If SpongeBob SquarePants never got green-lit by Nickelodeon, Stephen Hillenburg would've asked Warner Bros. Animation to green-lit SpongeBob SquarePants for Kids' WB! and would've become the same cash cow that Nick made it into.
I'm wondering what episode in season 3 this is. Nancy wanting to go to Paris is the goal she's been working up to since day 1. That warrants a special, which season 3 starts out with. However, the plot of the premiere involves making a movie, which doesn't seem to leave room to show off Paris.