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UPN tooning up slate of Web comedy shorts

NEW YORK — UPN has ordered a pilot for an animated sketch comedy series from Urban Entertainment.

The untitled project will consist of toon shorts from the Internet that’ll be introduced by cartoon hosts.

“It will be a broad sweep of the best stuff that’s out there on the Internet,” said Urban Entertainment founder and CEO Michael Jenkinson. “It will be youthful and hip and will definitely have an attitude.”

UPN entertainment prexy Tom Nunan said that in the case of a writers’ or actors’ strike, the show could come in handy since it’s virtually strike-proof.

“With this kind of programming, there’s a fair amount of freedom,” Jenkinson said. “A significant amount of the show consists of acquisitions of pre-existing programming, so we’re fairly flexible about scheduling.”

Urban Entertainment will license short films from various Web sites for the project. In addition, some animated shorts from UrbanEntertainment.com will be featured. Netco was one of the first to sell an online property for offline distribution.

UPN’s live-action sketch comedy series “Off Limits,” which is set to premiere in summer, includes interstitials of a character from UrbanEntertainment.com’s animated short “Pookie Poo.”

Imagine Entertainment/Universal Pictures’ live-action comedy feature “Undercover Brother,” which is slated to begin production this month, is based on an animated comedy series from Urban Entertainment’s site.

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