SpongeBob SquarePants is coming up on the 20th anniversary of its series premiere (which aired on July 17, 1999), and Nickelodeon is celebrating the milestone with its very first SpongeBob spin-off show. Unfortunately for fans of some SpongeBob characters who deserve their own solo spin-off shows—just spit-balling, but maybe Squidward moves to a big city and befriends the local art community?—the spin-off show will actually be a prequel show about SpongeBob himself, years before he got his gig at the Krusty Krab.
As reported by Deadline, the series will be called Kamp Koral, and it will focus on a 10-year-old SpongeBob as he has wacky childhood adventures at “the craziest camp in the kelp forest.” In another twist on the original show, Kamp Koral will be computer animated (possibly so nobody flipping through the channels will confuse this new thing for the excellent original). One notable detail left out of Deadline’s story is the voice cast, meaning it’s unclear if Tom Kenny will somehow be pitching his voice even higher to play a pre-teen sponge or if some other actor will be coming along to replace him. Given how much money he must make from Nickelodeon these days, the latter seems like a more realistic option.
Meanwhile, for anyone hoping to see younger versions of some of SpongeBob’s friends, it’s worth noting that he doesn’t meet Sandy Cheeks until the main show and it’s implied that he doesn’t know Squidward particularly well until he starts working at the restaurant. Patrick will probably show up, and that fish with the red shorts will definitely be there, but we might not see very many others.