Cartoon Network has acquired the rights to popular YouTube series The Annoying Orange for a half-hour animated series to premiere in 2012 as part of the cable network’s original programming block. Co-created by Dane Boedigheimer, creator of the original Web series, and Tom Sheppard (Pinky and the Brain), The Annoying Orange TV series will feature online series’ signature character — an orange with a human mouth and eyes heckling other characters, mostly other fruits and vegetables. Orange, along with his band of buddies, including Pear, Passion Fruit, Apple, Marshmallow and his nemesis Grapefruit, will travel through time in a magical fruit cart. The TV series was developed and will be produced by The Collective, which financed the pilot before shopping it to networks. Conrad Vernon (Madagascar 3) will executive produce with Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein. “The Annoying Orange and Cartoon Network were just meant to be squeezed together,” said the network’s chief content officer Rob Sorcher. The Annoying Orange Web series has racked up over 850 million total views on its YouTube channel as of September 2011, with new episodes debuting every Friday. The Annoying Orange is the ninth-most-subscribed YouTube channel of all time with more than two million subscribers and has over 10 million fans on Facebook and Twitter.