe" and "Channel Chasers" which each ate up about six 11 minute slots each) Danny Phantom is a show that has a 22 minute format, meaning at 53 episodes we only told 53 stories. So, yeah, I would have loved to have told more Danny stories if given the chance. But I'm thrilled to have been able to tell an awesome 53!!
Now here's the fun part: if you guys want to see more Danny or FOP, please don't tell me. I already know you do. I suggest you tell Nickelodeon. I don't know if it'll change anyone's mind, but let them know how you feel. I'm not even remotely implying that anyone come off as rude, vulgar or insulting, so if those are your plans, please refrain from saying anything at all. We don't need that kind of help. But a few words from some devoted fans may just stir up...something. I don't know. Like I said, I'm just thrilled to have made two awesome, classic animated TV shows. I can only pray all of you get to do something as fun and creative as this someday. God has been so good to me thus far and he's sure not going to stop now!
If any of you are curious about my future with Nick, rest assured, I'm not going anywhere. I have several other awesome projects in the works - some animated some live action - that I am extremely excited about and you'll be seeing them very soon. My only hope is that you love them and appreciate them as much as you do Danny and FOP! I think you will. I've learned a lot through these experiences. I've learned how to be a better writer, artist and filmmaker so I hope I can bring these skills to bear on the new stuff. I've also learned a lot about people. How great is is to work with talented people you can trust. That's the most awesome blessing in all of this. The relationships I've formed. Working on two TV shows for so many years really let's you bond with some awesome individuals and I'm eternally grateful for each and every one.
Since I know there are going to be about 16 billion questions regarding all of this, I'm going to leave this thread open this week (moderators, look alive!) and answer as many questions as I can for you. If I see there are still a ton of questions flooding in, I'll keep the thread going for as long as it takes. Hey, without you guys being such devoted fans, these shows never would have been the successes they are, so you deserve as much time as I'm able to give you. (Please be patient with me, though, if I don't answer your question right away, remember, I still work during the day) Remember also that, if you see that your question has already been asked and answered, please don't repeat it. Just ask a different question! Okay? Thanks.
Well....phew... (Wipes sweat from brow) that's it for now. I thank all of you, my crew, my artists, my writers, the good folks at Nickelodeon and above all, God, for making this all possible. It was a heck of a ride and, hey, it's not even finished yet!!
God Bless always - Butch