Good Grief! Nick Buys Peanuts Library

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Nickelodeon has acquired the Peanuts gang libraryand as part of its $350 million investment in original animation is also creating ahalf-hour series that will feature three new cartoon characters each week.

Also last week on the cartoon front, Turner BroadcastingSystem Inc. made a commitment to make Cartoon Network its premiere venue for animation.TBS Superstation in the fourth quarter plans to replace all its animated programming withlive-action shows.

Nickelodeon will air the Peanuts series and specials on itsown You're on Nickelodeon, Charlie Brown series that will debut with the firstever 'Snoopy Bowl' celebration from Jan. 23 to 25.

Nickelodeon will announce its Peanuts acquisition and itsplans to debut Oh Yeah! Cartoons! in July at the winter Television CriticsAssociation tour in Pasadena, Calif., this week.

Oh Yeah! Cartoons! is meant be a 'laboratory'that will build a stable of 39 new characters in its first season alone. The new serieswill be created and produced by Fred Seibert, a veteran of Hanna-Barbera, as one of thefirst new animated series to be made at the new Nicktoons animation studio in Burbank,Calif.

The show will feature three new seven-minute cartoon shortswith all-new stars in each of its episodes -- 13 in the first season. Nick will packagethese shorts with live-action wraparounds that feature testimonials about cartoons fromkids.

In the Peanuts acquisition, Nick has bought 58 programs,including the original primetime specials, the Saturday morning Charlie Brown andSnoopy Show and This is America, Charlie Brown, the series of historicalspecials. In total, Nickelodeon has acquired 63 half-hours of Peanuts programming.

Nickelodeon will kick off its 'Snoopy Bowl' onJan. 23 at 8 p.m. with the special It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown,followed by two three-hour blocks of Charlie Brown episodes airing on Jan. 24 and'Super' Sunday, Jan. 25 -- from 2 pm. to 5 p.m. both days. You're onNickelodeon, Charlie Brown premieres at its regular time slot, weekdays at 8 a.m. and3 p.m. and Sunday mornings at 7 a.m., Jan. 26.

TBS officials said they are making the move to rid thenetwork of animation in order to increase the network's teen and adult demographics.

'We are confident that moving away from animatedprogramming, which can be seen 24 hours a day on our sister service, Cartoon Network, willhelp build our already strong teen and young adult audiences,' TBS president BillBurke said in a prepared statement.

TBS now airs three hours of animation each weekday and fivehours on weekends.

As part of the changes, TBS on Sundays will air a full dayof movies, starting at 6 a.m. And as part of the schedule shuffle, Coach, whichperformed miserably last year at the key prime-access slot of 7 p.m. before being replacedby The Andy Griffith Show, will now be moved to 6:05 a.m. weekdays.

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