CBeebies and Sesame Workshop, the producers behind hit puppet series The Furchester Hotel, are checking in for a third and fourth season, as well as for a double-length Christmas special.
And don’t be surprised to see guest appearances from endearing Sesame Street characters like Big Bird and Count Von Count, who show up at all hours of the night at the not-quite-four-star hotel run by a family of cheerfully chaotic monsters.
Seasons three and four of the CBeebies-commissioned 52 x 11-minute series targeting kids three to six, which premiered in fall 2014 with two seasons’ worth of eps, heads into the production studio this May at Manchester’s MediaCityUK. New eps will launch this fall, first on CBeebies, followed by a number of international networks including ABC Kids (Australia), NDR/KiKA (Germany) and Zappelin (Netherlands).
Storylines for the new series include an Aquarium Suite for fish guests, a visit from famous fur cutter Vidal Raccoon and The Great Furchester bake-off. In addition to cameos from the Sesame Street cast, the new seasons will feature more music, creative problem-solving and physical comedy.
“We’ve doubled-down on our commitment to really creating this fun, madcap, song-filled experience for young kids,” says Maura Regan, SVP and GM, International Media Business, Sesame Workshop. “There’s a lot of physical humor, which really goes over well with kids. They love that kind of slapstick comedy.”
The global consumer products side of the business has also really taken off since the UK soft launch in spring 2015 with several A-list licensees now on-board including Hasbro (master toy), Penguin (books), Fashion UK (apparel), Abbey Home Media (DVDs), Immediate Media (magazines) and Jumbo (puzzles, games). “We’re really rounding out the portfolio of best-in-class licensees for Furchester,” she adds.
On the topic of world-class partners, Regan notes Sesame Workshop has always wanted to collaborate more with the BBC because of the similar values and goals of the two mammoth media companies. And Sesame Workshop is excited to be working with the British pubcaster on The Furchester Hotel, she adds.
“They’re completely aligned with Sesame Workshop’s commitment to helping kids grow up smarter, stronger and kinder, and in terms of their commitment to providing great programming on a public broadcast platform where it’s accessible to all,” she says. “We just felt they were a wonderful content creator for us to partner with.”