Russell Hicks is President, Content Development and Production for Nickelodeon Group. Based at Nickelodeon’s Burbank and Santa Monica, Calif. offices, he oversees the company’s live-action, animation development and production teams for all of Nickelodeon’s content platforms and across all of the network’s channels—Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick and Nicktoons.
Hicks oversees a development and production slate that includes more than a dozen new live-action, animation and TV movie projects as part of Nickelodeon’s deep commitment to new content for the first generation of post-millennial kids. Additionally, Hicks has quickly re-energized and realigned the development team to organize Nick’s animation, live-action, digital, movies, talent and short form into a single cohesive group.
In animation, he initiated a new shorts program to attract new talent and projects. In 2012 the program took over 600 pitches and made 12 shorts, greenlighting five for series development. A 2013 program has already commenced. In live-action, Hicks has created multiple sources for new projects through sketch comedy, including opening a sketch lab in Los Angeles, creating comedy workshops to cultivate new talent, and creating an environment to incubate new projects and allow new talent, writers and producers to develop ideas for Nickelodeon.
A 14-year Nickelodeon veteran, Hicks previously served as the network’s Chief Creative Officer. In this position he oversaw all of Nickelodeon Creative, On-Air Promotions, Consumer Products, Brand and Advertising divisions, and led the product development and creative positioning of Nickelodeon’s brands and properties, ensuring it represented Nickelodeon’s “Kids’ First” philosophy and supporting the company mission to provide surprising and playful experiences for its audiences. In 2009, he led an unprecedented creative review of the Nickelodeon brand and re-imagined its logo to represent the growth the company had attained after 30 years, while also maintaining and reflecting the company’s core attributes.
Prior to working at Nickelodeon, Hicks was Vice President of Marketing, Cartoon Network/Turner brands for Warner Brothers, where he was responsible for the marketing and creative that turned Scooby Doo and the Power Puff Girls into cultural icons. Hicks started his career as an animator that led him to work on Teddy Ruxpin, the first talking teddy bear for Worlds of Wonder toys. It is this combination of both animation and consumer products that has given Hicks his extensive knowledge of the children’s entertainment world. Hicks attended California State University Fullerton where he studied illustration and design.