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Cartoon Net Lands Looney Toons Plus 4 New Shows

In a meeting with key advertisers, Cartoon Network executives unveiled their business plan for the 2000-2001 television season, including upcoming original series, program acquisitions, which includes the exclusive Looney Toons rights, and comprehensive on-line initiatives. Cartoon Network will produce four original half-hour animated series through 2001, including SHEEP IN THE BIG CITY. This, their ninth original show, will premiere with 13 half-hour episodes in fall 2000. In addition, the network will double its production of three current shows in 2000, ordering an additional 26 episodes of ED, EDD 'N EDDY and 13 new episodes each of COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG and MIKE, LU & OG. The network also has 25 animated shorts in development to debut as series pilots on the network over the next two years. SHEEP IN THE BIG CITY, created by Mo Willems and produced at Curious Pictures in New York, chronicles the misadventures of a sheep on the lam. The series will tell the story of a sheep, who runs away from the farm and hides out in the big city because a Top Secret Military Organization is after him. The ROCKY & BULLWINKLE-esque show is divided into cliffhanger chapters weaved together by an omnipresent narrator, satirical skits and commercial and TV parodies. Viewers will pick the remaining three series during "Cartoon, Cartoon's Voice Your Choice" Weekend, a 52-hour original programming marathon in August 2000. Cartoon Network will allow viewers to vote for which pilots will become half-hour series for fall 2001. Cartoon Network has also landed the exclusive television rights to Warner Bros. classic LOONEY TUNES titles starting fall 2000. This is the first time the entire library of nearly 900 classic animated shorts has been featured exclusively on one TV network. "The LOONEY TUNES are both the most influential and most valuable property in all of animation, they're what people think of first when they hear the word 'cartoon'," said Betty Cohen, president of Cartoon Network Worldwide. "Having exclusive access to the LOONEY TUNES has always been a dream of ours. Having all of these classic titles will drive ratings across all of our LOONEY TUNES franchises, and it will enable us to create historic television events, our annual 'June Bugs' marathon in June 2001 will feature every Bugs Bunny cartoon ever produced." LOONEY TUNES characters include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, Tweety, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepe Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Marvin the Martian and The Tasmanian Devil. In addition, Cartoon Network has acquired 170 new episodes of DRAGON BALL Z, exclusive to Cartoon Network, and two new anime series, GUNDAM WING and TENCHI MUYO. These shows will be part of the weekday action-adventure block "Toonami." Joining the same programming block through a licensing agreement with the Hasbro Properties Group, Cartoon Network will also air 26 half-hour episodes of CENTIPEDE. The original CGI action-adventure series follows the escapades of a young hero, who finds himself in a world ruled by the most monstrous bug ever. CENTIPEDE and the other "Toonami" shows will be part of Cartoon Network's heightened efforts to integrate on-line and on-air broadcasting with the launch of "Total Immersion Cartoons." Starting this fall during the "Toonami" block, THE INTRUDER promotion will follow the adventures of Tom, the computer-generated host of "Toonami," as he battles an alien intruder on board his spaceship, Absolution. After watching THE INTRUDER on-air, viewers will be able to view new interactive adventures on The site will feature interactive games, secret plot lines and exclusive, in-depth show analysis including classified schematics and 3D diagrams of Absolution. The Toonami block features such animated shows as DRAGON BALL Z, SAILOR MOON, THE REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST and REBOOT.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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