‘Barney’s World’ to Debut on Cartoon Network and Max in 2024

Warner Bros. Discovery has picked up the new CG-animated series “Barney’s World” for Cartoonito on Cartoon Network and streaming on Max.

The series, announced earlier this year as part of Mattel’s Barney franchise relaunch, will revamp the iconic character for modern audiences. Co-produced by Mattel Television and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, “Barney’s World” will debut globally in 2024.
 
“Barney’s World” is modernized with characters and music-filled storylines that highlight themes of love, community and encouragement. Set in a local playground, Barney is joined by dinos Billy and Baby Bop and their three kid best friends. Throughout adventures together, Barney helps kids explore big preschool emotions and shows them how to love themselves and others.
 
“’Barney’s World’ perfectly exemplifies our ‘best in animation’ approach. It strikes the right nostalgia chord for today’s parents and introduces this iconic dinosaur to a new generation of preschoolers,” Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Family and Boomerang, said in a statement. 

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“Having grown up watching the original series, many of today’s parents have fond memories of laughing, singing and learning with Barney and his friends,” Fred Soulie, SVP and GM for Mattel Television, said in a statement. “We are proud to partner with Warner Bros. Discovery to reimagine this famed brand and bring a fresh and modern version of Barney to a global audience of families.”

‘Batwheels’ Season Two Headed to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

There will be a second season of Cartoonito’s original preschool series “Batwheels” for Cartoon Network and HBO Max.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, season one launched this fall and became Cartoon Network’s No. 1 original preschool series with boys ages 2-5 this year and the No. 1 original preschool show on HBO Max, according to Warner. “Batwheels” marks DC’s first-ever Batman preschool show featuring a CGI-animated iteration of the Caped Crusader.

“Batwheels” follows a group of young, sentient super vehicles — Bam (the Batmobile), Bibi (the Batgirl Cycle), Redbird (Robin’s racecar), Buff (the Bat-Truck) and Batwing (the Batplane)— as they help Batman, Batgirl, and Robin keep the streets of Gotham City safe.
 
The series features the voices of Ethan Hawke as Batman, Gina Rodriguez as Catwoman, Jacob Bertrand as Bam the Batmobile, Xolo Maridueña as Snowy the Snowcrawler, Crew Kingston Miskel as Redbird, Madigan Kacmar as Bibi, Noah Bentley as Buff, Lilimar as Batwing, Kimberly D. Brooks as The Batcomputer, Mick Wingert as Moe, AJ Hudson as Duke Thomas/Robin, and Leah Lewis as Cassandra Cain/Batgirl, among others.

Based on characters from DC, “Batwheels” is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. 

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“It’s been a joyride seeing how ‘Batwheels’ resonated with audiences, and in such a short amount of time. It delivered everything we hoped it would in introducing Batman to the youngest viewers while allowing parents to enjoy their favorite DC Super Hero with their kids,” Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Family and Boomerang, said in a statement. “Reimagining Batman’s iconic mythos for preschoolers using beloved and original characters has been a creative feat that we will definitely lean into as we expand into a second season.”
 
“‘Batwheels’ gave preschoolers an animated Batman story to call their own,” Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, said in a statement. “We’re excited to continue to build on this cool and fun world alongside our partners at Cartoon Network and HBO Max.”

New Sesame Workshop Programs to Debut on HBO Max

WarnerMedia Kids & Family and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind “Sesame Street,” announced the next phase of their content partnership with new series to premiere on HBO Max.

“Sesame Street Mecha Builders,” the first of many new Sesame Workshop originals for WarnerMedia’s Cartoonito preschool programming block, is set to debut on HBO Max and Cartoon Network in early May. More animated series and specials, including newly greenlighted family miniseries “Charlotte’s Web,” upcoming preschool shows “Bea’s Block” and a “Sesame Street”-themed reimagining of The Nutcracker, also are set to debut this year.
 
“Sesame Street Mecha Builders” reimagines Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby as robot heroes in training who use their STEM superpowers to solve wacky larger-than-life problems. Animated in a 3D style, the series is designed to help older preschoolers practice foundational critical thinking skills. The first five episodes will air on Cartoonito on Cartoon Network on May 9, hitting HBO Max the following day. Launching later in the year also on Cartoonito, “Bea’s Block” will introduce viewers to a world where vibrant and diverse wooden block characters — Bea and her friends — tumble, stack and roll their way through kindness-filled adventures. Both series will include fully integrated educational curricula and music.
 
“Our relationship with Sesame Workshop is critical in ensuring that we have an ongoing lineup of content that parents find unquestionably safe, educational and entertaining for their kids to enjoy,” Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. global kids, young adults and classics, said in a statement. “The new and classic properties we’re developing together have just the right multigenerational appeal to resonate with parents and children alike, with fresh music and characters offering some surprises along the way.” 

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“Building on Sesame Workshop’s legacy of innovation in the children’s entertainment space, we’re thrilled to continue partnering with WarnerMedia Kids & Family as they build an industry-leading library of both preschool and family-focused content,” Steve Youngwood, CEO of Sesame Workshop, said in a statement. “From brand new adventures to reimagined classics, everything we create at Sesame Workshop is bursting with the kinds of compelling characters and storylines that today’s kids love, built on a solid educational framework that parents can trust — perfect for creating new family traditions.”
 
The upcoming Sesame Street: The Nutcracker, premiering during the 2022 holiday season, is an animated special that follows Elmo and his new puppy, Tango, on a fantastical holiday adventure. The special will populate the holiday story with “Sesame Street” characters, blending new and classic music.

Production on “Charlotte’s Web,” an animated family miniseries based on the classic children’s book by E.B. White, will begin in the coming weeks. 
 
Available now on Cartoonito on HBO Max and Cartoon Network are the “Sesame Street” spinoff “The Not Too Late Show With Elmo” and the animated “Esme & Roy.” HBO Max is also the home of “Sesame Street”; new episodes of the iconic series’ 52nd season premiere on the platform every Thursday, with decades of classic episodes available on demand. 

WarnerMedia Kids & Family Unit Adds Executives

WarnerMedia announced that Gloria Ponce and Sowon Sawyer have joined the company’s “kids & family” creative and programming team. Ponce, who joined the company earlier this year, has taken on the new role of senior creative executive, while Sawyer has been tapped as VP of program planning.

Both report to Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming, with Sawyer also reporting to Meredith Gertler, EVP of content strategy and planning for HBO and HBO Max.

From left, Gloria Ponce and Sowon Sawyer

WarnerMedia Kids & Family aims to expand streaming and linear content to preschoolers and families. Ponce and Sawyer will be tasked with adding content and strategic program for the recently launched Cartoonito and ACME Night, as well as other content and programming initiatives across Max and Cartoon Network.

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“Gloria and Sowon each bring exceptional taste and diverse industry experience to the team, and they’ll be invaluable leaders as we deliver inclusive content to kids and families wherever they watch,” Freedman said in a statement.

In her new role, Ponce oversees the creative development of live-action original content across ages 6-11 and family audiences. She currently has more than 15 shows in development for Max and Cartoon Network, with an emphasis on Latino-focused programming.

Before joining WarnerMedia, Ponce spent three years at Netflix managing international originals for youth audiences. Previously, she worked as a creative executive in the Nickelodeon Original Movies department and later transitioned to the Latino-focused digital content studio Mitú, where she was instrumental in crafting the company’s brand identity and scripted content strategy.

Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Sawyer led scheduling strategy for SundanceTV at AMC Networks, where she was responsible for promoting audience growth and retention for SundanceTV. Previously, Sawyer worked 11 years at Nickelodeon in program planning and strategy for TeenNick, NickJr., and NickToons.

An advocate for inclusion, Sawyer also served as a founding co-chair of AMC Networks’ diversity, equity and inclusion committee, where she spearheaded the development of nine employee resource groups, served as a key advisor on corporate diversity initiatives, and developed mentorship and professional development programs.

Friedman’s executive team also includes: Kim Howitt, senior creative executive, who oversees the development of third-party animation, co-production and live-action across preschool, kids and family; Adina Pitt, whose expanded role includes leading kids and family acquisitions, co-productions, and content partnerships across both linear and streaming in the United States, and on linear in LatAm; and Joanna Rosenthal, as creative executive, WarnerMedia Kids & Family.

‘Tom and Jerry’ Preschool Series Gets Greenlight for HBO Max and Cartoon Network

The first-ever preschool “Tom and Jerry” animated series “Tom and Jerry Time,” produced by Warner Bros. Animation, has been greenlighted as part of WarnerMedia Kids & Family’s new Cartoonito preschool programming block, debuting on HBO Max and Cartoon Network.

Combining comedy with key early learning concepts, “Tom and Jerry Time” aims to teach young viewers the skills they need to explore the world around them, according to the studio.

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“Based on the beloved classic that so many parents grew up with, ‘Tom and Jerry Time’ introduces a whole new generation to these iconic characters with a fresh and original take,” Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming at Warner Bros., said in a statement. “For our youngest audience, Sam Register and his team at Warner Bros. Animation managed to keep all the playful hijinks, drop all the cartoon violence, and add the most delightful early childhood learning through song and story.  It’s playful — with a purpose — and we think parents and their little ones will love watching and learning together.”

Presented as a series of animated musical shorts, “Tom and Jerry Time” turns the world created by the cat-and-mouse rivalry into a cartoon classroom. Preschoolers will be introduced to their comical mischief — chasing, pranking and outsmarting each other — while also learning key social and emotional skillsets, lessons in independence, early math and literacy skills, and other key preschool educational concepts, according to the studio.

Sam Register (Looney Tunes Cartoons) is executive producer. Will Finn (Tom and Jerry in New York) serves as showrunner and co-executive producer with Denise Downer (Stillwater) on board as story editor.

HBO Max Launching New Kids Cartoon Network Sept. 13

WarnerMedia is taking a new approach to children’s programming. The media company is set to launch the new “Cartoonito” preschool block on Sept. 13 on HBO Max and Cartoon Network. The new platform offers a modern approach to preschool programming with a focus on “humancentric learning,” including programming that celebrates individuality and originality, while championing creativity, compassion and inclusion.

The humancentric learning framework developed in partnership with educational psychologist Dr. Laura Brown, which aims to help children develop their unique potential and encourage them to treat others with compassion, respect and fairness.

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On Max, Cartoonito will be presented as a dedicated page featuring a collection of new preschool shows, including “Little Ellen” and the second season of the “The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo,” along with other staples such as “Esme & Roy” and “Sesame Street,” among others.

Cartoonito on Cartoon Network will be available Monday through Friday (6 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET/PT) and will include new series “Bing,” “Mush-Mush & The Mushables” and “Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go.” Preschoolers and families can also tune in Saturday-Sunday (6 to 8 a.m. ET/PT) for additional new Cartoonito shows, including “Lucas the Spider.”

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“Cartoonito’s offerings on Max and Cartoon Network will reflect a wide array of diverse content that connects kids and their caregivers through relatable stories, lovable characters and meaningful social emotional learning both in and between the shows,” Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming at WarnerMedia, said in a statement.