Brisbane, Australia's Blue Rocket Productions has started pre-production on their new 3D animated television series entitled HOOTA & SNOZ. The interstitial series of 26 episodes are being co-produced with RTV Family Entertainment and Pacific Film and Television Commission. The show follows the antics of two creatures that constantly bicker about everything. The characters speak in squeaks and grunts, which breaks down the culture barrier and has allowed the series to be sold into nearly 40 countries since its release at MIPCOM last October.
The Sundance Channel and entertainment company Hypnotic have closed a deal to produce and exclusively distribute a series of one-hour short film programs. Titled SUNDANCE CHANNEL AND HYPNOTIC PRESENT SHORTS STOP, the companies plan to sell the programs both domestically and internationally to outlets such as airlines, broadband channels, international television networks, video-on-demand/pay-per-view services, hotels, and institutions. Over the next year, Hypnotic and Sundance Channel will produce a series of co-branded one-hour episodes.
ITS THE MR. HELL SHOW!, a critically acclaimed animated comedy series from Sextant Entertainment Group, will have its U.S. premiere on SHOWTIME NEXT, the recently launched multiplex channel which targets 18-24 year-olds. The series, which is part of Showtimes ongoing effort to find new, high profile programming for the multiplex, will debut this fall with an option for a second season. ITS THE MR. HELL SHOW! stars Mr. Hell, a sulphurous, sardonic anti-hero with no regard for political correctness, voiced by British comedian/writer Bob Monkhouse.
Six-time Emmy-winner Phil Roman and his Studio City, California-based Phil Roman Entertainment company have signed a co-production deal with Vancouvers Atomic Cartoons to develop and produce ATOMIC BETTY, a new half-hour TV series. Phil Roman commented, All of us at Phil Roman Entertainment are excited about our new association with the young, energetic and talented team at Atomic Cartoons.
Mainframe Entertainment and Fleischer Studios, Inc. have formed a collaboration that will yield a new television series based on BETTY BOOP, the dazzling "Queen of Cartoons." Mainframe will also be working with Fleischer and King Features Syndicate on launching a significant licensing and merchandising campaign, with a new video series, interactive games and collectible items.
Our SOUTH PARK friends will soon join a select group of television pioneers when Cartman says the S word on the first of eight new episodes. The shows fifth season premier is scheduled to air on Comedy Central Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 10 pm. Other upcoming episodes include Chefs meteoric rise from an unassuming cafeteria cook to international fame and fortune as a culinary expert.In another, very special episode. Cartman gets pubic hair.
On Sunday, July 1 at 10 pm, Cartoon Network's TOONHEADS will look at the many Looney Tunes World War II cartoons. "The Wartime Cartoons" will feature clips from over 100 cartoons including the 26 episodes of PRIVATE SNAFU, which were written by Theodore Geisel, i.e. Dr. Seuss. Many of these cartoons show Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom and Jerry, Superman and Popeye heading into battle against the nation's enemies. The special presentation will also air four rarely seen classic examples of wartime cartoons in their entirety.
Universal's SITTING DUCKS, a new CGI children's animated series, has been licensed in multiple international territories. ITV has secured rights to the show in the U.K., with other licenses going to France's TF1, Australia's ABC, Mexico's Televisa S.A., Portugal's TVI and Star TV in Greece. Cable rights to SITTING DUCKS have been acquired by Canada's YTV and by the Nickelodeon Channel in Australia. In the Netherlands, the show will be shown exclusively on the SBS group of channels.
Last month Cartoon Network set new May total day ratings and delivery network records, posting double-digit ratings and delivery growth across households and all key kids demographics. Total day ratings grew 10% in households (1.1) as well as 10% for tweens 9-14 (1.1) and kids 2-11 (2.2), and 19% in kids 6-11 (1.9). Total day delivery increased 18% in households (767,000), 26% in tweens 9-14 (191,000), 31% in kids 6-11 (315,000) and 28% in kids 2-11 (616,000).
Taipei-based SMEC Media & Entertainment has acquired the animated TV rights for Wang Du-Lu's CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON book series on which the hit Sony Classics feature was based. The deal with Vista Publishing Group also gives the Chinese production house the right to produce an animated feature and home video. SMEC is currently pitching the idea around Hollywood. Alexis Wallrich, head of SMEC's U.S. offices in Pasadena, said to Variety, "The source material is a gold mine of fantastic stories and characters.
Nickelodeon has announced its new programming schedule for the summer. Beginning Monday, July 2, at 8 pm, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS will join the primetime line-up. SpongeBob will host Nickelodeon's annual "Summer Splash," a daily, three-hour animation marathon beginning Monday, June 18, airing weekday afternoons from 2-5 pm. The "Summer Splash" line-up will include RUGRATS on Mondays; ROCKETPOWER on Tuesdays; THE WILD THORNBERRYS on Wednesdays; HEY ARNOLD! on Thursdays; and CATDOG on Fridays. Starting Monday, June 18, Nick Jr.
Leading independent animation house Film Roman has signed a deal to provide animation for the upcoming season of THE MAN SHOW on Comedy Central. The North Hollywood-based company will create graphics, title cards and over 30 animated bumpers for the show. The 5-10 second bumpers feature THE MAN SHOW mascot, Uncle Phil in various "manly" situations like barbecuing and sleeping on the couch.
Hoping that the worlds television audience pays more attention than the movie-going audience has, the folks controlling the rights to L. Ron Hubbard's novel BATTLEFIELD EARTH are bringing the epic science fiction adventure to TV. Hollywood-based Author Services, Inc. (ASI), international representatives for all L.
Following on the success of Boomerang in the U.K., Cartoon Network will launch a similar programming block in Spain on June 2, 2001. Cartoon Networks Spanish channel will begin airing Boomerangs four-and-a-half-hour of classic cartoons every Saturday and Sunday. The block will include PIXIE AND DIXIE, ATOM ANT, HONG KONG PHOOEY, HUCKLEBERRY HOUND and YOGI BEAR. Turner Broadcasting launched the Spanish service of Cartoon Network in 2000.
Visual effects house Foundation Imaging, in conjunction with Tribune Entertainment, Microsoft and Fasa Corporation, has announced a deal to develop and produce a one-hour live-action adventure series based upon the hugely successful MECHWARRIOR franchise. Over its fifteen-year history, MECHWARRIOR, also known as BATTLETECH, has been adapted to video games, board games, location-based entertainment centers, books and other entertainment mediums.
Denmark's Egmont Imagination and A. Film are developing a TV series based on the successful Danish theatrical feature film HELP! IM A FISH. HELP! I'M A FISH is a 3D/traditionally animated film about a trio of kids who after becoming transformed into fish race time to find a way to become human again before it's too late. A. Film partner Stefan Fjeldmark wrote and co-directed the film with Michael Hegner. Fjeldmark was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the short WHEN LIFE DEPARTS. When HELP!
Its the ultimate game of cat and mouse when Cartoon Network presents the 12-hour TOM AND JERRY SLAMFEST on Memorial Day, May 28, 2001 from 8 am to 8 pm (ET/PT). Tom and Jerry, two of the most beloved combatants in animation history, have earned seven Academy Awards over their storied career with their legendary dustups. TOM AND JERRY SLAMFEST will show more than 70 cartoons, including the Cartoon Network premiere of THE MANSION CAT, a short that TOM AND JERRY co-creator Joe Barbera developed with Cartoon Network in 2000.
MTV has announced its 2001 slate of animated projects, which includes two green-lit animated comedy series and a full roster of other series in development. These shows represent the networks most ambitious move yet into the world of animation, teaming MTV with an A-list of writers, artists and producers. CLONE HIGH follows the lives of four present day high school characters that happen to be cloned from the extracted DNA of some of the most important men and women in history.
Leading independent animation production house Film Roman, Inc. announced on Tuesday, May 15, 2001, that one of its Web short, HAIRBALLS, has been picked up by MTV for development into a TV series. HAIRBALLS is an animated dark comedy with a satirical twist on the classic "cat and mouse" cartoon story. The Web toon was created by Doug Lawrence (REN AND STIMPY) and developed by Eric Radomski, creative head of animation and executive producer for Film Roman's Website, LEVEL13.NET. The short won an Honorable Mention at the 2000 Playboy Animation Contest and an Annie Award nomination in 2000.
FUNimation Productions Ltd. announced its new DRAGON BALL TV series will debut June 25, 2001 on the Cartoon Network, airing Monday through Friday at 5:30 pm ET. DRAGON BALL is the prequel to the DRAGON BALL Z series, #1 on the Cartoon Network's Toonami Block and #1 on the Internet, according to Lycos. Gen Fukunaga, President of FUNimation, also announced that new episodes of DRAGON BALL Z will begin airing on the Cartoon Network beginning September 3, 2001. Like DRAGON BALL Z, the new DRAGON BALL series was a smash hit in Japan before being produced for the U.S. and other countries.
On May 17, 2001, from 9 am to 12 pm (ET/PT), Cartoon Network will air a special presentation of Acme Hour featuring cartoon versions of classic fairy tales. The three-hour special features cartoons based on childhood favorites like LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, CINDERELLA and JACK AND THE BEANSTALK from renowned directors such as Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and Robert Clampett. For more information visit CartoonNetwork.com
On June 13, 2001, Cartoon Network will air the most complete retrospective ever offered of the wascally wabbit, Bugs Bunny, during the ninth annual JUNE BUGS marathon. Cartoon Network is now the exclusive TV home to Looney Tunes and celebrates by launching its biggest JUNE BUGS celebration ever, a 49-hour marathon which starts at 11 pm (ET/PT) on June 1, 2001 and runs through 12 midnight on Sunday, June 3, 2001. Overall, Cartoon Network will air 176 Bugs Bunny cartoons during JUNE BUGS, including 55 cartoons making their Cartoon Network debut.
New holiday adventures of THE WILD THORNBERRYS and poignant favorites of RUGRATS and HEY, ARNOLD! will sweeten the Mothers Day mix on Nickelodeon. Moms the word on Nickelodeon, May 10 - 13, 2001 when a quartet of live-action and animated series will sing her praises with all-new and favorite offerings. Episode premieres will chronicle the life-saving Mother's Day exploits of filmmaker Marianne in THE WILD THORNBERRYS ("Gem of a Mom," Thursday, May 10 at 8 pm; repeats May 12 at 6:30 pm and May 13 at noon).
Head Gear Animation creative partners Steve Angel and Julian Grey have begun the creation of five minutes of animation for SESAME WORKSHOP. Working with Frank Campagna and Lisa Annunziata of the New York-based international division of SESAME STREET, the Head Gear directors will create original stories that fall within the SESAME STREET curriculum goals. Angel and Grey will develop their own pieces, but they have contracted directors Drew Lightfoot, Neil Burns and Isaac King to round out the five minutes.
The Childrens BBC (CBBC) has announced the acquisition of 52 episodes of BKNs half-hour animated series UBOS (formerly ULTIMATE BOOK OF SPELLS). CBBC plans to begin airing the series in Fall 2001. The story begins when friends Cassy, Gus and Verne discover the Ultimate Book Of Spells, which takes them on a journey to the Earths center, where they must use their special powers to thwart the evil wizard, Zarlak.