Reading, Writing and Reinventing Heroes
Parents should be happy to learn that not all the new fall kids’ series are “Power Ranger” clones. In fact, there are actually some educational series in the offing: the PBS quiz series “Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?,” the syndicated “The Why Why Family” and the History Channel’s “Inspector Gadget’s Field Trip,” among them.
Meanwhile, such legendary superheroes as “Superman,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Flash Gordon” will headline new animated series. And several familiar Disney characters, including Donald and Daisy Duck and the adorable animals from “The Jungle Book,” will be returning in new adventures.
Here’s a look at some of the new series for children (dates subject to change):
“Mighty Ducks”: These animated ducks are billed as a “dynamic team of intergalactic, crime-fighting, hi-tech-smart, goal-scoring, zanily hilarious” hockey heroes. The series kicks off Friday with a special at 4 p.m. on KCAL and 8:30 p.m. on ABC. Its regular time slot will be Fridays at 5 p.m. on KCAL and Saturdays at 8 a.m on ABC.
“Bone Chillers”: Four teenagers attending Edgar Allan Poe High School become magnets for bizarre and strange happenings. Saturdays at 10 a.m. beginning this week.
“Jungle Cubs”: The stars of the 1967 Disney hit “The Jungle Book"--Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther, swinging Prince Louie, the sly Shere Khan--headline this animated series, which follows their adventures as youngsters. Saturdays at 7 a.m. Oct. 5.
“Flash Forward”: Series focuses on two 13-year-olds who have been best friends since birth. Saturdays at 11 a.m. Sept. 14.
“Project G.eeK.er”: Animated series from the creators of “Earthworm Jim” features an action-adventure hero who really is a skinny nerd in a jump suit. Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 14.
“Bailey Kipper’s P.O.V”: Michael Galeota is an imaginative 11-year-old who secretly records the activities of his life and alters the tapes to reflect his point of view. Saturdays at 10 a.m. Sept. 14.
“Secrets of the Cryptkeeper’s Haunted House”: Each week, a pair of teams consisting of two kids must use their wits and general knowledge as they are presented a combination of questions, riddles and physical challenges. Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 14.
“C-Bear and Jamal”: Rapper-actor Tone Loc is the lead voice and executive producer of this animated series about a 10-year-old boy and his ultra-hip teddy bear confidant, C-Bear. Saturdays at 7 a.m. beginning this week.
“Big Bad Beetleborgs”: A brother and sister and their best friend try to return bad guys from the comic books from which they escaped. Premieres Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and will move Sept. 9 to its regular time slot, weekdays at 4:30 p.m.
“Jumanji”: Based on the Robin Williams film, this animated series follows the adventures of two children who are mysteriously transported into the dark and magical world of a board game. Sundays at 9 a.m. Sept. 8.
“The Incredible Hulk”: Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk in the 1978-82 CBS series, is the voice of the massive green hero with superhuman strength in this cartoon. Sundays at 10 a.m. Sept. 8.
“Waynehead”: Animation is literally drawn from the real-life childhood experiences of comedian-actor Damon Wayans as the series tracks the escapades of 10-year-old Damey Wayne in lower Manhattan. Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. beginning this week.
“Superman”: Tim Daly and Dana Delany lend their voices to this new animated action series. Special premiere Friday at 8 p.m.; regularly airs Saturdays at 10 a.m.
“Arthur”: Based on Marc Brown’s books, this animated series examines how third-grader Arthur and his friends solve their crises with imagination, kindness and humor. Weekdays at 8:30 a.m. on KCET. Oct. 7.
“Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?”: In this new game show, villainess Carmen Sandiego is still at large, but now she’s wreaking havoc in history. The series will explore historical themes and geography education. Weekdays at 4:30 p.m. on KCET. Oct. 7.
“Richie Rich”: Animated mystery-comedy series follows the adventures of the world’s richest 11-year-old. Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on KTLA. Sept. 21.
“Quack Pack”: That quack-up Donald Duck returns in this new animated series in which he, Daisy and his teen-age nephews Huey, Louie and Dewey travel the globe on assignment for a TV magazine show. Tuesdays-Thursdays at 5 p.m. on KCAL, starting this week.
“Flash Gordon”: Animated version of the classic comic strip and movie serials finds teenage Flash Gordon and Dale Arden mistakenly hijacked into space by the crazed Dr. Zarkov. Sundays at 12:30 p.m. on KCAL. Sept. 15.
“Saban’s the Why Why Family”: Animated series featuring a family who will travel anywhere to find the answer to, “Why does it rain,” and “Why do kids look like their parents?” Sundays at 7 a.m. on KCOP. Sept. 15.
“Groundling Marsh”: Preschool series is set in a magical place with puppets where nature is nurtured. Weekdays at 10 a.m. on the Disney Channel, starting Tuesday.
“Inspector Gadget’s Field Trip”: Animated and live action-series features the voice of Don Adams, taking viewers on worldwide field trips. Premieres Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. on the History Channel.
“The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss”: New series from Jim Henson Productions features a cast of Dr. Seuss characters. Each week, the cast embarks on a comical adventure hosted by the Cat in the Hat. Sundays at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon. Oct. 13.
“Hey Arnold!’: Animated series focuses on the daily life of a wildly imaginative fourth-grader with a head shaped like a football. Mondays and Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Nickelodoen. Oct. 7.