It’s been three years since Copenhagen, Denmark-based TV-Animation came out with its relatively inexpensive (budgeted at around US$2 million) and adaptable kids format The Nelly Nut Show, which showcased the company’s proprietary Cartoon Broadcast rendering system for creating ‘live’ animated shows in which the action is directed by kids calling in from home.
Nelly has since joined the skeds of Denmark’s TV2, Fox Kids Israel, Germany’s ZDF and Teletoon in France and French-speaking regions in Belgium, Northern Africa and Switzerland. The beauty of the property is that each caster can morph it to best suit its lineup. On Teletoon, for example, Nelly hosts two of the channel’s blocks–After School Primetime on weekday afternoons and The Finale on Sunday mornings.
TV2, on the other hand, runs the whole half-hour game show. The third season of Nelly, which airs in a 5:30 p.m. slot on Tuesday evenings, regularly nets a share between 18% and 36%, and TV2′s head of kids programming Bubber says between 3,000 and 4,000 kids call in each week.
With that level of success in mind, TV-Animation has developed a number of new formats espousing the same kind of adaptability. JenniferJohn & BritneyBob is a game show concept targeted at six- to seven-year-olds that stars a pair of gender-neutral characters who tell unusual stories based on questions that kids call in. In one episode that attempts to explain why some angels don’t have wings, JJ & BB decide it’s because the heavenly creatures come equipped with built-in fart-engines that let them drift from cloud to cloud, propelled by their own gas. JenniferJohn & BritneyBob has just started airing in Israel as a half-hour series on The Children’s Channel, and has also sold to DR1 Denmark, SVT Sweden, NRK Norway, YLE Finland and YLE Holland for future broadcast.
Debuting this month on SVT Sweden is The Fake Rooster, a live game show for eight- to 12-year-olds that has been developed to work as an on-air host package, a seven-minute insert or a full series. The show centers around the barnyard adventures of three friends–Lulu the Turkey, Sir Richard the Rat and Carl the Fake Rooster. Carl is actually the farmer’s son dressed up as a rooster, and thus disguised, he sees farm life in a different light; for example, when humans aren’t around, the chickens gossip on their mobile phones and cows do ollies on their skateboards. Also tapped into the real scene, kids at home can call or e-mail the farm friends to talk about the topic of the day and play games.