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Winklemania taps spy theme for tween live-actioner

It looks like there'll be no sleep for Winklemania in the New Year. The U.K.-based prodco has four series on the slate for 2001, and a live-action/CGI co-pro called Spy Fly is leading off the lineup. With broadcast commitments from YTV...
January 1, 2001

It looks like there’ll be no sleep for Winklemania in the New Year. The U.K.-based prodco has four series on the slate for 2001, and a live-action/CGI co-pro called Spy Fly is leading off the lineup. With broadcast commitments from YTV in Canada and ITV in the U.K., Winklemania and partners VIF Filmproduktion out of Germany and Canada’s Credo Entertainment are heading into production on the 26 x half-hour series this March.

The series is geared to the seven to 12 set, starring a teen pizza boy who accidentally makes a delivery smack-dab in the middle of a top-secret government experiment. As a result of a botched lab job, the protagonist winds up with the ability to shrink to the size of a fly, and the Feds enlist him to help defeat the evil forces of A.T.A.C. (Abductions, Terror, Anarchy and Crime).

Budgeted at US$330,000 per ep, Spy Fly has also attracted interest from U.S. broadcasters like Fox Kids, Disney and Kids’ WB! Licensing rights are still open, and Winklemania expects this property to have good merchandising potential.

In development with YTV and Montreal-based La Fete Distribution is live-action teen drama The Last Princess, a 26 x half-hour series that should start production in the summer for 2002 delivery. With a budget of US$300,000 to US$330,000 per ep, the show is set in a futuristic civilization called Shangri-La, where people have reached such an enlightened state of spirituality that they’ve stopped procreating. In order to save her citizens from extinction, teenage Princess Tanya ventures into the outside world to negotiate a merger of the two societies. The story is told from Princess Tanya’s point of view, and her communications to Shangri-La will feature a mix of 3-D graphics and sci-fi visuals.

Also in development for the four to seven set is I Love Mummy with Toronto’s Breakthrough Films & Television for a likely 2002 debut on YTV. The 26 x half-hour live-action series costs US$250,000 per ep and features a working class family that inherits a 4,000-year-old teenage mummy.

On deck but with unconfirmed broadcast interest is Seacrets, a 26 x half-hour 2-D adventure series co-produced with U.K.-based Granada Media. Targeting six- to 11-year-olds, the US$7.8-million concept centers around magical creatures that have lived peacefully in the ocean’s depths for millions of years. Now faced with extinction due to illegal water pollution practices, the Seacrets join with certain humans who can take on their unique powers to do battle against the conglomerate and its cadre of evil agents. The series should go into production this summer for delivery in 2002.

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