Cartoon Network is launching three new half-hour original series, and grabbing 214 Looney Tunes shorts formerly licensed to Nick for 1999. New series Courage the Cowardly Dog, I Am Weasel and Mike, Lu & Og will up the channel’s daily original programming from 90 minutes to two hours. Set for a November debut, Mike, Lu & Og, from Rugrats creative producer Chuck Swenson, follows the adventures of a sophisticated young New York girl named Mike on an uncharted island with natives Lu and Og. Also premiering in November, Courage the Cowardly Dog, created, written and directed by John Dilworth, features a timid dog who defends an elderly farming couple from various paranormal phenomena. I Am Weasel (and nemesis I. R. Baboon) spins off from Cow and Chicken, and launches as a separate series in June.
When the Looney Tunes shorts are added to Cartoon’s existing library in the fall, the channel will be in a tie position with Kids’ WB! for the largest collection. The acquisition will allow beefed up versions of existing Looney Tunes shows, plus the introduction of a new franchise called Chuck Jones Showcase. Finally, Cartoon announced it will produce 75 new episodes for renewed series over the next year, and develop 14 animated shorts to debut as series pilots on the What A Cartoon! Show over the next two years.