Kids' WB! is introducing a Flash animated series to U.S. broadcast television with the premiere of ¡MUCHA LUCHA! on August 17, 2002. The series explores the Latino cultural phenomenon known as "Lucha Libre" and follows Rikochet, Buena Girl and The Flea as they study and live the "Code of Masked Wrestling." ¡MUCHA LUCHA! was created by Eddie Mort and Lili Chin and produced by Warner Bros. Animation under the creative supervision of Alfred Gimeno, Joel Kuwahara and Michael Ryan. The series features the voices of Carlos Alzaraqui, Candi Milo and Kimberly Brooks. "Kids' WB!
Cartoon Network hasrevived yet another Warner Bros. series with the premiere of THEOBLONGS on Sunday, August 4, 2002 at 10:30 pm during Adult Swim,Cartoon Network's twice-weekly block of animation aimed at adults.The Oblongs is a series about a typical close-knit family that justhappens to have various physical abnormalities due to living in closeproximity to a toxic swamp. The series is based on characters thatappear in Angus Oblong's book, CREEPY SUSIE AND THIRTEEN OTHER TRAGIC
Program distribution anddevelopment company CABLEready has inked a deal with Tokyo's SSAProductions for key international TV rights to SLAMMIN' SAMMY, ananimated one-hour biography of Sammy Sosa, the Dominican-born MajorLeague Baseball star. The deal includes all of South and CentralAmerica, the Caribbean (except the Dominican Republic), Asia'sPacific Rim, Europe, Canada and Africa. SLAMMIN' SAMMY -- THE SAMMYSOSA STORY traces Sosa's life from the hardships of his youth as a
QUEER DUCK, the animated series about an openly gay duck and his friends, is going international following a recent agreement between Showtime Networks and The British Broadcasting Company (BBC). The show, which consists of 20 x 3-minute episodes, will air on BBC Choice as a regular part of the weekly magazine program That Gay Show. BBC Choice is a mixed genre channel aimed at a modern young audience whose core is 25 to 34 year olds. The BBC will have all television rights to show QUEER DUCK in the United Kingdom until 2005.
Pop singer George Michael has been courting controversy in the U.S. and across the pond with the animated video for his latest single "Shoot The Dog," which features less-than-flattering caricatures of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Highlighted by the premiere of '60s cult series THUNDERBIRDS, U.S. cable network TechTV recently announced its 2002-2003 line-up, which focuses on a new programming strategy. "In addition to our existing original programming, TechTV has added more entertainment-based technology programming with a new line up of acquisitions and commissions," explained Greg Drebin, senior vice president of programming and production for TechTV.
Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! John Kricfalusi's revolutionary animated series THE REN & STIMPY SHOW is back with six new original episodes. Cable network The New TNN (part of the MTV Networks family) has signed Kricfalusi to produce new original episodes of THE REN & STIMPY SHOW to air as part of TNN's new primetime adult animation block, scheduled to launch in the spring of 2003. The six new episodes will be presented in addition to all 52 episodes of the original series.
Augenblick Studios has signed a deal with Film Roman to produce a series based on the short film DRUNKY. DRUNKY recently screened at Annecy 2002 and the Brooklyn Film and Video Festival. It also took first prize in the 2D animation category at the First Annual DIRECTV - Level13.net Online Animation Festival, which is sponsored by Film Roman. You can see DRUNKY online at www.augenblickstudios.com. More details to come
TAKALINI SESAME, the South African version of the popular children's series SESAME STREET, will be introducing an HIV-positive role model into the Muppet cast. The ASSOCIATED PRESS has reported that, at the urging of the South African government, representatives of the Sesame Workshop have decided an HIV-positive Muppet character will join the series in September 2002. "We want to build hope and address the issues of stereotypes against HIV," said Yvonne Kgame of the South African Broadcasting Corp., which airs the program.
Cartoon Network's newest series, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ROBOT JONES?, premieres Friday, July 19, 2002 at 9:30 pm. In the retro-1980s future where robots have become commonplace, Robot Jones is a spunky young robot trying to cope with life, fit in with humans and survive adolescence and junior high. ROBOT JONES was created by Greg Miller, who has previous worked on DEXTERS LABORATORY and COW AND CHICKEN.
Kids' WB! has committed to airing 39 all-new episodes of theanime-adventure series YU-GI-OH! from U.S. producers 4KidsProductions, Inc. The second season pick-up brings the series' totalcommitment to 65 episodes, airing both on Saturday mornings andweekday afternoons beginning in fall 2002. "YU-GI-OH! is on a roll,most recently delivering Kids' WB!'s highest rating and share in ourtarget demographic of boys 6-11, and we're thrilled to add 39 all-newexciting episodes to the schedule," said Donna Friedman, executive
General consensus is Warner Bros. didn't give 1999's THE IRON GIANT its fair share of marketing, so it went unseen in theaters by a large number of people. Cartoon Network hopes to remedy this somewhat as it celebrates the network's debut of the film by dedicating 24 consecutive hours to this lovely animated feature.
Toon Disney,Disney's 24-hour all-animation network, will begin airing its newfall schedule on Tuesday, September 3, 2002, which includes eight newseries for the network. In addition to premiering original episodesof TEAMO SUPREMO, three series from Walt Disney Television Animation-- HOUSE OF MOUSE, LLOYD IN SPACE and THE WEEKENDERS -- will be partof the line up, as well as acquisitions SABRINA, THE ANIMATED SERIESand MARY-KATE & ASHLEY IN ACTION. Toon Disney will also present the
Canadian animation house Studio Brecently unveiled a roster of new shows, including plans for anall-new preschool series based on the '50s live-action series LASSIE.Created for LASSIE rights-holder Classic Media and illustrated byRebecca Dart (WHAT ABOUT MIMI?), the new 2D animated series (52 x11-minutes) will maintain the spirit of the original series butfeature everyone's favorite collie in all new adventures as a puppy.Studio B is also lining up some wackier projects including Gerry
ABC Family's newly expanded summer line-up, which debuts July 6, 2002will showcase twelve action-adventure series, including the Americantelevision debut of two anime series, BEYBLADE and SHINZO. BEYBLADE,produced by d-rights, follows martial arts student Tyson as heperfects his technique in the extreme sport of Beyblade (based on atraditional Japanese spinning-top game called Bei-goma). SHINZO is ananime action series set in a time when mutants rule the world. Theseries is a production of Toei Animation Co., Ltd. and BVS
pasi (philippine animation studio,inc.) has teamed with management consultants VentureslinkInternational and ABC-TV Channel 5 in the Philippines to launch thePASI KARTOON SHOW, which premiered Saturday, June 15, 2002. Theone-hour program will air weekly and is designed to create a localmarket for Filipino-produced animation. The first 13 installmentswill be comprised of a half-hour episode each of KONG, THE ANIMATEDSERIES and BIKER MICE FROM MARS. Later episodes will utilize other
Based on the Academy Award-winning short BOB'S BIRTHDAY, the 52-episode animated series BOB AND MARGARET has been acquired by Showtime Networks from Corus Entertainment's Nelvana, including 26 episodes never aired in the U.S. The series, created and written by David Fine and Alison Snowden, will premiere July 5, 2002 on Showtime Women, a channel devoted to programming in which women are instrumental, and will later air on other Showtime channels.
Beginning June 15, 2002, DC Comics' superheroes will be fighting evil across the pond. Cartoon Network Europe has acquired the new Warner Bros. Animation series JUSTICE LEAGUE, which debuted in the U.S. on Cartoon Network in November 2001. An updated version of the SUPER FRIENDS series that aired from 1973-85, JUSTICE LEAGUE brings together DC Comics' squad of superheroes -- Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter to battle supervillains, evil monsters and natural disasters.
June 9, 2002 is Donald Duck's 68th birthday and to celebrate, Toon Disney will air A WHOLE DARN DAY OF DUCKS, nine hours of animated programming starring Disney's famous animated duck and related feathered friends. The marathon, featuring episodes of DUCKTALES, QUACK PACK, MIGHTY DUCKS and DARKWING DUCK, airs Sunday, June 9 (10:00 am-7:00 pm) on Toon Disney.
Viewers just can't get enough of the Brazilian lion, the polar bear twins and the other zoo inhabitants that were the subject of Nick Park's Oscar-winning short CREATURE COMFORTS. Park and Aardman Animation are in production on a new series featuring the animated animals that is scheduled to air on U.K. channel ITV1 in 2003. Old favorites from the original short, as well as nearly 100 new characters, will appear in the new CREATURE COMFORTS series. Creator Nick Park said, "I have had this project in mind for a few years now.
Digital animation studio 3dBob Productions helped send off the eponymous heroine of the series ALLY MCBEAL by creating three miniature computer-generated celebrities. In the series finale, the digital trio invaded Allys imagination, joining the hallucination of a dancing baby, a long-running series joke. The scene featured former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Senator Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, dancing with the CG baby in Allys house before she banished them her life as she prepared to move to New York.
Disney Channel will premiere the original animated comedy/action series KIM POSSIBLE on Friday, June 7, 2002, with three back-to-back half-hour episodes airing from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Following its debut, a new episode will air each Friday night at 6:30 pm. In the series, high school student Kim Possible becomes an unwitting superhero when she creates a Website proclaiming, "I can do anything." She was actually hoping for babysitting and lawn mowing gigs, instead, e-mails pleading for help arrive from across the globe.
Buena Vista International Television (BVI-TV) has licensed the Classic Treasures package to Telewizja Polska S.A (TVP). The collection of Disney and Disney/Pixar animated features includes A BUG'S LIFE, POCAHONTAS, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2. This is the first time these titles have been available on Polish television.
TV-Loonland has recently completed the sale of several animation titles in Central and Eastern Europe on the eve of DISCOP, the television market held annually each June in Budapest, Hungary. One of TV-Loonlands most popular childrens series PETTSON AND FINDUS (13 x 13 minutes or 2 x 75 minutes) has been sold to Duna TV (Hungary), Czech TV (Czech Republic) and RTV Slo (Slovenia). The series is a co-production between TV-Loonland, Happy Life Animation and Svensk Filmindustri with the participation of ZDF. RTV Slo also picked up the pre-school series CONNIE THE COW (52 x 7 minutes).
As reported in VARIETY, DIC Entertainment is to provide the Fox network with 2 1/2 hours of animated programming every week. The FCC requires local stations broadcast three hours of educational/informational programming per week. To fulfill the requirement, Fox will now provide its affiliates episodes of DIC produced shows SHERLOCK HOLMES IN THE 22ND CENTURY, ARCHIE'S WEIRD MYSTERIES and STARGATE INFINITY. Margaret Loesch and Stanford University's Donald Roberts will serve as consultants to DIC in this endeavor.