Cabler to boost original skeins

Disney’s about to get “Mad,” and DIC’s glad to respond.

With Nickelodeon and The Cartoon Network scoring red-hot ratings with an all-original programming lineup, the Disney Channel seems set to boost its own slate of original shows, ordering 26 new episodes of animated series “Madeline” from DIC, marking the first time in five years that the toon will air new shows for television.

The channel, as well as sister channel Toon Disney, have been running an archive of 39 episodes as a strip, but “Madeline’s” popularity has soared this year following the success of the live-action movie, coupled with a video release, “Madeline Lost in Paris” that is forecasted to break the million unit mark by Christmas. Two more videos are set to hit retail shortly including “Madeline Goes to Washington” and a compilation video “Hats of Madeline.” The animated character has recently scored a highly profitable licensing and merchandising campaign to mark the its 60th anniversary.

“We are very proud that in this extremely competitive TV environment we have been fortunate to not only put new series on the air, but to re-license numerous existing series as well,” said Andy Heyward, CEO and prexy of DIC.

The Disney Channel order officially makes this fall’s DIC broadcast slate the largest in the company’s sixteen-year history. The company produces series such as “Inspector Gadget,” “Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century,” as well as “The Wacky World of Tex Avery” and next season’s “Sonic Underground” with Le Studio Tex.

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