Oxygen Media, parent of new women-themed cable network
Oxygen, said last week that it gave the green light to an original animated primetime
series with former MTV: Music Television producer Machi Tantillo as executive producer.
"Our goal is to create the first animated television
series for women, exploring issues from a female point of view," Oxygen chairman
Geraldine Laybourne said in a prepared statement.
"We also wanted to build an outlet specifically for
female animators, whose distinctive voices will help us to develop a unique Oxygen
animation style and outlook," she added.
Oxygen, which is slated to launch in February 2000, has
signed off on five pilots -- a mix of three- to seven-minute segments -- to be supplied to
the series. The network plans to spin off one or more of these segments into a separate
Kit Laybourne, Oxygen's head of animation and special
projects, outlined the pilots, which include Closet Case, being developed by
digital artist Theresa Duncan. Its premise is to tell stories of women's lives through
clothes they've worn.
Another pilot to be served up is Bitchy Bits, based
on an award-winning comic book Naughty Bits by artist Roberta Gregory. "It's
very raw and not at all weak-kneed," Kit Laybourne said, adding that four more pilots
would be commissioned before Labor Day.
Oxygen also has two Internet animation projects in the
works: a serial about a woman detective and Our Stories, which turns the real-life
experiences of Oxygen's online members into a weekly show.
Oxygen previously announced plans for several cable-program
blocks, beginning in the morning with the talk-oriented "The Hive," followed at
midday by "Working Lunch"for working moms and entrepreneurs,
teen-oriented programming in the late afternoon and comedies in the early evening.
Primetime will also feature hosted movies.