Fairly Odd Parents

Get ready for more wands, wings, and floaty crowny things. Nickelodeon’s third-longest running Nicktoon ever will return for an all-new season Saturday, May 4, at 9:30 a.m.

Though a few one-off OddParents specials have aired already this year, the May 4 episode is the official start of season 9 — a milestone of which Fairly OddParents creator Butch Hartman is understandably proud.

The animator tells EW that while the show has certainly evolved since its 2001 premiere — fairy godfather Cosmo, for example, has become “really stupid” because “the dumber we made him, the more jokes we could write” — its core values have stayed intact, even though its original viewers aged out of Nickelodeon’s audience long ago.

“We have all this research that people do at the network — what kids like, what kids don’t like, and kids of today, are they different from kids of yesterday? To me, kids like to be entertained,” he says. “I don’t care what era they’re from. The kind of writing that we do on our show applies to kids of any age, which is why I still get these 20-year-old kids coming up to me and saying, ‘Mr. Hartman, I grew up on with your show.’ And they still love watching it.”

Hopefully, longtime viewers and current kids alike will embrace the newest member of the Fairly Odd Family: Sparky, a trouble-making dog with canine-based magical powers — for instance, making fire hydrants appear out of thin air — who was first introduced in the special that aired before this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards. “Sparky’s a character with a past, which is fun. You know, he’ll say, ‘Hey Timmy, can you hide this evidence for me? I mean, this bag of peanuts?'” Hartman explains with a laugh. Sounds fairly odd — but funny.

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Fairly Odd Parents
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