Television

MGM, G4 TV network, Berliner Film team with Mel Brooks on animated series

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MUMBAI: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) is teaming with the G4 television network, Brooksfilms Limited, and Berliner Film Companie GmbH (Berliner) on the US release of a new original television series based on the classic Mel Brooks comedy Spaceballs.

G4, which is now available in 59 million cable and satellite homes nationwide, has exclusively licensed the first run of Spaceballs: The Animated Series for the US market. The series will be produced by Berliner in association with Brooksfilms. Already in production, Berliner will produce 13 half-hour episodes, which will debut on G4 in Fall 2007.

MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., will officially launch the property at the upcoming MIPCOM international television festival in Cannes, France (9-13 October).

Spaceballs: The Animated Series brings together a talented team of comedy specialists. Brooks, who over the past 40 years has created classics as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and both versions of The Producers, co-wrote the Spaceballs pilot with Thomas Meehan. Meehan will oversee all writing for the first 13 episodes. Brooks will also lend his voice to two of the characters in the show, President Skroob and Yogurt.

MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group President Jim Packer, said, "This series has all the elements of a great comedy show. Mel Brooks has one of the top comedy minds in the business and the Berliner team has an impressive track record for producing quality animation. On the heels of retooling our worldwide television distribution group, MGM will be an active player in bringing first-run series to the marketplace and Spaceballs is a good example of the programming partnerships we can create with this vast library."

G4 President Neal Tiles added, "As the go-to network for men 18-34, irreverent humor is one of the benchmarks of our programming philosophy, as is animation. Mel Brooks’ classic movies Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles are just as relevant to our young male audience today as they were when they were first released. His brand of humor will resonate well with our viewers.

In the pilot episode of Spaceballs: The Animated Series, the storyline will be similar to that of the movie, which was released theatrically in 1987. The evil Dark Helmet kidnaps Princess Vespa of the Planet Druidia. His dastardly plan to blackmail her father, King Roland, into giving up his planet’s air to replenish the polluted Planet Spaceball, run by the fiendish President Skroob (to be voiced by Brooks). Princess Vespa’s dad hires Lone Starr and Barf to rescue the princess. After a battle with Dark Helmet, they rescue the princess and Planet Druidia. From there, they launch on a series of wild adventures across the Galaxy.

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