Comedy Centrals DRAWN TOGETHER, television's first animated reality series, premieres tonight, Oct. 27, 2004, at 10:30 p.m. with the first of eight episodes. This sexy, outrageous adult cartoon takeoff on this latest TV genre was created by Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser and animated by Rough Draft Studios Inc. (FUTURAMA, BABY BLUES AND THE MAXX).
Indie animator Mitch Butler did a short animation in two days for NIGHTLINE, which aired Oct. 22, 2004, at 11:30 pm on ABC and will be shown again sometime this week on ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT WITH PETER JENNINGS. It shows little cartoon voters running around being influenced by campaign workers.
Ive been lucky enough to do a number of character animations for ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT and NIGHTLINE this year, said Butler. Animation for journalism is really an interesting area, a bit of the SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK approach.
Earthworks Entertainment signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Cartoon Network to air its NINE DOG CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, during the cablenets holiday schedule in 2004.
Earthworks president/ceo Peter Keefe, who produced the NINE DOG CHRISTMAS SPECIAL and developed the propertys marketing strategy, said, Were absolutely thrilled to have the Cartoon Network become the TV home for our first NINE DOG SPECIAL. Cartoon Network is a powerful television broadcast platform for the introduction of the NINE DOG franchise to kids and their families.
Nicktoons, Nickelodeon's digital channel for animation, Frederator Studios and ANIMATION MAGAZINE launched the first half-hour of the 14-week Nicktoons Film Festival on Oct. 24, 2004, at 10:00 pm (ET)/7:00 pm (PT). The on-air festival showcases the diversity of independent cartoon filmmaking by animators from around the globe. A total of 14 half-hour specials will air every Sunday from Oct. 24 to Jan. 23, with repeat airings Mondays at 10:00 pm (ET)/7:00 pm (PT).
Fox, Ice Cube and FUTURAMA co-creator David X. Cohen have teamed on an animated series about an early 1980s hip-hop crew, titled GRANDMASTER FREAK & THE FURIOUS 15, reports VARIETY. The idea was formed by Cohen, who will produce the series through Ice Cube and producing partner Matt Alvarez's Cube Vision Prods with Alvarez and Cube serving as exec producers.
G4techTV has picked up three new adventure anime series, R.O.D-THE TV-, GUNGRAVE and GAD GUARD, from Geneon Ent.(USA) Inc. As part of the networks late night block, Anime Unleashed, R.O.D-THE TV- and GUNGRAVE will air throughout the month of October, Monday through Sunday, at 12:00 am (ET), 9:00 pm (PT). GAD GUARD will air every night at 12:00 am (ET), 9:00 pm (PT), beginning Nov. 8, 2004.
Tiger Aspects documentary for the Discovery Channel, VIRTUAL HISTORY: THE SECRET PLOT TO KILL HITLER, airing Oct. 24 at 8:00 pm throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, adopted cutting edge CGI from The Moving Picture Co. (MPC) to transform the faces of actors into exact replicas of Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Josef Stalin. The program unfolds on the momentous day of July 20, 1944.
Sci Fi Channel has partnered with exec producers Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle (MEDICAL INVESTIGATION, THE PRETENDER) to develop TIN MAN, a four-hour miniseries that puts a sci-fi twist on the fantasy classic, WIZARD OD OZ. Mitchell and Van Sickle have also co-written the screenplay.
The hugely popular collectibles MIJOS will be getting its own animated direct-to-video via Dean Valentine's First Family Ent. (FFE), reports VARIETY. Craig Bartlett (HEY ARNOLD) and Joseph Purdy (RECESS) will be writing the screenplay. MGM Home Ent. will distribute the DVDs through its exclusive first-look deal with FFE. Production should begin on the first DVD in the beginning of next year.
Hot on the heels of cementing development deals with Ridley Scott and Frank Darabont, Sci Fi Channel partners with former head of development for New Line and DreamWorks Michael De Luca (MAGNOLIA, RUSH HOUR, BLADE) on his first-ever television project. An original miniseries event, DARWIN'S CHILDREN explores what happens when the next step of human evolution becomes a threat to our very existence. The project is based on the best-selling Greg Bear novels, DARWIN'S RADIO and DARWIN'S CHILDREN.
Anime Network, the first channel in North America dedicated to anime expands its reach within Southern California when it launches during the latter part of 2004 on Adelphia OnDemand.
PorchLight Ent. and Jetix Europe have entered into a development deal for the comic adventures of BLADDER LAD AND PLUNGER PETE, two boys who work for the secret government agency F.L.U.S.H. in an effort to protect the world from the evil deeds of D.R.A.I.N.
According to Fred Schaefer, PorchLights vp of animation, BLADDER LAD's edgy, prankster comedy and fast action will appeal to a core boy audience, but all kids will respond to the off-the-wall humor and kid-like heroics.
JibJab has partnered with AtomFilms to release the sequel to their Internet blockbuster, THIS LAND, titled, GOOD TO BE IN DC! Set to the classic American folk song "Dixie," brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis take aim at George Bush, John Kerry, Al Gore, Dan Rather, John Ashcroft and many more in the new cartoon, which once again brings a dose of hilarity to the intense presidential election season.
Gerry Anderson Prods. has teamed with Sony Pictures Ent. and Sony Wonder, the family and children's entertainment division of newly merged Sony BMG Music Ent., to launch 26 episodes of the CG-animated television series GERRY ANDERSON'S NEW CAPTAIN SCARLET, which is in production at Pinewood Studios outside of London. TriMedia Ent. Group was instrumental in facilitating the arrangement between Gerry Anderson Prods. and Sony Wonder, and will participate in all revenue streams which result from the partnership.
Marvel Enterprises Inc. has entered into an agreement with acclaimed France-based animation leader Antefilms Prods. to produce an animated television series based on Marvel's THE FANTASTIC FOUR. Under the terms of the agreement, Antefilms will commence production immediately on 26 30-minute 2D/3D animated episodes. The initial episodes are expected to be completed for worldwide distribution in late-2006.
MGA Ent., a consumer entertainment products company most noted for the worldwide doll sensation BRATZ, has joined forces with 4Kids Ent. to bring its new boys' action property ALIEN RACERS to Saturday morning television starting in spring of 2005 during the FOX BOX lineup on the Fox television network. The CG series will be produced by SD Ent., in concert with MGA's ALIEN RACERS creative team, led by MGA vp of entertainment Jay Fukuto.
Classic Media has completed multiple sales in several major territories for the companys award-winning VEGGIETALES animated series. Rights to the series have been sold to Niche Marketing and Crossroads in Australia and New Zealand, Top Tape in Brazil and Chile, Sam Film in Iceland, Maxfun Arthouse in Hong Kong, Pandasia Ent.
Matt Groening said he plans to continue THE SIMPSONS for another five years, reports THE SUN. This would make the series tie with GUNSMOKE as the longest running series in U.S. primetime history. THE SIMPSONS is already the longest running sitcom ever in the U.S.
Groening said: "I'd love to get to 365 episodes, so there's one for every day of the year with no repeats."
However, to reach Groenings goal, the actors would have to extend their contract for an additional year.
EM.TV AG has secured exclusive distribution rights for free-TV, pay-TV and home entertainment to the 3D-animated series ZOÉ KÉZAKO from French production studio Sparkling. The German broadcast rights to the program were subsequently licensed to ZDF, which will premiere the series on KI.KA, the childrens channel owned jointly by German public broadcasters ZDF and ARD. ZOÉ KÉZAKO will start screening on Dec. 8, 2004. In the home entertainment sector, Universal Family Ent.
Kids' WB! and ShoPro Ent. are teaming up for the third season of MEGAMAN NT WARRIOR: AXESS, for the 2004-05 season. The network has ordered 30 never-before-seen episodes of the Japanese animated series that will begin airing in spring 2005. The third season order brings the total commitment of the series to 80 episodes.
Bardel Ent. has repackaged its SILVERWING series into a movie trilogy created for both broadcast and DVD/VHS distribution worldwide. Under the creative direction of veteran producer Chris Henderson, the 13x22 series has been edited into three 72-minute movies with Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Henderson recently completed Scholastic Ent.s theatrically released feature film CLIFFORDS REALLY BIG MOVIE and also worked on Disneys RETURN TO NEVER LAND.
Legendary broadcast animation studio director Herve Tardif (DONKEY KONG COUNTRY) has chosen Ascension Technology's ReActor2 -- active-optical motion-capture workstation -- for his latest TV production. COTOONS is a seven-minute, 26-episode 3D animated childrens series being created by Tardif's Paris-based animation studio 3dclic.