Rerun season may be on the way, but Cartoon Network says it will broadcast more new episodes in 2004 than ever before in its 11-year history. The more than 500 new half hours will be due in part to five new animated series set to debut in coming months.
“By greenlighting more new shows faster, ramping up production of current hits and aggressively acquiring new series, well have twice the amount of new programming on our air this year than we did in 2002," says Cartoon Network exec. VP and general manager Jim Samples. "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."
The new action-comedy series Megas XLR will join Toonamis new Saturday night lineup on Saturday, May 1, at 9 p.m. (ET, PT). Created by Jody Schaeffer and George Krstic, the show centers on a 20 something grease monkey who discovers a giant fighting robot from the future in a New Jersey landfill. It is produced by Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif.
From Powerpuff Girls creator Craig McCracken comes The Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends. The show will premiere with a 90-minute feature on Friday, July 16, followed by the series premiere on Friday, September 3. The series tells the story of Mac, an 8-year-old whose invented pal, Bloo, is sent to Madame Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends. Refusing to give up his friendship, Mac visits Bloo everyday and has adventures with the other imaginary friends who reside in the Victorian mansion.
Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern will return in August with the new series Justice League Unlimited. The show promises to be much larger in scope, incorporating the likes of Supergirl, Green Arrow and the Atom, as well as some less familiar superheroes such as Booster Gold, Hawk & Dove, Elongated Man, The Question, Mister Miracle, Big Barda and Zatanna.
Bowing in September is Atomic Betty from Atomic Cartoons and Breakthrough Animation. The comedy-adventure series follows the exploits of a little girl who at times sheds her humdrum persona to become Atomic Betty, Galactic Guardian and Defender of the Cosmos.
Rounding out the list of new offerings for 2004 is Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, a cartoon based on one of Japans biggest pop music acts. Set to debut in December, the show 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. The real life Puffy AmiYumi duo will also be featured in live-action segments.
In February of 2005, Cartoon Network will introduce The Life and Times of Juniper Lee. Created by Judd Winnick, the toon revolves around a typical 11-year-old girl who inherits the secret responsibility of fighting the forces of mischief and chaos that hide everywhere.
Also on the plate for 2004 is new episodes of Teen Titans, Totally Spies, The Powerpuff Girls, Codename: Kids Next Door, Johnny Bravo, Duck Dodgers, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Evil Con Carne and Star Wars: Clone Wars. In addition, Ed, Edd n Eddy will return with three new half-hour holiday specials, beginning with a Christmas special in 2004.