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Wide Eye Series has Wide Promotion From Abbey Home Media & BBC

Keep an eye open for Abbey Home Media Groups new animated series, WIDE EYE, set to debut on CBeebies and CBeebies on BBC in fall 2003. Co-produced with the BBC and animated by King Rollo Films, this enchanting 26x10 2D animated series is based on the stories in the WIDE EYE early learning program, which has been sold in 30+ countries.

Each episode promises to deal in an entertaining way with a social message or development topic relevant to the pre-school child, be it friendship, sharing, cultural differences or bullying. Wide Eye scripts are endorsed by the Pre-School Learning Alliance to ensure that the vocabulary and situations in each episode both entertain and stretch the imaginations of the target audience of children 3-6. Abbey has a six-year relationship with the alliance, a leading educational charity that represents and supports 16,000 pre-schools in England.

This series is set in the magical world of the Natterjack Forest, home to a delightful cast of critters, including a lovable and enthusiastic baby owl, Little Hoot; his bright, bouncy and energetic best friend, Flea; the exuberant Natterjack toad family; arch mischief maker Wily Komodo; and his irrepressible and accident-prone young son, Baby Komodo. Together with Conchita, the colorful and fluffy chinchilla and 99, the dozy, bumbling centipede, they pursue their dreams while under the protective gaze of their watchful guardian owl, Wide Eye.

CBeebies is truly delighted to be involved with Wide Eye, said Theresa Plummer Andrews, exec producer and the BBCs head of acquisitions and co-productions. It is one of the most charming pre-school products on the market, with great characters and really skilful storytelling scripts which are also very funny.

Added Ian Miles, chairman/ceo of Abbey Home Media: WIDE EYE is the most exciting property Abbey has ever been involved with. We are confident it will be a great success both with viewers and, as the brand develops, with the consumer. It is entertaining, informative and above all completely original.

Spearheaded by a DVD and video release by Abbey in mid-November 2003, this will eventually be expanded to a full licensing program for the series as well as an aggressive publicity/marketing campaign with the BBC.

A link from the Characters home page on the CBeebies Website will direct users to an interactive WIDE EYE section incorporating printable activities, audio clips in the new sing-a-song section and a competition.

The release of WIDE EYE will also be supported by:* Celebrity interviews with Jane Horrocks and Anton Rogers, who provide two of the series voice overs.* National marketing campaign, including above and below the line.* 10- and 20-second TV advertisements November 15-30 on GMTV, Channel 5, ITV, Nickelodeon Junior and Tiny Living (part of UK Living).* Advertisements in key childrens press, including: TWEENIES, BOB THE BUILDER and BBC TOYBOX.* Premium site six-sheet outdoor campaign at shopping malls nationwide, to include Bluewater.* Limited edition gift pack containing video and two finger puppets for launch period.* National promotion with Pre-School Learning Alliance with an A3 WIDE EYE poster being distributed via the Pre-School Learning Alliance network of 16,000 pre-schools and nurseries.

Ian and Anne Miles, the co-founders of the Abbey Home Media Group (, have spent 13 years working with television broadcasters to develop award-winning television programming. Recently re-established under these original owners, the company is recognized as one of the U.K.s most vibrant forces in international children's programming. Over the last few years, its product ranges have grown to encompass not only audio and video, but also book and multi-media packages.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks