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Cartoon Network Commissions to Create 20 Original Shorts from Aspiring Animators

Revisiting its roots in original animation that produced such mega-hits as THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, DEXTER'S LABORATORY and COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG, Cartoon Network today announced an all-new Cartoon Cartoons Shorts program to commission an initial 20 original shorts covering a wide variety of animation styles and formats, it was announced Sept. 29, 2003 by Jim Samples, evp/gm of Cartoon Network Worldwide. Much like its original World Premiere Toons project, the purpose of this new multi-million dollar program will be to produce a series of fully animated "pilots" over the next two years to find new characters and concepts to develop into new series.

"Cartoon Network's powerful original programming franchise was initially built on successful shorts produced through the ground-breaking 1994 WORLD PREMIERE TOONS project," said Samples. "At the time, Hanna-Barbera Studios was the first production house ever to have conceived and created a formal shorts program. Since then, due to its overwhelming success, other companies have adopted similar programs. With our ratings and target audience delivery now stronger than ever thanks to the heavy acquisition schedule we enacted this year as well as the success of CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR, TEEN TITANS and DUCK DODGERS, we now have the luxury once again to invest in new talent with strong potential for creating hit new original series."

"In 1995, I was incredibly fortunate to have joined Cartoon Network just as the company began to develop the first few series derived from the most promising pilots the shorts program had produced to date," said Linda Simensky, svp of original animation who will serve as exec producer of the project under the supervision of Bob Higgins, Cartoon Network svp of programming and development. "Not only did we hit upon and bring to air some wonderful new shows, but we were responsible for nurturing the talents of such impressive new animators as Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, John Dilworth and Van Partible. Our goal with this new Cartoon Cartoon Shorts program, beyond the shorts themselves, is to discover more talented creators and to provide the ideal means for them to express their ideas."

Simensky and the Cartoon Network original animation team will begin accepting concept submissions as of Oct. 1. West coast artists should contact Heather Kenyon at Cartoon Network Studios ( East coast artists should go directly to Simensky in Atlanta ( Production of the Cartoon Cartoon Shorts program will be supervised and resourced through Cartoon Network Studios, the network's 45,000-square-foot production facility located in Burbank, California.

Cartoon Network, seen in 84.4 million U.S. homes and 145 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s 24-hour, ad-supported cable service offering animated entertainment. Since its launch in 1992, Cartoon Network has remained one of ad-supported cable's highest-rated networks. Cartoon Network's Website is located at (AOL Keyword: Cartoon Network).