Nickelodeon has announced that it will lead off its two-hour Nickelodeon Slam block on Sunday afternoons (4-6 ET) with Speed Racer and Invader Zim (and finish up with Butt Ugly Martians and Robot Wars).  The new schedule will debut on Sunday, August 25th. 


These will be the first new Speed Racer episodes on US TV in nearly a decade. According to Toon Zone, they are from a 1997 Japanese-produced series called Speed Racer Y2K.  The property has a long history on US television, dating back to the sixties, and has sold a lot of merchandise over the years.


Invader Zim, created by Jhonen Vasquez (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac), had its initial order of shows cut short (see 'Invader Zim Repelled'), so it's great to see it find a new home.  It's unclear at this point whether this will mean an order for more episodes, but the continued exposure increases the odds that the property will survive.


There has been some Butt Ugly Martians merchandise (see 'Butt Ugly Martian Toons and Toys'), which has sold moderately well.