Turner Broadcasting has commissioned a local version of popular television series HI-5. Set to air on Turner's preschool channel Cartoonito, Hi-5 will be produced by BAFTA award-winning production company Darrall Macqueen.
Forty half-hour episodes of the U.K. local version will be produced, with casting to commence next month. Also partnering on the U.K. series is free-to-air broadcaster GMTV who will begin showing the series in 2009 following Cartoonito's premier in 2008.
Cecilia Persson, Vice President of Programming, Acquisitions and Presentation, Turner Kids Channels said, "Hi-5 has enjoyed world renowned success and we're delighted to commission a U.K.-produced version. Each week the series will focus on some of HI-5's most notable themes such as music, friends, animals, family and outdoors. Underpinned with an ethos of exercise and dance, it also has positive messaging of encouraging kids to get active. We look forward to introducing this new British version of Hi-5 to Cartoonito's line up, which will sit well with other U.K. commissions on Cartoonito which include GO AND BE AND GROWN UP and CARTOONITO KARAOKE."
HI-5 has accomplished an enormous amount both in Australia and all around the world, with this commission the first step in the new global strategy for the HI-5 brand following its recent acquisition by Nine Network Australia and Southern Star.
In Australia, the television series has won three Logies for Most Outstanding Children's Series, a record breaking five consecutive ARIAS for Best Children's Album, and the Helpmann award for Best Children's Presentation of a live show. To date 435 half hour episodes have been produced, 25 DVDs, nearly 80 books and 11 CDs have been released.
HI-5 is a global phenomenon. The television series now screens in 118 countries with a global audience reach in excess of five million people and enjoys considerable success in Asia, the U.K., the U.S. and Latin America.
More than two million tickets have been sold worldwide to HI-5 concerts and there are currently four new casts touring Latin America with licensing agents and DVD distributors set up in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil.