Victory Media AG and the Hamburg, Germany-based animation studio ASL have completed animation on the 26-episode series WINNETOONS. Based on characters created by German author Karl May, the Wild West-themed series will debut on German channel KinderKanal on April 24, 2002. ASL (Animationsstudio Ludewig GmbH) is best known for its recent digital production for Warner Bros. and Cartoon Film for the German animated feature DER KLEINE EISBÄR (THE LITTLE POLAR BEAR). ASL also recently completed the digital production of Illuminated Film's CHRISTMAS CAROL-THE MOVIE directed by Jimmy Murakami.
Canadian animation house Studio B is heading to MIP TV this April with two new shows and 26 new second season episodes of both YVON OF THE YUKON and D'MYNA LEAGUES. Studio B says their new property INTO THE SHADOWS is a "safe scare" show a la SCOOBY DOO. The series is in development for the Family Channel with 26 x 11-minute episodes. The production company hopes to secure international pre-sales at MIPTV. Studio B will also debut the original series FLAKES, featuring "cerealebrities" living in a place called Breakfastown.
Santa Barbara-based Foothill Entertainment, Inc. and BRB Internacional of Spain have inked a deal to develop, produce and distribute the series PIRATE SCHOOL. Production on the 26 x half-hour series is due to start mid 2002, with delivery commencing from September 2003. The 2D animated series will air on CBBC in the UK, which has an option to order a further 26 episodes.
As part of a new programming strategy, Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshops educational network NOGGIN will be unveiling its new programming schedule on April 1, 2002. The network will extend its preschool-aimed programming by three hours with a daytime block called "Noggin," airing from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm (ET). Premiering in this block beginning April 1st at 9:00 am is the new preschooler series PLAY WITH ME SESAME, featuring Muppet characters Ernie, Bert, Grover and Prairie Dawn.
Two young boys with rich fantasy lives are featured characters in Decode Entertainments new animated series. Decode has picked up the international rights to BEING IAN, a 26-episode series produced by Studio B for Canadian broadcaster YTV, and OLLIVERS ADVENTURES, produced by Collideascope Digital Productions for Teletoon Canada. BEING IAN stars Ian Kelly, a young boy obsessed with films who lives out his fantasies by imagining himself in a movie. The series is created by Ian James Corlette and directed by Marv Newland.
Kids' WB!, has unveiled their 2002-2003 schedule and the network is introducing a "year-round" slate offering new programming beginning in summer 2002 and leading into the 2002-2003 television season. Debuting this summer is the new, entirely Flash-animated series ¡MUCHA LUCHA!, an over-the-top comedy-adventure set in the world of Mexican masked wrestling.
Cartoon Network has announced two original series premieres in 2002: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ROBOT JONES? and CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR. Scheduled to debut in July 2002, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ROBOT JONES? is set in the retro-1980s future where robots have become commonplace. Robot Jones is a special robot, who is programmed with basic emotions that he doesnt quite have a handle on. His socially awkward interactions with his family, friends and enemies, form the basis of the series.
In addition to the more than 100 new episodes of original programs that are currently in production for 2002-2003, including 26 episodes each of COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG and ED, EDD N EDDY, JUSTICE LEAGUE (26 half-hours), POWERPUFF GIRLS (20 half-hours), SAMURAI JACK (26 half-hours) and GRIM & EVIL (13 new episodes), Cartoon Network will debut two new series in 2002 and eight new series pilots. The network will also premiere HAMTARO, a popular Japanese series the network recently acquired from ShoPro USA.
The first RUGRATS spin-off series and the TV series debut of the Oscar-nominated feature film JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS will headline five new animated series scheduled to launch on Nickelodeon during the 2002-2003 season. In addition to the RUGRATS spin-off ANGELICA AND SUSIE'S SCHOOL DAZE, and the premiere of THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS, Nickelodeon will also debut the comic tales of DANNY PHANTOM, a ghost-fighting kid superhero, MY NEIGHBOR IS A TEENAGE ROBOT, about, you guessed it, a teenaged robot and MAX AND RUBY, a new series for the Nick Jr. crowd.
4Kids Entertainment's first original animated television series, CUBIX - ROBOTS FOR EVERYONE!, has been renewed for a second season on Kids' WB! Under the terms of the renewal agreement, 4Kids will bring thirteen new episodes of the CGI animated series to Kids' WB! during the 2002-2003 season. CUBIX follows the adventures of 13-year-old Andy, a robot whiz, who brings to life a robot named Cubix that has been discarded as useless. The series was created by 4Kids in partnership with Korean animation house Cinepix and Korean broadcaster Daiwon.
Attention John K. fans! Adult Swim, Cartoon Networks programming block for adults, is presenting two classic John Kricfalusi shorts and one brand new one, based on the Hanna-Barbera series YOGI BEAR and THE JETSONS. In "Ranger Smith," the intrepid park ranger rules Jellystone Park with an iron fist. "Boo Boo Runs Wild" finds Yogi's sidekick shedding his bow-tie to get back to his ursine roots, much to Yogi's dismay.
BUTT UGLY MARTIANS producer Mike Young Productions is bringing a new series to the small screen. THE CURLY TALES OF PIGGLEY WINKS, 26 half-hour episodes aimed at pre-schoolers, is based on original stories by Irish writer Denise Fitzpatrick and is being produced with London-based Entara Limited. The CGI animated PIGGLEY WINKS features the voice of Irish actor Colm Meaney as Grandpa Piggley, whose comic stories of childhood adventures in rural Ireland form the basis of the series.
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc., is launching Nicktoons TV, a new 24-hour channel for kids, along with three new music channels -- MTV Jams, MTV Hits and VH1 Mega Hits. Nicktoons TV will offer 24-hours a day of Nickelodeon animation, featuring everything from classic Nick originals like DOUG and REN & STIMPY to more recent offerings like JIMMY NEUTRON. Nicktoons TV will replace Nick Too in some areas on the West Coast. Cablevision is the first operator to sign on for Nicktoons TV, adding it and MTV Hits to their digital service line-up.
Atomic Cartoons has produced a pilot of its irreverent property DIRTY LIL BASTER for Canadian broadcaster CBCs new late-night program ZeD. DIRTY LIL BASTER centers on a naked, half-baked rooster and a gawky, oversized alligator locked in a battle of good vs. evil. DIRTY LIL BASTER is one of 12 pilots produced for ZeD, chosen from over 1000 submissions. The show is scheduled to air April 2, 2002.
As part of Oxygen's "Addicted To Love" week, the cable network will premiere BEHIND THE KISS, a one-hour special created by animator Corky Quakenbush. Created in stop-motion animation, this special features a spoof of talk show host Charlie Rose interviewing actors Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Barbra Streisand, Richard Gere, Ellen DeGeneres and Julie Andrews at the premieres of Hollywood movie parodies, including XENA, WARRIOR PRINCESS DIARIES, ROMEO AND J. LOET, AN OFFICER AND A YENTLMAN, HANNIBAL: YOU'VE GOT MEAL and BITANIC.
MR. BEAN, the eccentric character created by writer/actor Rowan Atkinson, is set for his animated television debut, March 2, 2002 on UK channel ITV1 beginning at 5:50 pm. After previously bringing Bean to life in a live-action series and a feature film, Atkinson was closely involved with the animated version of his character as well. "As a live-action character, Mr. Bean always possessed a cartoon-like quality," said Atkinson, who was filmed for every episode of the series so animators could use his distinct movements when creating the animated MR. BEAN.
To honor Chuck Jones (1912-2002) great cartoon legacy, Cartoon Network's all-classic satellite network, Boomerang will host a 24-hour tribute to the legendary creator beginning Friday, March 1, 2002. Featuring many of the beloved Looney Tunes shorts and characters he created over his 60-year career, the marathon will run 8:00 am Friday, March 1 to 8:00 am Saturday, March 2. In addition to screening his classic Warner Bros.
Are you ready for more Smurfs? Because it looks like IMPS, the Belgian company that owns the worldwide license for Smurfs merchandising, is planning to create a new series of the cuddly blue creatures in Smurfy 3D. According to A&A computer systems, the technology provider to IMPS, the company is working on a pilot for a new Smurf series, which will possibly be produced in 3D. An IMPS representative stated that 3D "offers tremendous creative possibilities that have so far been unused in the Smurfs' cartoon world."
Animated battling robots series MEDABOTS will have its U.K. television premiere on Fox Kids UK starting February 18, 2002. The 52 half-hour episodes, produced by Corus-owned Nelvana Ltd. in association with NAS/Kodansha and TV Tokyo, are set in a technologically advanced future where every child owns a "Medabot," a pet robot fuelled with artificial intelligence and an arsenal of weapons.
Canadian network CTV has picked up a second season of the Studio B Productions series DMYNA LEAGUES. The show chronicles the misadventures of a baseball team comprised of teenaged myna birds, and its new season will premiere on CTV Saturdays at 11:00 am (ET) beginning February 23, 2002.
Kids' WB! has announced it will pick-up five animated series for its fall 2002 line-up. Beginning its fifth season, 52 all-new episodes of 4Kids Productions POKÉMON: MASTER QUEST will air six days a week. Both Sony Pictures Family Entertainments JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES and X-MEN: EVOLUTION, produced by Marvel Studios in association with Film Roman, return for their third seasons, with 13 new episodes each.
A Fox network representative confirmed that FUTURAMA has not been renewed for the 2003 - 2004 season. The Annie Award winning comedy series from Matt Groening was renewed in January 2001 for 18 episodes and a 4th season. Those episodes have all been completed by production company Rough Draft and will air during the next year. The network says there is a possibility they will order more episodes, but the current plan is to air only what they have.
Boomerang UK is adding more classic cartoon characters to its ranks. 30 half-hours of PRIME TIME PEANUTS SPECIALS and 18 half-hours of THE CHARLIE BROWN SHOW have been acquired by the network from Patrick Sinfield Ltd. The Charlie Brown series join Boomerangs recent acquisitions THUNDERBIRDS, THE PINK PANTHER and DANGERMOUSE. "This is another very valuable acquisition for Boomerang as Snoopy's appeal spans generations and is an extremely well-known franchise," said Jo Sweby, acquisition manager for Cartoon Network Europe. The shows will launch in August.
The Kids' WB! is planning a celebrity guest appearance and special two-part episodes of some of its most popular Saturday morning shows in the month of February. STATIC SHOCK will feature NBA superstar Shaquille ONeal in an animated guest appearance. In "Static Shaq," airing Saturday, February 16 (8:30 am ET/7:30 am PT), Shaq pays a visit to Virgil and his dad but a ruthless meta-human gang makes it difficult for Virgil to keep his Static status a secret from his new friend.
Disneys Classic Treasures Crosses The Alps. Buena Vista International Television has added Austrian terrestrial broadcaster ORF and Telepool Zurich in Switzerland to its list of licensees for the "Classic Treasures" package of Disney and Disney/Pixar films. For the first time, viewers in these territories will be able to watch popular animated films on terrestrial television. The package includes A BUG'S LIFE, MULAN, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2.