Fremantle Media announces the new animated comedy series “Strange Hill High,” which launches next spring on CBBC.
It’s weird, it’s cool, it’s school – but not as you know it! That’s the enticing description of Strange Hill High, a new animated 13×30 min comedy series for 6-12 year-olds which is launches on CBBC next spring. A huge hit at BLE and MIPJr, the show’s distinctive look is produced with an all-new innovative technique combining rod puppets, stop-motion and CGI – dubbed “hypervynorama” – and it caught the attention of broadcasters and licensees alike.
Co-produced by CBBC and FME, in association with Factory Transmedia, Strange Hill High boasts an experienced and acclaimed creative team including Show Runner Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons) and leading puppet makers and animation producers Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride, Bob the Builder, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion). It is voiced by stars including John Thomson, Caroline Aherne, Ben “Doc Brown” Smith, Emma Kennedy and Richard Ayoade.
The show evolved from a meeting between Sarah Muller, Head of CBBC Acquisitions and Drama Development and independent producer Kat Van Henderson. Sarah was instantly fascinated by the unique style of animation Kat had created and the pair collaborated to flesh out the idea for Strange Hill High. Realizing the stand out potential in the show, FME came on board in the early stages as co-producers of the show.
Written for kids by adult comedy writers from both the UK and US to ensure a universal appeal, Strange Hill High is jammed with outrageous humor and clever hidden jokes that will strike a chord with kids and parents alike. Set in an all-but-forgotten inner-city school with a plethora of secrets and mysteries, the show follows a team of three students who take it upon themselves to investigate all manner of bizarre and other-worldly occurrences that seem to only happen at Strange Hill High … always with absurd and outrageous results.
With bold designs, a cast of around 60 oddball students, teachers and other unreal characters, the show ticks all the boxes: imaginative and offbeat; funny, smart and cool; geeky and exciting. It should soon become one of the most talked about in the playground.
FME is managing worldwide distribution of the series (excluding the UK), as well as the brand licensing, home entertainment and other ancillary rights. Global rollout is expected from Q4 2013, with leading European broadcasters already expressing a keen interest in the series.
FME is also actively pursuing partners across multiple licensing categories including vinyl toys, gaming, mobile, sponsorship, online, live events and more. The UK licensing team organised several studio visits with potential licensees which appear to have paid dividends with several deals expected to be announced in the New Year.
Source: Fremantle Media Enterprises
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.