WB toon drama set for June ‘Invasion’

Netlet launches primetime animated show from Dreamworks

The WB netlet this summer is launching TV’s first primetime animated drama, DreamWorks TV Animation’s “Invasion America,” which is executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

The series, which the WB announced was in development for midseason at their upfront presentation last year, will debut as a two-hour miniseries Monday, June 8, from 9-10 p.m. and Tuesday, June 9, from 9-10 p.m.

The show will then run for three weeks Tuesdays at 9 p.m. following “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” while regular slot-holder “Dawson’s Creek” is on hiatus until July 7. The 90-minute “Invasion America” finale will then air Sunday, July 5, from 7-8:30 p.m.

The WB originally ordered 13 half-hour episodes of “Invasion America,” but later decided it worked better as an hour-long show, so the order was squeezed into five hour-long episodes and a 90-minute finale.

The summer launch is an expensive gamble, but more networks are moving toward airing original programs during the summer in order to stem the tide of viewers to cable. If the show does well it may return next spring; but given the time it takes to produce animated shows, it won’t be ready for the fall sked.

“Invasion America” is executive produced by Spielberg and sci-fi writer-producer Harve Bennett (“Rich Man, Poor Man,” “Star Trek”). The voice cast includes Leonard Nimoy, Edward Albert, Nora Dunn, Mikey Kelley, Lorenzo Lamas, Kristy McNichol, James B. Sikking, Rider Strong and Robert Urich (who, notably, happens to be the star of the new UPN series “The Love Boat”).

“Invasion America” tells the story of a 17-year-old boy, half human, half alien, who leads Earth’s defense in an interplanetary war.