On the heels of the recently announced groundbreaking co-production and distribution agreement between MarVista Ent. and Brookwell McNamara Ent. (BME), the two companies announced that they have teamed up with The N, the nighttime network for tweens and teens, on a new, multi-series production and development deal for the network. The first of three series will be 22 half-hour episodes of the original teen drama, BOARDING SCHOOL.
Nickelodeon has taken the plunge, ordering 20 new episodes of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, one of the most popular kids' shows in television history, adventures to premiere on in 2005.
Series creator Stephen Hillenburg will continue to exec produce the all-new nautical and nonsensical episodes featuring the original voice cast including Tom Kenny as SpongeBob, Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick, Rodger Bumpass as Squidward, Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs and Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks.
TV-Loonland will join with ZDF tivi to produce the series RUDI AND TRUDI. TV-Loonland and ZDF Enterprises will start marketing the worldwide TV and subsidiary rights at MIPCOM. Production of the series is slated to begin in the fall. Broadcast launch in Germany is planned for spring 2006.
Peter Völkle, ceo of TV-Loonland said, "We are very pleased about the new co-production with ZDF. It is the continuation of many years of successful collaboration.
INDIGO has signed a deal with Nickelodeon Asia for its Indian animated series THE ADVENTURES OF TENALI RAMAN. The series will air on Nickelodeons Philippine and Asia feed reaching out to viewers in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore. It is due to air in November 2004.
Mainframe Ent. and Protocol Ent. have announced that Protocol will create a new half-hour live-action series based on the classic HARRIET THE SPY children's novels. Protocol will produce 22 half-hour episodes, with HARRIET rights owner 2 Friends Ent. acting as exec. producers and U.S. sales agent and Mainframe retaining international distribution rights. Rick Mischel, ceo of Mainframe, will be engaged by Protocol as an exec producer on the project.
Kids entertainment veterans Wendy Moss-Klein and Nancy Steingard have just formed 2 Friends Entertainment, a multimedia company in Los Angeles to produce childrens programming. Concurrently, 2 Friends Entertainment has acquired rights to existing, successful childrens properties, including HARRIET THE SPY and original properties, such as BABY SPROUT, and aims to produced content for television, DVDs, movies and the Internet for children from infancy to 12 years old.
The caped crusader is back in new animated adventures from Warner Bros. TV Animation in the new series, THE BATMAN, which premiered at 10:30 am, Sept. 11, 2004, on Kids WB!. Based on the famed DC Comics superhero, he has a new look and a new range of experimental Bat-gadgets and an amped-up Batmobile. It also features a new theme song composed and performed by The Edge from multi-Grammy Award-winning sensation U2.
With Hollywood hot on adapting projects from the word of God, Australian producer Tom Broadbridge will create a 12-episode series titled, THE ANIMATED ADVENTURE BIBLE, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Funded by a group of private Malaysian Christian investors, the budget is set at AUS$15 million ($10.4 million).
Discovery Kids on NBC got a jump-start on its fall season lineup over the Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 4, 2004) in the U.S., rolling out new episodes of some of its popular Saturday morning series and starting, Oct. 2, a brand new series from the producer of LIZZIE MCGUIRE called, DARCY'S WILD LIFE.
DARCY'S WILD LIFE is new live-action comedy series that follows the antics of a teenage girl who has been transplanted to a rural farm with her movie-star mom. The series premieres on Oct. 2 and will air weekly from 12:30-1:00 pm ET/10:30-11:00 am PT.
The U.K.s favorite postman and his faithful black and white cat, Jess, return to television in a brand new, action-packed series of 26 episodes and four half hour specials, to be shown on BBC2 and CBeebies, as of Sept. 6, 2004. POSTMAN PAT airs Monday through Friday at 8:30 am on BBC2 and at 8:30 am, 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm on CBeebies.
Sci Fi Channel has partnered with Ridley Scott (GLADIATOR) and Tony Scott (MAN ON FIRE) to revisit the Michael Crichton bestseller, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, while Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) joins Sci Fi for a re-invention of the sci-fi thriller, THE THING.
FATHER OF THE PRIDE had a rip roaring debut Aug. 31, 2004 on NBC, bringing in high rating in the coveted adults 18-49 demo. The much hyped CG series averaged 12.4 million viewers and a 5.4 rating/15 share in the adults 18-49 demographic in its commercial-free debut from 9:00 - 9:30 pm, according to Nielsen Media Research. This performance easily won PRIDE the time slot.
There is a lot riding on DreamWorks first primetime 3D-animated series, FATHER OF THE PRIDE, about the backstage antics of the family of lions in the Siegfried and Roy Vegas act, which debuts tonight (Aug. 31, 2004) at 9:00 pm on NBC.
First, there is the fact that DreamWorks is attempting to spin off its animation company, headed by partner Jeffrey Katzenberg, which needs more than the SHREK phenomenon to entice investors, so the success of this adult-themed series would go a long way.
National Geographic Channel employs some of the best CGI techniques to help explain to viewers how but not always why an unimaginable disaster can happen, from the crash of the Concorde to the Oklahoma City bombing and more in a new series, SECONDS FROM DISASTER, that premieres at 8:00 pm on Aug. 31, 2004 on NGC.
Walt Disney Television Internationals dedicated preschool service, Playhouse Disney Channel, has launched on channel 63 of Bruneis multi-channel TV operator Kristal Astro, bringing the number of Playhouse Disney Channels in Asia to six.The other markets, of which have launched since April this year, are Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia
TUN (The U Network), a new national cable network catering toward university students will begin broadcasting eigoMANGAs television program, ANIME MIX on its network starting Sept. 6, 2004.
Majesco , a leading publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products, has announced its popular BLOODRAYNE videogame character will be featured on a premiere episode of MTV2's new series VIDEO MODS. The episode showcases Evanescence's EVERYBODY'S FOOL video, recreated with characters from Majesco's forthcoming BLOODRAYNE 2 videogame.
Family, Canada's leading tween network, has added eight new series to its lineup starting on August 23, 2004 including animated shows DISNEY'S DAVE THE BARBARIAN, FRANNY'S FEET and THE SECRET WORLD OF BENJAMIN BEAR.
DISNEY'S DAVE THE BARBARIAN premieres Aug. 23, 2004 and will air at 4:15 pm Monday through Friday. The series follows Dave the Barbarian's comedic adventures with his offbeat family, including his primping older sister Candy and his fierce younger sister Fang.
Dargaud Distribution, the sales arm of leading French producer Dargaud Marina, has signed a raft of sales for CHILDHOOD STORIES, eight animated television specials based upon popular childrens books. Broadcasters on board include Italys RAI 3, Teletoon in France, Spains TV3 and NRK Norway for this unique collection of films while Dargaud Distrib. is targeting further international sales at MIPCOM.
Studio B has landed a stellar deal to develop and deliver 52 11-minute episodes of MY PET ROBOT in conjunction with TV Ontario for broadcast in fall 2005.
Targeted for kids 5-8, MY PET ROBOT follows the comic adventures of two seemingly mismatched buddies: Casey, a cautious boy and Weeble, a wildly inventive robot who reacts first, and asks questions later. The series was created and developed by Studio B and the characters were designed by James Farr.
Spike TV will bring back REN & STIMPY ADULT PARTY CARTOON on Aug. 20, 2004, but fans will have to wait for later in the year to catch new episodes. No date has been set for the second season of John Kricfalusis demented masterpiece. Fans who cant wait to catch glimpses of the new season should check out renandstimpy.thetma.com/.
Comic book entertainment company Platinum Studios will team up with First Family to produce the Platinum Studios graphic novels MEET THE HAUNTEDS and SPACED for half-hour television series and direct-to-DVD premiere movies.
First Family head Dean Valentine, the former president of UPN and of Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television and Walt Disney TV Animation (the only Disney exec to ever supervise all three divisions), will exec produce both projects along with Platinum chairman Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and First Family exec Scott Imergut.
Top Cow has licensed the TV rights to comic WITCHBLADE to Japanese studio Gonzo Digimation (BURST ANGEL). The 26-episode series will not chronicle American hero Sara Pezzini, who gains superhuman powers from the mythical witchblade, but instead will star a Japanese policewoman who finds the ancient weapon. The Japanese series will be geared for more of an adult audience than it has been in the States.
THE NINE DOG CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, produced by Earthworks Entertainment, will have its Christmas 2004 premiere on the Disney Channels in Germany, Italy and in all of Asia, with further international TV deals expected shortly and a deal for the U.S. market is in the works.
NINE DOG CHRISTMAS stars nine extraordinary stray dogs who overcome tremendous odds to help Santa bring the spirit of Christmas to children all over the world when the reindeer flu threatens to ground Santa's sleigh. James Earl Jones narrates the family musical adventure story.