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Nickelodeon orders 8th season of SpongeBob Squarepants

Nickelodeon has commissioned an eighth season of hit animated kids series SpongeBob Squarepants.

This brings the total number of episodes to 178. The network will air the 26-episode series in 2010.

“After a decade on our air SpongeBob has emerged as one of the most beloved and popular characters in television history,” said Brown Johnson, president of animation at Nickelodeon. “Audiences of all ages have fallen in love with this show and we’re delighted to be serving up additional original episodes to our viewers for many years.”

This follows the success of the 10 year anniversary special Truth or Square, which received 7.7 million viewers when it aired last month.

The show was created by and will be executive produced by Steve Hillenburg. Hillenburg told TBIvision in October that he was proud of how the characters developed over seven seasons. “If you compare the first season with later ones they are different, but there’s something nice about both,” he said.

However, he also ruled out any spin offs or further theatrical films. “The show is about SpongeBob, he’s the core element, and it’s about how he relates to the other characters. Patrick by himself might be a bit too much. So I don’t see any spin-offs,” he added.