News in Brief

Sesame lands in Eastern European neighborhoods
October 1, 2006

Sesame lands in Eastern European neighborhoods

New York-based nonprofit organization Sesame Workshop will be making quite a splash in Eastern Europe in the next few months as it rolls out several new Sesame-themed programming blocks in Poland, Hungary and Croatia via a deal with regional broadcaster Minimax.

Additionally, in December, the same broadcaster is putting shows Play With Me Sesame, Elmo’s World and Global Grover together in a programming block for Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The same three series will also play a prominent role in yet another Sesame block planned by broadcaster Magma for Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro beginning in 2007.

The hot market for The Workshop’s series in emerging territories has since convinced the organization to greenlight another 26 eps of Play With Me Sesame, bringing the total number to 104 half hours.

Punk’d for kids

heads across the pond

In what could go into the ‘turnabout is fair play’ file, Montreal-based production company Apartment 11 and L.A. distributor MarVista Entertainment have inked a deal to sell a tween live-action format of Prank Patrol – a YTV Original Production – to the BBC.

Of course, the majority of format sales usually go the other way across the pond (American Idol is only one of the most popular examples) and are centered on adult-skewing content, but the reality show where kids get the opportunity to plan and execute elaborate pranks captured the imagination of the pubcaster.

The 20 x 28-minute British version of the show is being produced by Bakermedia, and it launched on BBC One and CBBC on September 16. MarVista retains distribution rights for the British version, except in the U.K., Canada and Ireland, in addition to rights for the original version.

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