Originally created 09/14/99

Pokemon show is still on the air and going strong



Are the children in your house suffering from Pokemon withdrawal? The animated series used to air at 8 a.m. weekdays on WFXG-TV (Channel 54). But the addition of the WB network as a cable station to Jones Intercable on Sept. 1 meant the local Fox affiliate could no longer offer the show.

Pokemon, part of the WB lineup, is now on at 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays and at 8:30 and 10 a.m. Saturdays. For Jones Intercable subscribers, WB is WBAU-TV (Channel 67).

The new season episodes of Pokemon will be shown Saturdays at 10 a.m., according to Natalie Anderson, director of publicity for The WB 100 Plus Station Group.

Jones Intercable, a service of Comcast Communications, is serving as the cable affiliate for WB. Fort Gordon subscribers to Charter Communications receive WB programming on channel 65. Other Charter Communications customers should have the channel before the end of the year, according to Jeremy Coghlan, general manager of WBAU-TV.

Pokemon is the top-rated children's TV show in the country, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The cartoon is essentially a quest by a boy named Ash Ketchum to capture and train 150 pocket monsters, the derivation of Pokemon. Each creature has a different name, appearance and special abilities or powers. Ash has friends to help him catch Pokemon and enemies who try to steal the ones he has captured.

Pokemon started out as a videogame in Japan. It was introduced in the United States via the cartoon show in September 1998. A Game Boy cartridge and other Pokemon products were launched simultaneously.

Today the U.S. Pokemon phenomenon includes trading cards and about 1,000 other items, such as comic books, notebooks, key chains, dolls, T-shirts, backpacks and CD soundtracks.

WFXG-TV, which carried Pokemon for the show's first year in America, is also missing three other children's cartoons from its weekday morning lineup: Duck Tales and Disney's Doug, which were on from 6 to 7 a.m., and Hercules, which followed Pokemon at 8:30 a.m. WFXG-TV's three-year contract on those Disney programs recently ended. ABC, which is owned by Disney, shows Hercules at 8 a.m. Saturday. Doug is often part of Disney's One Saturday Morning show from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturdays (WJBF-TV, Channel 6).

To fill the hole left by Pokemon and Hercules for now, WFXG-TV is showing back-to-back episodes of Full House, a syndicated sitcom starring Bob Saget, from 8 to 9 a.m.

A religious program, Kenneth Copeland, is on at 7 a.m.

WFXG-TV continues to show Magic Schoolbus, an educational science cartoon for kids, at 7:30 a.m.

REACH: Elizabeth Kemple Adams at (706) 823-3348 or eadams@augustachronicle.com.

Tune in

Pokemon is now on WB at 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays and at 8:30 and 10 a.m. Saturdays. For Jones Intercable subscribers, WB is WBAU-TV (Channel 67 -- . Fort Gordon subscribers to Charter Communications receive WB programming on channel 65.