Nickelodeon is planning to commemorate 20 years of SpongeBob SquarePants with a slew of new projects over the course of 2019. According to a press release from the network, 2019 will be dubbed "Best Year Ever" in honor of the character and his world. Among the projects planned for the year includes a new hour-long special, SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout. The special is set to air sometime in June.
Other spinoffs are planned for the year, including new shows, specials and films based around other characters from the franchise. It's currently unknown which citizens of Bikini Bottom will get their own stories.
The tribute will continue into 2020, which will see the release of It’s A Wonderful Sponge, the third SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical film. The film is slated to be released May 22, 2020.
Debuting in 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has been the crown jewel for Nickelodeon for two decades, with an entire generation growing up with the cheerful character and his undersea home of Bikini Bottom. Indeed, when the character made a brief cameo during the half-time show at Super Bowl LIII, fans were enraged that he and his creator didn't get a bigger tribute -- which just goes to show his overwhelming popularity.