France Televisions nabs WB toon series

Deal covers 'Looney Tunes,' 'MAD,' 'ThunderCats,' 'Green Lantern'

ANNECY — French pubcaster France Televisions has acquired a package of new Warner Bros. Animation skeins to boost a France 4 slot targeting teens and young adults.

The pact includes the skeins “The Looney Tunes Show,” “MAD,” “ThunderCats” and “Green Lantern,” as well as two direct-to-DVD toon features, “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights” and “Green Lantern: First Flight.”

Sam Register, exec VP of creative affairs at Warner Bros. Animation, and Julien Borde, head of France Televisions’ youth programming, were on hand at Annecy Intl. Animation Film Market to present the series, and show clips of “Looney Tunes” and “MAD,” as well as first images of “ThunderCats” and “Green Lantern,” which are still in production.

France Televisions has exclusive free-to-air Gallic rights to the shows.

“Emerald Knights” and “First Flight” will bow on the pubcaster in July and August, respectively, while the “Green Lantern” skein will roll out in late 2012. “ThunderCats” will likely air in 2013, said Borde.

“With the two direct-to-DVD features airing this summer and the film, ‘Green Lantern,’ coming out in theaters at the same time, our audiences will be completely familiarized with the ‘Green Lantern’ universe by the time we launch the TV series on our network,” said Borde.

Commenting on the first images of “ThunderCats,” Register said Japanese outfit C4 Studio, which is creating the animation, is making the images rich in detail.

“We’ve put of a lot of heart and character in the show,” said Register, who compared the series’ fantasy world with “Lord of the Rings.”

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