Two new comedies and two new action-adventure series will be hitting Cartoon Network’s airwaves this year.
Time Squad stars a bumbling cop, an eight-year-old kid and a sassy robot who travel back in time to right imaginary errors in history that are preventing momentous events, such as Albert Einstein writing the theory of relativity. The 13-ep series, each ep comprised of two 11-minute shorts, comes from creator/animator Dave Wasson and will debut in June.
The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, a seven-minute short introduced last summer, is growing into its own series, The Grim and Evil Show. A brother and sister strike a deal with the Grim Reaper when he comes to take away their hamster, and, to the archvillain’s surprise and misfortune, his kid opponents drive a hard bargain. The short won 57% of votes in Cartoon Network’s first Big Pick Weekend last August, during which viewers voted for which of three series pilots unveiled throughout the summer should be developed as a series for fall 2001. Thirteen episodes of three seven-minute shorts each will kick off in October. Time Squad and The Grim and Evil Show will air in prime time and possibly other dayparts.
On the action-adventure side, Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and producer/director for The Powerpuff Girls, is bringing Samurai Jack to life. Its hero is a samurai warrior from feudal Japan who is sent into a sci-fi future after battling an evil wizard. A fish out of water, he must fight villains thrown his way by his shape-shifting nemesis. Thirteen episodes, each with a 22-minute story, will begin in July, likely at 7 p.m. as a bridge between Cartoon Network’s Toonami action-adventure afternoon block and its originals in prime time. Time Squad, The Grim and Evil Show and Samurai Jack are produced by Cartoon Network Studios.
Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the other superheroes of DC Comics’ Justice League comic book series are kicking off in a new show of the same name from Warner Bros. Animation. Bruce Timm, who was behind the original animated Batman series on Fox, is directing. The 26 x 22-minute series will launch this fall, likely within Toonami.
The four new series are all traditional cel animation, with budgets in the range of US$300,000 to US$500,000 per episode.