*Hollywood Ventures adds product
Following on the heels of its success with The Big Comfy Couch, children’s entertainment company Hollywood Ventures will add new properties to its slate of preschool series for U.S. public television distribution. Shows include the U.K. hit The Slow Norris and Oakie Doke, as well as the classic French property Bonne Nuit Les Petits. In addition, Hollywood Ventures’ flagship series, The Big Comfy Couch, unveiled 13 new episodes last month, bringing the total number of episodes to 65.
Programs were chosen based on their worldwide appeal, which Hollywood Ventures believes will translate into success on PBS in the U.S.
The Big Comfy Couch, which originally aired in Canada in 1993, is now broadcast on PBS in 90 percent of the U.S.
*France exports mostly kids programs
PARIS: According to a survey by TV France International, an association for French TV program exporters, foreign buyers turn to Gallic producers mainly for youth and drama programming. In 1996, animation, live-action youth programs and educational shows accounted for 37 percent of all French TV exports, representing FF74,000 (US$12,750) in sales.
*Teletubbies goes Dutch
Ragdoll Productions’ Teletubbies has been licensed by BBC Worldwide to Dutch Broadcaster Teleac/NOT, part of the NOS Public Broadcasting Group. The series will premiere in the Netherlands in September 1998. All 260 episodes are included in the deal, and will be revised for Dutch audiences.
The Dutch version will feature Dutch live-action inserts to the preschool series, which stars four technological babies living in their own world of childhood fantasy. BBC Worldwide has also licensed the series in Portugal, South Africa and New Zealand.