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CBS & DIC Unveil 2006/07 Children's Slate

CBS and DIC announced the programming slate for their new 2006/07 children's programming lineup.

CBSs Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party, a three-hour, E/I-compliant branded programming block exclusive to broadcast television, will premiere Saturday, Sept. 16, with six series comprised of globally recognized animated properties and two new live-action shows. The slate includes three new series: HORSELAND, KOOKY KITCHEN and LITTLEST PET SHOP, as well as SABRINA: THE ANIMATED SERIES, TROLLZ and MADELINE. DIC is also in pre-production on two new, live-action, reality-based series, CAKE and DANCE, DANCE, DANCE! (working title). The programming block is targeted to children 6-12. A time-period schedule will be announced at a later date.

Each of the new series will broadcast 26 episodes per year, compared to the previous scheduling pattern, which averaged 12 episodes per season, providing viewers with more original programming.

CBSs Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party will also feature animated and live-action interstitials threaded throughout the morning block to promote healthy eating and balanced, active lifestyles for kids. The messages will be created in consultation with Baylor College of Medicines Childrens Nutrition Research Center (CNRC), an internationally renowned institute devoted to pediatric nutrition studies. CNRC is one of six federally funded human nutrition research centers in the nation and the largest conducting scientific investigations into the role of maternal, infant and child nutrition in optimal health, development and growth.

As a childrens entertainment producer for over 25 years in the industry, the launch of the CBSs Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party offers a tremendous opportunity to apply our experience in producing and distributing quality kids series to programming a rich schedule that we believe offers an unprecedented viewing experience, stated Andy Heyward, chairman/ceo, DIC Ent. We are also thrilled to be in a unique position to address the national concern for kids health with an aggressive interstitial campaign, and we will remain committed to addressing these issues by providing a positive environment for kids to be entertained and learn.

We look forward to bringing DICs vast array of imaginative programming to CBS affiliates and to our Saturday morning audience," said Nancy Tellem, president of the CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. "This is truly a mutually beneficial partnership that will create a branded destination for entertaining and informational children's programming on Saturday morning.

The television landscape has changed dramatically in the kids market, and DIC takes very seriously our responsibility to viewers by creating a safe environment for children to be entertained, commented Kaaren Lee Brown, svp, creative affairs, DIC. We have created a unique viewing destination to empower our young audience, as well as address social concerns with positive messaging.

To ensure that the programming meets FCC regulations, each of the series is being created under the specific educational supervision of Donald F. Roberts, PhD., lauded Stanford Professor of Communications and children's media expert, and Gordon Berry, EdD., Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA and chief consultant for the CBS network and its programs created for children.

DIC will seek initial guidance from childrens experts from the DIC Educational Advisory Board, a group comprised of leading media experts, educators and pediatricians created to provide information, guidance, advice and general expertise to DIC in the development of multimedia programs and projects for children. They plan to involve additional experts and organizations focusing specifically on childrens health.

HORSELAND, featuring CGI and traditional animation, is set in the greatest stable ever, where kids and their horses compete and have adventures, and the horses and other animals can talk to each other about the humans. Each episode features themes that deal with issues such as compassion, honesty and cooperation both human and equine.

KOOKY KITCHEN is an animated comedy action series that brings the ultimate cooking adventure for kids. From a magical secret kitchen hidden beneath a famous restaurant, a chef takes his special guests on culinary trips around the world through the Magic Recipe book to find the necessary ingredients for his masterful creations.

LITTLEST PET SHOP revolves around tiny pets that help their adolescent owner explore big issues through their parallel life experiences in the fantasy world of Petopia. Jasmine Valentine is a typical 12-year-old girl dealing with the same kinds of problems that challenge adolescent girls everywhere. Jasmine does have one distinct advantage when it comes to coping with the daily dramas: her extraordinary group of feathered, furry and finned little friends that occupy her bedroom. As the pets work through their relationships and challenges in magical Petopia, Jasmine comes to understand her own situations better.

DIC Ent., a fully-integrated global brand management company, creates, develop, produces, distributes, markets and merchandises family-based intellectual properties. DIC has the largest libraries of western-style animation with approximately 2,800 half-hours of renowned programming. In 2003, the company launched the DIC Kids Network, a unique syndicated programming block designed to meet core FCC requirements and the only network for kids that reaches effectively 98% of U.S. households on over 300 stations. As a pre-eminent supplier of kids programming worldwide, DIC has developed strategic partnerships with key domestic and international broadcast partners throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia. DIC is headquartered in Burbank, California, with international offices in Paris, London and Cologne.

CBS Television is comprised of the CBS Television Network with more than 200 owned and affiliated stations reaching virtually every television home in the U.S.; the Network's programming arms include CBS Ent., CBS News and CBS Sports. CBS also manages UPN, which broadcasts primetime programming on five nights with an average of 90% total coverage throughout the country.

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Rick DeMott
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