News in Brief

Discovery Kids gives the nod to a U.S. Hi-5 format
November 22, 2002

Discovery Kids gives the nod to a U.S. Hi-5 format

Southern Star has crossed the Pacific to broker a format deal with Discovery Kids US for Aussie preschool hit Hi-5. Original creators Nine Films & Television and Kids Like Us will shoot and co-produce the 45 x 22-minute U.S. version in Australia, but the series will feature an all-American cast. TLC and Discovery Kids plan to debut Hi-5 in the revamped Ready, Set, Learn! weekday morning preschool block this February.

Entertainment Rights changes gears with Transformers pick-up

U.K.-based Entertainment Rights has powered up its boys action portfolio by acquiring the international TV (except North America) and video (all territories) rights to Transformers Armada, a 52 x 30-minute 2-D/3-D revamp of the original ’80s classic starring two warring squads of robots that could morph into vehicles at will. Produced by Aeon Inc. and SD Entertainment, the updated toon has just started airing in a 5:30 p.m. weekday slot on Cartoon Network, but it was previously pulling in a 3.5 rating with boys nine to 14 on Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Featuring a story line that sees the Autobots and Decepticons racing to ally with a newly discovered breed of Transformers called Mini-Cons, Armada also sports a crunchy ‘nu-metal’ soundtrack. ER’s Right Entertainment video division plans to start rolling out a series of collectible DVDs and vids based on the property in the second half of 2003.

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