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MIP-TV News: VGI Entertainment Brings 3 Pre-School Series to MIP-TV

VGI Entertainment Inc. will be presenting three pre-school series in its booth R28.13 at MIP-TV. The series include SERGEANT STRIPES, EBB AND FLO and BLANCHE.

Produced by Ealing Animation and A Works TV Production in association with CBBC, SERGEANT STRIPE (26x10) features Stripes, a police station cat, who dreams he is a police sergeant with his very own police force. VGI launched the new 2D series at MIPCOM 2003 and the show receives a 33% audience share across all channels kids4-6 year olds for the BBC.

On the merchandising front, the show already has secured a publishing deal with a video deal expected to be concluded shortly. VGIs new licensing manager, Michael Gottlieb, a veteran of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, is pursuing negotiations for a merchandising initiative intended to hit retail shelves by the end of this year.

Based on the internationally published books by childrens author and illustrator, Jane Simmons, EBB AND FLO (25x5) follows the loyal and inseparable friendship between the grumpy dog Ebb and her lively 5-year-old mistress Flo. The 2D cross fade animation style is very faithful to the original illustrations.

The series has commenced production and is being produced by the U.K.s Canning Factory (JAMES THE CAT, OPHELIA) with a co-production partnership with independent distributor VGI Ent. (distribution and merchandising) and Hahn Film AG (production partner). The show is commissioned for a slot on the No 1 U.K. pre-school block, Channel 5s Milk Shake in October 2004. The series has already been pre-sold in 20 territories including the U.S., Canada, Italy, Germany with firm interest received from Japan, Denmark and France.

BLANCHE (26x6) chronicles Blanche, a golf playing, knitting loving sheep who is as wise as she is compassionate. She lives happily alongside a menagerie of friends, including a pig without an appetite, a sheepdog who doesnt know how to lead, a rhino whos afraid of the dark and her best friend Leonard the vegetarian lion.

The series is a co-production between Graphisme SNC and RAI, Italy and Les Films de la Perrine and France 5 and will be broadcast by RAI and France 5 later this year with worldwide distribution of all rights being handled by VGI Ent.

Founded in 1990, VGI Ent. is a totally independent U.K.-based media company specializing in the production, development, co-ownership, distribution and merchandising of quality children's programming worldwide. For more information, visit www.VGIEntertainment.com.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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