BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. cable network Nickelodeon says it has ordered a ninth season of its hit animated series "SpongeBob SquarePants."
The order of 26 fresh episodes for 2012 will include the show's 200th installment.
The announcement was made Monday by Brown Johnson, president of animation at Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group.
"SpongeBob's success in reaching over 200 episodes is a testament to creator Stephen Hillenburg's vision, comedic sensibility and his dynamic, lovable characters," Johnson said in a statement. "The series now joins the club of contemporary classic Nicktoons that have hit this benchmark, so we're incredibly proud."