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NEW YORK, April 14 -- Nicktoons Network, the fastest growing kids' network, is set to premiere Speed Racer: The Next Generation, a new animated series that builds on the legendary adventures of the iconic original series, on Friday, May 2, at 7:00 p.m. (ET). The 90-minute premiere will launch the Speed Racer: The Next Generation television series just prior to the Lionsgate DVD release on Tuesday, May 6, and the live-action Warner Bros. feature film, directed by The Wachowski Brothers, on Friday, May 9. The 26- episode, half-hour series will air regularly Fridays at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Nicktoons Network.
"Nicktoons Network is thrilled to add a completely new version of this iconic property to our brand," said Keith Dawkins, Nicktoons Network General Manager, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Programming Partnerships. "Speed Racer has global appeal as a comic book, television series and feature film. It's a great way to grow our brand and bring something new and exciting to our audience."
Speed Racer: The Next Generation, executive produced by John and Jim Rocknowski, principals of Speed Racer Enterprises Inc., and Larry Schwarz, CEO of Animation Collective, is based on the classic series which originally debuted in 1967 in the U.S. The series follows Speed after he arrives at The Racing Academy only to find himself intimidated by his fast-paced classmates. Armed with his new friends Conor, Lucy and Conor's robot monkey, Chim Chim, Speed quickly lives up to his name and becomes the one to beat in the driver's seat. Throughout the series, Speed must balance studying and racing, all while avoiding the evil schemes of oil tycoon and school board member Zile Zazic and his racer daughter Annalise. Along with action-packed adventure on the racetrack, Speed and his pals work together to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance and build the ultimate racing machine, the Mach 6.
In the 90-minute premiere, "The Beginning," Speed, a teenager who had been orphaned as a baby, arrives at the prestigious Racing Academy and tries to get acclimated as the new kid. He meets friends and enemies, finds out he is the son of the famous driver Speed Racer and begins to deal with his new brother, X, and uncle, Headmaster Spritle (voiced by Peter Fernandez, original voice of Speed Racer in the original U.S. version). After finding parts of Speed Racer's car -- the Mach-5 -- in a junk yard, Speed, with help from his new friends Conor and Lucy, rebuilds the legendary vehicle, but wrecks it during an intense race. Dejected and in need of a new car, Speed discovers his father's schematics for a revolutionary gasless engine and builds the Mach 6.
In April, Speed Racer: The Next Generation will stream on Video-on-Demand. Plus select video content from the series will be available on the network's video player at http://www.nicktoonsnetwork.com.
From writer/directors Larry and Andy Wachowski (creators of the The Matrix trilogy) and producer Joel Silver, comes the live-action, high-octane family adventure Speed Racer. The Warner Bros. feature film is based on the classic series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida and stars Emile Hirsch as Speed, Matthew Fox as Racer X, Christina Ricci as Trixie, Susan Sarandon as Mom Speed and John Goodman as Pops Racer.
On Tuesday, May 6, Lionsgate will release Speed Racer The Next Generation: The Beginning on DVD, which will feature the complete animated series premiere as well as an interactive racing game and the featurette, "Creating the Next Speed Racer," for the suggested retail price of $19.98.
Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio and is a premier producer and distributor of motion picture, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally- delivered content. Its prestigious and prolific library of nearly 12,000 motion picture titles and television episodes is a stable source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.
About Nicktoons Network:
Nicktoons Network is the fastest growing kids' network* and offers a 24- hour schedule featuring programming such as the Nicktoons Network Animation Festival, Skyland, Kappa Mikey, The Secret Show and Martin Mystery, as well as a roster of hits that have defined kids' and animation lovers' TV, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, Invader Zim, Danny Phantom, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius. Nicktoons Network is a part of the MTV Networks expanded suite of channels available for digital distribution. The new channels include MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Nicktoons Network and VH1 Mega Hits, expanding and strengthening MTV Networks' digital offerings to thirteen services.
Nicktoons Network currently reaches 50 million homes via cable, digital cable and satellite, and can be seen on Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable. Nicktoons, and all related titles and logos are property of Viacom, Inc.
*Nicktoons Network was the Fastest Growing Kid's Network in the past year among K6-14, K9-14 and K12-17. Source: Nielsen Media Research, 01/01/07- 12/30/07 vs. 12/26/05-12/31/06. (Live) US AA%