04/02/2006. Contributed by Jessica Martin
First anime series created and produced entirely in the U.S premieres on Nicktoons Network Saturday, February 25th 2006. Dude, that's a toon, not anime.
Kappa Mikey, the first global acquisition by MTV Networks, will debut on Nicktoons Network in the U.S. with two half-hour, back-to-back episodes on Saturday, February 25 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (ET).
The new original animated comedy series was developed by Nickelodeon and created and executive produced by Larry Schwarz of Animation Collective. Beginning in May, Kappa Mikey will roll out across Nickelodeon's international channels, including Nick Asia, Nick UK, Nick Spain, Nick France and Nick Europe.
Kappa Mikey will premiere during the "Three-Headed Monster," Nicktoons Networks' prime-time programming block from 7 p.m. to midnight, and will encore throughout the weekend. As a special on-air event tied-in to the show's debut, Kappa Mikey's main character, Mikey Simon, will host a series of "behind-the-scenes" interstitials beginning Saturday, February 25. The hosted interstitials will feature guest appearances from Mikey's co-stars and first-look clips from the show.
Nicktoons Network's first original series, Kappa Mikey, is an anime television series created and produced in the U.S. (New York City) and not in Asia. The 26-episode series is written like a sitcom and the story contains a show within a show - the episodes take place on and off the set of LilyMu, a fictional Japanese TV series starring an unknown American actor named Mikey Simon. Kappa Mikey contains pop-culture references and jokes for kids and adults alike.
"Kappa Mikey is a great addition to Nicktoons Network and Nickelodeon's international channel's - it is the type of show that supports our mandate to deliver our global audience the very best compelling entertainment available," Keith Dawkins, Vice President and General Manager, Nicktoons Network told SFcrowsnest.com. "We know that kids and adults around the world love anime, and we are excited to bring them this quirky comedy."
"Written with colorful characters, fast-paced action and satirical comedy, Kappa Mikey will have every kid and every adult anime fan excited to see what's next for Mikey and his gang," said Larry Schwarz, Kappa Mikey's creator and C.E.O. of Animation Collective.
A fish-out-of-water anime action comedy, Kappa Mikey chronicles the adventures of once-struggling American actor, Cleveland, Ohio native Mikey Simon, as he adjusts to his new role as the biggest anime star Japan has even seen. When he is recruited to join the cast of LilyMu, formerly Japan's hottest anime TV series, his co-stars know immediately that he's the wrong guy for the job. But, the audience disagrees, and suddenly Mikey is Japan's newest rising star, rocketing LilyMu back to the top of the ratings. But fame doesn't come without a price, and when he's not being chased down by the paparazzi, Mikey must also find time to get to know his costars, adjust to Japanese culture and learn to love life inside the fishbowl.
In the premiere episode, "The Switch," amateur American actor Mikey Simon wins a contest that makes him the newest star of LilyMu, a popular Japanese anime show. He leaps headfirst into his new celebrity life and almost burns himself out before the first episode.
"Mikey Impossible," the second episode immediately following the premiere, features a showboating Mikey when he accidentally destroys Ozu's beloved 500-year-old bonzai tree. Mikey and the gang must replace the tree before Ozu returns from his vacation to the airport or Lily (their boss in loco) figures out what's going on.
The theme song from Kappa Mikey is performed and created by Sony Music Japan recording artists, Beat Crusaders. The band has managed to go from darlings of the indie scene to Top 5 success in a very short time. In spite of having only made a major label debut in 2004, lead vocalist Toru Hidaka has arranged and produced some of Japan's top musicians and supervised the musical aspects of the hit Japanese animated series Beck.
Creator Larry Schwarz is the founder and CEO of Animation Collective, the New York-based producer of children's programming for television, the Internet and home video. He's the creator and executive producer of all of Animation Collective's original television series including, Kappa Mikey, Thumb Wrestling Federation, Leader Dog, and Tortellini Western for Nicktoons and Ellen's Acres, HTDT, and Princess Natasha for Cartoon Network. In addition, Schwarz served as producer of Wulin Warriors for Cartoon Network and the first season of The Incredible Crash Dummies for the Fox Box.
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