Nick Cannon will host “Lip Sync Battle Shorties,” Nickelodeon’s kid-version spinoff of “Lip Sync Battle,” Variety has learned.
Nickelodeon has also cast 14-year-old social media sensation JoJo Siwa to serve as Cannon’s sidekick, providing commentary on each performance.
“I’m excited to host the first season of ‘Lip Sync Battle Shorties,’” Cannon said. “It’s always a pleasure to work with my family at Nickelodeon. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching the kids lip-sync their favorite songs and perform like their favorites artists.”
Cannon, who recently departed NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” as host, got his start on Nickelodoen as a teen on the ’90s sketch series “All That.” Nickelodeon then gave him his own series, “The Nick Cannon Show,” and in years since, Cannon has returned to the kids’ cabler for various awards shows such as “Kids Choice Awards” and more. In 2005, Cannon created and hosts MTV’s improv series “Wild ‘N Out,” which just kicked off its ninth season this summer.
A spinoff of Spike’s flagship show, “Lip Sync Battle Shorties” will span 10 episodes in its first season. The show will feature real-life kids lip-syncing pop songs in celebration of their favorite artists. Each episode will also feature the Shorties Dance Crew, a 10-person backup crew that has mastered all styles of dance from break-dancing to ballroom. The episodes will each conclude with a special celebrity appearance and final performance from all the kids. The series is set to premiere in 2018, and later this year, Nickelodeon will air Halloween and holiday specials.
The series comes after Nickelodeon aired a “Lip Sync Battle Shorties” special in December 2016, drawing over 2 million viewers in delayed viewing. To date, the special has brought in more than 20 million views on the network’s YouTube channel.
“Nick Cannon grew up on Nickelodeon and into one of the best hosts and comedic actors on TV. Along with his passion for music, he brings with him such an amazing understanding and enthusiasm for kid performers. We feel very lucky to have Nick at the helm of ‘Shorties.’ We’re ready to rock!” said Casey Patterson and Jay Peterson, executive producers on “Lip Sync Battle” and its Nickelodeon spinoff.
“With Nick Cannon at the helm, every episode of ‘Lip Sync Battle Shorties’ will be an over-the-top Nickelodeon event, with real kids in the driver’s seat, battling head-to-head in the ultimate competition show,” added Bronwen O’Keefe, senior vice president of live action and movies at Nickelodeon.
“Lip Sync Battle Shorties” hails from Casey Patterson Entertainment and Matador Content, the production companies behind the original “Lip Sync Battle” on Spike, another Viacom company. The Spike version is hosted by LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen, and has featured A-list lip-synchers including Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Dwayne Johnson, and Channing Tatum. Executive producers are Patterson, Peterson, John Krasinski, and Stephen Merchant. The original series is Spike’s most-watched series of all time.