4Kids Entertainment will begin programming The CW Network’s Saturday morning schedule in September 2008. Until then, the schedule will most likely remain as it is now (with the exception of midseason replacements The Spectacular Spider-Man
and The World of Quest
entering the slate in early 2008). But what of some of the network mainstays, like The Batman
and Legion of Super Heroes
? Their situation does not change. Their continued production has always been dependent on a distributor/network placing an order for episodes. Warner Bros. Animation produces animated entertainment for a wide variety of distribution platforms, such as broadcast and cable television, direct-to-DVD, broadband, wireless, etc. So, as many feared, they will likely find a new home, so don’t worry about that. If anything, this could produce some exciting developments for the series.
And remember, 4Kids is an acquisition/distribution company. Warner Bros. Animation is an animation studio. If 4Kids wants to acquire and distribute WBA productions, the option is there. Of course, that’s not the only option for WBA. Within recent months, the barriers between production companies and distributors completely blurred. Batman: The Animated Series
and Superman: The Animated Series
are both currently airing on JETIX, a part of Toon Disney. Plus, we got Pinky and the Brian
joining the Toon Disney lineup in the near future. Who would have thought we’d see three decidedly Warner Bros.-branded series airing on a Disney-owned network. Just a few years ago, a deal like that was unthinkable. Now it’s a sign that anything is possible. Things are changing and doors are opening, no question.
At this time, in terms of television series animation, there is no answer as to what will be produced for next fall. A number of projects are in development, and any WBA series currently in production can be extended. But typically, November and December are the months when those decisions begin to be formulate. However, series pick-ups are not announced until February, so those answers will probably not be finalized until early in 2008.
And just remember, WBA has a lot of productions beyond television to look forward to. WBA thriving in the direct-to-DVD market — Superman Doomsday
sales are outstanding, as are the current numbers for our latest Scooby-Doo
release. WB in full production on New Frontier and the third film in the DCU series. WBA is also finalizing scripts and development on several others. Another Scooby DVD is in production, and others are being developed. Take into consideration all that AND WB’s upcoming original animated productions for T-Works and you’ll see that it’s a busy time at WBA.