Nickelodeon will preview SP0NGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, a new animated series, onMay 1 at 9:30 ET/PT in the USA. The cartoon features the adventures ofSpongeBob, a hopelessly optimistic and earnest sea sponge. Creator andexecutive producer Steve Hillenburg (ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE, THE GREEN BERET,WORMHOLES), studied art and marine biology before earning a degree from CalArts in Experimental Animation. Soon you will be able to visit Nick.com formore information about the series.
BBC1 has bought another season of New York-based BKN's POCKET DRAGONADVENTURES. The first season currently airs in the U.K. Monday and Thursdayat 3:45 pm on BBC1, averaging 1.3 million viewers, which represents about a37% share. The series features the mischievous little Pocket Dragons whoseek adventure in a magical world of wizards, knights and gargoyles.
Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered another season (22 episodes) of MattGroening's animated series, Futurama, just four weeks after its premiere.The show debuted on Sunday, March 28 then moved to Tuesday night on April 6where it joined King of the Hill, The PJs, and The Simpsons repeats aspart of Fox's all-animation primetime Tuesday night line-up. Now, all ofthese series have been renewed.
Cinar Corporation and WGBH Boston have announced that Emmy award-winning ARTHUR, PBS' top-rated children's series, will return with 10 new programs and 65 encore broadcasts in its fourth season, premiering October 1999. This daily animated series is based on the award-winning children's books by author Marc Brown, who is also ARTHUR's creative producer. ARTHUR's fourth season begins with, not one, but two musical guest stars: classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman who "appear" as themselves in the season's opener MY MUSIC RULES.
DIC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Disney, has sold two new animated seriesto Pax TV, a new family-oriented network in the US. "Archie's WeirdMysteries" and "Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century" will appear this Fallas part of the weekday "Pax Power Mystery Hour." "Archie's WeirdMysteries," a co-production with M6 France, is based on the long runningArchie comics series. In the series, a lab experiement goes awry, creatingsuch characters as a 50-foot Veronica, and Dr. Jughead and Mr. Hyde.
Big Ticket Television has teamed-up with Will Vinton Studios to produce a new Claymation and dimensional animation series entitled GARY AND MIKE, slated to air on FOX this Fall. The series will be executive produced by creators Fax Bahr and Adam Small, along with Academy Award winning Will Vinton and Tom Turpin (CEO/president of Will Vinton Studios).
The half-hour comedy series HOME MOVIES [AF 12/22/98] premieres Monday,April 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. The show, featuring a "SquiggleVision"technique, is being produced by Tom Snyder Productions, makers of ComedyCentral's DR. KATZ: PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST and ABC's Saturday morningseries, SQUIGGLEVISION. The show centers around a single mom (PaulaPoundstone) raising a precocious tot and an eight-year-old son who aspiresto be the next Steven Spielberg.
Matt Groening's new animated series, "Futurama," was watched by more thannineteen million viewers when it premiered on Sunday, March 28. It was theeleventh most watched TV show in the USA as it received a 11.2 rating and a17 share, better overall ratings than both "The Simpsons" (9.3/15) thatpreceded it, and "The X-Files" (10.1/15) that followed it.
Lacey Entertainment has sold the hit show POKEMON to the following European broadcasters: RTL 2 (Germany), Sky TV (UK) and MediaSet (Italy). Sky TV began broadcasting the show the week of March 29, while RTL 2 and MediaSet will begin airing the series in September. All three networks will air the series as a five-day-a-week strip. In a related announcement, EM TV & Merchandising of Germany has secured POKEMON merchandise and promotion licensing representation in that territory.
Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) new family entertainment division (AF 03/09/99) has announced their first two development deals. The group has acquired worldwide rights to Kevin Eastman's UNDERWHERE, and has signed Eastman to develop an animated children's series based on his popular book. The series follows the adventures of 10-year-old Jacob who travels to UNDERWHERE, a land that exists in the same space as ours but can only be visited by those who possess the gift of imagination.
Cartoon Network U.S. will air an eight-hour marathon program called CARTOON NETWORK'S GREATEST CARTOON COUNTDOWN on March 20 starting at 2:00 p.m. and a two-hour encore presentation on March 21 at 12:00 p.m. The lineup of this program is a little different from the similar program which ran last year, THE 50 GREATEST CARTOONS OF ALL TIME. The selections come predominantly from the network's Time-Warner library of 8,500 titles, as well as from other studios which contributed cartoons exclusively for the marathon.
Encore Media Group's five-year-old Action Channel has established a new late-night Saturday programming block devoted to adult Japanese animation called Anime. Encore has acquired ten Japanese animation titles, and will launch the show with anime distributor A.D. Vision's TEKKEN: THE MOTION PICTURE on April 3. In addition to TEKKEN, five additional titles are from A.D. Vision: BATTLE ANGEL, BLOOD REIGN: CURSE OF YOMA, GSC GUNSMITH CATS, SOL BIANCA and the cult series BLUE SEED.
The fledgling Fox Family Channel has added ten new animated series to its kid and teen-targeted daytime lineup for the 1999-2000 season. The lineup represents a major investment from Fox Family in creating original and entertaining animated programming. Animation World Network spoke to Joel Andryc, Senior Vice President, Programming & Development about this lineup and how they're working to create a unique identity in the already overcrowded world of cable.
Headbone Interactive has signed two deals to deliver animated series to cable outlets Discovery Channel and Fox Family Channel. HUGO TAKES A DETOUR is a series of one-minute interstitials that will start airing on the Discovery Channel in spring '99. Not only is this Headbone's first foray into animated programming for television but it is also the first animated program to air on the Discovery Channel.
The Kids' WB! has announced two new shows for their 1999-2000 fall lineup. The first is ON THE ROPES, a live-action high school wrestling series, from the producing/directing team of Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins (KENAN & KEL, ALL THAT, VARSITY BLUES). The second freshman show, DETENTION, is an animated entry from Warner Bros. Television Animation, a comedy about eight mismatched preteens who regularly end up in afterschool detention.
The highly anticipated DISNEY'S MICKEY MOUSEWORKS will join the ABC Saturday morning children's lineup on May 1, 1999 at 12:00 noon (ET/PT). The new half-hour series features cartoons of varying lengths (12, 7-1/2, 6, and 1-1/2 minutes) featuring Disney's classic stable of stars such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Minnie Mouse.
Cartoon Network is hosting an eight-hour BOY GIRL, BOY GIRL marathon on Sunday, March 7, from 12-8 p.m. The event features alternating 11-minute shorts from two of their newest shows, ED, EDD n EDDY and THE POWERPUFF GIRLS.
The Game Show Network has signed a deal with Interactive Television Entertainment (ITE-USA) to start airing the live, real-time animated action game THROUT AND NECK in the U.S. Using technologies developed by ITE-USA, home viewers are able to control the movement of the animated characters using their telephone keypads to input commands. In the game, Throut and Neck are two unruly beasts who somehow wind up in SheepHeaven, a mind-numbing world of annoyingly cute and adorable sheep. The players at home control their monsters to see which one can defeat the most sheep and return home.
Link Entertainment's PRESTON PIG has been commissioned by Childrens ITV. Twenty-six seven minute episodes of this children's series will be produced by Varga tvc to air in September 2000. The show, based on Colin McNaughton's popular books, follows the countless inept attempts by Mr. Wolf to catch and eat the carefree Preston Pig. "We believe that this series is set to be a classic, following in the grand tradition of such double acts as Tom and Jerry, and Sylvester and Tweety," commented Genevieve Dexter, Head of Sales & Acquisitions, Link Entertainment.
Foxs new animated series, THE PJS, has been picked up for a second season. Twenty-two additional episodes of the Imagine/Touchstone/Will Vinton Studios series will start airing in fall 99. Season-to-date, The PJs is averaging a 6.4 rating and 10 household share, which is a 12% jump from its King of the Hill lead-in and a 45% increase over the timeslot average last season.
In a precedent-setting deal, Chinese national broadcaster CCTV signed anagreement with Warner Bros. Intl. TV to start airing a 15-minute block ofLooney Tunes starting this summer. The program, which will run 7 days aweek, consists of two animated shorts a day. This marks the first timeLooney Tunes will be nationally broadcast as a regularly scheduled programin China; and signals a significant development in bringing U.S. TVprogramming to China, where it is virtually nonexistent on CCTV, thecountry's main broadcaster.
Fox Kids Network is adding seven new animated series (146 new episodes) and nine returning series (121 new episodes) to its fall '99 slate of weekday afternoon and Saturday morning programming.
Major U.S. networks have been bitten by an animation bug and have recently announced a slew of primetime animated series. ABC has worked out a deal with Miramax and Touchstone TV for six episodes of CLERKS, based on director Kevin Smiths 1994 indie film of the same name. Slated for a midseason or fall 2000 launch, the show will be executive-produced by Smith and former SEINFELD supervising producer, Dave Mandel. Like the film, the TV series, only the second ever produced by Miramax, focuses on two young slackers who keep minimum-wage jobs in New Jersey.
Fox Kids will start airing WOODY WOODPECKER on May 8. The series, produced by Universal Cartoon Studios, features new adventures of Woody, Wally Walrus and Chilly Willy. It was originally scheduled to air during the fall '98 season. The show's supervising director and producer is animation veteran Bob Jaques.