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Taffy Pulls Into MIPTV With New Fantastic Four & Bobby's World Deals

Taffy Ent. will pull into MIPTV with new deals for animated series FANTASTIC FOUR and BOBBY'S WORLD.

Taffy Ent. has signed a U.K. deal for FANTASTIC FOUR, the animated series based on Marvel's superhero franchise. GMTV has acquired the program for its weekend children's strand, Toonattik, which airs on ITV1 and CITV.

In separate deals, the series has also been snapped up by TV Globo in Brazil, MRTL in Hungary and Fox Video for Europe and Latin America.

"FANTASTIC FOUR is one of the hottest Super Hero franchises in the global marketplace, so it's appropriate that it should find a home on these prominent channels," said Lionel Marty, president, worldwide sales at Taffy Ent. "We're confident that the strong series debut on France's M6 will be mirrored on these further broadcast platforms."

The show recently launched on France's M6 where it has consistently rated high on the channel's children's programming slots. Recent sales for the show have been secured by Taffy Ent. with YTV and Vrak TV in Canada, Cartoon Network Germany, TV Catalunya and ETB in Spain, TVN Chile, Club RTL in Belgium, MBC in the Middle East, TV12 in Singapore, NTV 7 in Malaysia and Alter Channel in Greece. The series will also be seen on Cartoon Network in Europe, Latin America and Asia in 2007.

"FANTASTIC FOUR, the animated series, will soon be released on DVD, helped by successful TV airings on Cartoon Network, M6 and ITV, and in the heat of the theatrical release of Fox's FANTASTIC 4: THE RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, so we're very happy to partner with Taffy/Moonscoop and Marvel on this project," said Vincent Marcais, SVP Intl Brand Marketing at Fox Video.

FANTASTIC FOUR is based on one of Marvel's most prominent comicbook families. The animated television series is co-produced by MoonScoop Prods., Marvel Comics and Cartoon Network Europe. Taffy Ent. distributes the series outside the U.S.

Additionally, Taffy Ent. has secured the worldwide rights to Howie Mandel's BOBBY'S WORLD, the Emmy-nominated animated series (81x23), which ran on FOX from 1990-1998. The show, created by and starring actor/comedian Howie Mandel (host of NBC's DEAL OR NO DEAL), will be distributed worldwide by Taffy, beginning with the upcoming MIPTV. Taffy has also begun implementing a comprehensive licensing and consumer products campaign around the BOBBY'S WORLD brand.

The decision to offer BOBBY'S WORLD on a worldwide basis comes on the heels of a successful re-launch of the series earlier this year on Kabillion, the new multi-platform, kids' program service, available in the U.S. both as a free video on-demand (VOD) channel on Comcast Cable systems nationwide and a free online broadband site (www.Kabillion.com). Since the show debuted on the new service in January, it has been downloaded and viewed over 500,000 times and it has an even higher number of views on the website. The character's popularity also translated into the animated Bobby character making a high-profile guest appearance on NBC's hit primetime series DEAL OR NO DEAL this past February Sweeps period, where he was seen by more than16 million primetime viewers.

"BOBBY'S WORLD is very personal and important to me," said Mandel. "I created that character when I was starting out and it has been a part of my stand up act forever. Rarely a day goes by that someone isn't asking me to do the Bobby voice or telling me about a favorite BOBBY'S WORLD episode. Now, with DEAL OR NO DEAL giving me access to such a wide audience, I can see the awareness is widespread and I love it! Most of the original fans of the show are now college age or older and clearly the show had a positive impact on them. It's great to see it coming back so strong."

"BOBBY'S WORLD is one of those classic cartoons that is not only appealing to today's kids, but also has a huge teen/20-something appeal, based on its nine-year run on the top-rated Fox Kids Network. Howie has also reinvigorated the brand with numerous appearances on daytime and late night talk shows. He has made it a priority," says Bill Schultz, co-ceo of Taffy Ent. "Online communities like Facebook, My Space and YouTube are virally selling the show. This groundswell, combined with the fact that we are working with Howie to help introduce this much-beloved character to a whole new generation of kids worldwide, makes this a huge opportunity with many more chapters to be written."

BOBBY'S WORLD takes a look inside the mind of 4-year-old Bobby Generic (pronounced "GEN-e-ric"). Bobby lives in a typical suburban neighborhood, but the show takes viewers inside his imagination to discover a world of daring adventure, incredible wonder and lots of laughs, all in pint-sized perspective. Each episode draws from everyday family situations and growing up problems that are magnified by Bobby's active imagination -- the window through which we glimpse how kids wrestle emotionally and creatively with life's problems.

BOBBY'S WORLD was originally produced by Film Roman Prods. and 20th Century Fox Television, in association with Alevy Prods.

Taffy Ent. (www.TaffyEntertainment.com) is a leading worldwide distribution, brand management and entertainment company representing brands from some of the largest animation producers across the globe. This includes Mike Young Prods.; MoonScoop Prods., the top producer of animation in Europe; and select properties from third parties. Taffy's library for distribution and/or consumer products includes JAKERS!: THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS, TODDWORLD, PET ALIEN, TITEUF (TOOTUFF), GROWING UP CREEPIE, MIX MASTER, CODE LYOKO and CASPER, among many others. With offices in Paris, Los Angeles, London and Shanghai, the company has fully-integrated production, distribution, licensing, merchandising and marketing facilities. It also has a library that includes more than 3,000 half hours of animation, encompassing some of the most recognizable worldwide brands and best-loved animated creations in the global television market. The company also distributes to leading broadcasters in 160 countries around the world.

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Rick DeMott
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