CENTER BOOSTS 'TOON TOWN CARTOON NETWORK LANDS IN BURBANK.
Burbank will further cement its reputation as 'toon city with the opening of a new Cartoon Network production center by early June.
Cartoon Network has signed a lease valued at more than $10 million for 43,000 square feet of space at 300 N. 3rd St. The studios initially will employ about 100 people in the heart of the city's downtown media district, and is expected to house as many as 200 by the fall as new shows go into production.
``Burbank seems to be the capital of animation, and it's close to everything,'' explained Brian Miller, who will be vice president and general manager of the Time Warner-controlled unit. ``It's near the home lot (Warner Bros.); Burbank is also home now to Disney animation, Nickelodeon, DIC (Entertainment) and some Sony animators. It's a very centrally located city for our artists.''
The expansion is part of the Cartoon Network's previously announced $450 million commitment to original animation.
Time Warner gained control of the cable network as part of its purchase of Turner Broadcasting in 1996; Turner had formed the foundation of the company by purchasing Universal City-based Hanna Barbera in 1991.
Miller comes to Cartoon Network from Nickelodeon's Nicktoons Animation Studio, another relatively new Burbank facility that produces cartoons for the Viacom-controlled Nickelodeon channel.
Miller said the industry in general continues to enjoy a boom that started about a decade ago, fueled by new channels and a greater demand for original programming instead of the decades-old reruns which were often the staple of children's animation programming.
``I think originals do well with kids today because they're more sophisticated, and want something fresh,'' Miller said. ``Also, advertisers take original content more seriously, so you get better support from them.''
Cartoon Networks' two top-rated shows, ``Power Puff Girls'' and ``Johnny Bravo,'' are produced in rented offices in Sherman Oaks since moving from the Warner Bros. lot in December. The new studios also will produce the network's ``What a Cartoon'' shorts showcasing the work of new animators.
Miller said the building, currently being built out for the network, will be ``very artist friendly.'' Features will include an art gallery displaying the work of in-house animators, and a roof deck with awnings and picnic tables.
Miller said the building's new tenants are eagerly getting into the decorating of the facility, with ``Power Puff Girls'' Creator Craig McCracken even helping to pick out furniture.
The Los Angeles office of real estate firm Julien J. Studley brokered the deal; the firm said the rate was below market value.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Mar 15, 2000|
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