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CBS Delays Cartoon Debut

CBS has made a last-minute programming decision to move the debut of its new, animated Saturday-morning line-up back to October 3, two weeks later than the previously announced date of September 19. The aim is to maximize on-air promotional opportunities, which would have been difficult during the sports programming scheduled on many of the network's local affiliates in the next few weeks. "We are very proud of our new Nelvana-produced shows," said Lucy Johnson, senior vice president of daytime/children's programming and special projects at CBS. "However," she added, "when it became clear that preemptions in early September would limit our promotion opportunities for our new line-up, we decided to wait two weeks and allow all of our stations to get a solid start on the same Saturday morning." The new line-up marks CBS' return to Saturday morning animated programming after poor ratings in the 1996/97 season caused the network to go with live-action programming in 1997/98. All six of the new animated shows-- "Franklin," "Anatole," "Dumb Bunnies," "Flying Rhino Junior High," "Birdz" and "Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend"-- are being produced by Canadian studio Nelvana, a deal that was announced in January [AF 1/13/98]. In addition to the entire line-up delay, CBS will delay the debut of one of the series, "Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend," because of production delays attributed to "complicated animation techniques" being used for the show. It will be replaced with reruns of another Nelvana series, "Tales From the Cryptkeeper" until November 7.