Noggin adopts a ‘preschool on TV’ ID
With an eye to presenting itself as the TV equivalent of a preschool, U.S. kidnet Noggin will unveil new on-air/on-line branding on April 8, along with the new tagline ‘Noggin. It’s like a preschool on TV.’ The centerpiece of the initiative will see the introduction of 2-D animated hosts Moose A. Moose and sidekick Zee the Bird, who will guide kids from one show to the next while reinforcing key educational messages though interstitials. Based on the concept of connected learning, which aims to cram every second of air time with learning experiences, the new branding will coincide with network debuts of three new series – the Noggin-produced Oobi, and pick-ups Tweenies (Tell-Tale Productions) and Miffy and Friends (Mercis).
Southern Star takes Humphrey global
Humphrey B Bear is poised to emerge from domestic hibernation to hit the global TV scene. Sydney, Australia-based Southern Star has picked up international distribution rights to Banskia Productions’ live-action preschool series and will shop it around at MIPTV. Centering on the adventures of a mute bear who teaches children the value of friendship and exploration from his treehouse set, Humphrey debuted on Aussie TV screens 37 years ago. Beyond TV, Southern Star will be working with Banksia to help develop an international merchandising strategy for the 90 x half-hour TV property, which currently airs on Australia’s Nine Network.
Voyage to spread the green gospel in Asia
Sporting the distinction of being the first kids show to be funded by nine Asian broadcasters, the pro-environmental doc Voyage to the Future is set to hit Asian TV screens this month. Co-produced by China Central Television, Doordarshan India, Korean Broadcasting System (South Korea), Radio Television Malaysia, Singapore’s MediaCorp, CH9 and CH11 (Thailand), Vietnam Television and Japan’s NHK, Voyage focuses on the journey of 48 children (all of whom hail from the eight broadcast partners’ territories) as they travel from Okinawa to Yokohama and learn about the environmental issues facing their countries. Running as two 45-minute installments, the live-action Voyage will be hosted by American scientist Lester Brown.