FUNimation Productions Ltd. announced its new DRAGON BALL TV series will debut June 25, 2001 on the Cartoon Network, airing Monday through Friday at 5:30 pm ET. DRAGON BALL is the prequel to the DRAGON BALL Z series, #1 on the Cartoon Network's Toonami Block and #1 on the Internet, according to Lycos. Gen Fukunaga, President of FUNimation, also announced that new episodes of DRAGON BALL Z will begin airing on the Cartoon Network beginning September 3, 2001. Like DRAGON BALL Z, the new DRAGON BALL series was a smash hit in Japan before being produced for the U.S. and other countries. The initial launch of the DRAGON BALL show in the United States will involve 26 episodes. Fakunaga said, There are more than 500 episodes in the entire saga, including DRAGON BALL, DRAGON BALL Z and DRAGON BALL GT (yet to be introduced). FUNimation will also market the DRAGON BALL shows in home video format, in both edited and uncut versions, and will launch DRAGON BALL 9-inch collectible action figures through Irwin Toy Limited, which markets the DRAGON BALL Z line of action figures and accessories. The DRAGON BALL series will be produced for the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa at FUNimations studios in Fort Worth, Texas, where it produces DRAGON BALL Z.