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‘Shortcake’ rises again

Updated characters to be unveiled at Rose Parade

Fox Home Entertainment has inked a deal with kids producer DIC Entertainment to help relaunch American Greetings’ 1980s “Strawberry Shortcake” franchise next year.

The updated characters will be reintroduced at the 2003 Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day with the float “Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Sweet World.”

On March 11, Fox will distribute four 45-minute TV episodes on video and DVD of a new “Strawberry Shortcake” series, just days after the episodes debut on Fox Kids network. Fox will use the TV debut to promote the release of the vidcassettes and DVDs; the latter will include a musicvideo.

DIC and American Greetings also have licensed the “Strawberry Shortcake” toy line to Bandai America, clothing to Children’s Apparel Network and books through Penguin Putnam. The companies plan a retail push through Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble and Borders during the first quarter.

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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