Cartoon Network has acquired 50 episodes of TOTALLY SPIES, which started airing July 7, 2003 at 4:30 pm. The series, from French producer Marathon, first aired in the U.S. on Fox Family Channel in 2001. It features three teenage girls who are super agents in sort of an animated CHARLIE'S ANGELS with a distinctive visual style influenced by everything from JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS to anime.
TBS has picked up reruns of FUTURAMA and THE FAMILY GUY. Starting Monday, July 7, 2003, the two shows will air weekdays at 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm, respectively. This move continues the crossover between Cartoon Network and its fellow AOL Turner channels, as well as TBSs pursuit of the young adult audience.
The Oscar-winning creators of the acclaimed animated TV series BOB AND MARGARET, Alison Snowden and David Fine, are set to produce their latest primetime animation series, SIMON SIMPLE, with Vancouver's award-winning Studio B Productions. The 26x22 series is in development for Canadian broadcaster TELETOON.
The series premiere and first two episodes of DEAD LIKE ME, the new Showtime/MGM Television Entertainment series, will be combined in a mini-marathon on the cable network, July 12, 2003, beginning at 9:00 pm. Laced with gallows humor about life, death and what happens next, the hour series airs Fridays at 10:00 pm. Bob Habros is the visual effects supervisor for Showtime, with Rainmaker Digital serving as the main VFX house. DEAD LIKE ME stars Ellen Muth (THE TRUTH ABOUT JANE), Callum Blue (DEVIL'S GATE), Rebecca Gayheart (SCREAM 2), Laura Harris (24), Jasmine Guy (A DIFFERENT WORLD), Cynthia Stevenson (HOPE & GLORIA) and Mandy Patinkin (CHICAGO HOPE). Exec producers include John Masius (PROVIDENCE) and Bryan Fuller (STAR TREK: VOYAGER).
Montreal-based CinéGroupe Distribution, a division of CinéGroupe, has signed with HOLA Entertainment to sell its shows in Latin America and the Caribbean. Marie-Christine Dufour, evp of distribution, licensing and marketing for CinéGroupe said HOLA president Mercedes Alvarez "offers an unbeatable combination. She has extensive experience in television sales in Latin America, and, she is based in Montreal. She will be able to build on the relations CinéGroupe has acquired over the years, and solidify our position in this growing market." CinéGroupe (www.cinegroupe.com) is the animation partner of Lions Gate Entertainment.
Some of the shows Alvarez will handle include THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT, (CinéGroupe/Sesame Workshop) and PIG CITY (CinéGroupe /AnimaKids). CinéGroupe has more than 800 half-hours of animation and live-action family programming. CinéGroupe is producing TRIPPING THE RIFT, a 3D animation series with Film Roman for primetime on the Sci Fi Channel (U.S.) and Space (Canada) plus P3K: PINOCCHIO 3000, a 3D animated feature with Animakids and Castelao.
Comedy Central plans to celebrate America's birthday on July 4, 2003 with a 1:00 am broadcast of SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT, uncensored by the cablenet with encore presentations July 5 and 6 at 1:00 am. The feature film based upon the hit series by Trey Parker and Matt Stone grossed more than $52 million in the U.S. and won both New York and L.A. Film Critics awards. It also received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, "Blame Canada."
Cyborg 009 will join Cartoon Network's "Toonami" line-up on Monday, June 30, 2003, airing weekdays at 6:00 pm. Combining elements of JAMES BOND movies and ASTRO BOY, CYBORG 009 follows the adventures of a world-class sprinter who, after being seriously injured, is kidnapped by the Black Ghost, a villain plotting to take over the world. The athlete is rescued by a kind-hearted professor, who turns him into the ninth series of cyborg warriors that were originally designed as "super soldiers" to help carry out the plot to conquer the world, but are now dedicated to stopping them.
For the past three weeks, members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have been coming home to mysterious packages set upon their doorsteps as networks, TV producers and their public relations firms vie to get their vote for the Primetime Emmy Awards. Some of the gimmicks are so arresting that AWN decided to look into who is responsible for these bizarre campaigns and what is involved. The votes to nominate productions, talent and craft people were due June 20, 2003, so a bit of disclosure should not sway results.
Vancouver-based Bardel Entertainment seems to be doing exceptionally well with holiday programming. Bardel's big Leo Award-winning production, THE CHRISTMAS ORANGE, has recently been sold to SVT Sweden and is in final negotiations with TV2 Denmark and CBBC London. This family holiday classic has aired on ABC Family in the U.S., TELETOON in Canada, TV12 in Singapore, Asia TV in Hong Kong and Teletoon in France, charming audiences with its thoughtful message and unique 2D and Flash-animatied style.
Bravo! NewStyleArtsChannel got animated with the world premiere of the new sitcom HEY JOEL on June 3, 2003 at 10:30 pm. Produced by Blueprint Entertainment and Curious Pictures in association with CHUM Television, this half-hour, 13-part adult-themed cartoon series depicts the adventures of Joel Stein, the host of a daily three-minute rock star interview show on the music channel VH1, and offers an irreverent behind-the-scenes look at the recording industry.
THE ORLANDO JONES SHOW debuted June 16, 2003 at 11:00 pm on the FX cable network, featuring the popular former 7-Up TV spokesman and writer for MAD-TV, promising to offer an alternative to late night talk shows. This alternative show's slogan is "No white guy, no desk, no band." It does feature sketches, fake commercials and animated shorts in sort of a one-man MAD-TV or SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE meets DENNIS MILLER LIVE. Half-hour episodes will air Monday through Thursday with a rerun on Fridays.
Spike Lee has temporarily prevented Viacom from relaunching its TNN channel as Spike TV in a branding campaign that was supposed to roll out June 16, 2003. The New York Supreme Court in Manhattan granted the filmmaker a preliminary injunction to stop the name change. Lee and his lawyer, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., argued that the network is trying to capitalize on his celebrity status and that he does not wish to be associated with male-oriented programming, which includes the upcoming adult animated series STRIPPERELLA and GARY THE RAT. Viacom is seeking an immediate stay of the injunction.
Will fathers want to watch hours of cartoons or are Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon scheduling Father's Day programming marathons to keep the kids busy while dad relaxes in his easy chair? Nick plans to give dads their due on June 15, 2003 from 2-6:00 pm with a new special show of THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS titled "Make Room for Daddy-O." Jimmy invents a device that alters Hugh's personality, making him the coolest dad in Retroville.
Disney's new branded service, Disney Channel on Demand, will be offered to Cablevision's 400,000 digital TV subscribers across the nation for an additional $4.95 per month. As part of a pact with ABC Cable Networks Group, this video-on-demand package consists of original series programming for preschoolers from Playhouse Disney and original movies and series for older kids.
THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY returns June 13, 2003 to Cartoon Network, as a full-fledged 30-minute series at 7:00 pm and replays at 10:00 pm. The toon net obviously isn't afraid of American superstitions about Friday the 13th, considered a bad luck day by many in the U.S. Then again, this macabre yet hilarious tale had good luck when it won The Big Pick in August 2000. The toon, created by Maxwell Atoms, beat out a number of different pilots to be selected by the viewers to become a 13-episode series, launched in October 2001.
Does an animated star like Johnny Bravo flub a line? What happens when an anvil does not fall the right way? Cartoon Network digs through the archives of animated outtakes for a one-hour special that delivers some goofy goof-ups during CARTOON NETWORK BLOOPERS AND OTHER EMBARRASSING MOMENTS, airing Friday, June 6, 2003 at 7:00 pm (ET/PT). We're not talking bad paint jobs and characters floating off their baseline, but hilarious mess-ups like live-action pros do. Tom Kinney, the animated voice of SpongeBob SquarePants and The Mayor in THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, hosts the special. Included will be the funniest blown lines, a cavalcade of mishaps starring Wile E. Coyote and shots to the groin. Among the stars contributing outtakes are Ed, Edd and Eddy, The Flintstones, Samurai Jack, Foghorn Leghorn and The Jetsons. For more on Cartoon Networking programming go to CartoonNetwork.com (AOL Keyword: Cartoon Network).
Despite increasingly vocal opposition, the FCC approved changes in media ownership regulations on June 2, 2003 that are expected to lead to a new series of mergers as media companies seek to expand and enter into new combinations in local markets across the U.S. Changes the FCC made included raising the percentage of the nation's TV households one company can reach from 35% to 45%. It lifted a 28-year band on allowing newspaper and broadcast combinations in larger markets and is also allowing one company to own more radio stations locally. The vote split along party lines 3-2, with three Republication commissioners voting for the change and two Democrats objecting. The FCC did not touch the ban on mergers among the four major TV networks, but they do stand the most to gain from the vote. The FCC received more than 750,000 pieces of mail -- the most related to any one issue in the history of the FCC. Many critics claim that further consolidation will drown out minority viewpoints and destroy competition. Some say it will lead to more unemployment in the entertainment industry.
The Ink Tank has wrapped on a new stylized documentary for PBS entitled FASHIONATION. The 30-minute program takes a tour of the high fashion world using animation, archival material, runway footage and original interviews with curators and designers Karl Lagerfeld, Sonia Rykiel and Christian Lacroix.
Nickelodeon's CHALKZONE enters a second season May 30, 2003 (8:00 pm ET/PT), rejoining the channel's Friday primetime lineup, and moves from Saturdays into a regular Friday, 9:30 pm timeslot beginning June 6.
The Comedy Central test of showing via a series of interstitial spots pulled from the HOUSE ARREST pilot worked as the cablenet has given the show a greenlight for 13 half-hours to premiere in 2004. The new animated show, from comic Denis Leary and Jim Serpico's Apostle studio, started airing as spots at 9:58 pm on May 1, 2003.
Dick Clark Productions is setting up a children's division, Dick Clark Kids, which already has an animated/live-action preschool series, THE CANBEES, scheduled for home video markets in 2004, according to VARIETY. Dick Clark's daughter, Cindy, and marketing exec Kelly Sole Holscher will acquire and develop projects for the kids arm located in Burbank, California. Holscher will also oversee marketing and distribution opportunities for Dick Clark Kids. The pair reports to Jules Haimovitz, vice chairman of DCP and coo Fran LaMaina.
Italy will double its cartoon TV fun when boomerang launches on July 1, 2003 on sky italia. building on the success of its parent channel, cartoon network Italy, Boomerang will join the new sky italia line-up with a schedule of classics including TOM AND JERRY, YOGI BEAR, THE FLINTSTONES, POPEYE and THE PINK PANTHER.
Web short turned TV series TRIPPING THE RIFT has announced the Hollywood talent who have signed on to lend their voice to SCI FI Channel's first original animated TV series. Gina Gershon (BOUND), Stephen Root (NEWS RADIO) and "Stuttering" John Melendez (THE HOWARD STERN SHOW) head the ensemble cast. The half-hour 3D show is being produced by CinéGroupe, in association with Film Roman. The show is set to debut in January 2004.
4Kids Entertainment, who handles the Saturday broadcast programming for Fox, has announced their FOX BOX line-up for the 2003-04 season. New to the schedule is 4Kids' first original animated series, CUBIX, as well as SONIC X, SHAMAN KING and FUNKY COPS. Returning to the Saturday morning block will be TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, KIRBY: RIGHT BACK AT YA!, THE CRAMP TWINS and ULTIMATE MUSCLE: THE KINNIKUMAN LEGACY.
Cartoon Network hopes to make Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S. memorable for Powerpuff Girl fans with the television debut of THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE, the first feature film based on the series. Townsville's being overrun by bad people so Professor Utonium heads to his lab and invents three perfect little girls with incredible powers. But Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup have a lot to learn about being superheroes. Cartoon Network will run THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE at 8:00 pm (ET/PT) each night for four consecutive evenings, Friday, May 23-Monday, May 26, 2003.