Big Nate is finally making his on-screen debut.

The animated TV series “Big Nate,” based on the long-running comic strip by Lincoln Peirce of Portland, will debut Feb. 17 on Paramount Plus, the streaming service announced Tuesday.

A sneak peek of the show will air Sunday on the Nickelodeon cable network during halftime of the NFL playoff football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers, which starts at 4:30 p.m.

Nickelodeon, which is producing the series, first announced its plans to make a “Big Nate” series in February 2020. Peirce said Tuesday he’s excited that the strip he began 31 years ago – and which runs in 400 newspapers – will finally make it to TV.

Peirce said that over the years film studios have expressed interest in “Big Nate,” but often talked about doing a live-action version. Peirce said he’s glad he was able to hold out for Nickelodeon, so Big Nate and his friends can look and act on screen the way they look in his comic strip.

“I’ve always thought ‘Big Nate’ could be a really fun TV show, but I never wanted to do live action. He’s a cartoon character,” said Peirce, 58.

“Big Nate” premieres Feb. 17 on Paramount+ and is based on the comic strip by Portland’s Lincoln Peirce. Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

Before this show, Peirce had already converted the strip into a best-selling series of books, and it is also the basis for a traveling musical show.

Peirce serves as a consultant for the series. He said Tuesday he got to see all the scripts for the episodes and was able to “punch up” some of them, in an effort to make the characters sound more like they might in the comic strips and books.

Like the comic strip, the series will focus on an 11-year-old sixth-grader named Nate, along with his family and friends. The Paramount Plus news release describes Nate as “a sixth-grade kid who has a never-ending need to prove his awesomeness to the world.” The first eight episodes of the show will be available for streaming Feb. 17 on Paramount Plus, with more episodes to be announced at a later date.

In the series premiere of “Big Nate,” Nate meets a new kid who wants to become his prank partner, voiced by Jack Black. In announcing the series debut Tuesday, Paramount Plus also released an official trailer of the show, which can be found on YouTube.com.

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