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is an American animated
television series created by
marine biologist and animator
Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon.
Nickelodeon held a preview for the series in
the United States on May 1, 1999,
following the television airing
of the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards.
The series officially premiered on July 17,
It has received worldwide critical acclaim
its premiere and gained enormous popularity
by its second season.
A feature film, The SpongeBob SquarePants
was released in theaters on November 19, 2004, and
a sequel was released on February
On June 24th, 2017, the series began airing
its eleventh season with the episodes
'The Check-Up/Spot Returns.'
In May 2017, the show was announced to be
renewed for a 12th season.
The series has won a variety of awards, including six Annie Awards,
eight Golden Reel Awards, two Emmy Awards,
12 Kids' Choice Awards, and two BAFTA Children's Awards.
Despite its widespread popularity, the series has been
involved in several public controversies,
including one centered on speculation over
SpongeBob's intended sexual orientation. In 2011,
a newly described species of fungi, Spongiforma squarepantsii,
was named after the cartoon's title character.