Nicktoons Viewers to See Spots

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Nicktoons will become basic cable’s newest ad-supported network in August, Nickelodeon officials said last week during an upfront presentation in New York.

The kids-targeted network also unveiled several new live-action and animated shows set to premiere later this year.

The Nick spinoff, which airs animated fare aimed at kids and tweens, is in nearly 34 million homes and features 75% original programming, said Nicktoons vice president and general manager Keith Dawkins. Nicktoons has been commercial-free since its launch in May 2002.

“It will provide us with additional revenue and make us a more competitive player in the marketplace,” said Dawkins. The amount of commercial time will be “limited,” he added, although he would not provide specifics.

Nicktoons also announced it would launch three new series: Skyland, a science-fiction action adventure series set in 2251; Kappa Mikey, a parody based on a U.S. actor who becomes a huge star in Japan after joining the cast of a struggling Japanese anime series; and Shuriken School, a comedy with a martial-arts twist.

In other Nick upfront news, the network said it will launch six new series for the 2005-06 season. Bowing on Nickelodeon: Catscratch, centering around the lives of three wealthy felines; The X’s, about a family of secret spies living in the suburbs; and Power Strikers, a live-action comedy produced by Whoopi Goldberg about a girls’ soccer team. Joining Nick Jr., Nick’s preschool block: Go Diego Go!, a spinoff from Dora the Explorer; Wubby Widget and Walden; and The Wonder Pets, a live-action/animation hybrid.

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