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Clone High (sometimes refered to as Clone High U.S.A.) was an adult cartoon sitcom that aired for one season (November 2002 – April 2003) on MTV and Teletoon. It was created by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Bill Lawrence. The show is set in a high school that is actually a secret military project run by a government office known as The Board of Shadowy Figures. The school is entirely populated by teenage clones of famous historical figures, with the intent of having their various strengths and abilities harnessed by the United States military. The series focuses on Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, and Cleopatra. Much of the show’s comedy stems from it being an exaggeration of typical high schools in teen dramas, along with many ironic historical references.
Because of the series’ cancellation in 2003, it quickly fell into obscurity, especially in the United States. However, it has garnered a large fanbase through the Internet and still reruns on Teletoon’s Teletoon at Night block and formerly on Razer in Canada. Many websites (including Television Without Pity, New York Daily News, Freakin’ Awesome Network, TV.com, and IMDb) commended the show for its original concepts, messages, and plot. Clone High is also often noted for its almost exclusive use of alternative rock along with many obscure bands for its soundtrack.
A large part of Clone High’s popularity growth was due to it’s early cancellation, which left the series at a cliff hanger finale and was never resolved. This sudden cancellation was a result of the outrage in India on the discovery of Gandhi’s portrayal in the show. On January 30, 2003, the 55th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, approximately 150 protesters (including members of parliament) gathered in New Delhi and vowed to fast in response to Clone High. MTV offered a quick apology, stating that “Clone High was created and intended for an American audience,” and, “We recognize and respect that various cultures may view this programming differently, and we regret any offense taken by the content in the show.” The show’s reception in India ultimately led to its downfall. The cancellation was met by outrage of its own, namely by the show’s dedicated fanbase. Dozens of petitions for a second season popped up on the Internet, many of which gathered notable support. Many e-mails, messages, and letters were written, expressing the fans’ anger and despair. These petitions, letters, and e-mails failed in starting the creation of a second season.
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