CBS and DIC today announced the programming slate for their new 2006/07 children's programming line-up. The announcement was made today by Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO, DIC Entertainment and Nancy Tellem, President of the CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group.
CBS's Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party, a three-hour, E/I-compliant branded programming block exclusive to broadcast television, will premiere Saturday, Sept. 16, with six series comprised of globally recognized animated properties and two new live-action shows. From animated adventures and dance-mania to a pair of do-it-yourself innovators, the slate includes three new series: Horseland, Kooky Kitchen and Littlest Pet Shop, as well as Sabrina: The Animated Series, Trollz and Madeline. DIC is also in pre-production on two new, live-action, reality-based series, CAKE and Dance, Dance, Dance! (working title). The targeted audience for this programming block is children ages 6 through 12. A time-period schedule will be announced at a later date.
Each of the new series will broadcast 26 episodes per year, compared to the previous scheduling pattern which averaged 12 episodes per season, providing viewers with more original programming.
CBS's Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party will also feature unique animated and live-action interstitials threaded throughout the morning block to promote healthy eating and balanced, active lifestyles for kids. The messages, which will promote nutritious eating habits, will be created in consultation with Baylor College of Medicine's Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC), an internationally renowned institute devoted to pediatric nutrition studies. CNRC is one of six federally funded human nutrition research centers in the nation and the largest conducting scientific investigations into the role of maternal, infant and child nutrition in optimal health, development and growth.
"As a children's entertainment producer for over 25 years in the industry, the launch of the CBS's Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party offers a tremendous opportunity to apply our experience in producing and distributing quality kids' series to programming a rich schedule that we believe offers an unprecedented viewing experience," stated Heyward. "We are also thrilled to be in a unique position to address the national concern for kids' health with an aggressive interstitial campaign, and we will remain committed to addressing these issues by providing a positive environment for kids to be entertained and learn."
"We look forward to bringing DIC's vast array of imaginative programming to CBS affiliates and to our Saturday morning audience," said Tellem. "This is truly a mutually beneficial partnership that will create a branded destination for entertaining and informational children's programming on Saturday morning."
"The television landscape has changed dramatically in the kids' market, and DIC takes very seriously our responsibility to viewers by creating a safe environment for children to be entertained," commented Kaaren Lee Brown, Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs, DIC. "We have created a unique viewing destination to empower our young audience, as well as address social concerns with positive messaging."
To ensure that the programming meets FCC regulations, each of the series is being created under the specific educational supervision of Donald F. Roberts, PhD., lauded Stanford Professor of Communications and children's media expert, and Gordon Berry, EdD., Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA and chief consultant for the CBS Television Networknetwork and its programs created for children.
DIC will seek initial guidance from children's experts from the DIC Educational Advisory Board, a group comprised of leading media experts, educators and pediatricians created to provide information, guidance, advice and general expertise to DIC in the development of multimedia programs and projects for children. They plan to involve additional experts and organizations focusing specifically on children's health.
The DIC series for the 2006-2007 season include:
CAKE, E/I, TVY 7, is a live-action show within a show about a 13-year-old girl (a la Martha Stewart) who hosts a cable access show with her two best friends. The three girls show their audience (and each other) how to take ordinary, everyday items (t-shirts, CD cases, lamp shades) and make them extraordinary with a little imagination (and a hot glue gun!). CAKE's motto: "You can't buy individuality, but you can make it!"
DANCE, DANCE, DANCE! (working title), E/I, TVY 7, is designed to teach contestants a variety of styles of dance, the cultural inspiration for the various dance styles and encourage home viewers to get up out of their seats to dance along. A pop music act will also perform a fresh new song each week.
HORSELAND, E/I, TVY 7, featuring CGI and traditional animation, is set in the greatest stable ever, where kids and their horses compete and have adventures, and the horses and other animals can talk to each other - about the humans! Each episode features themes that deal with issues such as compassion, honesty and cooperation - both human and equine.
KOOKY KITCHEN, E/I, TVY 7, is an animated comedy action series that brings the ultimate cooking adventure for kids. From a magical secret kitchen hidden beneath a famous restaurant, a chef takes his special guests on culinary trips around the world through the Magic Recipe book to find the necessary ingredients for his masterful creations.
LITTLEST PET SHOP, E/I, TVY 7, revolves around tiny pets that help their adolescent owner explore big issues through their parallel life experiences in the fantasy world of Petopia. Jasmine Valentine is a typical 12-year-old girl dealing with the same kinds of problems that challenge adolescent girls everywhere. Jasmine does have one distinct advantage when it comes to coping with the daily dramas: her extraordinary group of feathered, furry and finned little friends that occupy her bedroom. As the pets work through their relationships and challenges in magical Petopia, Jasmine comes to understand her own situations better.
TROLLZ, E/I, TVY 7, produced in traditional animation, follows the adventures of five best friends who live by the credo B.F.F.L., Best Friends for Life. The storylines reflect the everyday life of today's young teens -- the trials and tribulations of teenage friendships, and dealing with such issues as popularity, love, loyalty, identity and integrity. While they have real teen issues, they are also interested in fashion, hair, malls, "spell phones," magic, parties and all the fun that goes with being a teen.
SABRINA: THE ANIMATED SERIES, E/I, TV Y, a companion to the ever-popular and long-running hit series, Sabrina: The Teenage Witch (starring Melissa Joan Hart), follows Sabrina Spellman, a cute 12-year-old with a big heart and an even bigger secret: she's half mortal and half witch! While her lessons in how to be a good witch are demanding, they pale in comparison to what she must learn to be a good person and that human attributes such as loyalty, honesty, tolerance and perseverance are the true lessons to learn.
MADELINE, E/I, TVY, based on Ludwig Bemelmans' classic books, stars a clever little red-headed girl whose capricious antics have won the hearts of children, parents and educators everywhere. Narrated in rhyme by Christopher Plummer, MADELINE has been recognized as one of the highest quality animated programs produced for television. The program's many awards include a Cable ACE Award for children's series, TV Guide's Top Ten Children's Programs and an Emmy.