News in Brief

Bob the Builder goes to Israel...
January 1, 2000

Bob the Builder goes to Israel

Israel-based Noga Communications will represent the HIT series in Israel, handling all licensing, merchandising, promotional rights and some publishing rights. Noga has also acquired broadcast and video rights to the first 26 episodes, which will air in 2000.

Alliance plans interactive TV series

Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis Communications, Back Alley Film Productions and ExtendMedia are partnering on an interactive TV series. Drop the Beat is a 13-part, hip-hop drama series-co-produced by AAC and Back Alley for broadcast on CBC in 2000-that offers enhanced, interactive TV viewing through iTV.

Microsoft WebTV subscribers watching the series will be able to simultaneously receive on-screen links to the companion Web site ( through iTV pages that appear on their screen. They will also be able to log onto the companion virtual radio show and purchase concert tickets and the Universal soundtrack for the series.

Through the Web site, the audience will be able to interact directly with the show’s characters through chat lines, message boards and other community-building applications. Viewers are also encouraged to contribute story ideas for future episodes.

Maverick to carry Sony Wonder catalog in the U.K.

London-based video distribution company Maverick has inked a deal with New York-based Sony Wonder to distribute its catalog in the region. The deal encompasses 1,200 half hours of newer programming, including Mega Babies, Fat Dog Mendoza and Brothers Flub, along with older catalog properties like My Little Pony, G.I. Joe and Transformers.

BBC’s Tweenies are going Down Under

London-based BBC Worldwide has licensed Tweenies to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney. The pubcaster has 130 licensed episodes, which will air in 2000.

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