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Knight Rider & Magnum, P.I. Get Animated for Mobile

Mobile media company Player X has collaborated with Universal Mobile Ent. to make special animated editions of the 1980s hit TV shows, KNIGHT RIDER and MAGNUM, P.I., directly for mobile delivery. Player X is creating a new genre in mobile video retrosodes, a suite of animated mobile video series.

Series one of this made-for-mobile animated content consists of 10 original retrosodes of up to two minutes each, adapted to handsets and channel requirements. The animation takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the shows that made Michael Knight and Thomas Magnum household names.

Both instant hits in the U.S, KNIGHT RIDER and MAGNUM, P.I. became immensely popular worldwide and still play in various countries today. During its run, MAGNUM, P.I. won seven awards and received 39 nominations total. The show was successful in syndication markets all over the world, particularly in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Spain and Italy, where it remains on the air. KNIGHT RIDER was translated into more than 20 languages and reruns of the show still air in almost every corner of the world.

This is the first time a major Hollywood studio has allowed its established brands to be taken to a new level in mobile.

Player X will produce, publish and distribute the retrosodes through its direct distribution deals with more than 85 global carriers, offering the titles a potential audience of more than 1.8 billion people. The retrosodes will launch across all networks in Q1 2007 with integrated marketing support.

"Retrosodes represent the best concept in short-form, made for mobile storytelling we've ever seen," said Jeremy Laws, svp, Universal Mobile Ent. "We think this is a great opportunity to break through the clutter of repurposed content and do something fresh, relevant and medium appropriate with some great classic brands."

"We are excited about working with Universal again and this time we have taken mobile content to the next level. KNIGHT RIDER and MAGNUM, P.I. are massive TV brands and maintain huge cult followings," said Tony Pearce, Player X CEO. "By re-creating this content for mobile, we extend the brands to mobile and give them a new lease of life in the process"

Since its formation in 2004, Player X has already successfully published leading games, video and mobile entertainment content onto the largest mobile operators in the industry and rapidly achieved levels of distribution in the key territories around the world. Player X publishes and distributes wireless entertainment content through global operators, retailers, Internet portals and handset manufacturers.

Universal Mobile Ent. generates revenues and enhances brand awareness for NBC Universal's motion picture and television properties through licensing agreements with top-tier publishers. UME oversees the creation of high-quality mobile application services that include games, ringtones, wallpapers, MMS, SMS services and audiovisual services and ensures ubiquitous distribution through mobile operators and portals worldwide. With offices in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo, the team has been aggressive in the mobile content market since 2000 and has hundreds of mobile products that are available to consumers in every major territory of the world.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks