MGM TV has pacted with Claster TV to distribute a new animated version of “The Pink Panther,” to be offered as a Monday-through-Friday strip for fall 1993.The project, alluded to in an earlier announcement (Daily Variety, Nov. 18), represents a return to animation production by MGM for the first time since the 1950s. Show will be produced in-house in conjunction with Mirisch-Geoffrey-DePatie Freleng, who own the property. Two former Hanna-Barbera executives, senior VP Paul Sabella and senior veep of animation development Mark Young, are joining MGM to supervise production. The release of the Pink Panther series is being timed to capitalize on MGM’s release next summer of the feature “Son of the Pink Panther,” starring Roberto Benigni. MGM will handle all distribution outside the United States, with Claster — a prolific distributor of animated programs, including “G.I. Joe” and “Conan the Adventurer”– managing domestic sales on a barter basis. MGM bailed out of the network production business last spring but has said that it will continue to seek opportunities in television such as first-run syndication and reality-comedy programs. Through the network division the company did have an interest in another animated show, “Mother Goose and Grimm,” part of CBS’ Saturday-morning lineup.
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