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Wednesday, February 25, 2004


In 2004, Cartoon Network will telecast more new episodes than ever before in its 11-year history, it was announced Wednesday at Cartoon Network's Upfront presentation to advertising executives and the media in New York.

Cartoon Network will air more than 500 new half-hours, including five new animated series, new episodes of returning original series and new acquisitions.

"We know that kids have voracious appetites for new shows, so we'll have more new programming on Cartoon Network in 2004 than ever before. By greenlighting more new shows faster, ramping up production of current hits and aggressively acquiring new series, we'll have twice the amount of new programming on our air this year than we did in 2002," said Jim Samples, executive vice president and general manager, Cartoon Network. "I'm confident that our new shows will not only solidify our current lead with boys, but will continue the growth in girls viewing that started earlier this year."

Following are the highlights of Cartoon Network's announcements:


* Megas XLR: The new action-comedy series about a 20-something grease monkey who discovers a giant fighting robot from the future in a New Jersey landfill, premieres on Saturday, May 1, at 9 p.m. (ET, PT), anchoring Toonami's new Saturday night lineup. Coop brings his discovery, called Megas, home and customizes it, but, in doing so, attracts the attention of evil aliens from the future. Now, Coop is forced into an uncomfortable role as the only hope for mankind, when he'd rather hang out, play video games and use his giant robot to cruise the Garden State. Megas XLR, created by Jody Schaeffer and George Krstic, is produced by Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif.

* Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: From Craig McCracken, creator of The Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends premieres with a 90-minute feature on Friday, July 16, followed by the series premiere on Friday, September 3. Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends tells the story of Mac, a smart, creative and shy 8-year-old, and his imaginary friend, Bloo. Mac's mom thinks that her son is too old to have an imaginary friend, so Bloo is sent to live at the Victorian mansion that serves as Madame Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. But Mac, not ready to abandon Bloo, strikes a deal with the home's staff - Madame Foster, Frankie and Mr. Herriman - who promise not to let Bloo be adopted by anyone else if Mac visits him every day. Mac becomes the favorite visitor of all the imaginary friends, including Wilt, Eduardo and Coco, who bring the boy along on their adventures within the house and in the "real world."

* Atomic Betty: This new series, set to premiere in September, follows the adventures of Betty, a little girl with a big secret. To her friends and family, she's 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." While the citizens of Earth carry on with their every day lives, Atomic Betty zips daringly across the galaxy on valiant missions, from saving a race of space monkeys from a giant caterpillar invasion to rescuing a kidnapped ambassador from a ruthless king. She's a hero to the universe, but on her home planet Earth, Betty's just one of the gang.

* Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: One of Japan's biggest pop music acts arrives in America, not with a massive stadium tour but as a cartoon. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, set to debut in December, 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. Ami is the peppy, positive and resourceful one. Yumi is the hard-rocking, no-nonsense cynic with an absolutely infallible sense of cool. Together, they take the world by storm, despite occasional misjudgments from their well-meaning but tragically square manager, Kaz. Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi also will feature live-action segments starring the real life Puffy AmiYumi as well as the group's catchy J-pop hits.

* The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: By outward appearances, Juniper Lee is a typical 11-year-old girl having fun with friends, dealing with siblings and worrying about schoolwork. But fate has dealt June a slightly different hand. For generations, a member of her family has been born into the secret responsibility of fighting the forces of mischief and chaos that hide everywhere. On any given day, she may have to skip out on her best friend's birthday party to discipline some unruly 6-foot leprechauns or smack down some troublemaking gnomes. The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, from creator Judd Winnick, will premiere in February 2005.


* Totally Spies: Clover, Sam and Alex use high-tech gadgets to stop nefarious criminal plots around the globe, but saving the world sometimes interrupts their favorite activity, shopping. Thirteen new episodes arrive on Cartoon Network in April.

* The Powerpuff Girls: The Emmy-winning series starring superheroes Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, who split their time between saving Townsville from destruction and playing hopscotch at Pokey Oaks School, returns with 17 new episodes in 2004.

* Codename: Kids Next Door: Cartoon Network's top-rated original series of 2003 will return this year with 20 new episodes covering the exploits of five pint-sized secret operatives. The series' third season begins in May.

* Johnny Bravo: The long-running series starring the pumped-up mama's boy returns with 12 new episodes and a half-hour special in 2004.

* Duck Dodgers: The new hit series starring Daffy Duck and Marvin the Martian as interstellar adversaries in the distant future, begins its second season of 13 new half-hour episodes on Saturday, June 26.

* The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy: The macabre and humorous series about a boy, a girl and their best friend, the Grim Reaper, returns with 16 new episodes in 2004.

* Evil Con Carne: Four new half-hour episodes about an evil genius whose brain has been implanted into a circus bear and his absurdly elaborate plans for world domination debut in 2004.

* Star Wars: Clone War: The epic micro-series continues as Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu and Yoda continue to lead the Army of the Republic in battle against the growing Separatist movement. New episodes begin on Friday, March 26, and air weekdays through Thursday, April 8.


* Transformers: Energon: The newest installment of the legendary story matching the Autobots vs. the Decepticons, joined Cartoon Network's Saturday line-up of action/adventure programming on Saturday, Jan. 31.

* Mucha Lucha: The rambunctious comedy series about three budding young masked wrestlers, debuts on Cartoon Network on Friday, March 5. Mucha Lucha will air as part of Fridays, Cartoon Network's prime time block of animated comedies.

* Astro Boy: The new series based on the classic anime property makes its Cartoon Network debut on Monday, March 8 at 5 p.m. Astro Boy is a reluctant superhero fighting for justice and peace among robots and humans alike. Though he possesses super strength, jet rockets in his feet and advanced intelligence, his most important characteristic is kokoro - the Japanese concept encompassing heart, spirit and human emotions.

* Code LYOKO: Cartoon Network has acquired 26 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.

* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo, four turtles trained in the Bushido code, use their skills to battle the evil Shredder and The Foot Clan in the 30-minute action-adventure comedy series that will air weekdays on Carton Network beginning Monday, April 19.

* Duel Masters: The anime series about Shobu, a master of an engrossing playing card game who can bring the cards' creatures to life, begins in March. Cartoon Network has acquired 26 episodes.

* Gundam Seed: This new anime series begins in April. Cartoon Network has acquired 50 episodes.

* Dragonball GT: Cartoon Network will begin airing 20 new episodes in May.

* Rave Masters: The anime series begins in May. Cartoon Network has acquired 26 episodes.

* Cyborg 009: Cartoon Network has acquired 26 additional episodes, which will begin in June.


* Codename: Kids Next Door: Cartoon Network's #1 show with kids 6-11, Codename: Kids Next Door, brings its five ingenious heroes and their adult-thwarting missions to Cartoon Network Monday-Friday at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. (ET, PT), beginning Monday, March 15.

* Teen Titans: Cartoon Network's most successful new series of 2003 will air Monday-Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (ET, PT). Based on the long-running DC Comics series, Teen Titans stars Robin as the leader of a band of teenage superheroes.


* Codename: Kids Next Door has been given the greenlight through its sixth season, which will bring the series up to 78 episodes. Season Three begins in May.

* Ed, Edd n Eddy will return with three new half-hour holiday specials, beginning with a Christmas special in 2004.

* The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, created by Maxwell Atoms at Cartoon Network Studios, has been given the greenlight for an additional season, its fourth, which will bring the series up to 52 total episodes.

* Duck Dodgers, starring Porky Pig, Duck Dodgers and Marvin the Martian in the 24th and 1/2 century, has been given the greenlight for 13 additional episodes, which will take the series to 39 total episodes.


* Late night's only show starring a winged attorney returns with a new season of antics and objections on Sunday, April 18. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law will air Sunday evenings at 11:30 p.m. (ET, PT) on Adult Swim. The new season of 10 new episodes will include guest stars Speed Buggy, The Jetsons, Grape Ape, and the father/son combo of Doggie Daddy and Augie Doggie all turning to Harvey for legal counsel.

*Aqua Teen Hunger Force joins the Adult Swim lineup Monday-Thursday at 12 a.m. (ET, PT) beginning Monday, April 19. Meatwad, Master Shake and Frylock, three human-sized food products living in a rental house in New Jersey, torment their neighbor Carl and meander through their mundane yet surreal existence.

*Sealab 2021 returns with a new season of underwater insanity and hilarity beginning Sunday, June 20.

* In The Venture Brothers, dimwitted brothers Hank and Dean Venture, their scientist father and his bodyguard, Brock, live on a spacious ranch with a high-tech laboratory. Their adventures take them to exotic locales around the world, from the deepest, darkest rainforests to the most dangerous urban jungles. It's a dangerous world out there - full of zombie mummies, crazed alligators, street toughs and peculiar super-villains with a score to settle. The Venture Brothers will premiere on Sunday, August 1.

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