Film Roman Inc. has entered into an agreement with Howard Stern Productionsand writer/producer Tracy Torme to create the animated sci-fi/comedy seriesDOOMSDAY. While the concept was created by Torme, Howard Stern will play anintegral role in the development of the script and in the production of theseries, as well as provide the voice for one of the characters. Stern willinvite a number of his celebrity friends to appear as special guest voicesonthe show. DOOMSDAY tells the story of the Bradley family who travel in a
SP0NGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, a new animated series which is being produced at theBurbank Nicktoons Studio, will premiere on Nickelodeon on July 17 at 10:00am ET/PT in the USA, becoming Nickelodeon's first original Saturday morningcartoon. A preview of the cartoon appeared on Nickelodeon on May 1, andreceived a 6.3 rating and a 25 share when it was watched by 6.9 millionviewers. The cartoon features the adventures of SpongeBob, a hopelesslyoptimistic and earnest sea sponge whose good intentions often lead to bad
Fox has announced their US Fall prime-time lineup and it includes somesurprises. For one, Toon Tuesday is no more. The closest to it is ToonSunday. Fox's confidence in FAMILY GUY appears to be high, as it has beenmoved to Thursday night where it will stand out as the only animatedseries, sandwiched between two new live-action shows, MANCHESTER PREP andACTION, shows that seem to be geared to the male 18-49 demographic group.
The schedule, which begins in September, is as follows:
Thursday9:00 FAMILY GUY
This weekend's syndicated episode of SISKEL AND EBERT AT THE MOVIES, Roger Ebert's weekly movie review show in the US, is an animation special entitled "That's Not All Folks!," during which the film critic will explore the past, present, and future of animation.
Cartoon Network's 7th annual 48 hour Bugs Bunny cartoon marathon, JUNEBUGS, will take place Friday, June 4, 9 pm - Sunday, June 6, 9 pm. Thefollowing films, some of which will be shown in more than one theme block,are scheduled:
Evolution of Bugs - Friday, 9 pm; Saturday, 6 pm; Sunday, 1 pm.Porky's Hare Hunt, Prest-o-Change-o, Hare-Um Scare-Um, Elmer's CandidCamera, A Wild Hare, Elmer's Pet Rabbit.
Musical Bugs - Friday, 10 pm; Saturday, 7 pm; Sunday, 11 am.
Animation company Film Roman has announced that due to productiondifferences Fox will take over production responsibilities on June 1 forFamily Guy, which is currently in production on its second season. Theprimetime show Family Guy airs at 8:30 pm on Sunday in the coveted spotafter The Simpsons and has been a hit with biting, racy humor. While Foxspokespeople say that it will be handled "in-house," a specific division orFox-owned company has yet to be named. Film Roman, which produced 15
Angeles with several properties including two that are animated. MONSTER CLUB is an animated series for children featuring the characters of THE MONSTER CLUB. This series will feature fundamental lessons about family, friendship and the environment. RADIO TOONS, which is in development, is an animated series featuring classic radio shows from the 1930's and 1940's as the sound and dialogue tracks. Similar to the highly rated 1970 Rankin Bass TV special THE MAD, MAD, MAD COMEDIANS, it features cartoon renditions of Jack Benny, George Burns, Abbott & Costello, and Bob Hope.
Shui-Bo Wang's Oscar nominated SUNRISE OVER TIANANMEN SQUARE makes its US TV debut Sunday, May 16 at 8 pm on HBO's Signature Channel.
SUNRISE OVER TIANANMEN also debuts in Canada on Thursday, May 27 at 9 pm and 2 am ET/PT on Vision TV. It repeats on Friday, May 28 at noon, 8 pm, and 1 am; and on Monday, May 31 at 11 am. It also airs on SCN on Friday, June 4 at 8 pm; and on TVO on Monday, June 7 at 10 pm.
WATERSHIP DOWN, a $10 million TV series of 26 half-hour episodes based onthe novel by Richard Adams and the feature film directed by Martin Rosen,both of which are also called WATERSHIP DOWN, is being produced by Britishindependent Alltime Entertainment and Toronto-based DECODE Entertainment.Beth Stevenson, of DECODE, and Simon Vaughan, of Alltime, are producing;Neil Court, of DECODE, is executive producing with Steven DeNure and MartinRosen. The series will debut this Fall in the UK on ITV and Canada on YTV,
The Kushner-Locke Co. has announced that they have entered an agreementwith Toei Animation to license Toei's animated product. Toei has one ofthe largest animation libraries in the world. K-L plans to use the newlyacquired product to launch its own Spanish language animation channel inLatin America. The deal gives K-L 1400 half-hour episodes, in the firstthree years, of Toei animated product including the popular seriesSAILOR MOON and DRAGON BALL Z. Toei is one of the leading animation
Cartoon Network has greenlit Gavrilo Gnatovoch's LONGHAIR AND DOUBLEDOMEfor production as a seven minute series pilot. The short featuresLonghair, a fastidiously sophisticated and self-serving Cro-Magnon, andhis charmingly earnest yet irksome friend, Doubledome, as they endeavorto evolve alongside their oafish neighbors, the Neanderthals. An airdate has not been announced. Gavrilo Gnatovich runs his own studio KNOCKKNOCK CARTOONS in Cleveland, Ohio, which is a commercial animation house
Fox Family Channel's 1999-2000 6 pm-8 pm lineup includes two new animated series. Saban Entertainment's PIGS NEXT DOOR, a new animated series in the tradition of ALL IN THE FAMILY, chronicles the life of a family of pigs who move from the farm to the suburbs and are forced to deal with prejudiced humans. Rodney Dangerfield provides the voice for the title character of RODNEY, a series in development for the 1999-2000 season that depicts Rodney's misadventures as a struggling comic and the everyday ups and downs of dysfunctional family life.
Nickelodeon will preview SP0NGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, a new animated series, onMay 1 at 9:30 ET/PT in the USA. The cartoon features the adventures ofSpongeBob, a hopelessly optimistic and earnest sea sponge. Creator andexecutive producer Steve Hillenburg (ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE, THE GREEN BERET,WORMHOLES), studied art and marine biology before earning a degree from CalArts in Experimental Animation. Soon you will be able to visit Nick.com formore information about the series.
BBC1 has bought another season of New York-based BKN's POCKET DRAGONADVENTURES. The first season currently airs in the U.K. Monday and Thursdayat 3:45 pm on BBC1, averaging 1.3 million viewers, which represents about a37% share. The series features the mischievous little Pocket Dragons whoseek adventure in a magical world of wizards, knights and gargoyles.
Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered another season (22 episodes) of MattGroening's animated series, Futurama, just four weeks after its premiere.The show debuted on Sunday, March 28 then moved to Tuesday night on April 6where it joined King of the Hill, The PJs, and The Simpsons repeats aspart of Fox's all-animation primetime Tuesday night line-up. Now, all ofthese series have been renewed.
Cinar Corporation and WGBH Boston have announced that Emmy award-winning ARTHUR, PBS' top-rated children's series, will return with 10 new programs and 65 encore broadcasts in its fourth season, premiering October 1999. This daily animated series is based on the award-winning children's books by author Marc Brown, who is also ARTHUR's creative producer. ARTHUR's fourth season begins with, not one, but two musical guest stars: classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman who "appear" as themselves in the season's opener MY MUSIC RULES.
DIC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Disney, has sold two new animated seriesto Pax TV, a new family-oriented network in the US. "Archie's WeirdMysteries" and "Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century" will appear this Fallas part of the weekday "Pax Power Mystery Hour." "Archie's WeirdMysteries," a co-production with M6 France, is based on the long runningArchie comics series. In the series, a lab experiement goes awry, creatingsuch characters as a 50-foot Veronica, and Dr. Jughead and Mr. Hyde.
Big Ticket Television has teamed-up with Will Vinton Studios to produce a new Claymation and dimensional animation series entitled GARY AND MIKE, slated to air on FOX this Fall. The series will be executive produced by creators Fax Bahr and Adam Small, along with Academy Award winning Will Vinton and Tom Turpin (CEO/president of Will Vinton Studios).
The half-hour comedy series HOME MOVIES [AF 12/22/98] premieres Monday,April 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. The show, featuring a "SquiggleVision"technique, is being produced by Tom Snyder Productions, makers of ComedyCentral's DR. KATZ: PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST and ABC's Saturday morningseries, SQUIGGLEVISION. The show centers around a single mom (PaulaPoundstone) raising a precocious tot and an eight-year-old son who aspiresto be the next Steven Spielberg.
Matt Groening's new animated series, "Futurama," was watched by more thannineteen million viewers when it premiered on Sunday, March 28. It was theeleventh most watched TV show in the USA as it received a 11.2 rating and a17 share, better overall ratings than both "The Simpsons" (9.3/15) thatpreceded it, and "The X-Files" (10.1/15) that followed it.
Lacey Entertainment has sold the hit show POKEMON to the following European broadcasters: RTL 2 (Germany), Sky TV (UK) and MediaSet (Italy). Sky TV began broadcasting the show the week of March 29, while RTL 2 and MediaSet will begin airing the series in September. All three networks will air the series as a five-day-a-week strip. In a related announcement, EM TV & Merchandising of Germany has secured POKEMON merchandise and promotion licensing representation in that territory.
Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) new family entertainment division (AF 03/09/99) has announced their first two development deals. The group has acquired worldwide rights to Kevin Eastman's UNDERWHERE, and has signed Eastman to develop an animated children's series based on his popular book. The series follows the adventures of 10-year-old Jacob who travels to UNDERWHERE, a land that exists in the same space as ours but can only be visited by those who possess the gift of imagination.
Cartoon Network U.S. will air an eight-hour marathon program called CARTOON NETWORK'S GREATEST CARTOON COUNTDOWN on March 20 starting at 2:00 p.m. and a two-hour encore presentation on March 21 at 12:00 p.m. The lineup of this program is a little different from the similar program which ran last year, THE 50 GREATEST CARTOONS OF ALL TIME. The selections come predominantly from the network's Time-Warner library of 8,500 titles, as well as from other studios which contributed cartoons exclusively for the marathon.
Encore Media Group's five-year-old Action Channel has established a new late-night Saturday programming block devoted to adult Japanese animation called Anime. Encore has acquired ten Japanese animation titles, and will launch the show with anime distributor A.D. Vision's TEKKEN: THE MOTION PICTURE on April 3. In addition to TEKKEN, five additional titles are from A.D. Vision: BATTLE ANGEL, BLOOD REIGN: CURSE OF YOMA, GSC GUNSMITH CATS, SOL BIANCA and the cult series BLUE SEED.
The fledgling Fox Family Channel has added ten new animated series to its kid and teen-targeted daytime lineup for the 1999-2000 season. The lineup represents a major investment from Fox Family in creating original and entertaining animated programming. Animation World Network spoke to Joel Andryc, Senior Vice President, Programming & Development about this lineup and how they're working to create a unique identity in the already overcrowded world of cable.