Contender Entertainment Group (CEG) is tickled pink that its new preschool animated series, PEPPA PIG, has secured sales in seven key international territories in less than four months. The 52x5 series is also set to premiere on Channel Five in the U. K. on May 31, 2004 and will broadcast later this year on Nick Jr. in the U.K.
International broadcasters have been charmed by the cheeky, sassy little pig called Peppa since its MIPCOM Jr. debut, signing broadcast deals, including: ABC (Australia), Canal J (France), TV3 (New Zealand), NRK (Norway), Nickelodeon (Pan Scandinavia), C4U (Korea) and SVT (Sweden).
Five negotiated to air the first 14 episodes of PEPPA PIG four months earlier than originally scheduled, with its debut at the end of May on Fives childrens slot, Milkshake, every day at 8:30 am, except Saturdays. The remaining 38 episodes will air on Five, starting in September 2004.
PEPPA PIG is the second production for CEG, following the success of its previous hit series TRACTOR TOM. It has been created using state of the art computer animation, CelAction 2D, in the leading London studios of Mark Baker and Neville Astley, who jointly won the Best Television Series Award 200 for the BBC animation THE BIG KNIGHTS. This talented partnership have achieved industry recognition for a number of previous projects with Bakers short films, THE HILL FARM, THE VILLAGE and JOLLY ROGER, all receiving Oscar nominations and winning major awards including a BAFTA and the Annecy Grand Prix. Astleys co-directed short film, TRAINSPOTTER, was also nominated for a BAFTA and won the Edinburgh Festivals McLaren Award.
PEPPA adventures are geared for small children and parents watching with them. Each episode is narrated by John Sparkes and centers around situations familiar to the 2-5 year old audience, such as bath time, birthdays and helping their parents.
The interest in PEPPA has shown that Contender can create long-term character brands for the preschool market continuing to build on the success of its first hit series, TRACTOR TOM, said CEG md Richard Bridgwood. We will keep working to create challenging and inventive new entertainment brands.
CEG (www.contenergroup.com) was founded by Bridgwood in 1995 and is one of the U.K.'s fastest growing media businesses. CEG operates in four divisions: Videos, Books, TV and Consumer Products. The company distributes material in four principal genres, comprising cult and classic TV, children's programming, nostalgia programming and celebrity-based general entertainment.