'Beyblade' gets premiere date on YTV

51 half-hours set for Canadian kids' cabler

TORONTO -- Canadian kids cable channel YTV has set a May 15 premiere date for "Beyblade: Metal Fusion," the spinoff series from the early 2000s Japanese anime sensation.

The animated series, with 51 new half-hour episodes from Canadian producer Nelvana and Japanese partner d-rights, will bow with a four-episode marathon in Canada before Cartoon Network debuts the series in fall 2010.

Cartoon Network made its own "Beyblade: Metal Fusion" lineup announcement Wednesday during its upfront presentation in New York.

The international co-produced boys action anime series bowed last year in Japan on TV Tokyo as "Metal Fight Beyblade," and helped market a Beyblade toy line from master toy partner Hasbro, d-rights and Nelvana Enterprises also set to be introduced into the North American market.

The second-generation anime series features fresh characters competing with spinning Beyblade tops for dominance over an evil organization, the Dark Nebula.