Buena Vista International Television kicked off the start of the L.A. screenings for some 1,000 TV buyers from around the world in high-spirited style, unveiling six new and seven returning primetime series, with most of the cast and key creatives from each show on stage of the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood May 23, 2004, followed by a party across the street at The Annex, which featured a live performance by rocker Cyndi Lauper.
The FOX Broadcasting Co. continues its tradition of excellence in primetime animation with AMERICAN DAD, a new series from FAMILY GUY creator Seth MacFarlane. The much-anticipated return of FAMILY GUY is projected for summer 2005, when the acclaimed animated series will follow its DVD success with a fourth season on FOX. FOX also re-upped animated family sitcoms THE SIMPSONS (for a 16th season) nd KING OF THE HILL (going into season nine), making the network tops in its commitment to animation in primetime among public access, non-cable broadcasters in the U.S.
Maybe proving the fact that you can't just form a franchise out of thin air, NBC has decided it will now pass on the VAN HELSING TV series TRANSYLVANIA, which it previously signed on to air, reports VARIETY. The original deal, which was struck nine months ago, was the first in-house synergistic move between the two would-be corporate sisters, NBC and Universal Network Television.
CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR returns May 21, 2004 for its third season on Cartoon Network with new episodes to air at 7:00 pm with an encore at 10:00 pm on Fridays. The Kids Next Door will face some truly fearsome challenges, like the Homework Bandits, the power-mad Headmistress Margaret and their archenemies, the Delightful Children from Down the Lane.
Look up on NBC and the Internet, its a bird, its a plane no its comedian Jerry Seinfeld and an animated Superman. Seinfeld and Superman return to the Internet May 20, 2004 with a second "webisode" for American Express while the first animated campaign airs tonight at 8:54to 9:00 pm on the NBC network before the encore performance of the FRIENDS finale. The first webisode, A UNIFORM USED TO MEAN SOMETHING, set in New York City, debuted on the American Express Website March 29 and drew enough attention to get a timeslot on TV in primetime.
Just when it had seemed that STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE was doomed, the STAR TREK prequel (with vfx by Eden FX, among others) was apparently saved following a massive fan campaign organized by the Internet site SaveEnterprise.com. When UPN made its upfront presentation on Thursday, it noted that ENTERPRISE would be renewed for a fourth season, switching to the network's low-rated Friday movie slot at 9:00 pm.
DREW CAREYS GREEN SCREEN SHOW, a live-action/animated improv comedy, got the greenlight along with five other new primetime TV series to air in fall 2004 on The WB, it was announced May 18 at the nets upfront presentation to advertisers in New York City. WB ceo Jordan Levin, and chairman, Garth Ancier, unveiled their 2004-2005 primetime schedule in front of 4,000 advertisers, affiliates and national media.
DreamWorks Father of the Pride, didnt end up with the FRIENDS timeslot on NBC that co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg campaigned for, but it has been assigned the coveted FRASIER timeslot, 9:00 pm, Tuesdays, starting sometime in late August 2004. The CGI animated series, featuring the voices of John Goodman, Cheryl Hines, Carl Reiner and Orlando Jones, centers on a family of talking lions who perform in Siegfried & Roy's Las Vegas magic act.
Animation sketch comedies are making the airwaves lately, and one of the earlier ones, ILL-USTRATED, returns from a second season on VH1 at 11:30 pm (ET/PT, 10:30 pm central) beginning May 17, 2004, as a five-day strip. The half-hour show will then air regularly on Fridays at 10:00 pm, beginning May 28.
Cartoon Network is in development on a potential series with OutKast's Andre 3000, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The project will start out as an Adult Swim special, which will go to a series if successful.
Mike Lazzo, svp of Cartoon's "Adult Swim" program block, who at first was reluctant about working with the star, said, "I'm extremely wary of it, but in Andre's case, I think he is a creative genius. He has definite opinions of what he likes visually."
Nickelodeon will air the first five minutes of SHREK 2 on May 18, 2004 at 7:00 pm, the night before the DreamWorks film opens in theaters nationwide.
"Giving kids the opportunity to see something top secret reinforces Nickelodeon's relevance to kids," said Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami. "It's very exciting to offer kids an exclusive insider's look at one of the biggest pop culture events of the year."
Nickelodeon combines two of its most popular cartoon series for an hour-long special, THE JIMMY/TIMMY POWER HOUR. In it, the 2D FAIRLY ODDPARENTS' star Timmy Turner goes 3D in Retroville, the world of THE ADVENTUES OF JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS while its 3D star, Jimmy Neutron, takes a 2D turn in ODDPARENTS Dimmsdale. The show premiered May 7, 2004 at 8:00 pm with encore presentations May 8 at 7:00 pm and May 9 at 5:00 pm.
THE JIMMY/TIMMY POWER HOUR will be released on DVD May 11.
SPE Networks Asia will launch the highly successful anime channel, Animax, in India on July 5, 2004, on the heels of a successful Animax Asia rollout three months ago. Animax South Asia will be the first and only 24-hour-a-day network in India dedicated to popular animation from Japan.
Customized for India and dubbed in Hindi and English, Animax will target Indias youth and young adults with animation programming. The One Alliance will distribute Animax across India, and SET India will represent Animax in advertising sales.
Cartoon Network's is offering a homespun new comedic action/adventure cartoon, MEGAS XLR, featuring reptilian aliens from the future bearing down on New Jersey, seeking to destroy an 80-foot robot thats been reconditioned by 20-something gearhead raised on videogames. Its an original concept from creators George Krstic and Jody Schaeffer., which premiered May 1, 2004 at 9:00 pm with 25 episodes to follow Saturday nights on Cartoon Network.
Anime Network, the first cable channel in North America dedicated to anime, is expanding from a Video-On-Demand service to a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week network with multisystem cable operator Insight Communications, which expects to roll out the Anime Network on its digital tier in several markets.
Ending a month long work stoppage, the voice cast of THE SIMPSONS and 20th Century Fox Television have reached an agreement, reported VARIETY. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
"We couldn't be happier to have reached a multiyear deal with the enormously talented cast of THE SIMPSONS," series producer 20th Century Fox Television said Friday in a statement.
Cartoon Network will deliver 22 animated features during its May Movie Month. Each night in May, Cartoon Network will showcase animated movies in primetime, including cartoon classics as well as premieres of SCOOBY-DOO AND THE MONSTER OF MEXICO, THE KING AND I, BATMAN: MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN, THE SCARECROW and UNDER THE BLACK FLAG.
The schedule for Cartoon Network's May Movie Month is as follows:
May 1: 7:30 pm - SAMURAI JACK: THE LEGEND BEGINS
Kids' WB! Call this month MegaMay with the return of the futuristic-adventure series MEGAMAN NT WARRIOR to its Saturday morning lineup as of May 1, 2004 (10:30 am ET/9:30 am PT), teaming up with anime smash-hits POKÉMON: ADVANCED and YU-GI-OH!: ENTER THE SHADOW REALM. The second season of the cyber-saga has 26 energetically charged original episodes from ShoPro Ent. In conjunction with its Saturday morning premiere, the series also will highlight Kids' WB!'s weekday lineup with original episodes from May 3 through Friday May 7 at 3:30 pm.
EM.TV AG has signed a comprehensive pay-TV deal with Frontage Satellite TV, the Nigerian satellite distributor, to broadcast an English-language children's channel under the Junior brand on cable and satellite.
On May 2, 2004 at 10:00 pm, Sci Fi Channel delves deep into the legend of vampire hunter Van Helsing in the one-hour original special VAN HELSING: THE MAN AND THE MONSTERS. In addition to a behind-the-scenes look at Universal's upcoming feature VAN HELSING, the special will also explore the myths that surround vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein that inspired the story. VAN HELSING: THE MAN AND THE MONSTERS also features an exclusive interview with the film's star Hugh Jackman and a first look at one of the movie's scenes.
Comedy Central hopes its new animated series, SHORTIES WATCHIN' SHORTIES, will take stand-up comedy to a new, more visually striking place when the show premieres at 10:30 pm on April 28, 2004. Comedians Nick DiPaolo and Patrice Oneal provide the voices of two comically foul-mouthed, under-supervised infants whose primary babysitter is the television set.
Cartoon Networks Boomerang will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its U.S. television debut of BATTLE OF THE PLANETS with an all-day special edition of Boomeraction, the networks weekly showcase for animated action-adventure programming. The 24-hour salute starting at 8:00 am April 25, 2004 will showcase newly remastered versions of the landmark series first 16 episodes of the epic interplanetary struggle that inspires five young orphans to join forces to help save the Earth and other planets from malicious invasion.
To celebrate the Best of COMEDY CENTRAL Week/Weekend (April 19-25, 2004) the cablenet kicks off the week with GOIN' DOWN TO SOUTH PARK, a special all-access look at the making of the SOUTH PARK series. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone host this special behind-the-scenes peek at the production of the hit series, which features comments from some of the characters voices, including that of Isaac Hayes. GOIN' DOWN TO SOUTH PARK premieres at 9:00 pm on April 19.
Matt Groening, creator of THE SIMPSONS, at last gives voice to an animated version of himself on the "My Big Fat Greek Wedding SIMPSONS episode airing April 18 at 8:00 pm on FOX. Groening has often shown up as an image, but this is his first speaking role.
In the episode, Principal Skinner gets cold feet before his pending nuptials so his fiancée, Edna Krabappel, calls off the wedding. Skinner asks Homer for help while Marge tells Edna to keep looking.
The King of the Hill co-exec producer Garland Testa has inked an exclusive two-year overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV, it was reported by VARIETY and confirmed by Fox TV. Testa will continue with the animated sitcom, as well as eventually create, develop and produce new projects for the studio under a large seven-figure deal.
Serving HILL for the past three seasons, her episodes include the Annie-nominated "Aisle 8A" and "Chasing Bobby.