4Kids Entertainment, Inc. will produce 26 episodes of a new animated TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES television series. The new NINJA TURTLES series is scheduled to premiere in the first quarter of 2003 on the Fox Saturday Morning Block programmed by 4Kids. In addition to producing the television series, 4Kids will also serve as the exclusive merchandise licensing agent for the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES property worldwide. The TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES were created in May 1984 when Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman published a forty-page black and white comic book. The original NINJA TURTLES animated series debuted in 1987 and was a highly successful children's television show throughout the late 1980s and early '90s. NINJA TURTLES merchandise licensees, including master toy licensee Playmates Toys and videogame licensee Konami, were also enormously successful, selling in excess of $1 billion in sales at retail for toys, videogames and other merchandise within all product categories.