Cartoon Network unveils UK preschool block

The UK's Cartoon Network is to launch a preschool block on sister channel Cartoon Network Too next month, and aims to offer a bilingual service later in the year.

The new block, titled Cartoonito, is scheduled to transmit from September 4, 2006. A second-language service will be gradually introduced, with animated characters introducing programmes in both English and French.

Cecilia Persson, VP of programming, acquisitions and presentation at Cartoon Network EMEA, has brokered a number of acquisitions for the block, including Animal Stories, Hi-5, Barney, Fluffy Gardens and Callou, as well as Roobarb and Custard Too. Cartoonito will air daily from 06.00 to 15.00.

Dee Forbes, senior VP and general manager of Cartoon Network parent Turner Broadcasting Systems, said: "Our research shows French is the second language most parents would choose for their children, and the addition of French to Cartoonito's offering is a logical step forward in the provision of premier preschool entertainment."

Cartoon Network Too launched on April 24, 2006, showing Cartoon Network Originals animation such as Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Johnny Bravo and Cow and Chicken.