G4, which is now available in 59 million cable and satellite homes nationwide, has exclusively licensed the first run of SPACEBALLS THE ANIMATED SERIES for the U.S. market to premiere in fall 2007.Mel Brooks who created the comedy classic SPACEBALLS, is teaming, via his Brooksfilms Ltd., with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) Berliner Film Companie GmbH and the G4 television network, on the animated series.
Brooks, who has created such classics as BLAZING SADDLES, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and both versions of THE PRODUCERS; co-wrote the SPACEBALLS pilot with Thomas Meehan. Meehan has co-written three film projects with Brooks, the original SPACEBALLS film, TO BE OR NOT TO BE and the musical version of THE PRODUCERS. He will oversee writing for the first 13 episodes.
Brooks will also voice two of the characters in the show President Skroob and Yogurt.
SPACEBALLS: THE ANIMATED SERIES will take the legendary Brooks satirical eye to spoof the biggest blockbusters of today, as well as every genre of entertainment from movies and reality TV to culture and politics.
Already in production, Berliner is producing 13 half-hour episodes, in association with Brooksfilms, to debut on G4 in fall 2007.
G4, targeting the male 18-34 audience, delves into the digital landscape, with a programming slate that incorporates all the twisted and clever pop culture phenomena that interested guys: videogames, technology, humor, animation, the Internet, cars, women and more.
MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group, a unit of MGM, will officially launch the property at the upcoming MIPCOM international television festival in Cannes (Oct. 9-13, 2006).
Jim Packer, president of MGMWTDG said: This series has all the elements of a great comedy show. Mel Brooks has one of the top comedy minds in the business and the Berliner team has an impressive track record for producing quality animation. On the heels of retooling our worldwide television distribution group, MGM will be an active player in bringing first-run series to the marketplace and SPACEBALLS is a good example of the programming partnerships we can create with this vast library.
Neal Tiles, president of G4, added: As the go-to network for men 18-34, irreverent humor is one of the benchmarks of our programming philosophy, as is animation. Mel Brooks classic movies YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and BLAZING SADDLES are just as relevant to our young male audience today as they were when they were first released. His brand of humor will resonate well with our viewers.
We are thrilled to be working with two legends of the entertainment industry, Mel Brooks and MGM, on this exciting new series, said Rainer Soehnlein of Berliner. The Brooks imagination, combined with the creative possibilities of animation, will definitely make for something brand new in TV comedy.
The Berliner team has produced many half-hour cartoons for television, including DA BOOM CREW, which ran on Kids' WB! The company is wrapping up production on the feature film, HAPPILY NEVER AFTER, a CGI comedy that explores what would happen if Cinderella's wicked stepmother led a coup to take over Fairy Tale Land. Oscar-winning producer John H. Williams (SHREK) is producing the project, with Soehnlein as exec producer.
In the pilot episode storyline of the series will be similar to that of the movie, which was released theatrically in 1987. The evil Dark Helmet kidnaps Princess Vespa of the Planet Druidia. His dastardly plan is to blackmail her father, King Roland, into giving up his planets air to replenish the polluted Planet Spaceball, run by the fiendish President Skroob (Brooks). Princess Vespas dad hires Lone Starr and Barf to rescue the princess. After a battle with Dark Helmet, they launch on a series of wild adventures across the Galaxy.
G4 (www.g4tv.com), the fastest growing network on television for 2006, launched in April 2002 and is now available in 59 million cable and satellite homes nationwide. The #1 podcasted cable network in America and a leader in VOD, G4s programming includes breaking videogame industry news, trends, reviews, the hottest games and gear, celebrity interviews and insider opinions. Targeting the male 18-34 audience, G4 is the first and last word on games, sports, technology, animation, interactivity, the Internet and broadband. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles and is owned by Comcast Corp.
The Berliner Film Companie team has produced seven animated television series and one CGI feature film since 2002. Working with Americas top creators, producers and directors, Berliner (www.bfc.net) has established a unique American-style production company in the heart of Berlin, along with an office in Los Angeles to maintain a constant presence in the center of the U.S. entertainment industry.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (www.mgm.com), through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, which is comprised of more than 4,000 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Ent. Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Ent. Llc., MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 110 countries. MGM ownership is currently as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), Texas Pacific Group (21%), Sony Corp. of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%).