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The Buzz on Kids' Shows

September 03, 2000|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

As schoolkids start hitting the books again, television programmers are back in action too, premiering their new children's programming beginning this week.

PBS is betting on the "Bookworm Bunch," a new Saturday programming block. CBS--sluggish on Saturday mornings past--is borrowing from its cable sibling Nickelodeon, which always gets high marks from young viewers. And the WB, the No. 1-ranked broadcast network among kids last season, offers up a spinoff of its top-rated "Pokemon" show. Fox, trying to bypass the fall crush, launched its new season in August. Here are some of the ones to watch:

ABC

Disney's Teacher's Pet: Nathan Lane is the voice of a talking dog named Spot, who disguises himself as a boy in order to go to school. ABC, Saturday.

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The "Toy Story" faves come back following Buzz's adventures as he patrols the galaxy. ABC, Oct. 14. (The series also airs on UPN beginning Oct. 2.)

CBS

Dora the Explorer: Animated adventure series about a 7-year-old Latino heroine who lives in a computer. Sept. 16. The series began on Nickelodeon in August.

Little Bill: Nick Jr. animated series created by Bill Cosby, based on his children's books, about an imaginative 5-year-old boy. Sept. 16.

Franklin: The beloved animated turtle returns to CBS after moving last year to Nick Jr. Sept. 16.

Kipper: Animated series based on the books by Mick Inkpen about a sweet-natured puppy. Sept. 16.

Fox Family

Edgemont: Live-action drama follows a group of teens. Sept. 16.

Real Scary Stories: Reality series about paranormal encounters witnessed by kids from all over the U.S. Oct. 21.

The Zack Files: Based on Dan Greenburg's book, the animated comedy features a young teen who has weird encounters. Oct 21.

Fox

Action Man: Animated series following the adventures of a young athletic thrill-seeker. Premiered.

Cybersix: A rebellious female cyber is disguised as a male high school teacher by day and a fighter of evil by night. Premiered.

Escaflowne: A Japanese anime tale of a female high school student whose visions of the future come to pass. Premiered.

The WB

Jackie Chan Adventures: The martial arts movie star lends his voice to this animated series. Saturday.

Generation O!: Geared for kids 6-11, this animated series focuses on a popular band with an 8-year-old lead singer and a kangaroo for a drummer. Saturday. Moves to Fridays, Sept. 15.

Cardcaptors: Japanese anime adventure follows two youngsters as they recover the magical Clowcards. Saturday. Moves to Fridays, Sept. 15.

Static Shock: Based on the DC Comic property, this animated series features the first teenage African American superhero. Sept. 23.

Pokemon: The Johto Journeys: This "Pokemon" spinoff follows Ash and his pals with 100 never-before-seen Pokemon. Oct. 14.

NBC

Yearbook: Dramedy about two high school friends from very different backgrounds. Sept. 23. NBC.

Nickelodeon

Noah Knows Best: Phillip Van Dyke plays a 14-year-old living in Manhattan in this comedy. Oct. 7.

Pelswick: Animated series from award-winning cartoonist John Callahan about a 13-year-old boy who races on streets in his wheelchair. Oct. 24.

As Told By Ginger: New animated series from Klasky Csupo, Inc. ("Rugrats") about a 12-year-old girl trying to become cool. Oct. 25.

PBS

Caillou: Animation, puppets, music, dance and live action combine to tell the story of a 4-year-old boy. KCET, Monday; KVCR, Tuesday.

Clifford: The Big Red Dog: Author Norman Birdwell's larger-than-life canine and his friends star in this series. KCET, previews Monday, premieres Sept. 11; KVCR, Thursday.

George Shrinks: Cartoon series about a 10-year-old boy who is only 3 inches tall. KCET, Sept. 30.

Elliot Moose: Based on Andrea Beck's book, "Elliot's Emergency," a group of stuffed toys star in this part animation, part live action series. KCET, Sept. 30.

Timothy: A raccoon goes to kindergarten in this animated series based on the works of writer-illustrator Rosemary Wells. KCET, Sept. 30.

Corduroy: Don Freeman's children's book is the basis for this series about a young African American girl and her stuffed bear named Corduroy. KCET, Sept. 30.

Seven Little Monsters: From the creative mind of Maurice Sendak comes this animated series about seven very tall siblings. KCET, Sept. 30.

Marvin the Tap Dancing Horse: In this series created by mother-son team of author Betty and illustrator Michael Paraskevas, a shy 9-year-old's best friend is a funny, talented horse. KCET, Sept. 30.

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