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NATPE News: SPTI’s Astro Boy Premieres In U.S. NATPE Weekend

Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) big animated series, ASTRO BOY, premieres on the Kids WB! in the U.S. Jan. 17, 2004, the day before the NATPE exhibit floor opens. ASTRO BOY and CYBORG 009 are amongst a diverse slate from SPTI, which includes STEPHEN KING'S KINGDOM HOSPITAL, JOAN OF ARCADIA, MISSING and THE RESIDENTS, MACHOS and POOR ANASTASIA. SPTI will be located off the floor in the Venetian Hotel, Casanova Room 504.

The new ASTRO BOY is a futuristic story of an atomic-powered robot who must fight for justice and peace in a society that scorns his kind. Created in METRO CITY, he lives among a "retro-futuristic" society populated by humans and robots. Astro possesses superb strength, including jet rocket feet and arms that allow him to fly at extreme speeds; however, the secret to his victories is not his superpowers. Astro is the first robot with advanced intelligence and human-like emotions. He's clever, resourceful and has a strong sense of justice, always attempting to reason with his adversaries.

ASTRO BOY was created 50 years ago by the legendary Tezuka Osamu, the pioneer of Japanese animation and known as the father of manga (Japanese comic books). In 1963, ASTRO BOY became the first Japanese show imported to the U.S. and one of the country's top rated syndicated series. This beloved classic character has been a favorite amongst American and Japanese audiences for many generations.

ASTRO BOY is produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan and Tezuka Productions, and is distributed in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Television. There are 50 half-hour episodes available.

In superstar comic book artist Shotaro Ishinomori's masterpiece, CYBORG 009, nine humans have been remodeled against their will by the nefarious Black Ghost Organization into super-powered Cyborgs. The main hero, 009 (Zero-Zero-Nine) is half Japanese, half American, and equipped with Mach-speed acceleration in addition to other extraordinary abilities. From different countries, different races, even different eras, and each possessing unique superpowers, the nine Cyborgs work together to fight against Black Ghost and its evil vision of world chaos. CYBORG 009 airs on Cartoon Network in the U.S., where it ranks #1 in its time period versus all cable competition among boys 6-11, male tweens 9-14, and male teens 12-17. There are 51 half-hour episodes available.

CYBORG 009 is produced by Avex, Inc. of Tokyo with Sony Pictures Television International and Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment handling worldwide distribution.

SPTI's international networks are a key strategy in the company's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with 30 channels in more than 100 countries reaching 230+ million viewers worldwide. In addition to distributing U.S. series around the world, SPTI also recognizes the need for high profile, locally produced television. With dedicated offices in Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the U.K., SPTI oversees production in eight countries and regions. SPTI is a Sony Pictures Entertainment ( company.