DreamWorks, WB plot TV ‘Invasion’

Time Warner’s WB Network and DreamWorks are teaming up on an animated action show for primetime that will be executive produced by Harve Bennett, who produced and co-wrote several of the “Star Trek” theatricals.

“Invasion America” is being set for a 1998 launch and will mark DreamWorks’ first foray into TV animation. The studio’s first animated theatrical release is “Prince of Egypt,” which is also set for a 1998 release. DreamWorks partner Steven Spielberg is credited with creating “Invasion America” and will also executive produce the series with Bennett.

Although Fox’s “The Simpsons” is the only mainstream animated hit on TV at the moment, the genre’s presence on the small screen is growing. Early next year, Fox will debut “King of the Hill,” an animated show from “Beavis & Butt-head” creator Mike Judge. Cable networks MTV, Comedy Central and USA have all looked to animation to help distinguish themselves from the competition, with limited success. A few years ago, however, CBS struck out with “Family Dog,” and ABC and Fox also had little success with the animated Jon Lovitz comedy “The Critic.”

Leonard Nimoy, Kristy McNichol, Edward Albert and Tate Donovan are among the actors who have agreed to lend their voices to “Invasion America,” which will be a sci-fi effort about a 16-year old Earthling who discovers he is half alien and destined to lead the defense of the planet against hostile conquerors from the planet Tyrus.

” ‘Invasion America’ is a unique partnership with significant potential,” WB programming chief Garth Ancier said. Gary Krisel, head of DreamWorks TV Animation, said the show will be a dramatic serialized adventure.

Bennett served as producer and co-writer of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn;” “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock;” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.” His TV producing credits include the miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “The Mod Squad.”

In addition to Bennett and Spielberg, “Invasion America’s” staff will include producer Dan Fausett, consulting producer Wayne Lemon, writer-producer Michael Reaves, writer Ruel Fischmann and casting and voice director Susan Blu.

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