SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series. Created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, it is broadcasted on Nickelodeon, an American cable network. Since its debut on May 1, 1999, the series has aired over 250 episodes and is currently in its thirteenth season, which premiered on October 22, 2020. The series follows the adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom.
The series' first feature film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, was released in theaters in the United States on November 19, 2004. In season 5, the series' first television film, "Atlantis SquarePantis," premiered on November 12, 2007 after a television marathon. In season 6, the series' second television film, "Truth or Square," premiered on November 6, 2009. A second feature film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, was released in theaters in the United States on February 6, 2015. In season 12, the series' third television film, "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout," premiered on July 12, 2019. The series' third feature film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, was released digitally on Paramount+ in the United States on March 4, 2021. The first eight seasons are available on DVD for Regions 1, 2 and 4 as of October 2017. Seasons 9, 10, 11, and 12 are available on DVD for Region 1 as of January 12, 2021. The first spin-off series, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, premiered on Paramount+ on March 4, 2021. The second spin-off series, The Patrick Star Show, premiered on Nickelodeon on July 9, 2021.
Hillenburg initially began to work on creating the show shortly after the cancellation of Rocko's Modern Life in 1996. To voice the character of SpongeBob, Hillenburg approached Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on Rocko's Modern Life as a voice actor. SpongeBob was originally to be named SpongeBoy, but the name was already in use for a mop product. Upon finding it out, Hillenburg decided to use the name "SpongeBob." He chose "SquarePants" as a family name, as it referred to the character's square shape and it had a "nice ring to it."