Kids' WB! will add three new animated series to its Saturday morning and weekday slates with shows to roll out throughout the year, starting in summer 2003. The network will be sharing more series with sister cablecaster Cartoon Network and is combining the ad sales units of each it was announced Tuesday, February 25, 20003, at the joint Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network upfront sales presentations in New York City.
"Our ambitious year-round strategy keeps us at the top in kids' television," said John Hardman, SVP at Kids' WB!. "Spreading our assets over the entire year has proven to be something our audience thrives on and allows us to remain competitive against all cable and broadcast channels."
The new series for the 2003-2004 schedule include:
MEGAMAN: NT WARRIOR joins the Saturday morning lineup this summer 2003. Currently airing in Japan on TV Tokyo since March 2002, MEGAMAN: NT WARRIOR is a top-rated animated television series produced by ShoPro Entertainment. Based on the popular comic book series, MEGAMAN: NT WARRIOR is set in the not-so-distant future during the Cyber Revolution of the year 200X, where virtually all technology is linked to a central computer system. Citizens of ACDC Town interface with this network using their personal "NetNavis" (Net Navigators) via their portable terminals (PETs). The anime/adventure series follows the discoveries and exploits of fifth-grader Lan, whose NetNavi - and alter ego- is a blue-suited, virus-fighting, virtual superhero named Mega Man. Lan and his friends plug in different powerchips to change their personal NetNavis' gadgetry and defense capabilities.
XIAOLIN SHOWDOWN, produced by Warner Bros. Animation to debut in fall 2003, is a mystical comedy crusade that follows Omi, a gifted monk-in-training from the Xiaolin Temple. Omi leads his fellow trainees rich Japanese hacker girl Kimiko, flashy Brazilian circus star Raimundo and Texas Kung Fu cowboy Clay around the world to find and protect sacred ancient power objects that hold the keys to mystical superpowers. Challenging the young monks in their quest are Jack Spicer and his team of ludicrous supervillains all competing for these objects in extreme Xiaolin showdowns to become the ultimate force.
TEEN TITANS features Robin The Boy Wonder (without Batman) and fellow teens Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire and Raven - five superheroes, each with special powers, who unite to form a defensive force to protect the Earth from a new generation of villains as well as the tribulations of being a teenager. An eclectic group, their powers complement each other while their personalities often clash. Discovering how to control their powers, these Teen Titans must learn to work and grow as a team despite their stylistic differences. The series is produced by WBA under the guidance of Glen Murakami and is based on the DC comic book series. The series will debut on Cartoon Network in August 2003 and re-launch on Kids' WB! in mid-season 2004.
The new Saturday lineup also will be highlighted by the recently announced new seasons of returning favorites YU-GI-OH! with 52 new dueling adventures, as well as 52 original episodes of the next evolution of the top-rated Pokémon franchise, along with new episodes of WHAT'S NEW SCOOBY-DOO?, OZZY & DRIX and ¡MUCHA LUCHA! that premiered in fall 2002. WHAT'S NEW SCOOBY-DOO? also starts airing on Cartoon Network March 28, 2003.
In addition, Kids' WB! has picked up new seasons of JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and X-MEN: EVOLUTION (Marvel Studios in association with Film Roman) for the 2003-2004 season.
Hardman reports the aggressive campaign to bring viewers more fresh and original programming has paid off in the current season with the mid-season launches of STATIC SHOCK in its third - and best season yet, ranking as the #2 Saturday morning program in boys 6-11, tweens 9-14 and male tweens 9-14; and the second season of THE MUMMY: SECRETS OF THE MEDJAI, which premiered on February 15, outperforming its new 9:30 am ET time period in boys 6-11 and taking the #1 broadcast spot in kids 2-11, kids 6-11, boys 2-11 and tweens 9-14. CUBIX begins a second season on March 15.
The sales teams for Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network will be combined in late September 2003 reporting to Kim McQuilken, EVP of Cartoon Network ad sales and marketing. McQuilken in turn reports to Mark Lazarus, president of Turner Entertainment group sales and marketing. According to Lazarus, combining the sale efforts was a natural progression with the sharing of programs such as POKÉMON, THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, SCOOBY-DOO and YU-GI-OH! "The WB sales head Bill Morningstar and his staff have done a terrific job growing our Kids' WB! revenue these past years," said Jed Petrick, president/COO of The WB. Morningstar, EVP of media sales for The WB, said he was proud of what this sales team had accomplished and that they will "focus all our energies on our young adult prime time advertiser." For more on the new and current Kids! WB! seasons go to www.KidsWB.com
KIDS' WB! 2003-2004 SEASON
FALL SCHEDULE ET
8:00 am YU-GI-OH!
8:30 am WHAT'S NEW SCOOBY-DOO?
9:00 am JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES
9:30 am OZZY & DRIX
10:00 am YU-GI-OH!
10:30 am XIAOLIN SHOWDOWN * (NEW SERIES)
11:00 am POKÉMON
11:30 am ¡MUCHA LUCHA!
3:00 pm SCOOBY-DOO
3:30 pm JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES
4:00 pm POKÉMON
4:30 pm YU-GI-OH!