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DIC, Saban in ‘Power’ struggle

DIC Entertainment and Saban Entertainment, once partners on various series but now bitter rivals, have extended their bickering to the former’s new live-action firstrun series.

DIC has renamed the show, formerly titled “PowerBoy,” as “Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad” to avoid confusion with Saban’s Fox Children’s Network hit “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”

The name of the title character, Zack Jason — which combines the monikers of two of the Power Rangers — also has been changed to prevent confusion.

Still, DIC stressed in a statement that the changes were made “solely at” the request of Fox, “contrary to a recent release circulated by Saban Entertainment.”

Saban issued a statement last week at the National Assn. of Television Program Executives confab asserting that DIC had agreed to change the name of “PowerBoy” and the main characters, and to put a disclaimer on all marketing materials disavowing any relationship between the two series.

The feud between the companies heated up at NATPE when DIC took out a large front-page “PowerBoy” ad in Variety’s show daily that contained a disclaimer in 2-point type, which was so small that readers needed a magnifying glass to see it.

A Saban rep said the company would not comment on DIC’s latest claims.

“Syber-Squad” will star Matthew Lawrence (“Mrs. Doubtfire”) and has been cleared in over 60% of the U.S.

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