PBS is bringing an animated version of Tom and Ray Magliozzi's CAR TALK radio show to TV. Based on the hit NPR radio show, the as-yet-untitled animated 10x30 sitcom is targeted for summer 2008. Fans will be invited to submit title suggestions for the television show.
The show will focus on the âoff-airâ escapades of Tom and Ray Magliozzi (known to their listeners as Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers) as they try to fix cars, fend off disgruntled customers and seek out ways to do less and less work.
The titling contest will be announced on the CAR TALK radio program where listeners will be asked to submit their own suggestions for the television program title. More details regarding the titling contest will be available soon.
âWe want to apologize in advance to Jim Lehrer, Bill Moyers, the folks at FRONTLINE, NOVA and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE for the damage we are about to do to your networkâs reputation,â said Tom and Ray Magliozzi, who will provide the voices for their own animated characters. âOh, and Big Bird, too. Sorry, pal.â
âTom and Ray are larger than life characters, and the only way to keep them larger than life, and not diminish them on TV, is through animation,â said creator/exec producer Howard K. Grossman. âWeâve brought on a world-class animation team, and Iâm confident the series will rank among the best anywhere.â
âUnlikely!â said Tom.
The animated series takes place at Car Talk Plaza, a fictional building that houses their radio studio and their famed garage in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in Harvard Square. Along with Click and Clack, the cast of characters includes:
* Fidel -- A mechanic with a cleanliness obsession, who insists on wearing Armani suits while working on cars. He can sense car problems through smell and touch.
* Crusty -- A former Harvard professor who was tossed out of the nearby academic institution and now turns a wrench, while thinking deep thoughts, for Tom and Ray.
* Sal (short for Sally) -- The veteran Bostonian garage receptionist who handles insiders and outsiders with the same lack of etiquette.
* Beth -- Their young, eager radio producer who desperately wants to improve their show and make it more professional to please the network higher ups.
âWeâre looking forward to bringing Tom and Ray to television, with new characters and stories that capture the humor of the radio series and take it even further,â said John Boland, PBS chief content officer. âThrough animation and fresh content, we anticipate the show will be a hit among current fans of the radio show and new audiences. PBS has long been a leader in creating animated, educational programming for children, but, with CAR TALK, we will present our first primetime animated series for a general audience.â
In conjunction with the series, Grossman brokered an innovative partnership with The American Assoc. of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), whose membership includes all state motor vehicle agencies (DMVs) in the U.S. and Canada, will feature a public safety campaign, with the cartoon versions of Tom and Ray dispensing safe driving tips and other useful information to drivers renewing their licenses in person at participating state DMVs, and online, as well as other educational materials.
PBS (www.pbs.org) is a media enterprise that serves 355 public noncommercial television stations and reaches more than 75 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is a leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers and offers a broad array of other educational services. PBSâ premier kidsâ TV programming and website, PBS KIDS Online (www.pbskids.org), continue to be parentsâ and teachersâ trusted learning environments for children.