"The Fairly OddParents" creator Butch Hartman recently shared the five times that Nickelodeon put the animated series on the chopping block.
Hartman revealed the story behind "The Fairly OddParents'" five-time cancellation through his YouTube channel, where he said that the show had been repeatedly killed off by the network in the early 2000s -- which was the same time frame of its original run -- only to revive it shortly after.
In the first four times that "The Fairly OddParents" was canceled, Hartman said that "SpongeBob SquarePants" had always been part of the conversation.
Hartman narrated that when he had asked for the reason why "The Fairly OddParents" was canceled the first time, he was told by Nickelodeon: "Well, we're canceling your show because there's no sponge in it."
The animator and producer then shared: "I said, 'I could put a sponge in it, but there's already a show with a sponge and a starfish. I can make my show about a sponge and a catfish,' and they're like, 'No, no, that's dumb.'"
However, not long after officially canceling "The Fairly OddParents," Hartman recalled that Nickelodeon would once again call him to say they would like for the show to remain on air since it was still doing well in terms of viewer ratings.
Aside from "The Fairly OddParents," Hartman is also known for creating other shows while working with Nickelodeon, which include "Danny Phantom," "T.U.F.F. Puppy," and "Bunsen Is a Beast." However, he described the dynamics of these shows as similar to that of a train where the three other titles were anchored to "The Fairly OddParents."
Meanwhile, Polygon recalled that Hartman was positive "The Fairly OddParents" could be revived, at least in a way that a franchise with the similar context could be launched by Nickelodeon, especially since the network is known for bringing back famous '90s series to the small screen.
Hartman told the publication during the San Diego Comic-Con last July 2017: "I don't know when it's coming, but I hope it's coming soon. ... I'll tell you this, though: They're spinning off all the shows that are older, the '90s shows. Those are first in line to get the spinoffs. Maybe there's a Fairly OddParents spinoff coming out in the future, maybe there's a Danny Phantom one. You never know."
Fans should note, though, that Hartman left Nickelodeon in early February.