This week at MIP-TV, Gullane Entertainment announced that it has begun production on 78 new five-minute episodes of THOMAS & FRIENDS, augmenting the property's current library of 130 episodes. Produced at Shepperton Studios in England, the new episodes will begin airing in September 2002 on Nick Jr. in the UK. In the U.S., these episodes will be released direct-to-video by Anchor Bay Entertainment. The first U.S. release will be available September 24, 2002 on VHS and DVD.
At MIP-TV 2002, TV-Loonland has struck a first time deal with Italian state broadcaster RAI for several shows. RAIs free TV channels RAI 2 and RAI 3 will air CRAMP TWINS (26 x 30 minutes) in 2002 while LITTLE GHOSTS (39 x 7 minutes), PETTSON AND FINDUS (13 x 13 minutes) and CLIFFORD (40 x 30 minutes) are expected to air in 2003. Additionally, RAIs pay-TV channel RAISAT will broadcast CLIFFORD, LITTLE GHOSTS and CONNIE THE COW (52 x 7 minutes) in 2002.
Fox Kids Europe (FKE) is at MIP-TV this week and has already acquired 26 half-hour episodes of the new animated series ROBOROACH and 52 episodes of the animated series HAMTARO. ROBOROACH, starring a cockroach superhero named Rube who can morph into almost anything, and Reg, Rube's street-smart big brother, is a co-production between RTV Family Entertainment AG and Canadian producer-distributor Portfolio Entertainment.
Kids animation producer-distributor TV-Loonland will present a new slate of animation programming at MIP-TV 2002. Leading the Loonland catalogue is the launch of REBOOT - SEASON IV. Animated by Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. REBOOT was the first ever half-hour computer animated TV series produced. Originally seen on North American television in September 1994 on YTV (Canada) and on ABC Television (USA), the series remains one of YTV's top-rated programs and can be seen in the daily Toonami block on the Cartoon Network.
Production and distribution company France Animation is attending MIP-TV with a slate of new animated series for children of all ages. Heading the slate is new animated sitcom DR. DOG. Aimed at children aged 6 to 10 years old, this 52 x 13-minute series, co-produced with Silver Lining Productions, is based on the irreverent book by British author Babette Cole. Their documentary series INSECTOSCOPE makes its international debut at MIP-TV as well. Geared toward 6 to 12 year-olds, INSECTOSCOPE (52 x 6-minutes) is a co-production with France's MC4 and TF1 and RAI Italy.
Independent animation house Alphanim has partnered with Canadian production company Nelvana on THE DELTA STATE (26 x 30-minutes). The show, which focuses on four 20-something East Berliners with supernatural powers, was originally announced in 2001 as a co-production with Cinar, but fell through when Cinar Europe closed its doors in February 2002. With Nelvana now on board, the series is scheduled to deliver in fall 2003. Alphanim has also committed to CREEP SCHOOL (26 x 26-minutes) a co-production with Sweden's Happy Life and France 3. The series is also scheduled for 2003.
The first two episodes of the BRB Internacional and Telecinco (Spain) co-production GLADIATOR ACADEMY (26 x 30 minutes) will be available at MIP-TV 2002. The show is targeted to 6 to 10 year-olds and follows the adventures of a family of young gladiators living on a Mediterranean island during the Roman Empire. Another BRB animated series making its debut at MIP-TV is THE INVISIBLE MAN (26 x 30 minutes), which is currently in pre-production. This series combines 2D and 3D animation and is geared to 8 to 12 year-olds.
DECODE Entertainment is launching two brand new preschool series at MIP-TV 2002. SAVE UMS is a 26 x 30-minute 3D animation produced by DECODE and executive produced by creator and writer Dan Clark of the Dan Clark Company (BRATS OF THE LOST NEBULA). The series is a fun and educational project with an emphasis on problem solving. The SAVE UMS characters are preschool action heroes who encourage children to learn about technology. Each episode inspires children to develop their own skills and initiative and to adapt to the technology in their world.
UK-based media company Elephant Productions is bringing new children's series ANIMAL SCHOOL to MIP-TV 2002. Aimed at children aged 10 to 15 years-old ANIMAL SCHOOL is a series of 30 x 45-second interstitials each featuring different animals receiving their lessons for life. Jointly commissioned by CBBC Acquisitions and Education, the interstitials will air on CBBC'S new channel and also the Website. Produced by Elephant Productions, ANIMAL SCHOOL is animated in Flash by Fictitious Egg's Andy Wyatt.
Egmont Imagination will bring their new stop-motion animated series LITTLE PEOPLE to MIP-TV 2002. Specifically developed for a preschool audience, the series follows five little people as they explore and discover the world around them. The versatile 65 x 5-minute or 13 x half-hour series will premiere on SRTL in Germany this fall.
France Animation will be attending MIP-TV 2002 with their brand new animated series COSY CORNER. Produced by French production company Storimages, in association with France 5 and Teletoon France, COSY CORNER is a 52 x 6-minute traditionally animated series that teaches preschoolers about forming relationships with friends and family. Although the show is in the early stages of development, Universal Visual has already picked up the home video rights for France. France Animation holds the worldwide distribution rights.
pasi (philippine animation studio, inc.) and Canadian producer Nelvana have joined forces to produce 14 new episodes of the animated series, SEVEN LITTLE MONSTERS for the PBS Saturday morning kids block. Based on the book from childrens author Maurice Sendak, the series is all about life in a large family of brothers and sisters, who just happen to be monsters. SEVEN LITTLE MONSTERS is the third co-production between pasi and Nelvana to be covered under the recently ratified government sanctioned co-production treaty between the Philippines and Canada.
European animation studio Varga has teamed up with Australian production company Screentime to co-produce an animated version of the reality series POPSTARS. POPSTARS: BAND ON THE RUN (52 x 11 minutes), is due to start production mid-2002. Aimed at 8 to 13 year-olds, the series follows the adventures of a teenage band on tour. Varga will be at MIP-TV 2002 to secure co-production partners and pre-sales. International distribution will be handled by the UK's Target, who will also be promoting LILLY at MIP-TV, a tween-oriented series currently in development.
Discovery Kids and NBC revealed their programming line-up for the three-hour block that will debut this fall on NBC Saturday mornings beginning Saturday, October 5, 2002, and airing weekly from 10:00 am-1:00 pm ET/8:00 am-11:00 am PT. In addition to new live-action shows and kid-oriented reality series, Discovery Kids and NBC will air the documentary series WALKING WITH DINOSAURS and its sequel, WALKING WITH PREHISTORIC BEASTS.
Egmont Imagination's new animated series JUNGO is currently in production at Egmont's sister company A. Film, and will debut this April at MIP-TV 2002. Egmont has recently completed of a raft of pre-sales for JUNGO, including Germany's Super RTL, TV2 in Denmark and Norway and TV4 in Sweden. The 13 x 26-minute series finds jungle creature Jungo and city fox Rita on a quest to find a place where they can live in peace. JUNGO is an Egmont co-production with Denmark's TV2 and Ocean Group in Canada. It is based on the main character in two A.
Representing their first sale to Japan, TV-Loonland has sold the home video and DVD rights of the animated series LITTLE GHOSTS to Japanese home entertainment corporation TDK. The show has also been sold to Indonesian agent PT-NAINA, who will distribute all rights of the series to buyers in the Asia Pacific region. Australias public broadcaster ABC Australia is currently airing LITTLE GHOSTS and will be launching the series on home video through their subsidiary ABC Video in spring 2002.
UK-based media company Elephant Productions is reinventing WILLO THE WISP, a classic UK kids' animated series and will debut the new series at MIP-TV. The original series featured actor Kenneth Williams providing the voices of the characters, including Willo the Wisp, as a spirit-like apparition that acts as the narrator of the show. The 26 x 5-minute 2D series is co-produced with animator and illustrator Bobbie Spargo, daughter of original WILLO THE WISP creator Nick Spargo and aimed at kids aged 4-8 years. James Dreyfus (NOTTING HILL) replaces Kenneth Williams as the voice talent.
The new animated series CHALKZONE premiered to Nickelodeons highest kids 2-11 ratings ever for a new series launch, outperforming broadcast and cable network competition in that same demographic. According to the network, the program, which debuted Friday, March 22, 2002 at 8:30 pm (ET/PT), scored an 8.6/27 rating and share (2.8 million average kid viewers) among kids 2-11 and attracted 4 million total viewers, a Nick record for a series launch. CHALKZONE chronicles the adventures of kid cartoonist-turned-action-hero Rudy Tabootie (E.G.
Victory Media AG and the Hamburg, Germany-based animation studio ASL have completed animation on the 26-episode series WINNETOONS. Based on characters created by German author Karl May, the Wild West-themed series will debut on German channel KinderKanal on April 24, 2002. ASL (Animationsstudio Ludewig GmbH) is best known for its recent digital production for Warner Bros. and Cartoon Film for the German animated feature DER KLEINE EISBÄR (THE LITTLE POLAR BEAR). ASL also recently completed the digital production of Illuminated Film's CHRISTMAS CAROL-THE MOVIE directed by Jimmy Murakami.
Canadian animation house Studio B is heading to MIP TV this April with two new shows and 26 new second season episodes of both YVON OF THE YUKON and D'MYNA LEAGUES. Studio B says their new property INTO THE SHADOWS is a "safe scare" show a la SCOOBY DOO. The series is in development for the Family Channel with 26 x 11-minute episodes. The production company hopes to secure international pre-sales at MIPTV. Studio B will also debut the original series FLAKES, featuring "cerealebrities" living in a place called Breakfastown.
Santa Barbara-based Foothill Entertainment, Inc. and BRB Internacional of Spain have inked a deal to develop, produce and distribute the series PIRATE SCHOOL. Production on the 26 x half-hour series is due to start mid 2002, with delivery commencing from September 2003. The 2D animated series will air on CBBC in the UK, which has an option to order a further 26 episodes.
As part of a new programming strategy, Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshops educational network NOGGIN will be unveiling its new programming schedule on April 1, 2002. The network will extend its preschool-aimed programming by three hours with a daytime block called "Noggin," airing from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm (ET). Premiering in this block beginning April 1st at 9:00 am is the new preschooler series PLAY WITH ME SESAME, featuring Muppet characters Ernie, Bert, Grover and Prairie Dawn.
Two young boys with rich fantasy lives are featured characters in Decode Entertainments new animated series. Decode has picked up the international rights to BEING IAN, a 26-episode series produced by Studio B for Canadian broadcaster YTV, and OLLIVERS ADVENTURES, produced by Collideascope Digital Productions for Teletoon Canada. BEING IAN stars Ian Kelly, a young boy obsessed with films who lives out his fantasies by imagining himself in a movie. The series is created by Ian James Corlette and directed by Marv Newland.
Kids' WB!, has unveiled their 2002-2003 schedule and the network is introducing a "year-round" slate offering new programming beginning in summer 2002 and leading into the 2002-2003 television season. Debuting this summer is the new, entirely Flash-animated series ¡MUCHA LUCHA!, an over-the-top comedy-adventure set in the world of Mexican masked wrestling.
Cartoon Network has announced two original series premieres in 2002: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ROBOT JONES? and CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR. Scheduled to debut in July 2002, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ROBOT JONES? is set in the retro-1980s future where robots have become commonplace. Robot Jones is a special robot, who is programmed with basic emotions that he doesnt quite have a handle on. His socially awkward interactions with his family, friends and enemies, form the basis of the series.