CBS unveils a slew of children’s shows

MUMBAI: US broadcaster CBS and entertainment firm DIC have announced the programming slate for their new 2006/2007 children's programming line-up.

CBS' Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party a three-hour, branded programming block will premiere on 16 September 2006 with six series comprised of animated properties and two new live-action shows.

From animated adventures and dance-mania to a pair of do-it-yourself innovators, the slate includes three new series - Horseland, Kooky Kitchen and Littlest Pet Shop, as well as Sabrina: The Animated Series, Trollz and Madeline. DIC is also in pre-production on two new, live-action, reality-based series Cake and Dance, Dance, Dance!. The shows are targetted at children ages 6 through 12.

All the above mentioned shows will broadcast 26 episodes per year, compared to the previous scheduling pattern which averaged 12 episodes per season, providing viewers with more original programming. To ensure that the programming meets FCC regulations, each of the series is being created under the specific educational supervision of Donald F.
Roberts, PhD., a Stanford professor of communications and children's media expert, and Gordon Berry, EdD. who is the chief consultant for the CBS Television Network's programmes created for children.

Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party will also feature unique animated and live-action interstitials threaded throughout the morning block to promote healthy eating and balanced, active lifestyles for kids. The messages, which will promote nutritious eating habits, will be created in consultation with Baylor College of Medicine's Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC), an institute devoted to pediatric nutrition studies.

Dance, Dance, Dance! is designed to teach contestants a variety of styles of dance, the cultural inspiration for the various dance styles and encourage home viewers to get up out of their seats to dance along. A pop music act will also perform a fresh new song each week.

Horseland featuring CGI and traditional animation, is set in a stable, where kids and their horses compete and have adventures, and the horses and other animals can talk to each other -- about the humans. Each episode features themes that deal with issues such as compassion, honesty and cooperation - both human and equine.

Kooky Kitchen is an animated comedy action series that brings the ultimate cooking adventure for kids. From a magical secret kitchen hidden beneath a famous restaurant, a chef takes his special guests on culinary trips around the world through the Magic Recipe book to find the necessary ingredients for his masterful creations.

Littlest Pet Shop revolves around tiny pets that help their adolescent owner explore big issues through their parallel life experiences in the fantasy world of Petopia. Jasmine Valentine is a typical 12 year old girl dealing with the same kinds of problems that challenge adolescent girls everywhere. Jasmine does have one distinct advantage when it comes to coping with the daily dramas: her extraordinary group of feathered, furry and finned little friends that occupy her bedroom. As the pets work through their relationships and challenges in magical Petopia, Jasmine comes to understand her own situations better.

DIC Entertainment chairman, CEO Andy Heyward said, "As a children's entertainment producer for over 25 years in the industry, the launch of the CBS' Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party offers a tremendous opportunity to apply our experience in producing and distributing quality kids' series to programming a rich schedule that we believe offers an unprecedented viewing experience".

Sabrina: The Animated Series is a companion to the show Sabrina: The Teenage Witch. It follows Sabrina Spellman, a 12-year-old with a big heart and an even bigger secret: she's half mortal and half witch! While her lessons in
how to be a good witch are demanding, they pale in comparison to what she must learn to be a good person and that human attributes such as loyalty, honesty, tolerance and perseverance are the true lessons to learn.

Madeline is based on Ludwig Bemelmans' classic books. The protagonist is a clever little red-headed girl whose capricious antics have won the hearts of children, parents and educators everywhere. The show is narrated in rhyme by actor Christopher Plummer.

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