Keep an eye open for Abbey Home Media Groups new animated series, WIDE EYE, set to debut on CBeebies and CBeebies on BBC in fall 2003. Co-produced with the BBC and animated by King Rollo Films, this enchanting 26x10 2D animated series is based on the stories in the WIDE EYE early learning program, which has been sold in 30+ countries.
Toronto-based March Entertainment will launch its new animated television series CHILLY BEACH September 3, 2003 at 5:30 pm, immediately following THE SIMPSONS on CBC-TV in Canada. Produced in Flash in association with the CBC, CHILLY BEACH represents the first time a Canadian property created as Internet Webisodes has been picked up by the network.
Super RTL in Germany finalized a package deal with Nickelodeon for more than 300 half-hours of animated programming, the biggest deal the broadcaster has made in recent years.
The six-year deal includes new episodes of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, JIMMY NEUTRON, HEY ARNOLD! and more series to be produced. This agreement guarantees us the basic supply of high quality animation, said Susanne Schosser, program director of Super RTL. Nickelodeon is one of the more renowned addresses and revitalizes our programming a great deal.
So! Animation has finished promotional design, CG animation and intro/bumper composites for the History Channel's RUSSIA LAND OF THE TSARS. The Russian history lesson had the highest ratings for any History Channel program when it debuted earlier this summer. Creative director Lauri Salladay served as compositor on the project with George Schermer and Rob Cazin handling 3D modeling.
Super-Fi has wrapped opening animation and other elements for VH1 Classics IN CONCERT. The show presents classic concerts and new concerts by classic artists. The first installment, "Peter Frampton Live in Detroit, will premiere Sunday, August 24 at 9:00 pm. To capture the styles of the 1960s, '70s and '80s in one opening, Super-Fi shot a live-action band then re-created the characters in 3D. From this base, Super-Fi applied new costumes and other key style elements to the band to move from era to era.
Nickelodeon has begun stripping THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, starting August 4, 2003, Monday-Friday at 8:00 pm, moving its number one show, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS to 7:30 pm, it was reported by DAILY VARIETY and confirmed by a Nick spokesperson.
FAIRLY ODDPARENTS has been airing only on Friday night and Saturday ayem, falling in behind SPONGEBOB in the No. 2 position all year. Industry observers suggest the move out of the anchor slot of the weekday sked could finally push the adult-favored SPONGEBOB out of first place. The move also shifts RUGRATS to the 7:00 pm slot.
MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ROBOT, a spin-off of the hit show OH YEAH! CARTOONS, premiered at 8:30 pm on August 1, 2003 on Nickelodeon. The series centers on a six-foot robot XJ-9 named Jenny (voiced by Jancie Kawaye) who is programmed to save the world with her incredible super powers and is really a sensitive teenager on the inside.
Now that legal battles over Viacoms rights to call its TNN Network Spike TV, the channel targeted for men will re-launch on August 11, 2003 at 9:00 am. Movie director Spike Lee settled his legal debate July 7 with Viacom Inc. Lee filed the suit June 2, alleging that Viacom was exploiting his name to draw viewers to this male-oriented cable network. The entertainment giant argued that Spike was a common name and that no connection had been made to the director. Viacom was prevented from renaming the channel just four days before its scheduled relaunch on June 16.
KING OF THE HILL has shown it is one of the top cats of primetime animation, receiving an early pickup from Fox Broadcasting Co. for a ninth season, guaranteeing the Texas toon a run through May 2005. The series, which airs Sundays in the U.S. at 7:30 pm on FOX, is in production on the 2003-2004 season, which premieres later this fall.
Cartoon Networks premiere telecast of TEEN TITANS on Saturday, July 19, 2003 at 9:00 pm earned the cable network record ratings. The program stands as the most-watched Cartoon Network premiere ever with boys 6-11. Additionally, the Sunday replay at 10:00 pm ranked as the most-watched program in its timeslot on ad-supported basic cable with kids 6-11, kids 2-11, boys 6-11 and boys 2-11.
TEEN TITANS, a series based on the popular DC Comics comic book characters, moved up on the Cartoon Network schedule to premiere July 19, 2003 at 9:00 pm. It seems appropriate for this new generation of superheroes to hit the airwaves as comic fans in the thousands are attending the world's largest comic book convention, the Comic-Con 2003 in San Diego through the weekend.
As a way of promoting the release of SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER on July 25, 2003, Discovery Kids on NBC will be airing a special kids edition of the TLC TV series TRADING SPACES, featuring SPY KIDS stars Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. Hitting the airwaves Saturday, July 19 from 11:00-11:30 am (ET)/9:00 -9:30 AM (PT), BOYS VS. GIRLS has Alexa joining 13-year-old Kali as she turns her brothers room into a spy-training obstacle course, featuring monkey bars, tire steps and a climbing wall. Daryl will team with Eli to change Kalis bedroom into a retro soda shop.
Playboys Alta Loma Entertainment and POW! Entertainment have announced a joint venture to develop an animated TV series, entitled HEFS SUPERBUNNIES. The show will star PLAYBOY magazines founder and editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner as the leader of a global crime-fighting organization made up of Playmates of the Month, who fight against the enemies of democracy.
AMC has committed to its first original animated series, THE WRONG COAST, which lampoons the world of celebrity entertainment news shows. Set to debut December 3, 2003 at 10:00 pm on the cablenet, the show promises to make the surreal world of celebrity news even more absurd with stop-motion animation by Toronto-based Cuppa Coffee (www.cuppascoffee.com) and edgy comedy writers, including head writer Glenn Eichler of BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD and DARIA, as well as A.D. Miles of GIRL GO BOOM.
Kids WB! has announced that the third season of X-MEN: EVOLUTION will debut on Saturday, August 2, 2003, at 10:30 am. The first new episode, entitled X23, follows Wolverine as he discovers that his DNA has been used to create a new Weapon X. Leading up to the new episode, Kids WB! will air a week full of must see episodes from the shows first two seasons, starting July 28, 2003 at 3:00 pm. The series is produced by Marvel Studios with Film Roman handling the animation.
Producer/writer Mel Brooks will provide the voice of Wiley the Sheep, who joins a flock of Irish barnyard characters in a new 3D animated series, JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS. Produced by Mike Young Productions for Entara, it will be part of the PBS KIDS weekend line-up beginning Sunday, September 7, 2003. PBS affiliate WLIW in New York serves as the presenting station.
Oscar-nominated director Martin Scorsese (GOODFELLAS), along with producer Barbara DeFina (CASINO), has inked a deal with SCI FI Channel to exec produce the six-hour miniseries entitled THE TWELVE. Scorseses first venture into long-form TV will be produced under Cappa/De Fina Prods, in conjunction with Adrian Bate and Zenith Entertainment Ltd. The series is based on an idea by David Pirie (MURDER ROOMS), who originally pitched it to the BBC as an hour-long series.
Nickelodeons hit animated comedy series, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, gets its own world premiere, 90-minute telemovie, ABRA-CATASTROPHE, airing July 12, 2003 at 8:00 pm. The movie repeats on Nickelodeon July 13 at 4:00 pm.
MTV's newest animated series, SPIDER-MAN premiered on Friday, July 11, 2003 at 10:00 pm, produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with Adelaide Prods. Mainframe Entertainment engineered and executed for Sony a new 3D production method to give the characters a somewhat flattened 2D look with three-dimensional dynamics of a film.
Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation have bought the rights to the series pilot of SICKCOM from comic book artist Robert Steven Rhine (MY BRAIN ESCAPES ME, CHICKEN SOUP FOR SATAN) and his partner, animator Frank Forte (LI'L PIMP movie, THE VAMPIRE VERSES, THE CLETUS AND FLOYD SHOW).
POW! Entertainment and DIC Entertainment have signed a joint venture development deal for a slate of original properties aimed at the kids TV market. DIC will work directly with Stan Lee and POW! to develop and produce the new animated television series. DIC will retain the rights to distribute the programs globally. First in line will be STAN LEES THE SECRET OF THE SUPER SIX -- a superhero-based animated series with a humanitarian spin that will feature Lee as a main character.
Alan Brady, the caustic TV host portrayed by Carl Reiner on THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW back in the '60s, returns in a new computer-animated special on TV Land, airing Aug. 17 (10:00-10:30 pm). THE ALAN BRADY SHOW marks TV Land's first original animated special in the network's seven-year history. Reiner, who reprises his character in voice over, also wrote the special and serves as exec producer along with George Shapiro and Howard West of Shapiro/West Prods. The special was developed internally for TV Land by Sal Maniaci, vp of development and production for TV Land and Nick at Nite.
Brett Merhar's cult comic strip FREE FOR ALL premieres as a new, very adult animated series on the Showtime Network, at 11:00 pm on July 11, 2003. Produced by Showtime Networks, in association with the primetime animation expert Film Roman, the series of seven episodes follows Johnny and Clay, the strip's cynical, dysfunctional bestfriends, struggling with out-of-the-ordinary daily woes with Clay's sidekick, Angus, a ferret strung out on drugs.
The CNX daytime anime programming block, Toonami, has become so popular in Europe that the third kid's animation channel from the Cartoon Network stable will be rebranding under that name in September 2003.
The Toonami concept began as a programming block on Cartoon Network and was then expanded into the daytime hours on CNX. Shows like DRAGONBALL Z and X-MEN: EVOLUTION have consistently been amongst the highest rated cartoons with boys 10 to 15, the target audience for the new channel.
Movie icon Robert Evans will star in and exec produce an eight-episode animated series, KID NOTORIOUS, premiering on Comedy Central October 22, 2003 at 10:30 pm. The adult series features the real-life and fictional adventures of Evans as he charms Hollywood, battles global corruption and, of course, always gets the ladies.