On July 17, 1999 SpongeBob SquarePants premiered on Nickelodeon and signaled the birth of a series and character that would become one of the most beloved and popular in television history. To commemorate SpongeBob's 10th anniversary, Nickelodeon is giving its fans the "Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash Weekend." Airing from July 17-19, the 50-hour programming event hosted by Patchy the Pirate will include an unprecedented 11 SpongeBob premieres and a top-10 countdown of celebrities' favorite SpongeBobepisodes. Leading up to the anniversary, Nickelodeon's sister channel VH1 will premiere Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants, the first original SpongeBob SquarePants TV documentary from critically acclaimed producers Creadon O'Malley (Wordplay, I.O.U.S.A), on Tuesday, July 14 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).
Over the last 10 years, the porous brainchild of creator Steve Hillenburg has grown from a single Saturday morning kids' show to a certified pop culture maverick. Since its launch in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a pop culture phenomenon with 70 million viewers monthly, and has been the number-one animated program with Kids 2-11 for more than seven consecutive years. The show is seen in 171 markets in 25 languages and is the most widely distributed property in MTV Networks' history.