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[02/16/05 - 12:00 AM]
Cartoon Network to Commence Tickle U, New Original Programming Franchise for Preschoolers, in August

[via press release from Cartoon Network]

Cartoon Network to Commence Tickle U, New Original Programming Franchise for Preschoolers, in August

Tickle U to Showcase Developmental Value of Humor for Young Kids Weekdays from 9-11 a.m. (ET, PT)

Cartoon Network will launch a new weekday morning franchise of original and acquired television targeted for preschool children on Monday, Aug. 22. Tickle U will focus on developing, nurturing and valuing a child�s sense of humor, an essential aspect of a happy, well-adjusted child. The franchise�s newly developed and acquired series also will be packaged within a distinctive, cohesive on-air environment with a live host.

Aimed at kids 2-5, Tickle U will air weekdays from 9-11 a.m. (ET, PT) with fun, funny and fearless animated programming hosted by Marty, an adult with a kid�s unlimited imagination and big heart. Marty will inspire kids to sing along, play and, most importantly, laugh with him and his characters. Tickle U will be set in Marty�s cool, bright and slightly askew workshop where he can build and fix anything. Throughout the two-hour block, Marty will engage kids with comedic skits and activities that will let kids be kids while developing a sense of humor and self-esteem.

�As parents, we want our children to be happy and healthy, to make friends and to be at ease with themselves and others. A sense of humor facilitates all of this, but until now, these skills haven�t been addressed in children�s media,� said Alice Cahn, vice president of development and programming for Cartoon Network. �No one is born funny. Children learn to create humor and to appreciate humor. Tickle U will help make children happy and support their acquisition of these important skills.�

The franchise�s programming will be centered around funny animated series that will encourage kids to laugh and have an optimistic view of themselves and the world around them. The series will be developed in collaboration with a Child Development Advisory Board and from a curriculum framework based on the importance of humor to children�s healthy development. The new block will be advertising-supported with commercials every half-hour and hour break, never interrupting programmatic material. Programming that will appear in Tickle U when it launches on Monday, Aug. 22, is as follows (additional programming will be announced later):

Firehouse Tales: In the town of Green Meadow sits a fire-fighting school at which a group of young trucks learn that it takes more than a shiny red coat of paint and a loud siren to make a hero.

Gerald McBoing Boing: Based on the Dr. Seuss character and a classic, award-winning cartoon, this series tells the story of Gerald, a young boy who can only speak in sound effects. Whenever he opens his mouth he attracts the attention of all of those around him.

Gordon Gnome: Every garden in the world has a gnome that takes care of it. Gordon, the garden gnome, is cheerful, optimistic and genuinely excited by his natural world. The series follows his adventures as he works alongside his animal friends and gnome neighbors.

Harry and His Bucketful of Dinosaurs: Based on a series of best-selling books, this series features a five-year-old boy who is transported into a world of dinosaurs by jumping into his bucketful of toy dinosaurs.

Peppa Pig: Peppa is an irrepressible, loveable, cheeky little piggy who loves dressing up, playing games, spending days out and jumping in mud puddles. Her adventures always end happily with loud snorts of laughter.

Cartoon Network, currently seen in 87.3 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.�s 24-hour, ad-supported cable service offering the best in animated entertainment. Drawing from the world�s largest cartoon library, Cartoon Network showcases unique original ventures such as Foster�s Home for Imaginary Friends, Codename: Kids Next Door, Teen Titans, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Ed, Edd n Eddy and other Cartoon Cartoons. Cartoon Network also features Adult Swim, its signature late- night block of animation for grown-ups. Since its launch in 1992, Cartoon Network has remained one of ad-supported cable�s highest-rated networks. Cartoon Network�s Web site is located at www.CartoonNetwork.com.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.





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