North-Hollywood-based FILM ROMAN has been hired as the production company for the WB's new prime-time cartoon, "The Downtowners," the first animated series to be developed by Castle Rock Entertainment's Television unit, whose live-action credits include "Seinfeld." Thirteen half-hour episodes of "The Downtowners" have been ordered, for debut on the WB network in fall 1999. Series creators Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein (former executive producers of "The Simpsons") are executive producers, Lauren MacMullan is supervising director, Colin ABV Lewis is producer and Mike Wolf is animation producer. Film Roman has become something of a prime-time animation hot-house, as it is also in production on three other such series, "The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," and "Family Guy," all for Fox. What's the secret? Read Mike Wolf's article, "In the Spotlight: Creating Prime Time Animation" in the March 1998 issue of Animation World Magazine.