During today’s Upfront presentation in New York City, Cartoon Network shined a spotlight on its 2008-2009 lineup, which will include an all-new Batman series titled Batman: The Brave and the Bold and a second season of the network’s original hit series Chowder from creator Carl H. Greenblatt. Lucasfilm founder George Lucas was on hand to help promote his new CG-animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which will air on Fridays this fall after an August theatrical release of the first three or four episodes.
Few details of the new Batman series were unveiled with the announcement. The show will carry on the Dark Knight’s crime-fighting crusade following the recent series finale of the Emmy-winning The Batman. Cartoon Network is also expanding its action portfolio with a sequel to last fall’s hit live-action movie Ben 10: Race Against Time. Based on the animated series, the first live-action Ben 10 movie was the highest-rated telecast in Cartoon Network history. The new adventure is dubbed Ben 10: Alien Force.
The Annie-nominated Chowder premiered in November and has been a hit with kids and adults alike. The show takes young viewers to the magical city of Marzipan, where a young chef’s apprenticeship deals with surreal situations and potential disasters on the road to becoming a great chef himself. Young Chowder toils under the watchful eye of the eccentric and much older Mung Daal, assisting with such kitchen duties as cooking Sing Beans until they warble on key, nursing a bruised Bluenana back to health, or delivering a thousand-pound cake to a man who lives on the head of a giant. Heavily influenced by the art of famed cartoonist Sergio Aragon’s, the show’s animation is mostly hand drawn by Hong Ying in China, which was selected as the official animation studio by the Beijing Olympics. The show also features stop-motion inserts animated by Screen Novelties in Hollywood.
Cartoon Network’s new programming strategy incorporates a Sunday-night movie franchise offering such features as Ant Bully, Hoodwinked, Monster House and Open Season starting in June; two new nights of original programming; the launch of a pilot development program called The Cartoonstitute; and a continued commitment to healthy living through its ‘Get Animated’ initiative.