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New Astro Boy Series Coming To Kids' WB!

Kids' WB! plans to introduce a new generation of kids in the United States to one of the most beloved anime icons, ASTRO BOY, in its Saturday morning schedule in the 2003-2004 season. Sony Pictures Television and Tezuka Productions are producing the new series based on the original 50-year-old toon from Manga master, Osamu Tezuka.

Aimed at kids 6-11, the show continues Tezuka's comics-to-TV tale of a scientist who builds a robot boy after the death of his own son. The Pinocchio-like character becomes a renowned superhero outfitted with laser-firing fingers, uncanny hearing and jet-powered boots to help thwart an alien invasion of Earth. He fights for peace and justice in a society that scorns robots in the year 2003.

"ASTRO BOY has become a beloved hero for all ages," said John Hardman, svp for Kids' WB! programming. "We are thrilled to be working with the studio that brought us JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES on the latest portrayal of this timeless hero. ASTRO BOY is sure to continue his 'astro-nomical' ride to the top of the ratings charts when he joins our powerhouse hit schedule. His strong moral center and selfless bravery are the perfect compliment to the other heroes and champions on Kids' WB!"

The original series first aired in 1963 and was produced by Mushi Productions of Japan. It sold well internationally, hitting the U.S. airwaves for the first time in September 1963 on WNEW in New York, then entered nationwide syndication. A second ASTRO BOY series ran on NTV from 1980 to 1981. The franchise was created as a comic book series in the early 1950s by Tezuka, "the father of manga." The new series from Sony and Tezuka started airing April 6, 2003 on FUJI TV.

Learn more about Astro's real life father as Jackie Leger takes readers to the outskirts of Osaka, Japan to visit the museum dedicated to Osamu Tezuka, Japan's revered father of manga in Animation World Magazine's "The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum: A Cultural Monument."http://mag.awn.com/index.php3?ltype=search&sval=tezuka&article_no=432

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