Cartoon Network announced its programming line-up for 2008 at its annual Advertising Upfront Presentation in New York City today. Filmmaker George Lucas made a guest appearance and introduced a new clip reel from the upcoming animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The new series will help launch a new programming strategy for the network, which sets aside three nights different themes.
Fantasy/adventure Cartoon Network originals will be the theme on Friday nights, anchored by The Clone Wars. Joining it will be Ben 10: Alien Force, The Secret Saturdays, and — new from Warner Bros. Animation — Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Thursday nights will be for original comedies, and include Chowder (which the network announced today has been picked up for a second season), Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Camp Lazlo, and George of the Jungle. The night will also be a platform for new series launches including this summer’s The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
Sunday night will be movie night. Launching in June, the network will showcase a different movie each week, including the world television premieres of films such as Ant Bully, Hoodwinked, Monster House and Open Season, as well as live action fare like Kicking and Screaming and Cheaper by the Dozen.
For more information, fact sheets about each show, and pictures from the event and the new series’ just look here:
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Launch date: Batman: The Brave and the Bold is slated to premiere on Cartoon Network in 2008.
Description: Batman isnâ€™t going at it alone this time! From Warner Bros. Animation comes the latest interpretation of the classic Batman franchise. Our caped crusader is teamed up with heroes from across the DC Universe, delivering nonstop action and adventure with a touch of comic relief. Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Aquaman and countless others will get a chance to uphold justice alongside Batman. Though still based in Gotham, Batman will frequently find himself outside city limits, facing situations that are both unfamiliar and exhilarating. With formidable foes around every corner, Batman will still rely on his stealth, resourcefulness and limitless supply of cool gadgets to bring justice home.
Production: Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a 30-minute animated action/adventure created by Warner Bros. Animation and executive produced by Sam Register.
Production & Animation: Warner Bros. Animation
Executive Producer: Sam Register
Producers: James Tucker, Linda M. Steiner
Line Producer: Amy McKenna
Story Editor: Michael Jelenic
Animation Directors: Ben Jones, Brandon Vietti, Michael Chang
The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
Launch Date: The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack will premiere on Cartoon Network in Summer 2008.
Series Description: Raised by Bubbie the talking whale in the bubbling splendor of the sea, Flapjackâ€™s life was once a world of peace and tranquility. That all ended the day he and Bubbie rescued an old pirate from a shipwreck, Captain Kâ€™nuckles, whose tall tales tangle up Flapjackâ€™s head, consuming him with an unquenchable desire for adventure.
Although Bubbie struggles to protect him, Flapjack would do anything to win the approval of Captain Kâ€™nuckles, even if it means getting himself into a lot of trouble. The trouble Flapjack finds himself in results from his naÃ¯ve, overenthusiastic quest for adventure. The best things are what happened insteadâ€”the misadventures.
The sea community in which the three friends live, Stormalong Harbor, is pretty much home to them. Here Flapjack and Capâ€™n Kâ€™nuckles work at the dock to earn candy money, acquire supplies, and get into mischief, all in support of acquiring the most coveted title of allâ€¦Adventurer!
Production: The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack is a new half-hour comedy series created by Thurop Van Ormon and is produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif.
Voice Cast: Thurop Van Orman (Flapjack), Brian Doyle-Murray (Captain K’Nuckles), Roz Ryan (Bubbie)
The Secret Saturdays
Premiere: The Secret Saturdays is a new original series from Cartoon Network slated to premiere in fall 2008.
Series Description: In the new comedy-action series created by Jay Stephens, Doc, Drew and Zak Saturday are a family of world-saving adventure scientists called The Secret Saturdays. They live in a hidden base and are part of a network of scientists who protect against all the underlying evil in world. To the Saturdays, ordinary folk-tales arenâ€™t just legends, but real-life mysteries and adventures. Traveling from the hot Gobi Desert to the icy Marianas Trench, they explore ancient temples and bottomless caves and tangle with twisted villains, including the masked madman V.V. Argost and his half-human/half-giant spider.
But aside from the adventures that span the globe, at the end of the day the Saturdays, along with their hyper exotic pets Fiskerton Komodo and Zon, are just a warm, loving family getting through everyday growing pains and squabbles.
Production: Twenty-six episodes of The Secret Saturdays are currently in production at Porchlight Entertainment in Los Angeles, Calif. The series is from creator Jay Stephens and producer Fred Schaefer.
The Secret Saturdaysâ€™ creator, Jay Stephens, began his career creating independent comic books like Atomic City Tales, The Land of Nod and Jetcat Clubhouse, which he later made into an animated short. The short was featured in the Nickelodeon animated series KaBlam and not only helped propel a transition into animation, but earned Stephens an Annie Award nomination. Stephens has also won two Daytime EmmyÂ® Awards for his hit international animated series Tutenstein on NBC and Discovery Kids.
Voice Cast: Phil Morris (Doc Saturday), Nicole Sullivan (Drew Saturday), Sam Lerner (Zak Saturday), Diedrich Bader (Fiskerton), Corey Burton (V.V. Argost)
Launch date: Chowder premiered on Friday, Nov. 2, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. (ET, PT).
Description: In Marzipan City, where snail sars crowd the streets and colorful citizens hustle and bustle, the Mung Daal Catering Company cooks up the most oddly delicious food. And that is exactly where Chowder, an aspiring young chef in training, likes to be. Under the watchful eye of the eccentric and much older Mung Daal, it is Chowderâ€™s job to assist with the usual kitchen duties, like cooking Sing Beans until they warble on key, nursing a bruised Bluenana back to health, or delivering a 1000-pound cake to a man who lives on the head of a giant.
Chowder is perfect for the job because no one loves cooking or trying new foods as much as he does. Heâ€™s a sweet, impetuous and thoroughly gullible little kid, and wherever he goes, chaos usually ensues. He may not be ready to be a chef on his own, but heâ€™ll get there one day (if he doesnâ€™t destroy the whole town trying). If Chowder could spend every single second cooking in the kitchen with Mung Daal and Shnitzel, he would be pleased as punch.
Production: Chowder is created by C. H. Greenblatt, a veteran storyboard artist at Cartoon Network Studios and the creator and voice of Fred Fredburger on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Chowder is an original production of Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif.
Ratings: Chowder premiered as Cartoon Networkâ€™s highest-rated original series of 2007 among kids 6-11 and boys 6-11 and attracted 3.9 million viewers ages 2+. Chowderâ€™s second episode premiere also out-performed the original seriesâ€™ premiere delivery and ratings performance among kids 6-11 by a significant 25%. The Sunday, Nov. 11 airing scored a 4.9 ratingâ€”the Networkâ€™s top 2007 telecast year-to-date with the key demo. Chowder continued to stir up significant ratings and delivery gains across all targeted kid demos vs. the same time period four weeks prior.
Voice Talent: Nicky Jones (voice of Chowder), Dwight Schultz (voice of Mung Daal),
Tara Strong (voice of Truffles), John DiMaggio (voice of Shnitzel), Dana Snyder (voice of Gazpacho), Mindy Sterling (voice of Ms. Endive), Liliana Mumy (voice of Panini)
Episodes: Chowder will be returning for a second season with a total of 40 episodes now ordered.
Ben 10: Alien Force
Ben 10: Alien Force begins the next chapter in the continuing Ben 10 saga five years later when 15-year-old Ben Tennyson chooses to once again put on the OMNITRIX and discovers that it has reconfigured his DNA and can now transform him into 10 brand new aliens. Joined by his super-powered cousin Gwen Tennyson and his equally powerful former enemy Kevin Levin, Ben is on a mission to find his missing Grandpa Max. In order to save his Grandpa, Ben must defeat the evil DNALIENS, a powerful alien race intent on destroying the galaxy, starting with planet Earth. Ben will join forces with other young heroes to save the galaxy and his Grandpa Max, while passing along his knowledge to a whole new generation. The animated series will premiere with a special one-hour episode on Cartoon Network in Spring 2008.
Ben 10 was created by Man of Action (Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steve Seagle), and is executive-produced by Sam Register (Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi) with supervising producer Glen Murakami (Teen Titans) and story editor Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League). The voice cast includes Yuri Lowenthal as Ben; Ashley Johnson as Gwen; and Greg Cipes as Kevin. Ben 10: Alien Force is currently in production at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
After months of speculation throughout the television industry, Turner Broadcasting has landed the broadcast rights to the highly-sought-after CG-animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars from creator George Lucas. A new era of Stars Wars entertainment begins this fall when the television series premieres on Cartoon Network, followed by airings on TNT. The series will premiere following the North American theatrical release Friday, August 15, from Warner Bros. Pictures. Details regarding international television broadcasts will be announced shortly.
Produced by Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes audiences on incredible new Star Wars adventures, combining the legendary storytelling of Lucasfilm with an eye-popping, signature animation style.
â€œI felt there were a lot more Star Wars stories left to tell,â€ said George Lucas, executive producer of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. â€œI was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the art of animation forward.â€
â€œNothing like this has ever been produced for television,â€ said Stuart Snyder, President/COO Turner Animation,Young Adults & Kids Media. â€œFor 30 years, Star Wars has shown that it appeals to a huge breadth of fans. Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network will be appointment television for everyone in the family. Weâ€™re thrilled to be working with Lucasfilm again and very excited to be playing a role in bringing this remarkable adventure to viewers.â€
Star Wars: The Clone Wars showcases an entirely new look and feel to the galaxy far, far away, combining the expansive scope of the Star Wars saga with state-of-the-art computer-generated animation. Each week, viewers will see a thrilling, 30-minute â€œmini-movieâ€ created by the talented artists at Lucasfilm Animation.
On the front lines of an intergalactic struggle between good and evil, fans young and old will join such favorite characters as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and PadmÃ© Amidala, along with brand-new heroes like Anakinâ€™s padawan learner, Ahsoka. Sinister villainsâ€”led by Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievousâ€”are poised to rule the galaxy. Stakes are high, and the fate of the Star Wars universe rests in the hands of the daring Jedi Knights. Their exploits lead to the action-packed battles and astonishing new revelations that fill Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
With a new story each week, Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues the tradition of thrilling stories, astonishing visuals and extraordinary music that have always been the hallmarks of the Star Wars saga.
Lucasfilm Animation, which is based in Marin County, Calif., with a studio in Singapore, has produced more than 30 all-new episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
MOVING FORWARD, THE FORCE IS WITH CARTOON NETWORK
At the Cartoon Network Upfront presentation held today in New York, the network announced its programming line-up for 2008. On the heels of Februaryâ€™s announcement that Star Wars: The Clone Wars will come to Cartoon Network as a series in the fall, George Lucas, the creator and steward of the Star Wars brand, attended the Upfront event to provide additional details on this highly anticipated offering. Building on the unprecedented success of last fallâ€™s live-action movie Ben 10: Race Against Timeâ€”the highest-rated telecast in Cartoon Network historyâ€”and the standout new series Chowder, the network announced a two-pronged, 360 degree programming strategy that speaks to its success in developing and acquiring first-rate brands. This approach incorporates a Sunday night movie franchise, two new nights of original programming, the launch of The Cartoonstituteâ€”an unprecedented, swift development program for animated pilotsâ€”and a continued commitment to healthy living through its GET ANIMATED initiative.
â€œCartoon Network has proven with the success of great brands and series like Ben 10 and Chowder that we have what kids want,â€ said Stuart Snyder, president and COO, Turner Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media. â€œStar Wars: The Clone Wars is a game changer for us and continues our commitment to staying in the forefront of offering kids something completely different than what they are seeing anywhere else.â€
â€œThe time being spent by kids across all of our platforms lets us know that they are deeply engaged in what is being offered by Cartoon and are experiencing the network in a variety of ways,â€ said Beth Goss, executive vice president of Cartoon Network Ad Sales, Marketing and Enterprises. â€œOur portfolio is appealing to our audience and with marketers as well, thanks to strong branding, dynamic programming and innovative promotion.”
Mirroring the networkâ€™s effort to diversify its on-air offerings with live-action originals as well as more sophisticated dramatic and adventure programming, Cartoon Network will develop content in two primary tracks: fantasy/adventure and comedy.
â€¢ Star Wars: The Clone Wars will anchor this strategy with fantasy/adventure on Friday nights, the network announced, along with the new animated action series from Warner Bros. Animation, Batman: The Brave and the Bold; Ben 10: Alien Force; and the previously announced The Secret Saturdays, which will premiere with 26 episodes in the fall.
â€¢ Cartoon Network announced today that it is also developing a sequel to the record-breaking original live-action movie Ben 10: Race Against Time.
â€¢ Cartoon Network has designated Thursday nights as the new destination for comedy. Anchored by its new animated hit Chowder, which the network announced today has been picked up for a second season, Thursdays will also feature existing laughers Fosterâ€™s Home for Imaginary Friends, Camp Lazlo and George of the Jungle and offer a platform for new series launches including this summerâ€™s The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
â€œThese are just the first steps in the evolution of a programming strategy that will lay the groundwork for highlighting all of our strengths moving forward,â€ said chief content officer, Rob Sorcher. â€œWe now have great tentpoles to launch these new nights and a platform to showcase established and up-and-coming talent.â€
Sunday nights will be the destination for Cartoon Networkâ€™s new movie franchise (as yet unnamed). Launching in June, the network will showcase a must-see movie each week, including the world television premieres of much-loved films such as Ant Bully, Hoodwinked, Monster House and Open Season, as well as Cartoon Network firsts like Kicking and Screaming and Cheaper by the Dozen.
The Cartoonstitute will continue Cartoon Networkâ€™s long standing tradition of developing innovative and original animated content. The initiative will endeavor to create up to 150 pieces of programming over a period of 20 months. A veritable think tank for animators, the program will be artist-led and spearheaded by executive producer Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls, Fosterâ€™s Home for Imaginary Friends) and supervising producer Rob Renzetti (My Life as a Teenage Robot, Dexterâ€™s Laboratory). Furthermore, The Cartoonstitute will create an in-house, all-star team of artists, directors, storyboarders and writers to generate content across a number of platforms. The program will broaden Cartoon Networkâ€™s proud tradition of shepherding successful animated programs from pilot to series.
Cartoon Network continues to prioritize its vision to help kids lead healthier lives through its comprehensive GET ANIMATED initiative. As part of this campaign, the Network announced this morning it will again be partnering with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take their public education campaign SPOT THE BLOCK to the next level. Introducing an all-new 2008 expanded edition of the online and on-air promotion to launch Monday, April 7, SPOT THE BLOCK stresses to kids the importance of regularly finding and reading the nutrition labels on packaged food and drinks and using them to make healthy choices.
Cartoon Network Creates The Cartoonstitute
Artist-Led Division To Create Huge Volume of Animated Content
Continuing its long-standing tradition of developing innovative and original animated content, Cartoon Network announced today the creation of The Cartoonstitute, a new initiative designed to dramatically increase the animation development slate for the network. Produced primarily by Cartoon Network Studios, The Cartoonstitute will endeavor to create up to 150 pieces of programming over a period of 20 months.
A veritable think tank for animators, the program will be artist-led and spearheaded by animation veterans Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls, Fosterâ€™s Home for Imaginary Friends) and Rob Renzetti (My Life as a Teenage Robot, Dexterâ€™s Laboratory), who will create an in-house, all-star team of artists, directors, storyboarders and writers generating content suitable for distribution across a number of platforms. McCracken will serve as executive producer and Renzetti as supervising producer reporting to Rob Sorcher.
â€œThe Cartoonstitute will create an unprecedented swift development track for animated pilots,â€ said Rob Sorcher, Chief Content Officer for Cartoon Network. â€œThis program is unique in that it is run by artists themselves who understand what it takes to create the right environment for success. The Cartoonstitute continues the tradition of Cartoon Network being the best place for ground-breaking animation and will create a new generation of show runners in addition to fantastic new animated content for Cartoon Network.â€