Halifax, NS – 13 June 2014 – DHX Media, a leading independent creator, producer, distributor and licensor of children’s entertainment content today announced plans to produce 60 brand new Teletubbies episodes for CBeebies.
The new series will feature the same well-loved characters and styling but will be visually enhanced, bringing a refreshed and contemporary look and feel to the one of the world’s most well-known properties, which is still entertaining and engaging preschool audiences worldwide.
DHX Media has also engaged award-winning UK production company Darrall Macqueen. The two companies are pioneering an upgraded and updated version of the current show which will feature the iconic live action characters Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po on replica model sets. The episodes will be enhanced by CGI, reinvigorating the show for future generations.
Kay Benbow, Controller, CBeebies said: “Teletubbies is an enduringly popular series with our youngest viewers, although no new episodes have been made for over ten years. I think that now is the right time to create new episodes of this much-loved, iconic show for the current CBeebies audience. I’m sure they will engage with and delight in the activities of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laaand Po, in the same way that children and parents did when they first appeared on our screens. Darrall Macqueen are incredibly experienced and talented producers of top quality children’s programmes and early development and test shoots have persuaded me that CBeebies viewers are in for a wonderful treat.”
Steven DeNure, President and COO of DHX Media said: “Having acquired the rights to Teletubbies, one of the most significant and globally successful television properties, we are committed to developing the brand for today’s children. Kids’ entertainment of this calibre entertains generation after generation so we believe there is considerable demand for an enhanced, contemporary version. Darrall Macqueen is one of the UK’s most dynamic production companies and we believe the ideal partner to help visually refresh this landmark show.”
Maddy Darrall, Executive Producer at Darrall Macqueen said: “To work on the new evolution of Teletubbies is like being handed the television crown jewels. Teletubbies changed the landscape of children’s television and remains a much-loved pre-school series so our creative focus is on respecting the legacy and the heritage of the original and giving it a little creative scrub-up and technological sparkle to match the viewing expectations of a new generation.”
Global phenomenon Teletubbies launched in March 1997 and became one of the most successful global children’s brands of all time. It has reached over 1 billion children to date and the original episodes have aired in over 120 territories in 45 different languages. It was the very first western pre-school property to air on China’s CCTV reaching an audience of 300 million children. Its enduring resonance with children is further underscored by the brands postings on YouTube which garner almost 50 million views per month.
Multi award-winning, Teletubbies is currently shortlisted in a Radio Times and BFI poll to find the UK’s favourite children’s shows through the decades. It also won a major accolade this month, named as one of the Best Children’s TV Programmes of the last 50 years voted for by a panel of 100 international kids television experts. Winning in the ‘most risk-taking kids’ entertainment programme’ category at Prix Jeunesse International, the awards honoured the most outstanding, influential and daring children’s and youth TV programmes of the last 50 years.
Teletubbies is a children’s television series targeted at preschool viewers. It was produced from March 1997 to January 2001 by Ragdoll Productions and created by Ragdoll’s creative director Anne Wood CBE and Andrew Davenport, who wrote all episodes of the show. In September 2013, DHX Media acquired all rights to Teletubbies through its purchase of Ragdoll Worldwide, a joint venture between Ragdoll Productions and BBC Worldwide that owned, managed and exploited Ragdoll programming.
Multi award-winning, Teletubbies is designed to encourage young children to watch television creatively. Full of fun and exploration, it inspires confidence and curiosity and nurtures childhood development.
About DHX Media
DHX Media (www.dhxmedia.com) is a leader in the creation, production and marketing of family entertainment. DHX Media owns, markets and distributes over 10,000 episodes of entertainment programming worldwide and licenses its owned properties through its dedicated consumer products business. DHX Media is recognized for brands such as Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test, and the multi-award winning Degrassi franchise. DHX Media’s full-service international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group, (CPLG), represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands. DHX Media has offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Halifax, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich and Amsterdam and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
CBeebies is dedicated to delighting and surprising its pre-school audience and it remains the UK’s most watched and most loved channel for the under-sixes. Just under half of the target audience tune in every week (parents and carers with children aged 0-3 and four- to six-year-olds in digital homes) and our reach is over double that of our nearest competitor.
Our most popular shows include In the Night Garden, Something Special, Octonauts, Justin’s House, Mr Bloom’s Nursery and Tree Fu Tom together with new shows Swashbuckle and Old Jack’s Boat.
The CBeebies website is hugely popular with our young audience and their parents and helps extend the ‘learning through play’ philosophy. This summer, we also launched our first app – Cbeebies Playtime.
CBeebies was Freesat’s Channel of the Year 2012 and was previously crowned BAFTA’s Children’s Channel of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
About Darrall Macqueen
Darrall Macqueen is a triple Bafta award winning UK indie producing high-quality and innovative children’s and preschool entertainment for major broadcasters around the world.
Formed in 2000 by former Disney execs Maddy Darrall and Billy Macqueen, the company has a proven track record of devising and producing long-running children’s properties.
Recent successes include ‘Baby Jake’ (CBeebies) Pre-school Programme of the Year at the Broadcast Awards 2013 and Best Mixed Media Programme at the British Animation Awards 2014. The ‘Fly High and Huggy’ flash and mobile games for CBBC and CBeebies (launched April 2014) and CBeebies first Pre-School drama series with a narrative arc ‘Topsy and Tim’ (60 x 11 minutes), the huge TV and online ratings hit of winter 2013.