CBS Comforted by Aardman’s Creatures

CBS has ordered from Aardman Animations Ltd. an American version of the hit British television series CREATURE COMFORTS.

Based on the original Academy Award-winning short film created by Nick Park and Aardman, Aardman Animations will produce the half hour stop-motion animated series in Los Angeles and at its Bristol, England studios.

"CREATURE COMFORTS is a hit in the UK it's fun, distinct and unlike anything on TV right now. We look forward to developing an American version that captures the same unique sensibilities that made it so popular overseas," said Nina Tassler, president, CBS Ent.

"We're thrilled to be exploring the American cultural viewpoint, a concept that we've mined to popular comedic effect in the U.K.," said Miles Bullough, Aardman's head of broadcast and development.

CREATURE COMFORTS employs a unique format that culls excerpts from real person interviews and places them in the mouths of a wide variety of animated animals to produce humorous, charming and insightful commentaries on everyday life.

Exec producers are Kit Boss, Miles Bullough, The Gotham Group's Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Aardman's Nick Park, David Sproxton and Peter Lord. Richard Goleszowski, the U.K. director, is supervising director of the American version.

Showrunner Boss (KING OF THE HILL) says, "As a longtime fan of Aardman's work, I'm painfully aware that no matter what I say, it would be funnier coming out of the mouth of a plasticine dog with an overbite. Richard (Golly) Goleszowski, who directs the U.K. series, and the rest of his creative team are geniuses at making bits of modeling clay come to life. I'm thrilled to be given the chance to bring their creatures across the Atlantic and help them to speak American."

Before CREATURE COMFORTS became "appointment television" on Sunday nights on the U.K.'s ITV1 network, the characters appeared in a series of successful commercials. Recently, CREATURE COMFORTS was awarded the prestigious Rose d'Or for Best Comedy and Cristal Award for Best TV Production at the Annecy Animation Festival as well as the Audience Award at the New York International Children's Film Festival. A full list of CREATURE COMFORTS awards can be found at www.aardman.com/html/awards.asp.

Founded by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, Aardman Animations Ltd. began creating characters and programming for children's television series. Nick Park joined the studio in the mid-80s, bringing his creations WALLACE & GROMIT with him. The company created a huge buzz with the groundbreaking music video for Peter Gabriel's hit SLEDGEHAMMER. In 2000, Aardman released CHICKEN RUN, its first full-length feature. Directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park and featuring the voice of Mel Gibson, the film generated more than $230 million worldwide. Park's dynamic duo, Wallace and Gromit, has been nominated three times and has won two Academy Awards in the category of Best Animated Short (THE WRONG TROUSERS and A CLOSE SHAVE). The duos first foray into features WALLACE & GROMIT: CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT was recently nominated for the Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category.

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Rick DeMott
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