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October 2, 2014

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Fox Renews 'Family Guy' and 'The Cleveland Show'

by Jean Bentley, posted May 9th 2011 5:30PM
Family GuyThe animated creations of Seth MacFarlane will live on TV for another year.

Fox announced today that both 'Family Guy' and 'The Cleveland Show' have been renewed for new seasons.

"For nine seasons, our viewers have been cracked up, delighted, surprised and, at times, gloriously disturbed by the mind of Seth MacFarlane -- and they keep coming back for more," Fox's president of entertainment, Kevin Reilly, said in a statement.

"The Griffins and the Browns have become cornerstones of our Sunday nights, and we can't wait to find out what new adventures Seth, Mike and Rich cook up for them next season," he continued.

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Lucasfilm Milks the Dead Cow with Star Wars TV Comedy

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 6th 2010 11:35AM
Robot Chicken Star WarsGeorge Lucas has already created a spin-off cartoon and a computer animated series on Cartoon Network of his famous 'Star Wars' franchise. Now, Lucasfilm Animation will be working with the creators behind 'Robot Chicken,' among others, to create an animated 'Star Wars' comedy series.

'Robot Chicken' along with 'Family Guy' proved that there is comedy potential in the 'Star Wars' franchise, but it sounds like Lucas is further mitigating the cultural impact of the first trilogy (or even the second trilogy, going by order of release) by making light of it.

Lucas has long proven that the fans care more about the franchise than he ever did. It has gotten to the point where pumping out 'Star Wars' dreck is a means to an end. Perhaps he wants the money to build his own Death Star?

Of course, that live action 'Star Wars' series has yet to appear, so this latest item could just be someone's idea of a late April Fool's Day prank. One can have "a new hope."

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'Archer' - 'Skytanic' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 19th 2010 2:25PM
archer
(S01E07)
In this kind of, sort of action-packed episode of 'Archer,' the screwed-up relationships between characters really picked up speed. Drama is always heightened when you're stuck with your ex and your unfaithful current beau in a ticking time bomb of a blimp -- er, rigid airship.

It will be interesting to see how much longer they can go on without addressing Cyril's affair with Cheryl/Carol/what's-her-face. The show is only set to run for ten episodes, so it's not unimaginable that they could leave the big reveal for the final episode. And we can assume it will be big because we all saw what Lana did even when Archer and Cyril were just training together.

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Review: 'Archer' - 'The Honey Pot'

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 5th 2010 12:45PM
archer honey pot
(S01E05) Y'know the way you've been frantically scribbling in your diary for the past few years about how badly you want to see Thomas Lennon and Ron Perlman voice animated characters together? Yeah. I bet you thought you would keep writing forever. But 'Archer' sensed the secret wish in your tear-stained pages and made it a reality.

This episode wasn't quite as rapid-fire funny as some of the previous ones but it was still fantastic. It's clear that the writers are having a lot of fun with the characters, even the ones that pop up for only one mission.

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Doctor Who: Dreamland coming to DVD this May

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 28th 2010 9:00AM
A 3D animated David Tennant stars in Dreamland.David Tennant's last appearance of the The Doctor to arrive on a Doctor Who DVD will arrive this spring with the animated Dreamland.

According to a BBC America news release, the CG-animated adventure will arrive in U.S. stores on May 4 for $24.98. Voiced by Tennant, The Doctor visits Dry Springs, Nev. in 1958 in an environment deliberately reminiscent of Roswell and the would-be New Mexico UFO crash.

In the one-off episode, The Doctor befriends a young waitress, Cassie, and her friend, Jimmy. When the Doctor examines an extraterrestrial artifact, he draws the attention of a mysterious man in black, an alien warrior and Colonel Stark, commander of "Dreamland" (the military base also known as Area 51).

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Gruffalo stars as centerpiece of BBC's Christmas

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 9th 2009 1:02PM
The Gruffalo is becoming a BBC star this Christmas.When Christmas time rolls around, you can enjoy visits from Santa Claus, St. Nick, the Ghost of Christmas Past and, if you're watching the BBC, the Gruffalo.

The popular children's book is now an animated special for the BBC (soon to visit the U.S.) and is now the centerpiece of the network's holiday season.

Written by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and published in 1999, The Gruffalo is a 700-word story that's been translated into multiple languages and adapted into a stage play. It tells the story of a mouse outwitting several deadly animals as he walks through the forest until he meets the title beast.

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You can't go wrong with TV's SpongeBob gifts for kids

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 3rd 2009 11:03AM
Hasbro's Spongebob Squarepants Kid Cranium mixes a game with artistic creativity."Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Popularly licensed and profitable is he!"

That's not how the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song goes, but the statement is factually correct. The Nickelodeon yellow legend is still immensely popular across various age ranges. And that gives you some easy gift ideas for kids in and around your family.

Rather than merely give the kid in question a stuffed sponge for the holidays, you can dig a little deeper and offer up a couple Spongebob board games from Hasbro for less than $25 each.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Edition of "Kid Cranium" mixes up artistic activities with a trivia-based board game to let kids express themselves while they kick your grown-up butt.

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Boomerang brings back classic '70s Thanksgiving special

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Nov 24th 2009 9:03AM
Boomerang brings back the Thanksgiving special, The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn'tNo Generation X'er can forget the monochrome colors and compromising frame rate of 1970s Hanna-Barbera animation. Take that unmistakable style and some autumnal inking, and you've got The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't.

Boomerang is reaching into the Hanna-Barbera archives to bring back this all-but-forgotten TV special from the 1970s. You can catch it at 10 a.m. and at 7 p.m. (ET).

According to a network release, The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't "chronicles one dangerously fateful day for Johnny Cooke, a young Pilgrim, and Little Bear, an Indian boy, who are discovered missing. The first Thanksgiving feast cannot start without them, and when their friend Jeremy Squirrel hears they are in peril he goes on a daring rescue mission."

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FX quietly plans sneak-peek of animated Archer

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 16th 2009 4:25PM

'Archer' premieres this Thursday, 9/17, on FX.
When FX initially picked up six episodes of its first foray into animated comedy, the plan for Archer was to pair it with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Since that greenlight, two things happened.

First, FX got trigger-happy and greenlit a whole bunch of other shows (from the likes of Louis CK and Don Cheadle). Second, and more importantly, according to FX it turns out that from start through post, it takes almost a whole month to complete one episode of Archer. With Always Sunny premiering this Thursday night at 10PM ET on FX, slotting in Archer's six eps suddenly became impossible. So the plan has changed. Instead of pairing Archer with Sunny mid-season, FX plans to launch its fantasy-football themed sitcom The League instead. However, if you were looking forward to seeing Archer, I've got some good news.

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Tennant's Doctor Who hangs on in Dreamland

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 31st 2009 10:03AM
A 3D CG David Tennant stars in Doctor Who: Dreamland.Before Doctor Who fans say good bye to David Tennant in the BBC's final three specials of 2009, they'll get a little extra colorful bonus Tennant from the Beeb's Red Button service and the Who website.

Doctor Who: "Dreamland" is the show's first venture into "3D" CG animation, and that makes for a stylistic representation of the Tennant's tall, skinny Time Lord. Writer Phil Ford (a veteran of both live action Who and Torchwood) takes the The Doctor to a diner in Roswell, New Mexico where all manner of alien shenanigans are going on.

American fans won't get to see the six-part series in its first run, as they're blocked out of video feeds on the BBC's websites. If only there were other websites that showed online video (illegally) posted by fans. Oh, well.

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Star Wars: Clone Wars season two promises a more sophisticated galaxy

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 25th 2009 2:28AM
Star Wars: The Clone WarsAs an old-school Star Wars fan, I've been a little disenchanted with the many little ways George Lucas has slowly turned his rich tapestry into a children's fable. In the Star Wars I loved, there were moments of real terror, a sinister menace and true danger. The "Ooh, we can sell toys!" started with the ewoks and hit critical mass with Jar-Jar Binks.

But there were some moves in the right direction. Episodes II and III were improvements over The Phantom Menace, so I held out hope that new projects might keep what I felt was the proper maturity of Star Wars in perspective. And so, like a good little drone, I tuned into Cartoon Network's The Clone Wars animated series, and it was ... cute.

For years and years, this was the era we knew so little about. In the novels and comics, which took all of this pretty seriously, thank you very much, we covered from thousands of years before Darth Vader to spans after Han and Leia get married. But not the Clone Wars. That era was special. So we waited. And we got cute.

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If more '80s cartoons were given to movie directors

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 21st 2009 11:02AM

The TransformersWith childhood animated icons such as Transformers and G.I.Joe getting the movie treatment (sadly done by Michael Bay), Atom Films put together an animated montage of hypothetical '80s characters (cartoon and otherwise) if they were redone by current directors. I think the sketch would have a little more impact if they did it live-action for each segment rather than animated, but I could be in the minority opinion.

I'm not sure which one is my favorite. The Smurfs done by Peter Jackson is certainly up there. Teddy Ruxpin by Wes Anderson is also a hoot. There are a few that aren't mentioned in the video that I think should have been mentioned:

Which franchises have I forgotten? And which directors do you think can cover these franchises? Which directors would piss on the memory of them and utterly obliterate them?

Video is after the jump.

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Gervais bringing podcasting star Pilkington to HBO

by John Scott Lewinski, posted May 20th 2009 12:06PM
Ricky Gervais will bring podcast star Karl Pilkington to HBO in an animated series. Karl Pilkington, longtime friend and podcasting costar of Ricky Gervais, has a head like an orange. He possesses very little education, an extremely pessimistic take on life, a sad obsession with insects and a perpetually confused world view.

But, even with all that going against him, he holds a share of the Guinness Book of World Records title for most popular podcast with Gervais and Stephen Merchant -- and he's about to star in a new animated series on HBO.

According to Variety, The Office creator will bring The Ricky Gervais Show to TV in a series of 13 animated half-hour episodes. In audio form, the Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington formula features Gervais throwing a vast variety of topics at the intellectually challenged Pilkington to see what sense he can make of them.

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More Wolverine and the X-Men coming to Nicktoons

by Mike Moody, posted May 7th 2009 9:04AM
Wolverine and the X-MenIt's true. You really can't kill Wolverine.

Hugh Jackman is already hitting the gym for a sequel to the just-released X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Nicktoons just ordered 26 more episodes of Wolverine and the X-Men.

The animated show was a big hit on Nicktoons, helping give the network its highest-ratings ever in key demos. The new eps will kick off May 22.

I know a lot of X-Men fans had problems with Wolverine and the X-Men, but I love the show. Being a Cyclops fan (yes, we do exist), it sorta bugs me that Wolverine is billed as the leader of the X-Men on the show, but that's a minor complaint. The show is fun, packed with cool, somewhat obscure Marvel mutants, and it's pretty entertaining for kids and adults.

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The '90s X-Men series is coming to DVD this April - VIDEO

by Mike Moody, posted Feb 10th 2009 6:07PM
x-men dvd animatedIn case you didn't get the message with the DVD release of Next Avengers or Hulk Vs., Marvel wants to remind you that ninety percent of its animated output is incredibly awful. That's probably why they're finally releasing the '90s X-Men animated series on DVD.

Stop right there, X-Men fans; lemme explain my love-hate relationship with this series before you start typing four-letter words in the comments section.

I watched this cartoon on Fox faithfully as a kid, and I really loved it. It brought many of the classic X-Men comics stories to life – even some of the weirder ones – and introduced a generation of non-comic book fans to Wolverine, Cyclops and the rest of the gang. But even as a kid it was hard not to wince at the awful animation, the over-the-top voice acting, and the ridiculous melodramatic vibe of it all. Compared to the more sophisticated Batman: The Animated Series, which also aired during the early '90s, this thing looked and felt like an old episode of Thundercats, which was a shame.

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