Jakers! Lands Video & Book Deals

Entara has announced that it has signed a home video deal for JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS with Paramount Home Ent. as well as a book deal with Simon Spotlight, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Childrens Publishing.

The critically acclaimed series, which currently airs on PBS KIDS in the U.S. and TVO, SCN, Access Alberta and Knowledge Network in Canada, will be available on DVD and VHS in major retail outlets beginning in the spring of 2005. The release date will coincide with the launch of a range of story and novelty books from Simon Spotlight.

"Since the series debuted last September, weve been inundated with requests from viewers to make it available on DVD and VHS," says Stéphanie Gougeon, Entaras ceo. Were thrilled to be able to fulfill their enthusiastic demand for product, especially with a first-class distributor like Paramount Home Entertainment, which handles such premiere childrens programs as BLUE CLUES, DORA THE EXPLORER and RUGRATS, to name a few.

JAKERS! is one of those unique TV series with appeal to both kids and adults, says Thomas Lesinski, president, Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Home Ent. While children identify with Piggley and his exploits, adults appreciate the sophisticated humor. And everyone enjoys the multi-layered storylines and exceptional animation. Its a perfect complement to our other childrens properties.

As part of the book deal, Simon Spotlight's products will include two 8x8 storybooks, two Ready-to-Read storybooks, and an accordion-style novelty board book. S&S will offer a 32-copy floor display, a 24-copy sidekick, and an 8-copy ready-to-read clip strip for the books. JAKERS! also will be included in S&Ss 38-copy licensed preschool display with other high-profile properties such as DORA THE EXPLORER, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and BLUES CLUES. In addition, S&S will feature JAKERS! books on its Website: SimonSaysKids.com, give away key titles at the International Reading Associations 2005 conference and work with Paramount Home Ent. to cross-promote the books in videos and DVDs. In all, Simon Spotlight plans to release 12 titles throughout 2005.

We knew it was only a matter of time before these classic JAKERS! stories would be published, says Louisa Stretton, Entaras coo. But we wanted to ensure that the property would be handled by a premiere publisher; one that shared our passion and vision for JAKERS!, which is to produce top quality, timeless childrens entertainment. Piggley Winks is in the best of hands with Simon & Schuster.

With its strong storylines, well-developed characters and stunning animation, JAKERS! engages childrens imaginations on every level and is destined to be a best-seller for us, says Jen Bergstrom, vp/associate publisher of Simon Spotlight. We look forward to turning these wonderful stories into engaging and entertaining books to be enjoyed time and time again.

Aimed at ages 3-6, JAKERS! follows Piggley Winks and his friends Dannan the Duck and Ferny the Bull through their childhood in rural 1950s Ireland. While the trio busy themselves with the task ahead, Wiley the Sheep, an American import and a legend in his own mind, is busy fulfilling his role of bringing a little bit of sheep cool to his rural flock. The start and finish of each episode feature Piggley in the present day as a Grandpa, telling these stories of childhood escapades as entertaining lessons in life to his three very contemporary city-dwelling grandpigs. Jakers!, is produced for Entara by Mike Young Prods. For more information about the series, visit http://pbskids.org/jakers.

Based in London, Entara develops evergreen childrens programming with quality content and global appeal. For more information, visit www.entaraltd.com.

Paramount Home Ent. is a division of Paramount Pictures, which is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc., one of the worlds largest entertainment and media companies, and a leader in the production, promotion and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and music.

Launched in the fall of 1997, Simon Spotlight is wholly devoted to media tie-ins. For more information, visit http://www.SimonSaysKids.com. Simon & Schuster, part of the entertainment operation of Viacom Inc., is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and multimedia formats. Its divisions include the Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Childrens Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Online, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the U.K. For more information, visit www.simonsays.com.

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Rick DeMott
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