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Radio’s Howard Sternto get animated

Spike TV planning 13 episodes of "Howard Stern: The High School Years."
/ Source: Reuters

Ribald radio host Howard Stern is making a new foray into television next summer, appearing this time as a teenage cartoon character of himself.

The male-oriented cable channel Spike TV said Wednesday it has ordered 13 episodes of a new animated series tentatively titled “Howard Stern: The High School Years,” which is aimed for launch in the summer of 2005, a network spokesman said.

Stern is serving as executive producer of the series, based on his teenage years growing up on New York’s Long Island, but it has not been determined whether the shock jock will lend his voice to his own character, the Spike TV spokesman said.

The spokesman said Stern’s parents, who have made frequent call-in appearances on his syndicated weekday radio show over the years, would be “major characters” on the cartoon series.

As of this week, episodes are still being written and producers are conducting animation tests, he said.

Spike TV is looking to rebuild a staple of adult-oriented cartoons after two other animated series featuring high-profile talent were dropped from the schedule -- “Gary the Rat” with Kelsey Grammer and “Stripperella,” starring Pamela Anderson.

The upcoming Stern cartoon is hardly the first venture into TV for the self-proclaimed “king of all media.”

A weekly late-night TV compilation of highlights from his daily radio show ended its three-year run on syndicated television in November 2001.

But the cable TV series “The Howard Stern Show,” which also features clips from his radio program, continues to air on the E! Entertainment Television channel. Stern’s production company also produced the FX network comedy “Son of the Beach.”

Spike TV is part of media conglomerate Viacom Inc.’s cable TV channel group.