spongebob squarepants renewal 'SpongeBob' gets Season 9, blows all previous Nickelodeon cartoons out of the water

If you’ve moved on from adolescence at any point in the last 11 years and don’t have any children of your own, it may surprise you to know that Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob, SquarePants” is still on the air.

After debuting back in 1999, the cartoon about a naive, possibly gay sea creature remains the network’s highest rated animated series. And Deadline reports that its just been given the green light on a ninth season.

This next batch of 26 episodes, set to debut sometime in 2012, will push the series over the 200-episode mark. It’s quite a feat on its own, but when you look at how long other iconic “Nicktoons” lasted, its even more impressive.

Here’s how “SpongeBob” stacks up:

1. “SpongeBob, SquarePants” (1999 – present)
When it completes Season 9, the “SpongeBob” episode count will stand at 204 — and that doesn’t even include the movies or specials.

2. “Rugrats” (1991-2004)
 Nickelodeon’s longest-running cartoon (at least in age) stretched out
well over a decade, accumulating 173 episodes in its time. “SpongeBob”
only just surpassed that number in Season 8.

3. “The Fairly OddParents” (1998 – present)
The oldest Nick cartoon still in production — before it began as a series in 2001, it ran as shorts for three years — “The Fairly OddParents” hit 120 episodes in 2010.

And here’s where we feel very old: three of the network’s originals (“Doug,” “The Adventures of Ren & Stimpy” and “Rocco’s Modern Life”) barely make a dent, numbers-wise. They all capped out in the low 50s*. That’s fewer episodes than “As Told By Ginger,” which doesn’t even sound like a real show.

*We like to pretend that “Disney’s Doug” never happened, but ABC’s Saturday morning cartoon block’s dumbed down continuation of the show did endure for an additional 65 episodes.

Posted by:Mikey O'Connell