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Cartoon Kicks Off Cable Upfront

Cartoon Network launched cable's annual parade of upfront-connected
programming disclosures Thursday morning.

The big highlights: four new series set to run in 2003 and early 2004 and a
new set of Star Wars shorts.

The channel has started production on Duck Dodgers and Teen
, both from Warner Bros.' animation unit, and LowBrow, a
science-fiction spoof Cartoon will do in-house.

Also, Cartoon has set in motion Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends,
the latest invention from ThePowerpuff Girls creator and
executive producer Craig McCracken, which will get on its schedule next winter
or spring.

Duck Dodgers, based on the classic Daffy Duck alter-ego character, will
premiere on Cartoon's Saturday-morning schedule in July.

Teen Titans, adapted from the popular comic book teaming up superhero
sidekicks like Robin and Wonder Girl, makes a primetime debut the following
month, and it will appear Saturday mornings on Kids' WB! later in the 2003-04

December is the anticipated premiere month for LowBrow, originally
pitched as a "Cartoon Cartoon Weekend" featurette last August.

In November, Cartoon will premiere the first of 20 three-minute Star Wars:
Clone Wars
shorts, taking the characters of the famous film series past the
events of Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones.

Lucasfilm Ltd. will partner with Cartoon on the project, which
Dexter'sLaboratory/Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky
will oversee.

Besides Clone Wars, Tartakovsky will handle 20 new Samurai Jack
and 11 new Dexter's Laboratory episodes this year.

Discussions for a live-action Jack movie continue, as well, with
fellow AOL Time Warner Inc. division New Line Cinema, Cartoon general manager
Jim Samples told Multichannel News following a press briefing in New

Samples added that Cartoon's program-sharing relationship with Kids' WB! will
continue amid the announced exit earlier this week of Turner Broadcasting System
Inc. chief Jamie Kellner, who will be replaced next month by former CNN News
Group leader Phil Kent.

"We don't expect any immediate changes," he said. "We've learned to work with
each other."

Four Kids' WB! Series -- Jackie Chan Adventures, X-Men:
, What's New, Scooby-Doo? and Yu-Gi-Oh! -- will join
Cartoon's schedule over the rest of 2003.

Current Cartoon originals getting the nod for more episode production this
year, besides Tartakovsky's projects, include Justice League, Time
, Grim & Evil and Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?

Codename: Kids Next Door, the network's latest signature series, will get
19 new segments spread through late 2003 into 2005.

All of the original elements of Cartoon's "Adult Swim" block will return with
new episodes in 2003. Also coming in for an off-broadcast run: Family
, Seth McFarlane's quirky effort for Fox Broadcasting Co.

More cable networks will hold press or advertiser briefings on program
development through mid-June, linked to upfront ad-sales drives for the 2003-04
TV season.