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is an American animated television series. Created by marine biologist and animator SpongeBob SquarePants Stephen Hillenburg, it is broadcasted on Nickelodeon, an American cable network. Since its debut on May 1, 1999, the series has aired over 200 episodes and is currently in its tenth season, which premiered on October 15, 2016. The series follows the adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom.
A feature film,
complements the series, and received its premiere in theaters in the The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie United States on November 19, 2004. In season five, the series' first television film, " Atlantis SquarePantis," was broadcast for the first time on November 12, 2007 after a television marathon. In season six, the series' second television film, " Truth or Square," was broadcast for the first time on November 6, 2009. A second feature film, also complements the series, and received its premiere in theaters in the The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water United States on February 6, 2015. The first eight seasons are available on DVD for Regions 1, 2, 3, and 4 as of October 2013.
Hillenburg initially began to work on creating the show shortly after the cancellation of
in 1996. To voice the character of SpongeBob, Hillenburg approached Rocko's Modern Life Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on Rocko's Modern Life as a voice actor. SpongeBob was originally to be named , but the name was already in use for a mop product. Upon finding it out, Hillenburg decided to use the name "SpongeBob." He chose "SquarePants" as a family name, as it referred to the character's square shape and it had a "nice ring to it."
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