Future smells sweet for Rotten Ralph
A flurry of pre-acquisition deals indicate Italtoons UK’s new stop-motion series is
particularly ripe. BBC Worldwide picked up international distribution rights to Rotten Ralph, while Fox Family and CBS/Fox Video nabbed U.S. broadcast rights and U.S. video rights, respectively. Terrestrial broadcast rights for the series were obtained by RAI in Italy, Radio-Canada (SRC) in Canada, and Ravensburger acquired all rights for Germany.
A co-production between Italtoons UK and Montreal’s Tooncan Productions, Rotten Ralph is budgeted at US$350,000 per half-hour, and is available as either 26 half hours or 52 12-minute segments. The 3-D animated series is in production at Cosgrove Hall Films in the U.K.
Targeting five- to 10-year-olds, Rotten Ralph is based on a popular Houghton Mifflin/HarperCollins book series, created by Jack Gantos and Nicole Rubel, featuring a misbehaving cat whose little-girl owner believes he’s an angel at heart.
Southern Star brings home the circus
A new co-production between Australia’s Southern Star and Network Ten is designed to fulfill the fantasies of every kid who dreams of joining the circus. High Flyers is a live-action drama with a cast of 30 regular kids discovering their talents through teamwork under a modern-day big top.
Budgeted at US$6.7 million, the 52 x 30-minute series was created by independent Australian children’s writer and director David Ogilvy for kids ages eight to 12, and started production in Melbourne last month under Southern Star Pacific executive producer Noel Price. Network Ten is airing the show later this year, with negotiations for further broadcast deals currently underway. Southern Star Sales has worldwide distribution rights.
Weird science at PBS
Kids hit the lab in full force for Dragonfly!, a new co-production by Minneapolis-based KTCA, Miami’s National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the University of Ohio. The National Science Foundation kicked in most of the US$1.5-million budget for the 13 x 30-minute science show, which is slated to air on PBS in fall 2001.
Targeted to kids ages eight to 12, Dragonfly! is based on NSTA’s successful magazine of the same name, and features children sharing their own scientific experiments with working adult scientists.