SpongeBob SquarePants is an Emmy-nominated American animated television series and media franchise. It is one of Nickelodeon's Nicktoons and is currently the most watched show on Nick. In 2007, it was named by TIME as one of the greatest television shows of all time. Although its original network is Nickelodeon, SpongeBob is now broadcast across the world. It was created by former marine biologist and animator, Stephen Hillenburg, and the pilot episode aired in the United States on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999. The series is set in the Pacific Ocean, in the city of Bikini Bottom and on the surrounding lagoon floor.