PARIS: The preschool TV puppet program Nighty Night, Sleep Tight illustrates how a legend of the sixties (1,500 airings between 1962 and 1973) can be a success in the nineties.
The hero, Nounours, is a gentle bear that arrives each evening with the Sandman on a cloud to visit Nicholas and Primrose as they get ready for bed. The group play, talk and sing together, while promoting an educational message.
By the end of 1994, a new daily prime time color version of the show was scheduled for production for a total 124 x 3 minute episodes. French public channel France 2 has just ordered 65 new episodes from producer/creator Claude Laydu, from CLSM Productions. Even though this puppet program for kids, which first aired at 7:55 p.m. then at 7:15 p.m., is not an audience success with only a 9.3 percent market share, merchandising is doing great. Over 200,000 videos with the new episodes and more than 600,000 in black and white have been sold since last October by Polygram, while the France Television Distribution CD climbed to over 100,000 unit sales. Major licensing deals were finalized with Nathan games; toy licensees Masport and Ideal Loisirs; publishers Tournon-Egmont and Hemma; perfumer Compagnie des parfums; Panini France for stickers; and textile companies like Maix Agoffroy. More than 300 items are now in place creating a huge success story in the French market.