The Jim Henson Company’s Dinosaur Train heads to Germany to air on the Disney Channel.
When Disney Channel in Germany transitions from a pay-TV service into an advertising-financed free-to-air channel on January 1, 2014, The Jim Henson Company’s Emmy nominated preschool series, Dinosaur Train, will be an important series featured in the channel’s all-new programming schedule. The announcement was made by Richard Goldsmith, EVP of Global Distribution, and Lars Wagner, general manager, Disney Channels Germany, Switzerland and Australia.
The 24-hour family channel will take over the transmission slots currently occupied by entertainment channel Das Vierte (which Disney acquired in autumn 2012) on cable, satellite and DTT in Germany. The popular animated children’s series has been airing on the Disney Junior pay-TV service in Germany since 2011.
“Dinosaur Train was first introduced to German audiences through Disney’s pay-TV service Disney Junior, and we are eager to make the transition to free-to-air broadcast in association with Disney Channel,” said Goldsmith. “We see this as a wonderful opportunity for Dinosaur Train to be enjoyed by even more children throughout Germany.”
"The wide range of programming content on our new free-to-air Disney Channel will address children and families, as well as adult, predominantly female prime time viewers,' explained Wagner “Dinosaur Train is immensely popular with our youngest viewers so we were very happy that The Jim Henson Company was on board with the transition of the series to our free-to-air channel. It’s a great way to maintain continuity and do something new at the same time.”
Dinosaur Train continues to build both its audience and licensing program in Germany. Dinosaur Train’s licensing agent in Germany, Lizenzwerft, has brokered Dinosaur Train agreements with Popstar for party goods; Universal Music for audio storytelling products, both physical and digital; and Nelson Verlag who is developing Dinosaur Train coloring and activity books.
Disney Cinemagic, Disney Junior and Disney XD will remain as pay-TV channels in the German marketplace.
Dinosaur Train is set in a whimsically realistic, prehistoric world of jungles, swamps, active volcanoes and oceans. Each day, Dinosaur Train helps kids ages three to six to apply scientific thinking as they discover new types of dinosaur species, compare and contrast dinosaurs to today's creatures and embrace the living sciences of paleontology and natural science.
Each half-hour episode features two animated segments; each followed by a short live action segment with a real paleontologist interacting with kids who love to explore the world around them. Based on input from paleontologists, science educators and early childhood education experts, Dinosaur Train promotes critical thinking skills for preschoolers based on an engaging and creative curriculum.
Source: The Jim Henson Company
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.