'Sesame Street' to be'Gali Gali Simsim;' launch in mid-2006 on Cartoon Network

MUMBAI: Sesame Street, in its Indian avtaar, is going to be called Gali Gali Simsim and will be launched on Cartoon Network and Pogo possibly towards mid-2006.

While no officials from either Turner or Miditech were willing to talk on the name of the local version of Sesame Street, reliable industry sources confirmed this.

As already reported, Miditech has been roped in as the production house and is in the process of developing the local version of the immensely popular Sesame Street.

An educational research team, which is headed by Dr Asha Singh as research head of Gali Gali Simsim, is in the process of developing an innovative curriculum keeping the Indian kids in mind.

When contacted, Miditech president Niret Alva mentioned that work on new animation characters, puppets and the curriculum was vigorously underway.

When asked as to what Miditech's vision was as far as the show was concerned, Alva said, "Our vision for the local version of Sesame Street is to build bridges - rural and urban, which means to make rural look cool and exciting to urban kids and vice versa. That is really the challenge of the show."

"There are a lot of components in the show like animation and live action, all of which have an educational goal but it is not obvious," said Alva.

Launched in 1968, Sesame Street has been localised in close to 25 - 28 countries - some of them being China (Zhima Jie), Egypt (Alam Simsim), Germany (Sesamstrasse), Israel (Sippuray Sumsum), Jordan (Hikayat Simsim), Mexico (Plaza Sésamo), the Netherlands (Sesamstraat), Palestine (Hikayat Simsim), Russia (Ulitsa Sezam) and South Africa (Takalani Sesame).

Sesame Workshop is also in talks with local production houses and channels in Japan and Bangladesh to create a local version of Sesame Street there.

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