UNDERGRADS, a new animated series, will premier on MTV this Sunday, April 22, at 8 pm. Co-produced by Torontos Decode and MTV Animation, the series launch also includes a Website featuring Flash animated series out-takes, interactive animated games, character home pages, downloadable applications, weekly video clips, message boards and a chat area. Decode, which also owns the international television and video distribution rights, is launching a companion UNDERGRADS Web page for the international market.
In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the series, Nickelodeon will be broadcasting a special viewer's all-time 10 favorites RUGRATS marathon on Saturday, April 21, from 4:30 pm - 8 pm ET/PT. During the months of January through March, the network aired every episode of the series every produced. Viewers were invited to rate each episode on Nick.com. Voter tallies will determine the top 10 episodes. The top 10 will air in order, with the all-time favorite episode airing immediately preceeding the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
Leading independent animation house Film Roman announced five new half-hour, animated properties at MIP on Monday, April 2, 2001. The new series include John Waters' PATENT LEATHER DREAMHOUSE, Norman Lear's 'TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS, HAIRBALLS, ZIPPY THE PINHEAD and TRIPPING THE RIFT. According to Peter Schankowitz, president of programming and development, "Our MIP slate reflects Film Roman's ability to partner with well known talent like John Waters and Norman Lear, as well as to develop our own properties in-house.
Cartoon Network scored the highest first-quarter prime time ratings and delivery performance of its history, landing in fourth place among all ad-supported cable networks, with a 1.7 prime household rating. The January-March '01 quarter also saw the largest net gain (177,000) in total day delivery among all ad-supported cable networks. Additionally, the network charted double-digit increases among households and all key demographics for total day rating and delivery, earning fourth place for the quarter, with a 1.1 total day rating.
Bolstered by year-to-year quarterly growth across all kid and tween demos and strong performances of the four new series launched since January, Nickelodeon was the number-one basic cable network in the first quarter of 2001. The network averaged a 4.5/24 (1.4 million average kid viewers) among its primary kids 2-11 demo during the "Kids Day," up 3 percent in rating and 8 percent in delivery as compared to last year.
DIRECTV Latin America announced on Friday, April 6, 2001 the official debut of the Disney Channel to all DIRECTV subscribers in Brazil. The Disney Channel is a new, 24-hour Portuguese television network with entertainment for kids and families created specially for the Brazilian market. The Disney programming block includes exclusive and original productions, a two-hour live, daily show, movies, animated and live-action series, concerts and special events.
John Kricfalusi's WEEKEND PUSSY HUNT is just one of many Webisodes scheduled to be shown this coming Sunday, April 15, on the premier of MTV DOWNLOADED. Hosted by Gimpy, one of the stars of the upcoming MTV animation series UNDERGRADS, MTV DOWNLOADED will showcase a number of Webtoons, including Joe Cartoon's SUPERFLY II, Aardman Animations' ANGRY KID, Mondo Media's HAPPY TREE FRIENDS and HEAVY METAL GUY, BullsEyeart's MISS MUFFY and Film Roman's HAIRBALLS. Following the 9 pm (ET/PT) premier, viewers will be able to log-on to mtv.com to watch, review and rate each complete Webisode.
IMagicTV, a provider of software products that allow telephone companies and other service providers to deliver multi-channel television and interactive media services, announced on Tuesday, April 3, 2001, that it has entered into a syndication agreement with AtomShockwave Corp. Under this agreement, AtomShockwave's film and animation brand, AtomFilms, will license and manage short film content for iMagicTV, providing customers with new short film titles each month, each with a 60-day licensing window.
Cartoon Network plans to clean out their vaults and uncork a two-day, 20-hour "The Best We GoT" new and classic cartoon marathon on April 14 and 15, 2001. The marathon will showcase the best classic cartoons on Saturday, April 14, while on Sunday, April 15, the best cartoons from Cartoon Network's acclaimed original animation series will air. "The Best We GoT" will air from 12-10 p.m. (ET, PT) each day. More than 110 cartoons from Cartoon Network's vast archives of more than 8,000 animated titles will air.
Fox Kids Network announced on March 28 their lineup of new and returning series to their Saturday morning and weekday afternoon programming schedule.
TV-Loonland's CONNIE THE COW (52 x 7, produced by Spains Neptuno) has been sold to Disney U.K. for a spring 2002 delivery. After creating quite a buzz at MIPCOM Junior 2000, Munich's TV-Loonland announced at MIP TV that it had sold the pre-school animated series relating the experiences of a curious calf named Connie to Disney's U.K. arm. TV-Loonland has also had Disney success with their live-action series IN A HEARTBEAT.
Emmy Award winning cartoon series THE POWERPUFF GIRLS is now brought to life for deaf and hard of hearing viewers of Cartoon Network U.K. thanks to acclaimed deaf signer, Nikki Stratton. On Monday, March 26, the network announced that THE POWERPUFF GIRLS with deaf signing will be shown on Sundays at 9:30 am and everyday at 12:30 am. The signed version of ED EDD N EDDY is shown everyday at 12:00 am and on Sundays at 8:30 am and is the country's first regular, signed cartoon service. The success of that effort paved the way for this latest effort with THE POWERPUFF GIRLS.
Sesame Workshop's TINY PLANETS is in final negotiations to be aired on Italy's largest commercial broadcaster Mediatrade's channels. TINY PLANETS is a CGI animated educational comic adventure series for 3 to 5 year olds. A co-production with Pepper's Ghost Productions, the show follows Bing and Bong as they explore the worlds of their solar system such as the planets of light and color, sound, technology, stuff, self and nature through a space aged couch.
Nickelodeon, one of the leading entertainment brands for kids worldwide, is expanding its reach into China as of May 1, 2001. After visiting Beijing for four days and meeting with China's president Jiang Zemin and other industry officials, Bill Roedy, president MTV Networks International, and Frank Brown, president MTV Networks Asia, made the announcement.
Fox Family Channel announced on March 28 the addition of three new animated series to their 2001-2002 daytime programming lineup.
CineGroupe has recently announced that production has started on 26episodes of WHAT'S WITH ANDY, a new half-hour animated series set topremier Fall, 2001 on Canada's TELETOON and the Fox Family Channel inthe U.S. The series, based on the "Just" series of books written byAndy Griffith, chronicles the life of teenager Andy Larkin, aself-proclaimed master prankster whose goal is to be the greatestpractical joker in the world, though his schemes backfire every time.Realized primarily in 2D animation, the series also incorporates a
LEGO Media International(LMI), the new TV and film division of the world-renowned children'stoy brand, premiered its first ever program, LITTLE ROBOTS, at MIP TV2001. LITTLE ROBOTS is a new pre-school animated series based on thechildren's book by Mike Brownlow. The pilot was produced for LMI bythe U.K.'s Cosgrove Hall Films utilizing an unusual technique, whichcombines model animation with CGI backgrounds and effects. Theprogram also boasts top U.K. writing and voice (Lenny Henry, Su
Showtime Networks Inc., and AtomShockwave Corp., announced Tuesday, April 3, the signing of a new licensing deal to bring up to 100 short films to the recently launched multiplex channel SHOWTIME NEXT. The short films, part of the catalogue of AtomShockwave's film and animation brand, AtomFilms, will debut on SHOWTIME NEXT, later appearing on other Showtime Networks Inc. channels and services. "Our agreement with AtomFilms is an ideal match for SHOWTIME NEXT," said Vice President of Acquisitions Gary Garfinkel.
DIC Entertainment and Riverdale Productions announced an agreement to co-produce, distribute and merchandise a new animated television series based on the JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS comic book. Riverdale Productions is the film and television arm of Archie Comic Publications and MultiModal Media Group.
Since Fox didn't air their usual Sunday animation block of THE SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL and FUTURAMA, there were only three shows that made their way to primetime this week. Tied with five other shows for 104th, WBs THE PJS scored a 1.4 rating/2 share. Tied with four other shows for 110th, UPN's GARY & MIKE scored a 1.3 rating/2 share. Tied with four other shows for 115th, UPN's CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH scored a 1.2 rating/2 share. These ratings and shares represent primetime TV in the U.S. on broadcast networks for the week starting Monday, March 18 through Sunday, March 25, 2001.
UPN has ordered a pilot for an animated sketch series from Urban Entertainment. The untitled project will feature Webtoons bridged together by an animated host. Urban Entertainment plans to license some content from other sites for the series. Company founder and CEO Michael Jenkinson said to the DAILY VARIETY, "It will be a broad sweep of the best stuff that's out there on the Internet. It will be youthful and hip and will definitely have an attitude." This deal isn't the first between UPN and Urban Entertainment.
Visionary Media will offer 26 half-hour TV episodes of WHIRLGIRL, the Flash-animated Internet series, via Catherine Branscome of Branscome International. "WHIRLGIRL has been recreated for TV with more animation and greater frame rates than are seen online via FlashCast, a proprietary process developed in-house by Visionary," explained Visionary Media acting CEO Buzz Potamkin.
On Sunday Fox aired a rerun of THE SIMPSONS, which placed #34 for the week, pulling in a 7.7 rating/12 share. KING OF THE HILL climbed into 62nd place with a 5.6 rating/9 share. Fox aired two special episodes of THE SIMPSONS on Wednesday from 9 10 pm. The 9:30 pm broadcast finished 65th with a 5.4 rating/9 share and the 9 pm broadcast placed 71st with a 5 rating/8 share. FUTURAMA fashioned a 4.5 rating/8 share in the 76th slot. At 109th, THE PJS hocked a 1.5 rating/3 share.
BKN International has rolled out 52 episodes of the animated fantasy adventure series ULTIMATE BOOK OF SPELLS. The story begins when friends Cassy, Gus and Verne discover the Ultimate Book Of Spells, which takes them on a journey to Earths center, where they must use their special powers to thwart the evil wizard, Zarlak. The series was originally titled JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and so far BKN has completed 26 twenty-two-minute episodes. "Im tremendously excited about the prospects for this series," said Leslie Nelson, managing director, BKN Television Sales SAS.
German EM.TV has signed a co-production deal with Spain's Planeta 2010. Already EM.TV has signed deals on four series and negotiations are in progress on five additional shows including 13 new episodes of DRAGON TALES, which is co-produced with Children's TV Workshop and Columbia TriStar TV Group. The signed deals include: 26-episodes of kids' comedy MR. BABY; 13 episodes of PIGS NEXT DOOR, co-produced with Fox Kids Int. and Magma Films; THE WORLD OF TOSH based on a Swedish fable; and NICK AND PERRY, co-produced by Germany's WDR and France's Ellipse Animation and M6.