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Angry Birds cartoon to fly onto games and TV this weekend

The game-based cartoon series will debut this weekend, appearing on games, TV channels, and smart TVs.

Angry Birds fans soon will be able to watch their favorite birds and piggies duke it out in a series of weekly cartoons.

"Angry Birds Toons" will take flight on broadcast TV this Saturday, as well as on all Angry Birds apps and certain video-on-demand services this Sunday, game maker Rovio said today. The series will feature 52 episodes, with a new one launched each week.

Comcast subscribers can catch "Angry Birds Toons" through Xfinity on Demand, the Xfinity Web site, or the Xfinity TV Player app. The animated adventures also will appear on TV networks in France, Germany, Korea, Australia, India, and Israel. Additionally, the series will be available on Samsung Smart TVs; Roku and other set-top boxes will follow.

Angry Birds game players will be able to catch the cartoons through a dedicated channel. Gamers simply need to download the latest update to any Angry Birds game to access the new channel button in the app's home screen.

TV seems like the next lucrative market for Rovio, after carving out a healthy chunk of the app business. The company announced today that its flock of Angry Birds games has reached more than 1.7 billion downloads.

"We've long wanted to tell our fans the story of the Angry Birds and the Bad Piggies to introduce their personalities and their world in detail," Rovio CEO Mikael Hed said in a statement. "Launching the channel, and partnering up with some of the best video-on-demand providers and TV networks, is an important milestone for us on our journey toward becoming a fully fledged entertainment powerhouse."

Rovio had announced "Angry Bird Toons" almost a year ago, originally planning for a late 2012 debut.

The company also is eyeing an Angry Birds movie, which won't likely hit the big screen until after 2014.

The game maker bought animation studio Kombo in June 2011 to help extend its reach into the cartoon market.