With the ruckus finally dying down, Cartoon Network got back to the business of toons during its annual UpFront held yesterday in New York. A slew of programming is in the works for 2007/08, including five new series, 662 new eps and 24 prime-time specials.
We’re just going to give you the highlights.
Re-Animated is a spin-off of an original movie that bowed in December 2006. The live-action and animated pic features seventh-grader Jimmy Roberts, who, after a theme park accident, has the brain of famed animator Milt Appleday. Now Jimmy sees famous Appleday characters wherever he goes. The comedy is scheduled to premiere in the summer.
Santo (working title) takes an animated look at the real-life Mexican wrestling hero of the same name. The action/fantasy series follows the silver-masked wrestler as he battles foes from everyday thugs to genetically engineered serpents.
Chowder is a 2-D animated series about a young chef’s trials in the fantastical city of Marizpan. Chowder must perform surreal tasks in this comedy in order to impress his master Mung Dahl.
The Secret Saturdays centers on a group of scientists trying to save the world from a bevy of villains, including half human/half spider V.V. Argost.
The Marvellous Misadventures of Flapjack follows the title character and wily ol’ pirate Captain K’Nuckles as they explore the Candied Islands, where lollipop flowers and lemonade springs pepper the landscape.
Planned programming stunts:
CN also announced a cross-promotional special that will mine the single theme of an alien plot to take over several of the net’s original series. It all begins when Bloo from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends sends a message deep into space, signalling the ETs to invade. Every Friday, an alien will arrive on a different series, some of which may include My Gym Partner’s A Monkey, Camp Lazlo and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. All the invaded eps will be showcased during a planned programming marathon on Memorial Day.
Throughout the summer, the net will profile 16 kids in a multi-media special called Props. Audience members will be encouraged to vote online for their favourite story, with the six finalists showing up in the special airing in September.
Also in the fall, the anticipated Ben 10 live-action movie will premiere. This is the first time the animated series will be given a live-action treatment. Expect the storyline to expand upon the original series’ plots.
On the so-called new media side of things, CN is banking on CallToons, a new mobile application that enables cell phones to be ‘taken over’ by CN characters, replacing ringtones with familiar cartoon voices. The technology is pending patent approval, but CN is hoping to have it hit shelves before Christmas.