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Nickelodeon Orders ‘Top Elf’ and ‘The Substitute’

Holiday-Themed Competition and Hidden Camera Prank Are the Genres

Nickelodeon has greenlit two series: holiday-themed competition show “Top Elf” and hidden camera prank-themed “The Substitute.”

In “Top Elf,” Santa has invited seven civilian “Elf-testants” to the North Pole in a competition that tests their skills in a series of holiday-themed challenges. Demonstrating the true spirit of the holidays, the Elf-testants compete to have their wish lists granted–not for themselves, but for someone in their community. Five episodes of “Top Elf” have been ordered.

“The Substitute” features stars who are transformed by a team of Hollywood special effects artists to go undercover as professionals in various fields, surprising unsuspecting kids in schools, camps and other locations. During the reveal at the end of the day, each organization receives a $25,000 donation. Ten episodes of “The Substitute” have been ordered. 

“The Substitute’s” first special debuted in April with guest star Jace Norman (“Henry Danger”), and the second special premiered in May, guest starring comedian (and upcoming late night host) Lilly Singh. 

“Top Elf” is created by Mike Duffy and Tim Duffy of Ugly Brother Studios, who will executive produce the series along with Jimmy Fox at Main Event Media, an All3Media America company. Bob Schermerhorn (“Project Runway All Stars”) and Lisa Fletcher (“The Titan Games”) are executive producers, with Fletcher also serving as the showrunner. Nickelodeon’s Vice Presidents of Unscripted Content Paul J Medford and Mandel Ilagan also serve as executive producers.  Michael Pearlman (“Chopped”) will direct the series. 

“The Substitute” is produced by Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation. Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman and Todd Hurvitz (Punk’d), serve as executive producers, with Hurvitz also serving as the showrunner. Jessica Brown, Nickelodeon’s executive in charge of production and Vice President of Current Series, also serves as an executive producer.