News in Brief

A golden family hour...
March 1, 2000

A golden family hour

New York-based Golden Books Family Entertainment will launch the 26 x hour-long Golden Books Family Entertainment Hour into syndication in January 2001 via Television Syndication of Longwood, Florida. The animated block will feature digitally remastered episodes of Felix the Cat, The Mighty Hercules and Rankin & Bass’s Festival of Family Classics.

Disney courts preschoolers with Pooh and goes into production on Wheelies

Shadow Projects’ The Book of Pooh is slated to air in Q1 2001 as a part of the daily Disney morning preschool block Playhouse Disney, which also includes Bear in the Big Blue House and Rolie Polie Ollie. Based on characters from the classic A.A. Milne books, the 26 x half-hour series mixes puppets and CGI and is now in preproduction.

On the TV movie front, Disney’s 90-minute flick Wheelies is currently in production. Starring Frankie Muniz of Malcolm in the Middle fame as a wheelchair-bound kid who is dead-set on winning a soap-box derby, the movie will air in May on Disney Channel. Disney has also picked up U.S. cable broadcast rights for Duke from Vancouver-based distributor International Keystone Entertainment. The live-action flick centers around a dog named Hubert that inherits a bundle from his late master, the kindly Duke of Dingwall.

Tom Snyder Productions nears a deal with Cartoon Network for Home Movies

Watertown, Massachusetts-based Tom Snyder Productions, of Dr. Katz fame, is hammering out a deal with Cartoon Network for a 13-ep order of Home Movies, a series that revolves around a video camera-toting third grader. The deal includes eight new episodes produced by TS, as well as the original five eps that aired on UPN. No air date is set yet.

CLT-UFA inks deal with 20th Century Fox

The European broadcaster inked a US$250-million, five-year output deal with Fox, giving CLT-UFA exclusive German free TV rights to Fox’s U.S. film and TV slate for 1999 to 2003. Included in the deal are The Simpsons and the film X-Men.

Mickey living the vida loca

Disney Channel Latin America will launch in Q3 or Q4 this year via satellite TV on the Galaxy Latin America service, which provides DirecTV throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The channel will also be distributed by regional cable systems.

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