ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 4.6 - SEPTEMBER 1999
It's Show Time! The Fall TV Preview
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Undeterred by the failure of their last primetime cartoon series, Stressed Eric, the peacock station has two new primetime animated series in development -- Sammy (created by Just Shoot Me actor/comedian David Spade) and God, The Devil and Bob -- but don't expect to see either of them until at least midseason.
Dragon Tales, a whimsical animated edutainment series from Columbia TriStar and Children's Television Workshop launches on September 6. The kind-hearted Arthur also returns to PBS this fall with new episodes.
Sabrina, the Animated Series. © 1999 DIC Productions, L.P.
The two-hour programming block, "Disney's One Too" premieres September 6 on UPN and in syndication. One Too will air Sunday through Friday, which when coupled with ABC's "One Saturday Morning," expands Disney TV cartoon programming to seven days a week. The four series that will make up the schedule are <Disney's Hercules,> Disney's Doug, Recess (new episodes) and Sabrina, the Animated Series. In addition to the regular episodes, more than 720 original animated interstitials featuring characters from the One Too shows, to be interspersed between the shows à la Rocky & Bullwinkle, are being produced.
Sabrina, a prequel to the ABC primetime live-action series, features the vocal talent of the live-action show's star, Melissa Joan Hart, as the characters Aunt Zelda and Aunt Hilda, while Melissa's younger sister, Emily Hart, provides the voice of young Sabrina. The show is produced by Disney subsidiary, DIC Entertainment, and executive produced by Eek! the Cat co-creator Savage Steve Holland. Because of its main characters, it is likely to assume that this is a very girl-oriented cartoon but Holland explains the cross-over appeal. "This is really a super-pro girl show. When we were testing this show with little kids, we thought, 'Well, maybe it's JUST a girl show,' and then we showed it to the boys. After the screening, I went over to this little eight-year-old boy and asked him what he liked about the show and he just rolled his tongue, 'pprrrrr.' I guess it's the Charlie's Angels theory." Savage Steve points out that some of the funny guest voice appearances include Downtown Julie Brown, Mr. T as the leader of a timid alien race, and Weird Al Yankovic popping up to do a song parody of the Spice Girls. Of course, the biggest question concerning this series is how Savage Steve got his name. Well, after Animation World got personal, we eked out this response: "It's just a stupid nickname. I hit a kid in the teeth when I was in the sixth grade, accidentally that is, but everybody thought I did it on purpose so I got the Savage nickname. I thought Savage Steve sounded cool so I let them call me that. Of course, it's a lot better than my little sister's nickname -- Squid."
On the primetime side of things, the comic strip-based creation Dilbert returns for a second season on UPN. With office-place foibles aplenty, the new season premieres on October 5 (8 PM ET). Some of Dilbert's many escapades this year include paying a visit to his company's militant account guy (voiced by Gilbert Gottfried) to get approval for a business trip to Elbonia, creating a doll (Christopher Guest from This Is Spinal Tap) with artificial intelligence that becomes the son he never had, trading jobs with a security guard (Wayne Knight, who played Newman on Seinfeld) to find out who has the more challenging career, and searching for his father, Dadbert (Buck Henry), who has been lost in the mall for years. Other guest voices popping up on Dilbert this year include actors Andy Dick, Jeri Ryan and Chazz Palminteri.
Mike, Lu and Og. © 1999 Cartoon Network.
The Cartoon Network continues their assault on the animated world with Courage, The Cowardly Dog and Mike, Lu & Og, their seventh and eighth original "Cartoon Cartoon" series for primetime. Both series will premiere on Friday, November 12. Created by indie animator John Dilworth, Courage is based on the 1996 Academy Award-nominated cartoon The Chicken from Outer Space. Following the adventures of a timid farm dog who must continually deal with paranormal X-Files-ish elements, the show features a rather unique voice cast. Courage's voice director, Peter Fernandez (the original voice of Speed Racer), has recruited Lionel Wilson (original voice of Tom Terrific) as The Farmer, Arnold Stang (original voice of Top Cat) for numerous voices, and Paul Schoeffler (currently appearing on Broadway as Captain Hook in "Peter Pan") as the person who performs "bad guy" voices for characters such as Katz, LeQuack, Snowman, and Goose God.
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