- Associated Press - Sunday, January 8, 2012

PASADENA, CALIF. (AP) - Saturday morning cartoons have long been a television network staple. Now Fox will be trying them on Saturday night.

The network announced Sunday that it will start a 90-minute set of animated series late on Saturday nights starting next year. It will be modeled after the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim collection of cartoons on weeknights, and Fox has hired one of the executives behind those cable shows.

Besides network cartoons that will air starting at 11 p.m. Saturday, Fox said it will start a digital channel for animation that will experiment with programming at different lengths.

Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly says animation is a key part of Fox’s legacy, noting that “The Simpsons” will soon air its 500th episode.

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