Cartoon Network Unveils New Shows, Original Programming Franchise and Acquisitions at 2005 Kids Upfront Presentation
In 2005, Cartoon Network will telecast brand new series and acquisitions, launch an original programming franchise for young viewers and their parents and support a healthy lifestyle initiative, it was announced today at Cartoon Network’s Upfront presentation to advertising executives and the media in New York. Cartoon Network will air more than 400 new half-hours, including five new animated series, new episodes of returning original series and new acquisitions.
“We had success in 2004 with an emphasis on providing hundreds of hours of new programming and establishing new hit series, which, in conjunction with our dayparting strategy and a new on-air look, resulted in our best year ever with boys 6-11, kids and boys 2-11 and tweens. In 2005, we will increase the new programming on our air with five Cartoon Network series, new acquisitions, an original programming block for our youngest viewers and a pro-social campaign to increase kids physical activity,” said Jim Samples, executive vice president and general manager, Cartoon Network. “I’m confident that, with our exciting new programming, we will continue to grow in 2005.”
On Monday, Feb. 21, Cartoon Network will launch a national healthy lifestyles initiative targeted to kids 6-14 entitled GET ANIMATED, a comprehensive on-air, online, print and off-channel campaign. The branded program will tap the network’s roster of original cartoon characters and distinctive 3D on-air environment to communicate positive lifestyle messages through multiple PSAs to air in Cartoon Network’s morning, afternoon and prime time dayparts.
Cartoon Network also announced the development of the Untitled André 3000 Benjamin Primetime Series. Created by André 3000 and the master of cool kid TV, Tommy Lynch of “Lil Romeo” fame, this hotly-anticipated primetime half-hour comedy is the first animated series with a uniquely Southern sensibility. The central character takes on near-mythical status as he returns to his hometown of Atlanta and gets caught up by a diverse collection of kid outcasts who swirl in and out of his life. This is a world of colorful characters, vibrant neighborhoods and engaging storylines—layered, of course, with great music. A smartoon for humanity, the show uses the uncommon touches of common people to hold up a mirror to the world we all live in. The series is produced by the Tom Lynch Co., André Benjamin’s production company, Moxie Turtle, and Cartoon Network.
Highlights of Cartoon Network’s announcements are as follows:
New Original Programming Franchise:
Tickle U: This new programming franchise, Tickle U, will focus on developing, nurturing and valuing a child’s sense of humor, an essential aspect of a happy, well-adjusted child. The franchise’s newly developed and acquired series also will be packaged within a distinctive, cohesive on-air environment with a live host. Aimed at kids 2-5, Tickle U will air weekdays from 9-11 a.m. (ET, PT) with fun, funny and fearless animated programming presented by its host, Marty, an adult with a kid’s unlimited imagination and big heart. Marty will inspire kids to sing along, play and, most importantly, laugh with him and his characters. Tickle U will be set in Marty’s cool, bright and slightly askew workshop where he can build and fix anything. Throughout the block, Marty will engage kids with comedic skits and activities that will let kids be kids while developing a sense of humor and self-esteem.
Krypto the Superdog: Premiering on Cartoon Network on weekdays beginning Monday, April 4, at 9 a.m. (ET, PT), Krypto the Superdog chronicles the comedic canine adventures of Metropolis’ day-saving super dog from the planet Krypton. Krypto jettisons to Earth after orbiting countless years in space as a test-pilot puppy aboard a malfunctioning rocket ship built by Superman’s father. Landing astray on unfamiliar terrain, the fully-grown Krypto swiftly seeks out companionship on Earth and flips over Kevin Whitney, a young boy who also longs for friendship. Endowed with an amazing array of superhero powers, ranging from heat vision to super strength to flying, Krypto partners with best pal Kevin to fight threats to the safety and well-being of the people and animals of Metropolis. Krypto the Superdog will provide a lead-in to Tickle U when that franchise launches in August.
The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: From Judd Winick, comic book auteur and former The Real World: San Francisco cast member, this animated comedy-adventure packed with an array of characters from both the real and fantastical world, will premiere Sunday, June 5, on Cartoon Network. The star of the series, Juniper Lee, has afterschool activities and hobbies like any other 11-year-old, but on top of yearbook staff and guitar lessons, Juniper is responsible for maintaining the equilibrium between the world of magic and humanity. In addition to her everyday pre-teen escapades, Juniper is the Te-zuan-ze, the Protector. For generations, a member of her family has had both the honor and burden of keeping the balance between the real and magical world. Now it’s Juniper’s turn, and it’s not easy. But Juniper is equipped with the strength of 10 people and highly skilled in magic, so a little monster butt-kicking is no match for her.
Camp Lazlo: This 30-minute animated comedy is scheduled to debut in July during Fridays, Cartoon Network’s signature weekend franchise. Lazlo, star of the upcoming series, is a monkey who wreaks good-natured havoc on his highly structured summer home, Camp Kidney. It has everything a camper could want: rustic cabins named after all the famous beans (like soy, garbanzo, jumping and cocoa); a beach for aquatic fun; a campfire pit; a loudspeaker for blasting music to all the campers; and a mess hall. On top of that, there’s one uptight moose, Scoutmaster Lumpus, running the whole thing. Lazlo’s friendly mischief-making, wacky camp shenanigans and a budding, confusing relationship with a very cute mongoose named Patsy Smiles, drive the action in the new series from Joe Murray, creator of Rocko’s Modern Life.
IGPX: IGPX (The Immortal Grand Prix) is set to debut in November and takes viewers inside the world of the “Immortal Grand Prix” with a team on their way to the championship race. For the new series, Cartoon Network partnered with Production I.G., the famed Japanese animation studio responsible for Ghost in the Shell and animation sequences in Kill Bill. The year is 2048 and the “IGPX” has become the world’s most-popular sport. It’s so big that an entire city was built for the racing industry and competitions are held on a huge, 60-mile track called “The Big Eye.” Two teams of three robots, each with a human pilot, race at speeds greater than 350 mph for the checkered flag. Team Satomi, a crew of amateur pilots, has just won a minor-league championship and now find themselves vaulted into the sport’s highest level- the IG-1. Now, the untested rookies of Team Satomi must overcome impossible odds and beat the world’s most skilled pilots (and ruthless opponents) in the planet's biggest event, the “Immortal Grand Prix.”
My Gym Partner is a Monkey: In Cartoon Network’s new animated series My Gym Partner is a Monkey, going to school almost literally becomes a trip to the jungle. Through an administrative mix-up (a typo changing “Lyon” to “Lion”), 12-year-old Adam Lyon becomes the only human student at Charles Darwin Middle School, where the animal inhabitants of the local zoo and aquarium send their kids. With signs that warn, “Do Not Eat the Other Students,” Adam has his hands full just making it through middle school alive. Fortunately, Adam meets Jake Spider Monkey, and the two become fast friends. However, Adam is quick to discover that having a monkey as a best buddy is as crazy as it is fun. The half-hour series, from creators Julie McNally Cahill and Tim Cahill, will debut in early 2006.
New Episodes of Returning Series:
Star Wars: Clone Wars: The Emmy Award-winning series will return with five new 12-minute episodes on Cartoon Network beginning Monday, March 21, setting the stage for the upcoming feature film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. In the final installment of the series, a group of Jedi Knights is being decimated by a seemingly indestructible new enemy, the enormous and powerful General Grievous. As the new chapters begin, the Jedi must change their strategy to defeat General Grievous and keep the Separatist movement on the defensive. Star Wars: Clone Wars is produced and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of the hit Cartoon Network series Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory. The new episodes of Star Wars: Clone Wars will air nightly at 7 p.m. (ET, PT) Monday, March 21-Friday, March 25.
Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends: Cartoon Network’s top series for 2004 will return with its second season in May, continuing the adventures of Mac, a normal 8-year-old, and Blooregard Q. Kazoo, his Imaginary Friend. The shy Mac has the perfect alter ego in Blooregard, the impulsive and brash creature who lives at Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, a haven for such wayward Imaginary Friends as Wilt, Eduardo, Coco and others who have been separated from the kids who invented them. Created by Craig McCracken, who also delivered the mega-hit The Powerpuff Girls, additional new episodes of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends will air in September.
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: One of Japan’s biggest pop music acts will return to Cartoon Network for a second season in June. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi follows the adventures of two very cool, but very different, pop stars as they travel from gig to gig or just hang out in their hometown of Tokyo.
Totally Spies: Cartoon Network will air 26 more episodes of Totally Spies during its block of Sunday night action-comedy series. The new season begins on Sunday, March 6, at 8 p.m. (ET, PT). When they’re not studying, shopping or trying to impress boys, three normal teen girls, Sam, Alex and Clover, travel the world on behalf of W.O.O.H.P., the World Organization of Human Protection, in Totally Spies.
Atomic Betty: To her friends and family, Betty is the sweet and brainy girl next door. But when the galaxy beckons, she sheds her humdrum persona and becomes “Atomic Betty, Galactic Guardian and Defender of the Cosmos.” The first of 26 new episodes of Atomic Betty will air Sunday, March 6, at 8:30 p.m. (ET, PT), following Totally Spies as part of Cartoon Network’s Sunday night girl-power extravaganza. Atomic Betty will air daily beginning in summer.
Codename: Kids Next Door: The exploits of five pint-sized secret operatives will begin again with a new season on May 6. Additional episodes premiere in September.
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: The macabre and humorous series about a boy, a girl and their best friend, the Grim Reaper, will return on April 1. Another season begins in October.
Ed, Edd n Eddy: Produced by creator and executive producer Danny Antonucci at aka Cartoons in Vancouver, the series, which made its debut in 1999, will air new episodes in October.
Teen Titans: Seventeen new episodes bring new and exciting changes for the Teen Titans in 2005. Cyborg has a final showdown with Brother Blood and the Teen Titans move to a new tower with five new members. This year, Aqualad, Bumblebee and Speedy pitch in to help the Teen Titans.
Justice League Unlimited: This season, Black Canary, Shayera, Vigilante, Vixen and The Question step up to face such villains as Lex Luthor, Felix Faust and Tobias Whale. And Superman takes on Cadmus in a battle that will determine the future of the league. Twenty-three new episodes will air in 2005.
D.I.C.E: D.I.C.E (DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises) is a large organization established to deal with emergencies occurring throughout the Sarbylion galaxy. D.I.C.E F-99 is the only unit comprised entirely of highly trained kids. When a problem arises in the Sarbylion galaxy, D.I.C.E is called to the rescue. And when their special training isn’t enough, they rely on their Dinobreakers to help get the job done. Twenty-six episodes will air in 2005.
Dragonball GT: Goku, Trunks and Pan set out on their quest to recover the bizarre Black Star dragon balls, which were scattered across the entire galaxy after Goku was transformed into his boyhood state. If Goku cannot succeed in collecting the dragon balls, the planet on which the wish was made will explode. Goku has only one year to save the Earth. The quest continues with 16 new episodes in 2005.
Duel Masters: The animé series about Shobu, a master of an engrossing playing card game who can bring the cards’ creatures to life, will return in March with 26 new episodes.
Code LYOKO: Cartoon Network has acquired 26 additional episodes of the animated series that blends traditional 2D and 3D animation. Code LYOKO tells the story of a group of students who uncover a parallel digital world named LYOKO that is threatened by a deadly virus that could ultimately destroy Earth.
Zatch Bell: The new series takes viewers to the world of good and evil demons as Zatch Bell seeks to become the benevolent king over all of the demons that have come to Earth to conduct the ultimate battle. Reluctant as he may be to fight against the evil demons, Zatch battles his adversaries with the help of his human friend, Kory. The power of the duo grows stronger as their relationship develops. Cartoon Network has acquired 52 episodes of Zatch Bell, which will debut in March.
One Piece: A boy, whose body has the properties of rubber, and his friends are on the search for the treasure left behind by a pirate king called “One Piece.” Whoever finds this treasure will become King of the Pirates. One Piece will begin in May.
Naruto: Twelve years ago, a nasty demon decimated a village but was contained in a baby who is now a student at a ninja academy. But this antisocial boy does not know that he is possessed. As he evolves as a ninja, his inner demon gives him more and more powers. To become a master ninja, he must learn to control his powers without destroying those around him. The series is scheduled to air in third quarter.
Bobobo-bo Bo-Bobo: In this silly action series, BoBoBo can talk to and understand hair. With the help of his blond hair, he is out to save the land from the Hair Patrol posse and their leader, Baldy Bald, who is forcing everyone to be bald. The action series is scheduled to air in fourth quarter.
New Greenlights of Existing Series:
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, created by Maxwell Atoms at Cartoon Network Studios, has been given the greenlight for an additional season, its fifth, which will bring the series up to 65 total episodes. There will also be a 2005 Christmas special.
Codename: Kids Next Door has been given the greenlight through its sixth season, which will bring the series up to 78 episodes.
Ed, Edd n Eddy will return with another holiday special for Halloween, Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Boo Haw Haw. The show has been given the greenlight to 78 episodes.
Teen Titans: The series has been given the greenlight for a fifth season. The additional 13 episodes will bring the total up to 65.
Justice League Unlimited has been given the greenlight for a third season of 13 episodes, for a total of 39 episodes.
Duck Dodgers, starring Daffy Duck and Marvin the Martian as interstellar adversaries in the distant future, has been given the greenlight for 13 additional episodes, which will take the series to 39 total episodes.
Cartoon Network, currently seen in 87.3 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s 24-hour, ad-supported cable service offering the best in animated entertainment. Drawing from the world’s largest cartoon library, Cartoon Network showcases unique original ventures such as Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Codename: Kids Next Door, Teen Titans, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Ed, Edd n Eddy and other Cartoon Cartoons. Cartoon Network also features Adult Swim, its signature late- night block of animation for grown-ups. Since its launch in 1992, Cartoon Network has remained one of ad-supported cable’s highest-rated networks. Cartoon Network’s Web site is located at www.CartoonNetwork.com.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.
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