ARTOONIC, a new Italian 3D series pilot about an inept polar bear's attempts to catch a baby seal in the glaciers, will participate in Cartoon Forum 2003 (Sept. 17-21 in Verese, Italy). The 13x5 series, an Inarc Progetti srl production that's created and directed by Daniele Bigi (creator of the short NMA and a collaborator on ROBOTA) and produced by Alfio Balsamo and Gaby Kiss-Maerth, will utilize traditional cartoon techniques and without any dialogue. Animation and rendering are being done in Maya and modeling is being performed in LightWave 3D.
Silver Lining Prods. and Mainframe Entertainment are co-producing a new animated adventure series (26x22) for preschoolers, SMALL AND FRIENDS, based on the best-selling childrens book series featuring MR. BEAR by Scottish author/illustrator Debi Gliori.
Channel 4s plans to lead the way in the U.K. to create world-beating animated shorts and specials with its three-year funding commitment to animation commissioning. A total investment of £1.6 million will be injected into the channels three animation schemes Mesh, Air and Animate!
"No other television broadcaster has invested so much in developing the raw talent of the U.K.s animators and we look forward to seeing more fresh and innovative specials over the next three years," said Tim Gardam, Channel 4 director of television.
Kids' WB! kicks-off its new fall schedule with the early launch of the second season of the comedy-adventure OZZY & DRIX, premiering Saturday, August 23, 2003 (9:30 am ET/8:30 am PT). Based on the animated characters from the feature film OSMOSIS JONES, OZZY & DRIX is an animated inner-body buddy-cop comedy following the comedic adventures of white blood cell cop Ozzy and his partner, over-the-counter cold pill Drix, as they defend the City of Hector, which is the body of a 13-year-old boy. Ozzy and Drix investigate and combat colds, diseases and injuries from the real inside.
Daffy Duck takes off for new space adventures as Duck Dodgers in the 24.5 century, a new series Cartoon Network premiered August 23, 2003 at 11:30 am. The hapless duck was accidentally frozen in the 21st century and thawed out 351 years later. The inept but fast-talking duck (voiced by Joe Alaskey) is given command of a ship, assisted by an Eager Young Space Cadet, played by Porky Pig (Joe Bergen), to help Earths Galactic Protectorate stand up to attacks by aliens such as Martian Commander X-2, played by Marvin the Martian (also voiced by Alaskey).
Hey, if you dont sue a major media mogul for using your name or part of your name for their new channel you just may get a good deal out of it. At least thats the case for SPIKE AND MIKES SICK AND TWISTED FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION (www.spikeandmike.com), which now will showcase the best of the festivals fare in six, half-hour episodes on Viacoms Spike TV (which had to delay the launch of the re-named channel in the legal name battle with director Spike Lee that was ultimately settled).
Kids' WB! kicks off its Saturday morning schedule on September 13, 2003 and its weekday lineup on September 15, with and unprecedented slate of returning to the 2003-2004 season. The network will also launch the "Kids WB! BIG, Really, Really BIG Sweepstakes," offering kids the chance to win one of hundreds of prizes.
ABC Television recently turned to emerging media and post studio Digital Bucket to create an innovative DVD promoting the network's new fall season. An entertaining and effective promo give-away, the DVD will inform viewers about the new programs, movies, returning ABC favorites and the TGIF franchise.
Boston-based Viewpoint Studios produced the theatrical, television and radio advertising campaigns for Discovery Channels newest special presentation, NEFERTITI RESURRECTED, which premieres August 17, 2003 at 8:00 pm, with rebroadcasts Aug. 18 at 12:00 and 3:00 am plus Aug. 24 at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
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, 2003 (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.
Move over 4Kids FOX BOX and Discovery Kids, DIC Entertainment is in the business of providing a three-hour programming block for kids designed to help stations meet their FCC core programming requirements.
As kids are getting ready to face going back to school, they perhaps can find animated comfort and reassurance in the BLUES CLUES primetime special, BLUE TAKES YOU TO SCHOOL, when the kitten, Periwinkle, faces his first daunting day of preschool. The special debuted at 8:00 pm August 11, 2003 on Nick Jr.
Anime Network, the first dedicated anime network in the U.S., plans to acquire more anime programming for its growing digital network at the upcoming MIPCOM market in Cannes, October 10-14, 2003.
With the diversity of programming available at MIPCOM, we expect to discover new sources for content which we can then bring back and introduce to American viewers, said Anime Network president Kevin Corcora. Were also anxious to meet and explore other opportunities for our sister companies, including ADV Films and NewType USA.
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.
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.
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.