Cartoon Network brings 'Noddy' to India on Tiny TV band

MUMBAI: Cartoon Network announced today the launch of a daily three-hour block for pre-schoolers - Tiny TV that kicks off from 27 January.

Prime among the Tiny TV programming is Make Way for Noddy, based on the adventures of the lovable Enid Blyton character. The BBC Worldwide production thus is finally making its bow in India.

BBC Worldwide had tied up with Egmont Imaginations to launch the Noddy books in the Indian market in October 2001 and also made public its plans for the Make way for Noddy TV series. At the time, speaking about its proposed animated series, BBC officials had said that they were in the final stages of the production of the Indian episodes of Make Way for Noddy, an all new 100- episode digitally produced animated TV series. The 10 minutes of animation in each episode was to be complemented with 12 minutes of live action with children in India.

Identifying a target group hitherto unserviced by the reigning kids' channel in the country, Cartoon Network has zeroed in on the 2-6 age group, which it found during a commissioned study, was being watched by a huge chunk of the sub-six population. The result is Tiny TV, a weekday block comprising the likes of Bob The Builder, Noddy, Pingu, Kipper and Oswald, all of whom will avowedly provide a safe and positive environment for preschoolers

Admitting that the daily 11 am - 2 PM block was an unfocused one thus far, Turner senior vice president Ian Diamond said today that Tiny TV would familiarize toddlers with social concepts like cooperation, sibling rivalry, a 'can do' attitude, importance of friends and family, etiquette. The block will be repeated on weekends between 10.30 am and noon.

The new programming block will bring in another untapped TG for the channel, one that had been erratically mined by Kermit with its Sesame Street shows and unprofitably by Nickelodeon so far. While educational shows on the lines of Sesame Street do not figure in the first lot of shows announced for the Tiny TV block, Diamond says the channel would add to the programming depending on the ongoing inhouse research. India is the first country where the channel has launched a special band under the brand Tiny TV, and Diamond says there are currently no plans to include it in the two hour programming extended to Zee TV daily.

The channel had earlier made an attempt to include other TGs in its fold in late 2001 with the inclusion of Toonami, targeted at the 15 to 24 year olds. While Turner's vice president research Duncan Morris says the late night block for older toon fans does draw in as many viewers as do the music channels, Diamond says the channel will now concentrate on its core audience - kids.

The line up -

Bob The Builder - the number one preschool programme in Germany, Australia and Japan, the stop-frame animated series of half hour episodes encourages friends to help each other, solve problems together and provide shoulders to lean on. 

Kipper - based on the best selling books of Mick Inkpen, the adventures of the affable hound and his animal friends feature easy to follow storylines that encourage creative thinking and reinforce messages like cooperation, courtesy, kindness and learning through adventures.

Make Way for Noddy - based on the unforgettable series by Enid Blyton, Noddy combines the magic of the original books with the best in modern animation technology.

Oswald - an ever curious octopus, Oswald represents 'every kid' learning to stand on his own eight feet.

Pingu - a classic stop frame Claymation series, each episode tackles subjects ranging from social etiquette to sibling rivalry to sharing tasks to help your parents.

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