LONDON: Tots TV, an award-winning ITV show produced by Ragdoll Productions, has been picked up by PBS in the U.S. in a deal through Ragdoll’s U.S. partner, The Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Company.
The show is a mixture of puppetry, live action and animation in which children aged one to eight enter a world where Tom, Tilly and Tiny share a secret house with their friend Donkey. In the British version, Tilly speaks only in French. The use of French by a character was a first in mainstream children’s programs in Britain and ‘helps children to accept that different languages are an everyday part of life,’ say the producers.
In the U.S. version, the French-speaking character of Tilly will become a Spanish-speaking Tina. ‘Featuring a Spanish-speaking character is an exciting way to add dimensions to the programming service for children,’ says PBS director of children’s programming Alice Cahn. A further 20 episodes of Tots TV are planned in the U.K. later this year.