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More primetime 'toons for ABC, Fox and NBC

Major U.S. networks have been bitten by an animation bug and have recently announced a slew of primetime animated series. ABC has worked out a deal with Miramax and Touchstone TV for six episodes of CLERKS, based on director Kevin Smiths 1994 indie film of the same name. Slated for a midseason or fall 2000 launch, the show will be executive-produced by Smith and former SEINFELD supervising producer, Dave Mandel. Like the film, the TV series, only the second ever produced by Miramax, focuses on two young slackers who keep minimum-wage jobs in New Jersey. This is ABCs first primetime animated series since Hanna-Barbaras CAPITOL CRITTERS bombed in 1992. Meanwhile, Fox, which seems to already have enough primetime animated series, has greenlit Big Ticket TV's GARY AND MIKE, a claymation comedy about two teens on a cross-country road trip. Created and executive produced by Fox Bahr and Adam Small (MAD TV), Fox has ordered eight episodes for a tentative midseason debut in 2000. NBC has also leaped into animation programming announcing God, the Devil and Bob [AF 2/23/99] and SAMMY, a new animated series from former SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE castmember and JUST SHOOT ME star David Spade. NBC has ordered 13 episodes of SAMMY, originally titled PEEWEE [AF 9/15/98], which is loosely based on Spade's real-life relationship with his flaky father. Slated for a midseason launch in early 2000, the show is being co-produced by Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and NBC Studios. Spade and Drake Sather (THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW, NEWSRADIO) are co-creators, and are joined by Brad Grey to executive produce. Sony Pictures is producing the show's computer animation. The two NBC shows represent the first original primetime animated series made specifically for the Peacock since MR. MAGOO (1964-1965).