Hamtaro Goes for Gold

HAMTARO Goes for the Gold with All-New One-Hour Sports-Themed Special to Celebrate the Athens Summer Olympic Games

“Ham-Ham Games” Spotlights Fun-Loving Hamsters in Adventure Spoof to Air Saturday, Aug. 21, at 3 p.m. (ET/PT)

Cartoon Network's fun-loving and ever-curious Hamtaro will pay tribute to the Athens Summer Olympic Games by starring in a brand new Olympic Games-like adventure called the “Ham-Ham Games,” premiering Saturday, Aug. 21, at 3 p.m. (ET/PT). The one-hour original special serves as the anchor of a three-hour afternoon marathon (3-6 p.m.) of Hamtaro, one of Japan's hottest children's television programs that has also aired continuously on Cartoon Network since its U.S. debut in June 2002. Hamtaro is a half-hour animated series about an insatiably curious hamster and his gang of hamster pals, known as “The Ham-Hams,” that join together to solve problems and embark on countless adventures.

In the “Ham-Ham Games” episode, Hamtaro and the Ham-Hams set off to attend the games, a legendary sports tournament held once every 8,686 years. Making the trip even more special is the extraordinary invitation of Prince Bo of Rainbow Country for Hamtaro and his friends to carry the esteemed Ham-Ham Games Friendship Torch to the event, a very honorable duty. Getting to the Ham-Ham Games is a grand adventure of crossing rivers, climbing mountains, scaling cliffs and crossing the ocean. On their perilous journey, the Ham-Hams confront the mischievous Rainbow Girls, ally with rowdy Ham-Pirates and seek help from the wild Djungarian hamsters. The trip is filled with adventure and confrontations, putting into question Hamtaro's ability to arrive at the Ham-Ham Games before the precious torch flame burns out.

In addition to the U.S. television premiere of “Ham-Ham Games,” Cartoon Network also will invite viewers to visit www.CartoonNetwork.com to participate in a Nintendo video game promotion, and to play exclusive Hamtaro-themed online games.

Brought to the United States by ShoPro Entertainment, “Tottoko Hamutaro” (the original Japanese title) was first introduced to Japanese audiences in July 2000. The series, based on the popular illustrated children's storybooks created by Ritsuko Kawai, is already one of TV Tokyo's highest-rated animated programs and a leading franchise overseas. Hamtaro is produced by Shogakukan Music & Digital Entertainment.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., ShoPro Entertainment is a leading global licensor of animation and entertainment brands, including associated rights for merchandise, home video, motion picture and publishing. ShoPro Entertainment, affiliate of ShoPro Japan, a subsidiary of Shogakukan, Inc., one of Japan's largest publishing companies, develops and markets animated entertainment starting from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions reaching audiences and consumers around the world. To date, ShoPro Entertainment has introduced multi-million-dollar franchises including Hamtaro, Inuyasha, MegaMan NT Warrior and Mirmo! to broadcasters and consumers worldwide. For more information on ShoPro Entertainment please visit www.shopro-entertainment.com.

Cartoon Network, currently seen in 86 million U.S. homes and 145 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 Codename: Kids Next Door, The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Ed, Edd n Eddy and other Cartoon Cartoons. Cartoon Network also features Adult Swim, a 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 http://CartoonNetwork.com (AOL Keyword: Cartoon Network).

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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