Strip Goes On Despite No Spike

Stan Lee’s Stripperella, Gary the Rat starring Kelsey Grammer and John Kricfalusi’s Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon debut tonight as The New TNN launches The Strip, its late night adult animation block. The cable outlet had hoped to introduce the animated lineup under the new name Spike TV, but a temporary injunction filed by filmmaker Spike Lee has halted those plans.

“Animation for guys” kicks off at 10:00 p.m. (E.T/P.T.) with the return of Ren & Stimpy, the chihuahua and cat team that first became a cult hit on Nickelodeon. And if the bodily function humor seemed a little too edgy for the kiddie network, Kricfalusi suggests that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

"I love these characters and I don’t think the show’s fans will be disappointed with the disgusting and sick adventures we have in store for them,” he says in a release. “We’re taking it to another level now that we’re on an adult network for men and this new incarnation will be even nastier and more demented then the first."

The series follows the misadventures of Ren, a scrawny, temperamental, passionate and headstrong chihuahua, and Stimpy, a loyal, brave and trusting feline, who get into impossible situations and occasionally exhibit gross behavior. Launched on Nickelodeon in 1991, The Ren & Stimpy Show earned an Emmy nomination in 1993.

TNN will air six all-new episodes in addition to 52 installments of the original series. In tonight’s episode, titled "Onward and Upward," Ren and Stimpy get tired of living inside a bum’s mouth. Luckily, Stimpy has squirreled away his savings and the two pals can afford to move uptown and live the high life – inside a bar spittoon.

Kricfalusi is producing and directing the series, in addition to providing Ren’s raspy voice. Stimpy will be voiced by Eric Bauza (The Ripping Friends).

Other members of the show’s original production team are back as well. Vincent Waller (Harvey Birdman) will assume directing duties and writing credits will go to Richard Pursel (Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Cow and Chicken, The Ripping Friends). The series is executive produced by Kevin Kolde (The Ripping Friends) and Eric Gardner.

Gary The Rat follows at 10:30 p.m. Frasier‘s Kelsey Grammer exec. produces and provides the voice of the title character in this series about high-powered attorney Gary Andrews, who wakes up one day to find himself transformed into a rat. The show began as an animated Internet series on MediaTrip.com.

Throughout the season, guest starring roles will go to several renowned film and television actors, including Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan), Betty White (Golden Girls), Ted Danson (Becker, Cheers), Courtney B. Vance (Dangerous Minds), David Hyde Pierce (Frasier), John Mahoney (Frasier), John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Lucky) and Robert Goulet (Toy Story 2 and Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear).

In the premiere episode of Gary the Rat, Gary’s boss warns him that his shocking transformation will cost him his job if he doesn’t regain his human form by the end of the day. But when the six-foot rat brings the firm valuable publicity and new clients, things turn around and Gary demands outrageous new perks in order to remain on the job.

Gary the Rat is created, co-executive produced and written by Robb and Mark Cullen (Lucky, Hitz). It is produced by Spike TV Animation Studios and animated with Flash.

Spider-Man and Hulk creator Stan Lee takes a break from super dudes to focus spend some time with a heroine endowed with super talents of her own. In Stripperella, former Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson lends her voice to Erotica Jones, an exotic dancer who leads a double life as a superhero.

Set in a near future Los Angeles, the series follows Erotica/Stripperella as she squares off against a cadre of villains that include Dr. Cesarean, Pushy Galore and cyber-terrorist Queen Clitoris. In addition to her supernatural powers, she is aided by a number of unique high tech gadgets such as the all-purpose lipstick laser and the ever-handy tongue scanner.

Stripperella is created and exec. produced by Lee. Gill Champion also serves as exec. producer and Kevin Altieri (Batman the Animated Series) directs. Kevin Kopelow (Kenan & Kel, Good Burger) and Heith Seifert (Kenan & Kel, All That) are co-executive producers/writers. The series is produced by POW! Ent., Lee’s film and television production company, which is now developing three more superhero action-adventure films including Nightbird, The Double Man and The Fantastic Persy Gentle.

Rumors have been circulating that creative differences have already doomed the show beyond this first season. However, there has been no official word from any of the entities involved.