Variety is reporting that the Kids WB will carry the new CGI Astro Boy anime series that is currently airing in Japan (see 'Astro Boy Still Flying High In Japan') on Saturday mornings starting next September.  The Kids WB has acquired the rights to the 26-episode anime, which debuted in Japan on April 6, 2003, the date Astro Boy's creator Osamu Tezuka picked as the birthday for his greatest creation, when he created the character the Japanese refer to as Tetsuwan Atom some 50 years ago.  No specific airdate for the American debut of the new Astro Boy has been set, but the WB did indicate to Variety that the series will start its U.S. run in September.


Sony, which produced the new Astro Boy series could hardly hope for better placement.  The Kids WB rules Saturday morning, thanks to its popular Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, so Astro Boy should reach the maximum Saturday morning audience if ratings patterns remain as they have been all this season. The increased visibility of the Astro Boy property can only help sales of the Dark Horse Astro Boy manga.  Dark Horse is also publishing the first English version of Tezuka's The Lost World this summer (see 'Tezuka's Masterworks from Dark Horse').