CN Upfronts Spotlight ‘Dragon,’ ‘DC Nation,’ ‘Problem Solverz’

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Cartoon Network announced 13 new animated series at its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York, including the TV series version of How to Train Your Dragon, a new DC Nation block spotlighting the superheroes of DC Comics, The Problem Solverz, The Looney Tunes Show, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Secret Mountain Fort Awesome.

Getting right to the meat of it, here’s the full list of programs the network announced :

New Series

  • The Problem Solverz – premiering Monday, April 4 at 8:45 p.m. ET/PT
  • The Looney Tunes Show – premiering Tuesday, May 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
  • The Amazing World of Gumball – premiering Monday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT
  • Secret Mountain Fort Awesome – premiering Summer 2011
  • Level Up - premiering Spring 2012
  • New Ben 10 Series [Title TBD]
  • ThunderCats
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series
  • DC Nation
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Total Drama: Revenge of the Island
  • RedaKai: Conquer the Kairu
  • Lego Ninjago

New Movies/Special Events

  • Level Up — premiering Fall 2011
  • Cartoon Network HALL OF GAME Awards

Returning Series

  • Adventure Time
  • Bakugan
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
  • Casper’s Scare School
  • Destroy Build Destroy
  • Dude, What Would Happen
  • The Garfield Show
  • Generator Rex
  • Hero 108
  • Hole in the Wall
  • Hot Wheels Battle Force 5
  • Johnny Test
  • MAD
  • Pokémon
  • Regular Show
  • Scooby-Doo, Mystery Inc.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Young Justice

The slate of new and returning programs represent Cartoon Network’s largest episodic commitment to date for new content. “Our commitment last year to build on the volume of broad content for our audience has paid off in solid ratings growth and renewed strength among our core 6-11 audience,” said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer, Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media. “We now have successful new shows that we can grow into the next big franchises. By partnering with premier entertainment companies like Warner Bros., DreamWorks Animation SKG and DC Entertainment, we are laying the groundwork for even further growth and expansion opportunities across the coming year.”

Also speaking was DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who discussed the How to Train Your Dragon series. “DreamWorks Animation recognizes the importance of building brands around great franchises, so you can imagine how thrilled we are to be joining forces with Cartoon Network to bring our newest franchise – How to Train Your Dragon – to television audiences around the world,” said Katzenberg. “Today’s presentation marks an exciting new beginning for our company and reaffirms our goal to ensure that How to Train Your Dragon has the ideal home, which we have found in Cartoon Network.”

DC Nation is set to debut in 2012 as a multiplatform franchise and the home for original animation based on DC Comics properties. The show will be backed by the production, publishing and marketing resources of Warner Bros., DC Entertainment and Cartoon Network, and will function as an on-air and online programming block populated with event programming, interstitials, exclusive behind-the-scenes of theatrical production and an insider look into the world of all things DC.

DC Nation on Cartoon Network will be the first-ever dedicated broadcast destination to showcase the depth and breadth of the DC Universe,” said Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment. “We and our partners at WBTV are thrilled that fans will be able to immerse themselves in DC’s phenomenal stories, experience a wide spectrum of amazing characters and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings of the world’s greatest superheroes and their creators, both on-air and online.”

Additional programming announcements from the network included a fourth season renewal for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a fourth season of the Total Drama animated comedy reality show franchise as Total Drama: Revenge of the Island.

Here’s the network’s full descriptions of — and images from — its new animated series:

  • The Problem Solverz: Created by celebrated artist Ben Jones, The Problem Solverz presents a fresh, distinctive visual style and tone in a new series that follows three crazy young dudes, Horace, Roba and Alfe, the proprietors of an unorthodox detective agency dedicated to solving the mysteries of the universe, one case at a time. Slated to premiere Monday, April 4, at 8:45 p.m. (ET/PT).
  • Secret Mountain Fort Awesome: From Pete Browngardt (Chowder), Cartoon Network Studios presents a hilarious new comedy about a mega-rad group of monsters that live underground and do crazy awesome stuff like steal the sun, fight CGI-sharks, and get their butts kicked by a velociraptor. Plus they wrestle! See, it’s awesome, right? But remember, it’s a secret. Shh! … Premiering this summer.

  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Dad is a 6’4″ pink rabbit who stays home while Mom works in the rainbow factory. Their children include Gumball, a blue cat with a giant head; Anais, a 4-year-old genius bunny; and Darwin, a pet goldfish who became part of the family when he sprouted legs. The eye-catching animated series combines 2D and 3D animation techniques in a live-action setting and originates from Cartoon Network UK. The Amazing World of Gumball premieres Monday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

  • The Looney Tunes Show: Screen icons Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are back, starring in an all-new modern comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation featuring all of the favorite Looney Tunes characters — Porky Pig, Speedy Gonzales, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, the Tasmanian Devil, Marvin the Martian, Tweety, Sylvester, Granny, Gossamer, Lola and Tina, Daffy’s new no-nonsense girlfriend. Fresh designs coupled with a vivid, contemporary animation style enhance the timeless wit and charm that make these classic characters so beloved around the world. The Looney Tunes Show will premiere on Tuesday, May 3, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).
  • New Ben 10 Series [Title TBD]: Ben 10 has been one of Cartoon Network’s most successful original series since first premiering on the network in January 2006. The franchise has since spawned four animated series, one animated movie, two live-action movies, a widely-popular consumer products line and has captured the imaginations of viewers on a global scale.
  • ThunderCats: The re-imagined animated series based on the beloved 80s classic tells the tale of a hero’s epic journey to fulfill his ultimate destiny. On Third Earth, the kingdom of Thundera is being threatened by the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra and young heir to the throne Lion-O embarks on a great quest to take his rightful place as king. The unlikely champion, joined by his faithful comrades Tygra, Cheetara, Panthro, WilyKit, WilyKat and his loyal pet Snarf, must work together to save their world from darkness.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series: Based upon the DC Comics super hero, the series is an all-new CG animated action series from Warner Bros. As Earth’s Green Lantern, Hal Jordan is used to being in dangerous situations—but he’s never faced anything like this! Set at the farthest reaches of deep space, Hal must face down an invasion from the Red Lantern Corps. Hal is soon joined by an all-new group of heroes on a mission to protect Guardian Space —and the Green Lantern Corps itself.
  • DC Nation: A multi-platform, branded block of original programming and exclusive content based on the DC Comics library of legendary character properties, DC Nation is developed in partnership with Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. The all-new venture will harness the publishing, theatrical and television assets together for one powerful on-air block on Cartoon Network with exclusive online content.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Based on the book by Cressida Cowell, DreamWorks Animation’s new series rolls fire-breathing action, epic adventure and laughs into a captivating and original story. Hiccup is a young Viking who defies tradition when he befriends one of his deadliest foes — a ferocious dragon he calls Toothless. Together, the unlikely heroes must fight against all odds to save both of their worlds.
  • Total Drama: Revenge of the Island: It’s back to the island where Total Drama began for an all-new season with an all-new cast! Since Chris took the show worldwide, Camp Wawanakwa has been abandoned and turned into a toxic nuclear waste dump—the perfect place for a new season of painful, cringe-inducing challenges! Fighting for the million dollar prize are thirteen wild new players.
  • RedaKai: Conquer the Kairu: An animated kids adventure series stars Ky, a 15-year-old student of ancient martial arts who embarks on an incredible quest to find the Kairu, a primordial alien energy force. Helped by his friends Maya and Boomer, Ky travels the globe looking for the Kairu to protect it from his extraterrestrial teenage opponents, with the hope that one day he will become the greatest Kairu warrior of them all–a Redakai.
  • Lego Ninjago: After a time of peace in Ninjago, our four Ninja heroes are about to face a new dangerous enemy. Lloyd Garmadon, son of their archenemy Lord Garmadon, has unleashed a new evil with unique powers. Soon his ambition to follow in his father’s footsteps has put all of Ninjago in jeopardy.

What do you think Animag readers? Are these shows you’ll want to watch? Let us know in the comments.