In 1992, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS) first launched its 24 hourall-cartoon cable service, Cartoon Network. Next spring, Turner will launcha second all-toon service, Boomerang. When Cartoon Network debuted sevenyears ago, it could have been called the Hanna-Barbera Network because itsprogramming consisted almost exclusively of the classic Hanna-Barberalibrary, which was also owned by Turner. But recently new shows such as THEPOWERPUFF GIRLS and DEXTER'S LABORATORY, produced by Cartoon Network
MTV: Music Television will premiere its newest animated series, MTVDOWNTOWN, which was created by New York-based School of Visual Arts alumnusChris Prynoski, on Tuesday, August 3, 1999 at 10:30 pm ET/PT, 9:30 pm CT.The 13-episode series will air regularly on Tuesday nights. MTV DOWNTOWNfocuses on the shy and thoughtful Alex, and his wild and crazy sister,Chaka. Many of the characters and situations are based on interviews withpeople around Manhattan.
BKN (Bohbot Kids Network) Bulldog Network, a programming block which debutsin the US on August 29, 1999, has acquired the programming and licensingrights for many worldwide territories for MONSTER RANCHER. The show willdebut as a lead entry on BKN as a daily Monday - Friday half-hour series.MONSTER RANCHER was originally developed in Japan as a Sony PlayStationvideo game by Tecmo, and the series is currently in production at TMS,Japan's largest animation house. The series is about an 11 year old boy who
Children's BBC has commissioned newly formed London-based Silver Fox Filmsto produce ANGELMOUSE, a 26-part series for the BBC. The series is about alittle mouse who has been sent down from heaven to help out. He's not verygood at his job, however, and whenever a good deed backfires, as oftenhappens, his halo dims or disappears. Graham Ralph is directing the serieswhich is slated to debut later this year. Graham Ralph recently formedSliver Fox after relinquishing his stake in London-based Hibbert Ralph
The CBS Television Network's 1999-2000 Saturday Morning schedule, whichbegins on October 2, includes three returning shows and three new ones, allproduced by Toronto-based Nelvana. The new series are RESCUE HEROES,BLASTER'S UNIVERSE, and NEW TALES FROM THE CRYPT. RESCUES HEROES is about ateam of international emergency response professionals, and is designed tointroduce young viewers to preparedness and safety techniques. BLASTER'SUNIVERSE is based on a series of CD-ROMs from Knowledge Adventure. Set in
"Shorties" is a series of two-minute animated shorts that re-interpret someof Hanna-Barbera's lesser known, but fondly-remembered characters such asAtom Ant, Jabberjaw, and Wally Gator. The shorts began to air in Junethroughout the day on Cartoon Network during breaks from regularlyscheduled programming. They feature original plots and different animationtechniques for each short, and aim to update these characters with anironic, post-modern twist. Techniques include cel animation, cut-outs,
The ABC network, which is owned by The Walt Disney Co., has ordered asix-hour miniseries based on the first two installments of James Gurney'sfantasy book series, DINOTOPIA which is about a world in which humans andhighly-evolved dinosaurs live together in harmony. With the exception ofStephen King projects THE SHINING and STORM OF THE CENTURY, DINOTOPIA marksABC's biggest miniseries time commitment since 1988's 30-hour WAR ANDREMEMBRANCE which starred Robert Mitchum. Some sources estimate the cost at
Eddie Murphy has rejoined the voice cast of Fox's Will VintonStudios-produced comedy, THE PJS, after angrily walking out on the showwhen Fox decided to hold it back for midseason rather than giving it a sloton the fall schedule. Murphy, a co-creator of THE PJS who has provided thevoice of lead character Thurgood Stubbs, had already recorded eight of nextseason's 22 episodes before he walked. Producer Imagine TV used Murphysound-alike Phil Morris for two episodes, but it's undetermined whether
Film Roman has joined Los Angeles-based Latino production company Sí TV toproduce a half-hour, English language animated pilot entitled STUCK IN THEMIDDLE which is intended for prime time. Written and co-created by Sí TVco-chairman Jeff Valdez, the pilot will feature the vocal talent ofco-creator and executive producer Cheech Marin (comedy team Cheech & Chong;NASH BRIDGES), who also serves on the advisory board of Sí TV. STUCK IN THEMIDDLE is about a twelve-year old whose home life in The Barrio contrasts
Data Motion Arts (DMA) has created the host character "Phred" for the new Noggin network. DMA's creative director Tony Caio was asked to create a character who is interactive, works on TV and on-line, and appeals to 6-to-12 year-olds. The result is a 2D character that appears tattooed on your forehead of different live-action faces. The PHRED ON YOUR HEAD show debuted on Nickelodeon on June 6th at 12:00 pm. You can view Phred on-line at www.noggin.com/build. Noggin is an educational TV channel and website, developed as a joint venture of Nickelodeon and Children's Television Workshop.
Beginning September 6, 1999, NODDY will air Monday through Friday on PBS stations in the US as part of PBS's "Ready to Learn" service. NODDY debuted in the US in the fall of 1998. The program's success has led to the production of 25 new episodes, bringing the total number of episodes to 65. The new episodes will begin airing in the fall of 1999. Based on the world-renowned children's books by Enid Blyton, NODDY, a show for children ages three to seven, is co-produced by BBC Worldwide, The Enid Blyton Company and Toronto-based Catalyst Entertainment, Inc.
Adding to the recently announced DOOMSDAY, being co-produced with HowardStern, and TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS, being co-produced with Norman Lear, FilmRoman has announced two more prime-time TV shows that it will be taking tothe marketplace this season. THE CABBISONS takes a hard look at today'ssociety through the eyes of a 1970's sitcom family who are typicallyAmerican--except for living in a cab. The Cabbisons travel through theworld in their cab, picking up fictional characters and celebrity fares
French production company Alphanim's RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT, a series,co-produced with Cinar, about a group of three friends who travel the worldseeking out paranormal phenomena, will begin airing on the Fox FamilyChannel on Wednesday, July 14, 1999. Alphanim, which was created in 1997 byChristian Davin, has announced a number of new television series that arein production or development.
SPACED OUT is a family sitcom created by P. Colin-Thibert and J.C. Islert,
Oxygen Media, Geraldine Laybourne's media company founded to providecontent for women, will undertake cable television's first originalanimated prime-time series specifically targeting women. Machi Tantillowill be Executive Producer. "Our goal is to create the first animatedtelevision series for women, exploring issues from a female point of view.We also wanted to build an outlet specifically for female animators, whosedistinctive voices will help us develop a unique Oxygen animation style and
Protozoa, a leading real-time 3D character animation studio, is producingBBC Choice's new breakthrough kids series, THE DOG & DINOSAUR SHOW. Inproduction now, Protozoa, which did the real-time motion-capture animationfor live TV show guest appearances by M&M's Crispy character (Will VintonStudios created and animates the CGI character in the live-actioncommercial campaign), will produce 26 segments of the show using itsproprietary performance animation software, ALIVE. Asked why he chose
Continuing to build upon the rapid growth of its television division'sdevelopment slate, Film Roman Inc. has teamed-up with televisionwriter/producer Norman Lear to develop TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS, an animatedprime-time comedy series. According to Norman Lear, the series will take anirreverent look at infirmity and old age, but also celebrate life andliving. The show revolves around characters who gather at a seniorcitizen's recreation facility and who cope with the challenges of old age
Cartoon Network has announced that I AM WEASEL will premiere on June 10 at8 pm (ET/PT). This show is a spin-off from David Feiss' currently airingCOW AND CHICKEN series. Creator, writer, and director David Feiss' serieswill follow the exploits of the internationally famous I.M. Weasel and hisinsanely jealous arch-nemesis I.R. Baboon. Each half-hour show will consistof three 7 minute shorts. 52 shorts that were originally shown as part ofCOW AND CHICKEN will be joined by 27 new shorts have been created for the
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.