Friday, February 28, 2003

STATIC SHOCK #2 IN SWEEPS

Courtesy Toon Zone:
Kids’ WB Wins February Sweeps
02-28-2003 09:58 AM
by Tommy Lawson
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For the highly-competitive February Sweeps, Kids' WB finished #1 against all Saturday morning competition among the key demographics of Boys 6-11 (7.4/27), Tweens 9-14 (4.4/22) and Male Tweens 9-14 (6.7/30), achieving the network's best-ever February sweeps ratings in these demos. Capturing its 11th consecutive broadcast sweeps win, Kids' WB outperformed the broadcast competition among Kids 2-11 (3.8/15), Kids 6-11 (4.8/19), Boys 2-11 (5.4/21) and Girls 2-11 (2.1/9), tying ABC Kids. The network acheived year-to-year growth among Kids 2-11 (+19%/+15%), Kids 6-11 (+23%/+19%), Boys 2-11 (+29%/+31%), Tweens 9-14 (+47%/+38%) and Male Tweens 9-14 (+60%/+50%).

During the February Sweeps, Kids' WB, against all competition, took the top seven programs among Boys 6-11, six of the top ten spots among Boys 2-11, the top five spots among Tweens 9-14, and the top nine program spots among Male Tweens 9-14. Against broadcast competition, the network finished with the top nine broadcast spots among both Kids 2-11 and Kids 6-11.

Individual Program Highlights:

STATIC SHOCK (10:30 am ET) ranked #2 for the sweeps among the top 10 overall programs in Boys 6-11 (8.1/29), Tweens 9-14 (5.2/22) and Male Tweens (7.8/31) and among the broadcast competition in Kids 2-11 (4.2/15), Kids 6-11 (5.2/19) and Boys 2-11 (6.0/21).

For more details, Click the link:

Toon Zone - Kids’ WB Wins February Sweeps

Thursday, February 27, 2003

DWAYNE TALKS STATIC SHOCK/JUSTICE LEAGUE

Courtesy Toon Zone
McDuffie Talks About Static/Justice League Episodes
02-26-2003 10:06 AM
by Jim Harvey
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Dwayne McDuffie, story editor for Justice League and writer for Static Shock, was able to talk to Toon Zone about this weekend's episode of Static Shock, guest-starring the heroes of Justice League.

The episode, written by John Semper Jr. and Ernie Altbacker, is called "A League of Their Own, Part 1." The conclusion to this two-part episode will air Saturday, March 8, 2003. The episode features Static and Gear fending off Brainiac alongside the legendary Justice League. While the League will play an important part in the story, they were not a part of the original script.

"I remember Alan Burnett was in the planning stages of a Teen Titans crossover and the concern was voiced that the Static episode would air before Teen Titans premiered," said McDuffie. "Someone from the studio asked how we felt about doing Justice League instead and I guess it's obvious how we responded. I'd still like to see Static meet the Titans someday, though."

One concern that fans have is meshing two shows that have different styles. Like the previous Batman crossovers, fans were worried that the different styles of the shows would lead to problems for the character designs.

"I'm not really qualified to talk about it from the visual side, except to say that I've seen it and it works," said McDuffie. "From the writer's perspective, it was tricky. Static Shock is paradoxically both lighter in tone and more naturalistic than Justice League. We needed a story with stakes big enough to challenge the Justice League but personal enough so that Static wasn't completely overshadowed by the big guns. John and Ernie solved the problem beautifully."

McDuffie, who has already seen the episode, was able to tell us what fans could expect from this episode.

"Tons of action, great interplay between Static, Richie and the Justice League, lots of humor and frickin' Brainiac! Flash steals the show, I think," McDuffie said.

The Static Shock episode "A League of Their Own, Part 1" will air Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 10:30 am, ET on Kids' WB. The conclusion will air Saturday, March 8, 2003 at 10:30 am, ET.

Dwayne here: One correction, as far as I know, not script was done for a "Teen Titans" static Shock episode, there was just discussion. A League of Their Own was conceived and written as a Justice League episode.

Friday, February 21, 2003

STATIC SHOCK ON THE WEB

There's been a big update to the official Static Shock Website. There's a new quiz (it's easy, trust me, I wrote it), clips from future episodes like "A League of Their Own" and "Blast From The Past" and a lot more.

Click to visit the Official Static Shock Web Site
STATIC SHOCK: THE USUAL SUSPECT



Courtesy Toon Zone:

by Jim Harvey

Toon Zone was able to catch up with writer Len Uhley to discuss this weekend's all-new Static Shock episode called "The Usual Suspect."

"The interesting thing for me about 'The Usual Suspect' is that it shows our hero to be fallible," said Uhely. "Lovable, but imperfect. You know, like the rest of humanity."

The plot for the episode involves Static and Gear pursuing a guy who may or may not be a bang baby. He "fits the profile," which drives Static and Gear to relentlessly pursue him, trying to force him to reveal himself.

"Only, it turns out that our heroes have let a presumption of guilt distort their usual clear-eyed perception of the facts, said Uhley. "Almost too late, Static and Gear realize that the circumstantial evidence that they've observed has misled them -- and that the actual perpetrator has a more complicated and sinister agenda.

"In addition, there's a bunch of amusing repartée between Static and Gear, a cool bash-and-crash session at an auto show, a nice character bit for Sharon, and towards the end, a dramatic chase on foot involving Virgil that segues into the climactic battle between Static and our villain."

Based on the premise of the episode, viewers can expect to see changes for some members of the show's cast.

"Distraught over how things turn out, Static and Gear give up being superheroes and become Tibetan Yakherds," jokes Uhley. "Wait, no, that's not true."

"If one accepts the premise that you can see change or maturation in the character of a Saturday Morning cartoon series hero, I'd say that this episode helps Static grow up a little, to think first, long and hard, before passing judgment on other people because of how they look or behave, or how they've previously lived their lives."

"Hey, everybody does it -- but as Dakota's resident good guy, it is incumbent upon Static to eschew anger and impulse and not settle for the transitory relief of the quick fix. Unlike, oh, say, some of our elected officials..."

"Long-winded answers aside," Uhley concluded. "Please tune in to the Kids' WB this coming Saturday morning, 10:30 am, ET, 9:30 am, CT/PT to see 'The Usual Suspect.' Personally, I can't wait!"

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

STATIC SHOCK RATINGS, WEEK #3

Feb, 8 ratings report from the Kids WB:

"Static Shock (10:30 am, ET) finished #2 for the morning against both broadcast and cable competition among Boys 2-11 (6.9/24), Tweens 9-14 (5.8/24) and Male Tweens (8.9/34), #3 in Kids 6-11 (5.8/21) and Boys 6-11 (9.1/32), and #7 in Kids 2-11 (4.9/17) for the morning. The series led its time period broadcast and cable competition in Boys 2-11, Boys 6-11, Tweens 9-14, Male Tweens 9-14 and Kids 6-11, tying Nickelodeon 's Jimmy Neutron."

This is the best we've ever done. A little birdie told me to expect even better ratings news next week.

Monday, February 17, 2003

BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #167



Written by Dwayne McDuffie; art by Val Semeiks and Dan Green; cover by Brian Stelfreeze

“Don’t Blink,” Part 4 of 4! The government agency that once employed Blink desperately wants him back — the ability to see through other people’s eyes is too great an asset to pass up. Now the agency is going to extremes by kidnapping and threatening the life of Blink’s girlfriend…leaving Batman determined to set her free!

May 14, 32 pages. $2.50

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

STATIC MEETS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE



The Justice League Guests on 'Static' This March in "A League of Their Own"

by Vincent Benenati

Courtesy Animation Insider:

"As we reported previously, the Static Shock! two-part episode "A League of Their Own" guest-starring the Justice League, airs this March on Kids' WB! Part One of "A League of Their Own" premieres March 1 at 10:30 a.m., while part two airs the following week. Here is how the network describes the episodes:

A League of their Own, Part One - While on a mission in space with the Justice League, Static and Gear find themselves alone and under the attack by Brainiac.

A League of their Own, Part Two - When Braniac takes over Backpack and uses it to control Gear, Static reteams with the Justice League to save his friend. When Braniac takes over Backpack and uses it to control Gear, Static reteams with the Justice League to save his friend.

A new season of Justice League is scheduled to premiere this April on Cartoon Network. Static Shock! airs Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. on Kids' WB! Stay tuned for more updates at Animation Insider."

Dwayne again: I saw a rough cut of part one recently, it's wall to wall action and a lot of fun. I wrote part two, which I haven't yet seen but Static hangs with the big boys and there's a fight I guarantee you're not going to believe...

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

SITE NEWS: FIXED IT?

I may have repaired the problem that kept my main page from showing up properly in Netscape, Mozilla and iCab. If you use any of these browsers (or any others, for that matter)and are still seeing raw code, bad formatting etc. please drop me a line.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

STATIC SHOCK REVIEWED IN DALLAS MORNING NEWS

You know this superhero's cool; he stays in school

02/02/2003

By JEANNE SPREIER / The Dallas Morning News

It must be stealth programming.

Kids WB may not have set out to create an action-hero cartoon that rises above the mundane. But here, entering its third season, is Static Shock, where the fight scenes are limited and relatively benign, the hero is a charming teenager, the language and vocabulary border on the educational and the story outcomes reward the good guys and are revelatory for the bad.

What Kids WB wants to talk about most is the race of Virgil Hawkins, who, through exposure to weird gas, gains electromagnetic. Virgil is television's first "African-American teenage superhero," Kids WB points out in its first sentence describing the show.

Fair and true enough. But unlike shows targeting general or adult audiences, kids' programming has been multiracial and multiethnic for years. Static Shock is better than just being the first in that category – it's a good show, period.

And this year's season has several eye-catching changes, the least of which is Static's new costume – a black-and-blue number with a shocking yellow bolt emblazoned upon his chest. Virgil's good friend Richie Foley this season starts experiencing a delayed reaction to the same gas that gave Virgil his Static "meta-human" powers. Richie, however, gets brains.

Oh my, the power of kids exhibiting thinking skills to young viewers – it's hip to be smart! Richie, in a boring math class, ignores the teacher and his insufferably long math equation. Instead, Richie is using military propulsion engineering to soup up his roller skates. When the teacher asks Richie to answer the question, he's ready – it's four over pi. Then, when Richie sets off to help Virgil, captured by ne'er-do-wells and held in an abandoned juvi hall, he dons helmet and knee pads for his first madcap sky flight on rocket skates.

In this Saturday's new episode, Virgil, his dad and older sister, Sharon, take a tourists' trip to Ghana. While Virgil gets an opportunity to fight the bad guys as Static Shock, he does it under the direction of Spider, an older, wiser superhero in Ghana. In his little brother form, Virgil accuses big sis of being "Ms. Shop-a-Zulu." "This is not a shopping thing. It's a cultural opportunity," she insists. Still, Virgil offers little moments of learning for all viewers. "It's amazing," Virgil tells Richie in a phone call from Africa. "There are black people everywhere. In Africa, I'm not a black kid, I'm just a kid. Is this what it feels like for you all the time?"

Lots of other good moments get air time. First and foremost, the buddies use their newfound powers in the pursuit of justice. Virgil and Richie's supportive friendship isn't laced with muscled-up, testosterone-driven bravado. The character of Virgil's kind and responsible dad avoids the buffoonery so often assigned to cartoon parents. The teens respect society's rules, staying in high school even if they really are better than everyone else. Most appealing, Virgil willingly admits he doesn't know everything.

Ah, now there's a concept ... a teen who doesn't know everything. Superhero, indeed."

Dwayne again. Nice review and apparently, Static Shock's "language and vocabulary" really does border on the educational, Sharon doesn't call her shopping spree a "cultural opportunity," as the writer reports, she calls it "a cultural epiphany."
BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #164


On Sale Wednesday, February 12

Written by Dwayne McDuffie; art and cover by Val Semeiks and Dan Green.

The start of "Don't Blink," an all-new 4-part story. Blink, the blind man who can see through the eyes of whomever he touches, is back. Batman decides he needs the unique services of his old "friend," but learns he's been kidnapped by a group that may be working for the government. Whatever their allegiances, it's clear that Blink is being held against his will - and only Batman can break him free.

32 pages, $2.50, in stores on Feb. 12.


Thursday, February 06, 2003

STATIC IN AFRICA

"When the Hawkins family vacations in Ghana, Static teams up with African superhero Anansi (Carl Lumbly) to stop Osebo the Leopard (Michael Jai White) from stealing an ancient treasure. {CC, Stereo}"

Saturday, February 8, 10:30 Eastern, 9:30 Central on the Kids WB

"Static In Africa" is my favorite episode of all the cartoons I've worked on so far. Virgil Hawkins and family take a trip to Ghana, West Africa, where Static teams up with that continent's greatest super hero, Anansi, in a battle with Osebo, the Leopard. Everything came together beautifully, terrific direction and animation, gorgeous painted backgrounds of locations in and around Ghana, outstanding performances (as usual) from the regular cast and wonderful guest turns from Carl Lumbly, Michael Jai White and Roscoe Lee Brown. Did I mention the musical score? I should have.

Also, I think this is a particularly fitting episode for Black History Month. Originally this episode was titled "Role Models" and while the title changed along the way, the intent didn't. To me, this is an important part of what Static Shock is all about.