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They may look cute and innocent, but the characters on the newComedy Central animated series "South Park" are not to bemistaken for your standard, wholesome cartoon kids. Indeed, theshow, which debuted in August, has drawn comparisons to thedecidedly unwholesome "Beavis and Butt-head"series. Simply put, this is animated fare of the most offbeatvariety.

Which may explain why "South Park" is generating suchbuzz--even among a crowded TV lineup. In an irreverent tone, theshow follows third-graders Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny throughmisadventures as bizarre as being abducted by aliens to huntingwith hand-grenade-toting relatives. And there's even an episodein which the boys try to genetically engineer an elephantthat's the size of a pot-bellied pig.

Does all of this sound like the makings of a hit TVprogram--and, not incidentally, a lucrative licensing opportunity?It should. At press time, "South Park" was riding a waveof publicity surrounding its premiere. If this heightened level ofanticipation is any indication, "South Park" could wellbecome a hot property among Generation X viewers. Skeptical? Thinkof it this way: Who ever would've guessed a fledgling"Beavis and Butt-head" would achieve mainstreampopularity?