April 22, 2017


(NBC, Discovery Kids, November 1, 2003-February 18, 2006)

Phase 4 Productions

Jim Conroy – Kenny
Kelli Rabke – Katarina “Kat” Cassidy
Karen Culp – Grace Cassidy, Karl Cassidy
Russell Horton – Peter Cassidy

            Kenny the Shark was a series about a tiger shark named Kenny (Jim Conroy) who became sick of ocean life and decided to live on the surface in Tiburon, California. Kenny became the pet of Kat Cassidy (Kelli Rabke); a 10-year-old girl who could understand Kenny’s language. They lived with her parents, Grace (Karen Culp), a psychiatrist who worked from home, and Petr (Russell Horton), an eco-sensitive hippie who owned an organic grocery store, and her little brother, Karl (Culp). Despite being domesticated, Kenny was still a shark and had an obsession with seals: whenever he saw or smelled one, he just had to eat it; usually resulting in him needing to be restrained to a gurney until the feeling passed. Kenny often caused trouble for the Cassidys with his constant appetite and frequent destruction of property with his antics.

Kat gives Kenny some chum.

            Kenny was produced by Phase 4 Productions in association with Discovery Kids. Based on a concept by Jack Huber, it was inspired by both the successful “Shark Week” documentary specials on the Discovery Channel, as well as a series of live-action shorts on the network from 1999-2000. Those shorts, shot from Kenny’s point of view, taught viewers about sharks. Kenny kept up that tradition, as well as taught about life problems such as bullies while keeping things comedic with the kinds of situations that arose from keeping a shark as pet. While there wasn’t a central antagonist, the closest thing to it would be Burton Plushtoy III (Oliver Wyman); an obnoxious rich kid who tried various methods to add Kenny to his collection of exotic pets. Other characters included Kat’s best human friend, Oscar (Nicolas King), who was obsessed with his Mayan ancestry, and Elly (Amy Love), a bull shark from the city aquarium and Kenny’s love interest.

Kenny with his human family.

Kenny the Shark debuted on NBC on November 1, 2003. It was shown under the title of “Real Toons” with Tutenstein as part of the Discovery Kids on NBC programming block. Those two shows marked the first time that cartoons had been seen as part of NBC’s children’s programming since 1992 when they abandoned them in favor of teen-oriented live-action shows. Jared Faber composed the series’ music.

Antics will be had.

Kenny ended in 2006 after two seasons and 26 episodes. It continued to air on Discovery Kids, closing out the network with a 4-hour marathon when it transitioned over into The Hub in 2010. Kenny continued airing on The Hub until 2012. From 2013-14, reruns aired on the Spanish network Azteca America before being offered on Discovery Family On Demand. Magna Pacific released three DVD volumes in Australia in 2005, each one containing 8-10 segments. Genius Products and Discovery Home Entertainment released three volumes in North America containing six story segments each between 2007 and 2008. In 2009, the first 10 episodes were available to purchase from the iTunes Store.

Season 1:
“Simply Irresistible / Special Delivery” (11/1/03) – Grace brings home a patient afraid of sharks, but while Kat tries to ease him with facts Kenny decides to eat him. / When Kenny eats her father’s gift, Kat tries to overfeed him so he’ll spit it back up.

“Kid’s Menu / Will Work For Chum” (11/8/03) – Kat hypnotizes herself to remember to renew Kenny’s tags, but forgets to feed him. / Kenny gets a job as a hockey team’s mascot to pay for his food bills, but the team is unaware he’s a real shark.

“I Love the Night Life / Dolphin for a Day” (12/6/03) – When Kenny can’t sleep, he drags Kat out on the town. / Kat disguises Kenny as a dolphin to protect him form a shark hunter that moved into the neighborhood.

“Two Days of the Parrot / My Old School” (12/13/03) – Kat brings home a lost parrot and Kenny gets jealous of all the attention she gives it. / Kenny’s old classmate comes for a visit and threatens to reveal Kenny’s secret if he’s not allowed to stay.

“Bill Me Later / Catscratch Fever” (1/3/04) – Kenny joins a mail-order-meat-of-the-day club, but there’s a question of who will pay the bill. / Three girls at school make fun of Kat, until they discover she has a scary pet.

“Kenny the Veggie / Watching Karl” (1/10/04) – Kat asks Kenny to become a vegetarian. / Kat leaves Karl with Kenny and he crawls off, leading to a frantic chase to find him.

 “The Checkup / Naughty, Naughty Kenny” (1/17/04) – Kat’s dentist mistakes Kenny for her. / After hijacking a fish truck, Kenny is put into obedience school.

“Pet Tricks / Who Framed Kenny the Shark?” (1/24/04) – Kat tries to find Kenny’s talent so he can appear on American Pet Idol. / Kenny is framed for food thefts all over the neighborhood.

“Three to Tango / Ball of Contention” (1/31/04) – Kenny makes a new friend to make Kat jealous when she becomes too busy with her art lessons. / Kenny loses Oscar’s soccer ball after he steals it.

“He’s Gotta Have It / Kat and the Sax” (2/7/04) – Kenny becomes addicted to sushi after Kat gives him some for his birthday. / Kenny can’t tell Kat her sax playing bothers his sensitive ears.

“Trash Talking / Kenny in Love” (2/14/04) – Kenny tries to stop some raccoons in their trash, but they constantly outsmart him. / Kenny falls for a shark at the aquarium but she doesn’t return his interest.

“Fish Tale / Father’s Day” (2/21/04) – Kat trains her dad to compete in a fishing contest. / Kenny wants to give Peter a gift, but what he picks may end up ruining the day for everyone.

“Family Vacation / Gentle Ken” (2/28/04) – Kenny fakes an illness in order to get taken along on the family’s trip. / Kenny becomes Kat’s bodyguard when a bear escapes from the zoo.

Season 2:
“Kenny the Hero / Whaling on Kenny” (10/2/04) – Kenny seeks recognition after saving someone. / Kat tries to get Kenny to become friends with a whale.

“His Fate is Sealed / Surf’s Up” (10/9/04) – If Kenny can’t stop craving seals, Peter is going to send him away. / The surfers at the local beach don’t appreciate Kenny’s efforts to teach Kat how to surf.

“Regime Change / Boy Trouble” (10/30/04) – Kat tries to get Kenny in shape. / Kenny becomes jealous when Kat gets a crush.

“Kenny-napped! / Kenny the Dad” (11/13/04) – A rich kid wants Kenny in his animal collection. / Kenny and Kat find themselves suddenly parents.

“Kenny the Movie / Goodbye Ol’ Chum” (11/27/04) – Kat and Kenny set out to make a movie to show tiger sharks are kings of the sea. / Kenny decides to join a traveling carnival.

“Shark Shrunk / Kenny the Star” (12/4/04) – Kat tries to figure out what makes Kenny mischievous. / Kenny join’s Kat’s school play.

“Ocean’s Three / Antiques Roadshark” (1/15/05) – Kenny and Kat try to save the fish in the Tiburon Aquarium. / Kat and Kenny attend an antique show that comes to town.

“How to Succeed in Business / Mr. Popularity” (10/1/05) – Kat tries to help Peter with his financial troubles. / Kat and Kenny protect some girls from a shark.

“Over the Ocean / A Dog’s Life” (10/22/05) – Kat and Kenny deal with Captain Ahearn’s sleepwalking problem. / Kat enters Kenny into a dog show.

“Nobody Move / Seasick” (11/19/05) – Kat’s parents decide to get a bigger house. / One of Kenny’s friends begins trying to take over his life.

“Scaredy-Shark / Kenny the Rock Star” (2/4/06) – A ghost from Kenny’s past haunts him. / Kat gets Kenny’s help to win the talent show.

“Revenge of the Shark Nerd / Bed and Breakfast” (2/11/06) – Kat and Kenny meet someone who loves sharks. / Kenny believes he accidentally ate one of Kat’s other friends.

“Lawn Shark / All You Can Eat” (2/18/06) – After Kenny eats all the candy for Kat’s school fundraiser, they have to figure out how to make money. / Kenny takes advantage of Kat’s grandmother to get what he wants.

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