California-based prodco Wind Dancer Films is heading to the moon with a number of space-themed extensions for its CGI-animated series Ready Jet Go!. The new launches tap into buzz around the upcoming 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
First off, the series, which follows an alien named Jet Propulsion who goes on adventures with his Earth friends, is getting a one-hour Ready Jet Go!: One Small Step special on US kidsnet PBS Kids on June 17. Following the linear premiere, it is going to be screened by Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC on July 17. Also streaming on the PBS Kids website and the PBS Kids Video app, characters from the space-themed show will travel to the moon where, after they get there, they realize one of their friends has disappeared. NASA astronomer Amy Mainzer is featured in the special’s live-action segments to educate kids on science.
Wind Dancer is also launching space-themed events, hands-on activities and a chance to meet the series creator Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!) at the National Mall in Washington DC in July. In addition, the companies are partnering on summer camps for cities across the US. The week-long camps will feature hands-on learning experiences and be hosted at PBS stations in 20 states, including in Florida, California and Texas.
The series, aimed at three-to eight-year-old, premiered on PBS Kids in 2016 and the broadcaster ordered a second season of 24 x half-hour episodes that same year (bringing the show up to 48 x half-hour episodes) after it reached 22 million viewers, including 7.6 million on linear TV.
As the July 20th 50th anniversary of the moon landing approaches, a number of prodcos have been looking to the stars as inspiration for new IP and content strategies this year. Last week Nickelodeon and Imagine’s Kids & Family division announced a partnership on the development of the live-action series Untitled Space Show (working title). Imagine also teamed up with Apple TV to launch a new, partially-scripted “documentary” entitled Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10 in May. Produced by Imagine Documentaries, DHX and Tremolo Productions, a “documentary” crew is trying to solve the mystery of whether or not Snoopy was a world-famous, top-secret astronaut.