Independent production company Calon TV has been commissioned to produce a comedy puppet talent show for the BBC's children's network CBBC.
Aimed at 8 to 10-year-olds, ZOO FACTOR is a cross between BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT and THE MUPPETS. Each week a variety of wild animals with unusual skills compete against each other to become champion. The judging panel is headed by Clive, a vain and lazy lion who eats acts for breakfast -- quite literally. Joining him on the panel are Carmel the chameleon, who changes her mind as much as her skin tone and Barry -- a monkey guaranteed to say something inappropriate.
The stakes are high in ZOO FACTOR as the animals share their sob stories and hopes and dreams for the competition. Because in this show, "if you're beaten, you're eaten."
The action backstage is presided over by the lovely host Hilly Wallaby with Mick and Mack the meerkats providing security and Oscar the ostrich, who is always in a state of panic over production issues.
Calon TV, which is based in Cardiff, has been commissioned to make 13 x 20- minute episodes for delivery in the autumn.
The company, best-known for its recent preschool children's animation show HANA'S HELPLINE (named top children's show in the Broadcast Awards 2009) is working with a team of top creatives to develop ZOO FACTOR.
Former commissioning editor at Five Alan Nixon is producer/director, puppeteer Simon Buckley has worked on the CBeebies show BEAR BEHAVING BADLY and executive producer is Calon TV's Managing Director, Robin Lyons.
Scripts will be written by Mark Evans, whose credits include hit TV shows including ANT AND DEC'S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY, STRICTLY COME DANCING, MITCHELL AND WEBB and DEADRINGERS and Will Ing, who has worked on 8 OUT OF 10 CATS, THE SATURDAY NIGHT PROJECT and POP IDOL.
Distribution rights for the show are owned by Calon TV and the company will be hoping to secure international pre-sales at MIPTV.