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TV

SpongeBob SquarePants renewed through 2019

Nickelodeon has ordered a 12th season of the underwater animated series consisting of 26 episodes

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Hold on at least somewhat squarely to your pants: SpongeBob SquarePants has been renewed for a 12th season.

Nickelodeon has ordered 26 more episodes of the animated series featuring the underwater exploits of a sea sponge and his friends in Bikini Bottom, EW has learned.

Season 12 is slated to premiere in 2019, which will be a big year for the show. It’s not only the 20th anniversary, it’s when the third SpongeBob movie will hit theaters. (The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was released in 2004, while Sponge Out of Water hit theaters in 2015.)

The No. 1-rated animated show among children 2-11 is currently in season 10; season 11 will debut later this summer. Doodle Bob, Bubble Buddy, Man Ray, and Cave SpongeBob are among the characters returning for that batch of 26 episodes.

“I’m one lucky airbreather to be the voice of Stephen Hillenburg’s briny brainchild!” said Tom Kenny, who voices SpongeBob, in a statement to EW.  “This pickup is great news for me and my pliable poriferan pal! Twelve seasons, 18 years: It blows my mind when I do the math and realize that SpongeBob has been living in my head for nearly one-third of my life now… and he’s the best roommate I’ve ever had! (Hopefully he says the same about me!) Our Wednesday full-cast recording sessions still provide the biggest laughs of my week. It’s like therapy, but I get paid! SpongeBob SquarePants has the best creator, cast, and Krusty Krew on land or sea, and the best part is that I feel like the episodes we are doing right now are some of the most surreal, bizarre, crazy, creative ones ever! SpongeBob may be square, but he keeps on rolling right along!”

The show has lured plenty of famous voices under the sea over the last 18 years, including: Amy Poehler, Mark Hamill, David Bowie, Johnny Depp, Ricky Gervais, Rosario Dawson, LeBron James, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Kristin Wiig, Gennifer Goodwin, Andy Samberg, Johnny Knoxville, Betty White, Aubrey Plaza, and Jon Hamm.

The next new episode of SpongeBob airs at June 3 at 10 a.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.