The 40 half hours of CG-animated series Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles ordered by BKN from Sony Pictures Family Entertainment (SPFE) have been delayed in their delivery, resulting in episode repeats during the show’s weekday 7:30 a.m. time slot. ‘We’ve increased our audience with [Starship Troopers], but I think we could have done better if we had not had the repeats,’ acknowledges BKN president Stephanie Graziano. Since its first week on air, the series has grown consistently. By the fifth week, it recorded a 20% increase in kids ages two to 11, a 40% increase in kids ages six to 11, and a 70% increase in boys ages six to 11, according to BKN sources.
Two factors influenced the slow delivery, notes David Palmer, VP of marketing at SPFE-the series’ high production values and the departure of California CG production studio Flat Earth Productions. The studio bowed out after completing just three episodes of its 15-episode production contract, due to overloaded production slates. SPFE is working closely with California-based Foundation Imaging and several other digital studios to deliver all remaining episodes by the first of the year. Currently, new episodes are coming in each week, Palmer maintains.
According to Graziano, the problem is that high-quality digital animation requires a longer preproduction process than normally allotted. ‘They’ve gone a step beyond any other series I’m familiar with [with Starship Troopers],’ says Graziano. ‘Because of that, we’re willing to compromise on our delivery schedule.’ Asked whether additional episodes would be ordered, both Graziano and Palmer say no plans for additional episodes have been announced, although Palmer says SPFE is working with BKN on another new series, the details of which have not been released. VR