BET Networks and Marvel Animation Unveil 'THE BLACK PANTHER'
New Animated Series Set to Premiere First Quarter 2009
NEW YORK, July 15 -- BET Networks and Marvel Animation are
teaming up to produce an animated series based on the legendary superhero,
THE BLACK PANTHER. Casting is already underway for the series that is
slated to premiere in the first quarter of 2009. A special sneak preview
will premiere at Comic-Con in July during BET's panel on Saturday, July 26.
The series will be adapted directly from the first six issues of the Marvel
Comic written by Reginald Hudlin (issues #1 - #6 "Who Is The Black
The partnership between Marvel Animation and BET Networks marks an
important milestone in the expansion of the channel's animation division
and the realization of a project that has been a labor of love for BET's
President, Entertainment, Reginald Hudlin.
"As a lifelong comic book reader, I didn't think anything could top the
excitement of writing one of my favorite characters, the Black Panther. I'm
so proud I've been able to maintain a successful run of the series over the
past three years while keeping my 'day job' of programming a network. But
now to have both of my worlds collide, to have a faithful adaptation of my
own work as a prime time series on the network -- it's a dream come true.
The Black Panther has always been an inspirational character to me, and now
I get to share that inspiration with the widest audience he's ever had.
"I'm very excited to be working with Marvel. It's been great working
with Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso on the publishing side, and I look forward
to a similar experience with Eric Rollman and his team at Marvel Animation.
"I want to give special thanks to Denys Cowan, my SVP of Animation, who
is doing a fantastic job of bringing the art of John Romita Jr. to life,"
Eric Rollman, President of Marvel Animation adds, "The Black Panther is
a working example of Marvel's initiative to broaden our fan base by working
with new and innovative partners. Reggie and his team can uniquely take
material that is near and dear to them and re-imagine it for a whole new
audience. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with BET."
THE BLACK PANTHER animated series is executive produced by Reginald
Hudlin, President, Entertainment and Denys Cowan, SVP Animation for BET
Networks. Eric Rollman, President of Marvel Animation, and Cort Lane,
Director of Animation Development, are the executives on the series for
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the
nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public
affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The
primary BET channel reaches more than 87 million households according to
Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the
Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a
diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading internet
destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital
Networks -- BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for
cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale
event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a
collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs
and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video
content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET
network programming for global distribution.
About Marvel Entertainment
With a library of over 5,000 high-profile characters built over more
than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is
one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies.
Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via
Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics),
with emphasis on feature films, DVD, consumer products, video games, action
figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Marvel's strategy
is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around
the world. For more information visit http://www.marvel.com.