The Cartoon Network announced a number of new acquisitions today, including some surprising choices such as Blue Gender and Kikaider.  The network is also joining with Lucasfilm to create some twenty 2-3 minute animated short films that will detail aspects of the Clone Wars occurring between the end of Episode 3 and the start of Episode 4 (Dark Horse is exploring different aspects of the Clone Wars saga in its Star Wars comic book line).  The Clone Wars shorts will be shown on a regularly scheduled basis starting in the fall of this year.  Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory, will head the team creating the Star Wars shorts at the Cartoon Network's studios. Some other series that we had previously reported (Rurouni Kenshin, SD Gundam, .hack//SIGN, and The Big O) were also announced.   


Returning Series

The Cartoon Network ordered 26 new episodes of Justice League Animated, which will start airing in October.  Another DC Comics-based series, the previously announced Teen Titans, debuts in August.  The 'final' 15 'new' episodes of Dragon Ball Z start airing on March 17, while the Cartoon Network also acquired 52 new episodes of the original Dragon Ball series, 26 more episodes of Transformers: Armada, 52 more episodes of Hamtaro, plus 50 episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh and 26 episodes of .hack//SIGN.


New Series

As we reported yesterday (see 'Rurouni Kenshin on Toonami'), the classic samurai series starts on March 17 -- the Cartoon Network has acquired all 95 episodes.  New this fall will be 26 episodes of Super Defender -- a new computer-animated SD Gundam series featuring compact and cute versions of your favorite mecha.  Another key new acquisition was Blue Gender, a hard-hitting science fiction anime packaged by Funimation.  The Cartoon Network also picked up the 13-episode second season of The Big O as well as 12 episodes of Bandai's animated Kikaider series.