Legendary Japanese icon ASTRO BOY series debutes Jan. 17, 2004 on Kids' WB! (8:30 am ET/7:30 am PT), bringing 25 new anime adventures to kids in the U.S. The network also will launch that day 13 new episodes in the fourth season of returning hit STATIC SHOCK (11:30 am ET/10:30 am PT). In addition, STATIC SHOCK moves into the weekday lineup to air six days a week, beginning Jan. 5, in its new 3:30 p.m. ET timeslot.
Canal+ has picked up Bardels award-winning holiday special, THE CHRISTMAS ORANGE special for its Christmas 2003 season to air in France, Monaco, Mauritius, Switzerland and Africa.
"THE CHRISTMAS ORANGE is exactly the kind of moral tale we like to have on Canal+", says Sandra Ouaiss, acquisition director of fiction & animation at Canal+ international acquisition.
New animated series from Bill Cosby and Kelsey Grammer are part of Nick at Nite and TV Lands first-ever slate of original shows and specials. The development slate, which also includes new programming from Henry Winkler, Peter Bonerz, David Steinberg and several others, could be seen on both networks as early as 2004. The originals will serve as a complement to Nick at Nite and TV Land's successful acquired programming.
If you asked Santa for loads of commercial-free FLINTSTONES, your wish has been granted as Cartoon Network's Boomerang channel offers a 240 hours Bedrocks first family, Dec. 15-21, 2003, including such holiday classic specials as A FLINTSTONE CHRISTMAS (1977), A FLINTSTONE CHRISTMAS CAROL (1994) and CHRISTMAS FLINTSTONE (1964). Covering almost 35 years of Hanna-Barbera motion picture and television production, BOOMEROCK will showcase television's largest-ever tribute to the cave-dwelling comedy, pre-empt Boomerang's entire schedule.
How superheroes celebrate the holidays is the topic of an all-new holiday episode of JUSTICE LEAGUE, Cartoon Network's top-rated original animated series based on the popular, long-running DC Comic book. The half-hour special, "Comfort and Joy," premieres at 10 pm on Dec. 13, 2003.
HBO has greenlit a second season of the cult TV series, CARNIVALE, reported HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The David Lynch/Stephen King-like series will get another 13 episodes, debuting at the end of 2004. Production should start in the spring with the original cast members all returning. The series didnt pull in audiences like THE SOPRANOS or SEX IN THE CITY, but it averaged a solid 3.5 million viewers each week.
Jim Henson Co. will begin production Dec. 15 in Australia on a four-hour miniseries based on the cult favorite TV series FARSCAPE, reported SCI FI WIRE. Citing sources close to the production, the story will pick up and resolve issues left open at the end of the cancelled series. Stars Ben Browder and Claudia Black among others will be reprising their roles. The miniseries has no television distribution deal to date. Both Jim Henson Co. and the Sci Fi Channel had no comment on the rumor.
Sci Fi Channel has scored another win with the premiere of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. The two-night, four-hour original event delivered a 3.5/2,897,000 HHs/4,177,000 P2+ average for its primetime premieres (Dec. 8-9, 2003, 9:00-11:00 pm ET/PT) - marking Sci Fi's best ratings performance in 2003 and the highest audience delivery for any original miniseries production on cable for the year.
ABC premiered an all-new animated hour-long PEANUTS Christmas special at 8:00 pm on Dec. 9, 2003. I WANT A DOG FOR CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN! Was produced and animated by the same team that made the now classic PEANUTS specials from the famed comic strip by the late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz.
Starz Encore Group launched its new premium all movie channel, STARZ! Kids, dedicated to kids ages 2-11 on Dec. 2, 2003. The new kids channel is available to affiliates at no additional license fee, and increases the number of unique channels in the Starz Super Pak to 13.
Pune, India-based animation house Digikore Studios Ltd looks to acquire an equity stake in a 2D animated TV series, reported IndianTelevision.com. This deal is part of a larger co-production agreement the company entered with New Zealand's Gtoyz Management Co. earlier this year. As part of that agreement, Digikore and Gtoyz will produce a 2D TV series as well as a 95-minute feature film. Digikore is looking for a credible Indian production firm with a project that attracts solid pre-sales. The studio hopes to aid the co-production partner in selling the series to international markets.
USA Networks has order a pilot and five episodes of a new sci-fi series entitled THE 4,400, reported VARIETY. The new program will follow the events that occur when 4,400 people abducted by aliens are returned to Earth. The project will be exec produced by Francis Ford Coppola, Rene Echevarria (DARK ANGEL) and Maira Suro (PLATINUM). Scott Peters (THE OUTER LIMITS) will be writing and producing the hour-long series with Viacom Prods. and Renegade 83 as the production firms.
Spike TV has given the go-ahead for six episodes of a new animated series, THIS JUST IN, from THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS writer Steven Marmel. The show will follow three best friends a freelance journalist, a teacher and a househusband -- as they comment on on-going current events. Marmel will reteam with ODDPARENTS partner Kevin Kay to exec produce the show. Kay was formerly evp of production and development at Nickelodeon and now serves as evp of programming and development at Spike TV.
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE, which was partially funded by the BBC, will air New Years Eve in the U.K. on BBC2 at 2:30 pm. The acclaimed Sylvain Chomet animated feature, which made its U.S. debut over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, was released theatrically in Britain in September.
SCI FI Channel has signed Academy Award-winner F. Murray Abraham (AMADEUS) and Sean Patrick Flanery (YOUNG INDIANA JONES) to star in the hour-long pilot for the drama series DEAD LAWYERS. A Zanuck Co. production in association with Sony Pictures Television, LAWYERS begins filming in Toronto in early December. Paris Barclay (THE SHIELD, NYPD BLUE) directs.
ValCom and O Atlas Enterprises will be turning their NEW ZOO REVUE into a new 3D TV series and feature. The original people-in-suits series debuted in syndication in the U.S. in 1971. The new film is budgeted at $3 million and production on both the telefilm and 26-part series should wrap in January 2005. ValCom plans to unveil the project at NATPE.
THE NIGHT B4 CHRISTMAS special made its U.S. television premiere on Dec. 2, 2003 at 8:30 pm with a replay on Dec. 9, at 8:00 on Cartoon Network. Aries Spears, (MAD TV), Paramounts next feature film comedy star Earthquake, and Chali 2NA of Universal Music Groups hot hip hop sensation, Jurassic 5, highlight a talented ensemble cast that keeps the laughs coming.
That conniving Grinch has stolen four consecutive nights of airtime on Cartoon Network for the annual "Grinch Week." The perennial animated holiday special DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS airs at 8:00 pm Monday-Thursday, Dec. 1-4, 2003. Dr. Seuss' classic fable portrays the mean old Grinch and his efforts to muzzle the holiday spirits of the happy-go-lucky citizens of Whoville.
Nickelodeon will reintroduce viewers to one of its all-time favorite family of characters, THE RUGRATS in a first-ever spin-off series, ALL GROWN UP. In a two-hour primetime premiere airing 8-10:00 pm on Nov. 29, 2003. The familiar characters will continue their adventures above rug level on the cusp of teen-hood, facing classic and comical pre-teen issues and dilemmas.
Kids WB! kicks off the Thanksgiving viewing holiday in the U.S. when the TEEN TITANS present the networks first annual "Turkey Surprise Day" on Nov. 29, 2003 form 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. The teen superheroes will host the morning event from their T-shaped Titans Towers featuring some of their original home movies including what they did for Thanksgiving, as well as sneak peeks of whats to come on the channel in 2004.
THE BASIL BRUSH SHOW has been sold to German public service broadcaster ZDF. This deal coincides with Basil's first ever Christmas music single, the double A-side Boom Boom and Christmas Slide that will be released on Dec. 15, 2003 in Germany. The songs will be released in the U.K. on Dec. 8. The 16-year-old singing sensation, India Beau, performs on Boom Boom with Basil. The series will also air on the top rated children's digital channel KIKA, starting fall 2004.
For ABCs PETER JENNINGS REPORTING: THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATIONBEYOND CONSPIRACY, the 3D animation was created by Dale K. Myers, an Emmy-winning animator and author, with a BOXX 3DBOXX workstation, running Newteks LightWave 3D software. The workstation contained dual Intel Xeon 3.06 processors, 4GB RAM and a 3Dlabs Wildcat 4 7210 graphics board.
Always out to save the world, now that flying triple treat, the Powerpuff Girls must also save Christmas everywhere in TWAS THE FIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a 60-minute holiday special, which was released on DVD Oct. 7, 2003. The Powerpuff Girls holiday special debuts Dec. 12 at 9:00 pm on Cartoon Network.