MTV2 dips toes in toons

Net in the swim with own toon block

MTV2 is poised to jump in and give Adult Swim some competition.

Already home to the subversive “Sesame Street” satire “Wonder Showzen,” cabler will launch its first animation block June 9 armed with a new show from Jeffrey Ross and Tracy Morgan and the revival of “Celebrity Deathmatch.”

MTV2 has greenlit eight episodes of “Where My Dogs At?,” which stars Ross and Morgan as two stray dogs trying to survive on the mean streets of Hollywood.

Ross and Aaron Lee co-created the show. Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley, Chris Linn and Michael Bloom exec produce.

Friday destination will also feature “Chico and Guapo,” a toon co-created by Orlando Jones, and fresh episodes of “Celebrity Deathmatch,” which previously ran on MTV.

It’s no surprise MTV2 is getting into the toon game: Adult Swim, now rated separately from Cartoon Network, has ranked as the No. 1 web in men 18-34 in total day since its debut.

“Animation is a risk on a certain level, but we think MTV2 is the perfect vehicle for it,” net general manager David Cohn said. “We have a guy audience that is looking for edgy, funny, subversive animation, and we think we’ve got a lineup that provides just that.”

MTV2 tested the waters several months ago, cycling old episodes of “Deathmatch” and “Beavis & Butthead” into the schedule.

“The response from viewers was tremendous,” Cohn said.

Last month, cabler was up 24% in adults 18-34 in total-day rankings and up 10% in adults 18-49.

No time has been set for the block’s debut.

As for “Dogs,” Ross said, “It’s gonna be off the leash! We just booked Isaac Hayes for our Scientology episode!”

Before the launch of the toon block this summer, Friday nights will be home to new episodes of “The Andy Milonakis Show,” also a transplant from MTV, and a fresh batch of “Wonder Showzen.” Cycles bow March 31 starting at 9 p.m.

Cohn said he fully expects to continue working with online clip sites like YouTube.com and Viacom-owned iFilm.com to promote the cabler’s new offerings. MTV2 had previously struck promotional partnerships with such viral video sites to distribute clips from “Milonakis” and “Wonder Showzen” in advance of its upcoming premiere.

Sister cabler VH1 did the same for episodes of “Flavor of Love,” whose finale wound up drawing a whopping 6 million viewers.

MTV2 is available in 59 million homes.