Cartoon Network today announced its programming line-up for 2007 at its annual Upfront event in New York City. The slate will offer five new original series, including Re-Animated, an extension of the network’s first movie featuring live-action and animation. The network also announced a second season of Class of 3000 starring Andre Benjamin and unveiled multi-media events, a new mobile phone initiative and a new after-school franchise. In addition, the presentation featured a sneak peek at its massively multi-player game for 2008 and announced a live-action Ben 10 movie in production.
The new series Santo (working title) is described as comic-book-style action- adventure series based on the legend of real-life Mexican wrestling hero Santo, El Enmascarado de Plata (the silver masked man). Popular wrestler El Hijo del Santo (Son of Santo), will work with creator and exec producer Carlo Olivares Paganoni to develop the show, which is set in Mexico City where Santo proudly upholds the honor that was passed down by his father. Along with inheriting the silver mask, the ultimate sign of purity and goodness, a brave, young Santo must also learn how to manage a vast array of mystical powers with the guidance of Coatl, an ancient feathered serpent.
Chowder is a new comedy series that chronicles the magical misadventures of a young chef’s apprentice as he enters the fantastic city of Marzipan. In learning to become a master chef like his mentor, Mung Dahl, Chowder is tasked with such surreal chores as baking a flying pie and stewing up a pot of singing string beans. Unfortunately, however, he is inclined to eat everything in sight and his days are filled trying to avoid one disaster after another. The series is created by Carl Greenblatt, a veteran animator at Cartoon Network Studios and the voice of Fred Fredburger on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
Doc, Drew and Zak Saturday are a family of world-saving adventure scientists in The Secret Saturdays, a new comedy-action series created by Jay Stephens. The Saturdays live in a hidden base and are part of a network of scientists who protect people from all the hidden and terrifying things in this world. Traveling the hot globe, 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.
In The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, a peaceful fellow raised by a talking whale has his life turned upside-down when he rescues a shipwrecked old pirate named Captain K’Nuckles. The crusty mariner to charms Flapjack into following along on a journey to find the greatest treasure imaginable, Candied Island, a magical place filled with lollipop flowers and lemonade springs. The new series is created by Thurop Van Ormon.
The Re-Animated movie premiered in December of 2006 as the network’s top original movie ever with kids 6-11. Now Jimmy and his animated pals will keep the fun going with a full series order. Having received an emergency brain transplant after an amusement park accident, seventh-grader Jimmy Roberts begins to see cartoon characters and learns that he has the frozen brain of famous cartoonist Milt Appleday. Golly Gopher, Dolly Gopher, Crocco the Alligator and the rest of the Appleday cartoon gang come to life in Jimmy’s mind and make his life crazy in this show from creators Adam Pava and Tim McKeon. Episodes are scheduled to begin airing this summer.
Among the special programming events is “Cartoon Network Invaded,” which will see aliens set loose on Earth after Bloo from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends sends a message to deep space. Every Friday in May, an alien will arrive in a new episode of a popular Cartoon Network original series such as Ed, Edd, n Eddy, My Gym Partner’s a Monkey, Camp Lazlo and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. All this will lead up to a big alien invasion marathon on Memorial Day. Also in the works is ‘Props,’ a multi-media event celebrating inspirational, real-life kids who demonstrate exceptional talent, commitment and accomplishment in a single area of expertise.
CallToons from Cartoon Network New Media is a new mobile application that integrates smart technology with entertainment, essentially allowing the network’s characters to take over a mobile phone. Using patent pending technology, CallToons replaces ordinary mobile phone functions such as ringtones with entertaining voice and sound provided by the users’ favorite character.
Also on the way is a live-action movie based on the Cartoon Network original animated series Ben 10. Directed by Alex Winter, who played Bill in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the movie will use CG animation to transform young Ben Tennyson into 10 different alien beings with the aid of a special device he found in a meteorite. Fans can expect the film to debut in the fall.