ITV has ordered 26 episodes of the half-hour, 3D CGI animated series BUTT-UGLY MARTIANS. The Mike Young Productions, The Just Group PLC and DCDC-produced show follows three Martians, who came to Earth to overthrow it but stayed because the loved it. The director of the first season of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Gary Selvaggio, is the creator of series. DCDC handles the TV rights for the show in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while the U.K.-based The Just Group handles all other international TV, video, merchandising and licensing rights. BUTT-UGLY MARTIANS has not yet found a home in the U.S.
On Saturday, March 18, 2000, Cartoon Network announced the winner of their inaugural CARTOON CAMPAIGN 2000. "Political" ads started airing on January 15, 2000 toting the 50 candidates, but a crime-fighting Great Dane has become the clear winner. Scooby-Doo captured 17.4 percent of the more than three quarters of a million votes received, followed by The Powerpuff Girls with 11.1 percent and Bugs Bunny with 8.6 percent. A mini-marathon of Scooby-Doo cartoons celebrated the election winner on Sunday, March 19, 2000. With endorsements from ex-U.S.
Fox Kids Europe has acquired the exclusive U.K. and French rights to DIGIMON: DIGITAL MONSTERS from Toei Animation of Japan. The POKEMON-like series will hit Fox Kids Europe on April 1 and premiere on Britain's ITV network. September will see the debut of the show in France on TF1 and Fox Kids France.
Fox Family will be adding two new animated series to its 2000-01 daytime schedule. DA MOB follows the life of a wanna-be hip-hop band on their futile journey to fame and fortune. The series is being produced by Happy Life Entertainment. DETECTIVE CONAN will be the newest anime series to hit the channel. The show follows the adventures of top detective Shinichi Kudo, who has been accidentally transformed back into a child by his enemies. The series is being distributed in the States by TMS. Twenty-six episodes of each series has already been secured.
For the rest of March, the Sundance Channel will be showcasing the films of Faith Hubley, her late husband, John, and their daughter, Emily. Hubley films have won three Academy Awards, and numerous other film festivals. Sundance's "Spotlight on the Hubleys" highlights the family's short films such as PIGEON WITHIN and EVERYBODY RIDES THE CAROUSEL. Charles Silver, a curator in the film and video department of New York's Museum of Modern Art, said to CNN, "It is a well-deserved tribute.
Curious Pictures has finished production on AVENUE AMY for the fledgling cable network, Oxygen Media. The series is directed by Curious Pictures' Joan Raspo and written by Amy Sohn, based off of her New York Press column. The new show will air on "X-Chromosome," an original showcase of animation done by women. The show sets brightly colored, rotoscoped actors against live-action photo collage backgrounds in a satirical look at daily life of a woman living in New York. The animated block airs on Oxygen Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 pm.
The new UPN clay animated series HORMONE HIGH has added more names to its lengthy voice cast. Recently joining the pilots' cast are Jerry O'Connell (MISSION TO MARS, SLIDERS), John Cryer (GETTING PERSONAL), Adam Goldberg (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) and Jennifer Tilly (BOUND, BRIDE OF CHUCKY). The half-hour comedy is being directed by CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH creator Eric Fogel. Other talent on the voice-over cast are PUNKY BREWSTER child-star Soleil Moon Frye, FRAISER's Harriet Sansom Harris, SPARKS' Arif Kinchen and BAKERSFIELD, P.D.'s Brian Doyle-Murray.
The Aides of March have changed to the Idiots of March at Cartoon Network. On March 15, 2000, Cartoon Network will feature a mini-marathon of I AM WEASEL. The series follows the exploits of the super-smart weasel, I.M. Weasel, and his blunder-prone baboon nemesis I.R. Baboon. The COW AND CHICKEN spin-off's marathon will air from 7 pm - 10 pm.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has created the new opening for Comedy Central's second season of STRANGERS WITH CANDY. The opening, produced by J.J. Sedelmaier and directed by Ward Sutton, sums up the premise of the live-action series in 30 seconds. It follows the crazy life of series star Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris) after she drops out of high school. Ward Sutton's heavy line and bright colors warps an animated Blank through a whirlwind ride of sex, drugs and prostitution that leads back to high school 30 years later. The lead animator on the project was Tony Eastman.
The new NBC animated series, GOD THE DEVIL AND BOB, received heavenly ratings in spite of the devilish controversy surrounding the sitcom. After being axed or shifted by a total of nine NBC affiliates due to religious concerns, GOD, THE DEVIL AND BOB garnered time slot-winning scores of 14.42 million viewers, a 7.3/19 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.0/23 in adults 18-34. However, the show's premiere, positioned between the network's top shows FRIENDS and FRASIER, lost about 30% of the viewers from its FRIENDS lead-in.
The new animated series MAX STEEL premiered at #1 for its rating slot. The new CGI series scored a 7.6 rating/24 share, finishing #1 with Boys 6-11 against all of its Saturday morning competition. The show also garnered Kids WB! a #1 rating with teens for the first time since May of 1999. The series, set in the fictitious, futuristic city of Del Oro Bay, centers around Max Steel, a young secret agent pitted against the evil plots of the mercenary organization, DREAD.
A new television series based on TOY STORY's Buzz Lightyear character will be coming to ABC and UPN in October. Walt Disney Television Animation is producing 65 episodes of BUZZ LIGHTYEAR OF STAR COMMAND -- 52 for UPN's "Disney's One Too" and 13 for ABC's Saturday morning lineup. Pixar will produce the CGI opening, but the series itself will be traditional 2D animation. Taking on voice duties as Buzz will be SEINFELD's Patrick Warburton, who's also starring in the live-action THE TICK series.
"They'll end up being like SOUTH PARK or something like that," said Charles Schulz's son Monte regarding the future of his father's PEANUTS comic strip, in an Associated Press article by Mary Ann Lickteig. Before Schulz's death, he strictly left instructions that nobody else could draw THE PEANUTS strip and the animated shows must end. In regards to honoring their father's wishes, Schulz's children's concern centers around United Media, who holds the copyrights on the PEANUTS characters.
Director Kevin Smith is steaming over the treatment ABC has given his new animated series version of his cult-classic film CLERKS. After Disney owned ABC pushed back the premiere of the new series to May 31, 2000, Smith said the summer release date "almost ensures the show's failure" due to the traditionally low TV ratings of the summer months.
Recently, Gold Zebra Communications launched its new preschool network Hop! The Israeli Nursery Channel. The net airs daily from 6 am to 7 pm catering toward the youngest viewers. The completely non-violent content has been acquired from producers in Europe and the States. Recently, Hop! appeared at the Monte Carlo Television Market to promote and attach new content for the fledgling channel. For more information contact Gold Zebra Communications Ltd. at: 7 Harugei Malchut St. Tel-Aviv 69714 Isreal; Tel.: ++972-3-649-6228; Fax: ++972-3-649-6229; or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new NBC animated sitcom, GOD THE DEVIL AND BOB, has been given the ax by five more stations across the U.S. NBC affiliates in Shreveport, Louisiana, Tupelo, Mississippi and Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho have moved the show to a late night time slot, while Pocatello, Idaho has completely pulled the show from its line up. Joining Salt Lake City which last week pulled the show from its schedule, the additional stations are in strict contrast to NBC's grand premiere of the series on Thursday, March 9, 2000. Currently, the show is positioned between the network's top shows FRIENDS and FRASIER.
The promised land of prime time nirvana will escape GOD THE DEVIL & BOB in
Salt Lake City, Utah, whose NBC affiliate has refused to air the network's
upcoming animated comedy. KSL-TV VP and general manager Al Henderson said
the station decided to pre-empt the "not-so-heavenly" toon because it "was
not very funny." "We didn't think it was written well," Henderson said. "We
found some of the humor tasteless." The new series follows the
misadventures of Detroit auto worker Bob Alman (voiced by French Stewart),
Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. announced that it will produce 26 all-CGI
ACTION MAN half-hour television series episodes for Hasbro Properties
Group, a division of Hasbro, Inc. Before the series begins regularly
scheduled broadcasts on Fox Kids in September, a one-hour ACTION MAN
special will air on Fox Kids Network in May 2000. SABAN International N.V.
will handle international distribution for the series. The new TV show is
based on Hasbro's ACTION MAN brand, the number one boy's action brand in
ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT INC., a leading worldwide interactive entertainment
company, announced that NIGEL COOK has been promoted to vice president,
studio head of Acclaim Studio Austin. Cook will oversee the management of
the Austin facility, including product releases, personnel development and
process improvement. Previously, Cook was VP of product development and
design at Acclaim. In this position, he oversaw creative development and
design at all Acclaim Studios. Cook was responsible for developing many of
FAT DOG MENDOZA co-produced by Sunbow Entertainment and Cartoon Network
Europe, is set to premiere in the U.K. Animated by TMO-Loonland's Peter
Volkle at his Hungarian studio, the first of the 26 completed episodes will
air on February 28, 2000. The series is based off of Scott Musgrove's cult
comic book. Fat Dog and his boy Little Costumed Buddy live in Neighbourhood
X, which seems normal until one notices that ancient Rome and the Himalayas
Nickelodeon has announced plans for a new animated series featuring
Hispanic leads. DORA THE EXPLORER will follow the crusades of a 7-year-old
Hispanic girl who lives inside a computer. The show will encourage viewers
to participate in the adventure. The new show is "a rounding out of our
efforts to reflect the world of kids," said Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon's
executive vice president. Other new toons include: INVADER ZIM, about an
alien who spies on Earth by masquerading as a kid and attending elementary
On Sunday, February 20, 2000, everyone's favorite alien villain from Space
Ghost's CARTOON PLANET, Brak, will present his own half-hour musical
variety show on Cartoon Network entitled BRAK PRESENTS THE BRAK SHOW
STARRING BRAK. Starting at 7 pm, the special will feature 10 original songs
and many comedy sketches. The dimwitted host gets the chance to sing a
heart-warming duet with R&B singer Monica, ride down a country road in an
ol' pick-up truck singing the tune "Highway 40" with teen film star Freddie
Patrick Warburton, best known for playing Elaine's mechanic boyfriend,
Putty, on SEINFELD, will don the blue superhero suit in the new live-action
TV series THE TICK. Barry Sonnenfeld will direct the half-hour pilot, and
share executive producing credits with partner Barry Josephson and TICK
creator Ben Edlund. Shooting is scheduled for the first two weeks in April.
To celebrate the American holiday, President's Day, Fox Family will be
hosting a seven hour marathon of ANGELA ANACONDA on Monday, February 21,
2000. Fourteen episodes of the hit animated series will air back-to-back
starting at 7:30 am. Catch all of Angela's misadventures with her friends
and chief rival Nanette Manoir, her stuck-up blonde classmate.
DIGIMON: DIGITAL MONSTERS will take over the airwaves for a seven hour
marathon on Sunday, February 27, 2000. The "Digithon" will feature 11 new
episodes to Fox Family starting at 7 am. Follow the mysterious adventures
of the series' seven young heroes as they discover the secrets of the
"black gear" which threatens the existence of Digiworld.