George Takei joins the cast of Nickelodeon’s brand-new live-action comedy series, Supah Ninjas, one of five original series premiering on Nickelodeon in early 2011. Comic book in tone and cinematic in style, the half-hour series follows three unsuspecting kids who are drafted into the secret world of crime-fighting after Mike Fukanaga, an average high school student, discovers he is descended from a long line of ninjas. He is helped along the way by the spirit of his recently deceased grandfather (Takei), who appears to him and the team of “Supah Ninjas” as an interactive hologram who offers guidance, wisdom and training. Picked up for 26 episodes, Nickelodeon will air a special preview of Supah Ninjas on Monday, January 17 at 9:00PM (ET/PT), following back-to-back premieres of the hit comedy series Victorious starring Victoria Justice.
“It’s a complete delight to be part of Supah Ninjas because the series is a wonderful blend of sharp humor, lots of action and heart,” said George Takei. “The grandfather has the serious task of instructing the next generation of ninjas, but he also has a lot of funny moments and I find that a refreshing take on the traditional teacher-student relationship.”
“George Takei is beloved by audiences around the world and he connects with people of all ages,” said Marjorie Cohn, President, Original Programming and Development, Nickelodeon. “George brings an instant credibility to any show with a sci/fi or action slant. We’re thrilled to have him bring his incredible talent to this fun new comedy.”
Supah Ninjas follows Mike Fukanaga (Ryan Potter), a shy, awkward high school student who is hopelessly incapable of talking to girls. But when he discovers he comes from a long line of ninjas, that all begins to change. Under the supervision of his holographic grandfather (George Takei), Mike teams up with his best friend Owen (Carlos Knight) and his crush Amanda (Gracie Dzienny) to form the “Supah Ninjas,” a secret team of ninja crime fighters protecting the city from criminals. As if fighting crime and surviving high school weren’t hard enough, they are also sworn to conceal their identities, vowing to “stay in the shadows” and never to reveal their “supah” cool alter-egos.
With a career spanning five decades, George Takei is best known for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise. Takei starred in three seasons of Star Trek and later reprised his iconic role in six movies and several video games. More recently, Takei won over a new generation of fans with his recurring guest role on the sci-fi drama Heroes as Kaito Nakamura, the father of time-traveler Hiro Nakamura. Takei will star next in the new film, Larry Crowne, opposite Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, which will be released theatrically nationwide July 2011 from Universal Pictures.
Takei has also lent his voiceover talent to hundreds of characters in film, television, video games and commercials including Mulan,Mulan II, The Simpsons, Scooby-Do and the Samurai Sword, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Smurfs and George Lucas‘ Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Adding to his body of work, Takei has also provided narration on many projects including the 2009 PBS series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the 2006 Peabody Award-winning radio documentary, Crossing East, centered on the history of Asian American immigration to the United States and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (cassette), which garnered the performer a 1987 Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording.
Supah Ninjas was created by the Emmy-nominated duo Eric Garcia and Leo Chu (Afro Samurai, Afro Samurai: Resurrection) and is executive produced by Garcia, Chu, Mitchel Katlin and Nat Bernstein, Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter-Bridgett under the Varsity Pictures production banner.
The feature film and television production company Varsity Pictures was founded by producer/director Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett. The company’s credits include the hit Nickelodeon original television movie Fred: The Movie, based on internet sensation Fred Figglehorn. The movie, which premiered on Nickelodeon last year, drew 8.7 million total viewers and became this year’s number-one TV cable movie with key kid 6-11 (17.8/3.8 million) and kid 2-11 (13.0/4.6 million) demos. Varsity Pictures also produces Blue Mountain State for Spike TV and Sonny with a Chance for Disney. The duo’s credits include several successful theatrical projects including Wild Hogs, Coach Carter and Norbit, which Robbins directed. Brian Robbins began his producing/directing career at Nickelodeon as a partner in Tollin/Robbins Productions, creator of classic Nick series All That andKenan & Kel.
Nickelodeon, now in its 31st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years.