UNIVERSAL PACTS WITH THE CARTOON NETWORK FOR ALL NEW 'THE LAND BEFORE TIME' ANIMATED TV SERIES
Twenty-Six Episode Order is the First Major Production from Universal's Recently Created Family Home Entertainment Label
LOS ANGELES -- August 8, 2005 -- Marking the first major milestone for Universal's newly formed family entertainment label, Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Productions (USHEFP) today announced that it has commenced production on 26 episodes of a new animated TV series, The Land Before Time. The series is slated to debut on Cartoon Network in 2007 and will be subsequently distributed on DVD by Universal.
A billion-dollar property that is considered one of the most successful feature-length children's home entertainment franchises of all time, The Land Before Time movies, which boast of 11 valued installments over a 17-year period, collectively have sold more than 60 million units worldwide. The TV series will include many of franchise's most memorable characters, including Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, Spike and Chomper in all new adventures. It will be created using a combination of 2-D animation and 3-D backgrounds.
"There is a huge consumer demand for high-quality, family-friendly content both on television and in the home entertainment arena," said Craig Kornblau, President, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "Universal is committed to tapping its vast catalogue of world-renowned entertainment brands, as well as finding compelling new material, to inspire the creation of original films and series that will serve this growing marketplace."
Added Glenn Ross, General Manager and Executive Vice President, Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Productions: "We are thrilled to be able to extend the success of this prized franchise to yet another vital platform. The Cartoon Network is widely recognized for its trademark quality programming, and we look forward to combining the new The Land Before Time series with the network's esteemed lineup of children's offerings."
"We are very excited to partner with Universal on such a beloved property," said Terry Kalagian, Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Cartoon Network. "The Land Before Time movies are a great addition to our programming line-up and we look forward to our favorite returning characters, Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie and Spike, and the addition of some new ones in expanding the story of The Land Before Time."
Additionally, Universal plans on further expanding upon the blockbuster franchise in 2007 with Land Before Time: Day of the Flyers, the much anticipated 12th installment in the unparalleled direct-to-DVD series. Both the TV series and the new feature-length adventure DVD will be jointly supported by a worldwide licensing program, which will be spearheaded by Universal Studios Consumer Products Group.
Cartoon Network, currently seen in 88.3 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 grownups. 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.
USHEFP, a unit of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, handles the development, production and acquisition of live-action and animated family productions made directly for home entertainment and television.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.