Da Mob
July 1, 2002

Da Mob

Distributor: London-based TV-Loonland (44-207-434-2377)

Producers: Quintus Animation (U.K.), Millimages (France) and Happy Life (Sweden)

Format: 26 x 22 minutes

Style: 2-D animation with 3-D backgrounds

Broadcaster: ABC Family (U.S.)

TV-Loonland keeps it real with satirical hip-hop toon Da Mob

Despite having only 26 eps in the can, TV-Loonland’s comedic toon has ably distinguished itself from competing tween/teen fare by sending up one of the sacred cows of adolescent life–music. The series follows three friends who are convinced that they’re one lucky break away from becoming the next platinum-selling hip-hop band. The only problem (and it’s a biggie) is that none of the three have any discernible talent. (Think Spinal Tap meets Wayne’s World for tweens.)

Not that any epiphany about their shortcomings would stop the troika from imposing their lame rhymes on the public, and that’s where the show draws much of its humor and charm. Whether it’s a bar mitzvah or an impromptu rap session on the street, the guys bomb at every turn, and ultimately, it’s their failure to make it that is striking a universal chord with adolescents. ‘Tweens and teens are pretty image-conscious,’ says Helen Blayney, TV-L’s senior director of sales. ‘And they understand wanting to wear cool clothes and listen to cool music, but maybe not always being able to be those people.’

The show also mines character quirks for comic effect. All three are terminal wiggers–middle-class suburban white kids who act like they’re straight outta the ghetto, but can’t quite cover up their well-to-do WASP roots. Band leader Cornelius is convinced he’s related to dead Gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur and often catches glimpses of this urban icon in the mirror behind him. Meanwhile, the group’s lead singer, Tom, who sings with an unfortunate German accent, is more concerned with primping his blonde locks à la Robert Plant than laying down hardcore beats. If the level of satire in Da Mob sounds as if it skews a little higher than tweens, then all the better, says Blayney, who believes that kids are inclined to glom onto programming that aims older anyway.

Da Mob has rolled out gradually since its November 2001 debut on ABC Family (née Fox Family), where it was the sixth most-watched kids cable show with the nine to 17 demo in its 12:30 p.m. weekend slot from January to May 2002, according to Initiative Media. TV-L is ramping Da Mob up for greater international expansion and has sold the show to: Fox Kids France, Sky One (U.K.) and SVT (Sweden), which all have fall launch plans for the series.

Blayney says TV-L’s immediate goals are to find more channels to air Da Mob and get new episodes made, enabling the outfit to launch a merchandising program. ‘There are only 26 episodes, and in the U.S., that’s not a great basis for launching anything,’ says Blayney, who feels the property naturally lends itself to compilation music CDs, hats and apparel such as T-shirts.


Galidor: Defenders of the Outer Dimension

Distributors: Montreal, Canada’s CinéGroupe Distribution for North America (514-849-5008), and Culver City-based Columbia TriStar International Television for international territories (310-202-1234)

Producer: CinéGroupe

Format: 26 x half hour

Style: Live action/CGI

Broadcasters: YTV (Canada) and Fox Kids Network (U.S.)

Ace Lightning

Distributors: Toronto-based AAC Kids (416-967-1174) manages the U.S. and Canada, while U.K.-based BBC Worldwide (44-208-433-3995) handles the rest of the world

Producers: BBC and AAC Kids

Format: 26 x 24 minutes

Style: Live action/CGI

Broadcasters: TVNZ (New Zealand), SIC (Portugal) and BBC (U.K.)


Distributors: San Francisco-based Wild Brain (415-216-2046) in North America, with Germany’s EM.TV & Wavery B.V. Production (49-89-99-5000) managing most international rights

Producers: Wild Brain and EM.TV & Wavery B.V. Production

Format: 26 x half hour

Style: 2-D animation

Broadcasters: Sold into U.S. syndication for this September, with ProSieben and Junior/Premiere World (Germany), TG4 (Ireland), Nickelodeon and Seven Network (Australia) and MTV Oy (Finland) rounding out the international sales roster

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