American Animators: Your Tax Dollars at Work Putting You Out of Work


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Posted by Bob on October 16, 1999 at 11:18:29:

To American animators:

Did you know your federal tax money is paying a Canadian studio for six animated series to be shown on PBS? Take a look at this press release (which can also be accessed at the URL posted below).


Canada NewsWire


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NELVANA LIMITED

Canadian Quotes from Telenium
NTV. (TSE) NTV. (ME)

Attention Business/Entertainment Editors:

Nelvana announces U.S. $40 million multi-year agreement with PBS to produce six
book-based series for first ever Saturday morning kids' block


PBS commits to order a minimum of two daily strips from Saturday morning
block

TORONTO, Aug. 3 /CNW/ - NELVANA Limited (``NELVANA'') (TSE and ME: NTV)
today announced a multi-year agreement with the Public Broadcasting Service
(PBS) to produce the network's first ever Saturday morning children's
programming block.
Through this strategic relationship, Nelvana will produce and deliver six
book-based children's series for the U.S. public network's Fall 2000 program
season. As part of the agreement, PBS is committed to commission for
subsequent seasons a minimum two of the six series as daily strips (40
episodes) for its weekday PBS KIDS Ready-to-Learn Service. The production
commitment for the Saturday morning block and the two stripped series totals
approximately U.S. $40 million.
``We are thrilled to be partnering with PBS on this exciting literary
slate,'' remarked Michael Hirsh, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Nelvana
Limited. ``The agreement is consistent with Nelvana's continuing strategy of
broadening its distribution partners and building strong character brands with
sustainable merchandising and ancillary revenue potential.''
Nelvana will serve as merchandise licensing agent for at least four of
the six character brands generated from these series and will have significant
merchandise licensing participation in the other two character brands.
The PBS/Nelvana programming block continues Nelvana's tradition of
partnering with the world's leading children's authors to bring high-quality
children's properties to life in television, video and merchandising mediums.
The Saturday morning children's block will include six series, all based on
best-selling children's books, including: Maurice Sendak's Seven Little
Monsters; William Joyce's George Shrinks; Rosemary Wells' Timothy Goes To
School; Don Freeman's Corduroy Bear; Michael and Betty Paraskevas' Junior
Kroll and Andrea Beck's Elliot Moose. Series descriptions and author
biographies are attached.
PBS has a strong and successful roster of well-known educational
properties such as `Sesame Street', `Barney' and `Teletubbies'. The network
has a penetration rate of 99 percent of all U.S. TV households and a
substantial preschool viewership across the United States with its PBS KIDS
Ready-to-Learn Service.
``Maurice Sendak, William Joyce and Rosemary Wells are among the most
important literary figures writing today. We are proud to bring these and many
prominent authors to PBS. PBS is a valuable and proven launch pad for the
introduction of quality characters,'' said Toper Taylor, President of
Nelvana's U.S. operations.
Nelvana's commitment to produce and deliver the PBS programming slate is
subject to obtaining adequate financing for the slate by December 31, 1999.
The Company intends to finance the new series through a combination U.S.
corporate sponsors, co-production partners, Canadian and international program
sales, as well as industry incentives. Nelvana believes the programming block
represents a highly attractive package for corporate sponsors who are eager to
reach the growing preschool market.
``PBS KIDS is on the move with more top-quality, original children's
programming in a new time slot,'' said John F. Wilson, Senior Vice President,
Programming Services, PBS. ``The six series - based on respected books that
have earned a place in the hearts and minds of parents and children alike -
are intended as a Saturday morning block for PBS member stations. We're
delighted to partner with Nelvana on this exciting new project.''
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media
enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations.
A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television,
the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through
quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight.
Nelvana is an integrated family entertainment company, focused on
building, acquiring and managing quality classic and contemporary character
brands for television and feature film production, distribution, merchandising
and publishing. Based in Toronto, the Company's production facilities are
among the largest in Canada. Sales offices are located in Los Angeles, London,
Paris, Tokyo and Shannon, Ireland. Nelvana's family of popular properties
includes such well-known characters as: Franklin, Little Bear, Babar, Rolie
Polie Olie, Rupert and Donkey Kong. Nelvana's common shares trade on the
Toronto and Montreal stock exchanges, under the trading symbol ``NTV''.

PBS/NELVANA SATURDAY MORNING KIDS' BLOCK SERIES SYNOPSES

Maurice Sendak's SEVEN LITTLE MONSTERS

About the series:
Based on Maurice Sendak's picture book, SEVEN LITTLE MONSTERS is an
animated preschool series starring an ensemble of seven richly-drawn
characters with only one thing in common - their height. At 10 feet, that's
where the similarity ends. Each little monster is imbued with a special and
distinct gift or quality that children can learn from. Each show spotlights a
different monster, learning social skills, problem solving and emotional
well-being in an entertaining, educational and off-beat fable.

About the author:
Maurice Sendak is one of the most important children's book
author/illustrators of the 20th Century. The creator and illustrator of many
celebrated and award-winning children's books, he is the author and
illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are, one of the top-selling children's
books of all time. Sendak is also the co-creator and co-executive producer of
Nelvana's ``Little Bear,'' the top-rated animated pre-school show on Nick Jr.
which airs three times a day (Mon- Fri). ``Little Bear'' attracts 13.3 million
viewers weekly (4.3million. kids 2-5) and consistently ranks in the top 10
regularly scheduled children's programs.

William Joyce's GEORGE SHRINKS

About the series:
Created by the award-winning and best-selling author/illustrator, William
Joyce, GEORGE SHRINKS is an animated preschool series that celebrates the
power of being small. George Shrinks may only be three inches tall, but that's
not a problem. He never sweats the ``small'' stuff. Taking out the garbage,
doing the dishes, taking a bath -- these and other tasks and activities
present a new set of challenges for George in his very big world.

About the author:
William Joyce is the award-winning author/illustrator of such
best-selling children's books as Santa Calls, Dinosaur Bob and The Leaf Men.
Hailed by Newsweek as one of the top 100 people to watch in the new
millennium, his distinct and striking drawings and imaginative story telling
are a hit with both children and parents. As the creator of Nelvana's ``Rolie
Polie Olie,'' Joyce has vibrantly designed the world's first computer
generated animation TV series for preschoolers. The Daytime Emmy
Award-nominated production airs on the Disney Channel and ranks among the top
children's programs on the service.

Rosemary Wells' TIMOTHY GOES TO SCHOOL

About the series:
Based on the popular books by author/illustrator Rosemary Wells, this new
animated preschool series chronicles the adventures and dilemmas of Timothy, a
bashful five year old who is discovering his place in the world. His
adventures and friendships help young children to learn the importance of
cooperation, teamwork, perseverance, loyalty, and most of all, self
confidence.

About the author:
Rosemary Wells is one of America's most important and prominent
author/illustrators. She has crafted the words and pictures of more than 50
books for children, including Shy Charles, Noisy Nora and the popular Max and
Ruby series. Wells' work has been translated into more than 20 languages,
generating book sales of more than 10 million in the U.S. alone. Her keen
understanding of a children is the hallmark of her story telling. By engaging
young readers on their own level and timing, Wells connects and creates a safe
place for kids to learn, grow and feel good about themselves and their special
world.

Betty and Michael Paraskevas's JUNIOR KROLL AND COMPANY

About the series:
Created by the talented and popular mother/son team of author Betty
Paraskevas and illustrator Michael Paraskevas, JUNIOR KROLL AND COMPANY is a
series about the kid in all of us. Junior is a cool cookie - sure of himself
and his surroundings. Junior entertainingly teaches young children how to
solve the unique problems of their age group and recognize their
accomplishments.

About the authors:
Betty and Michael Paraskevas are the mother and son duo behind Monster
Beach, The Tangerine Bear and 15 other well-read books for young children The
talented team joins Nelvana's growing production slate in 1999 as the
co-creators of Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, based on characters from their
first book adventure, The Ferocious Beast.

Andrea Beck's ELLIOT MOOSE

About the series:
Elliot Moose, the star of Andrea Beck's recently published Elliot's
Emergency, is on the loose. This series combines live action, puppetry and
animation in a colorful and easy to understand format that holds the attention
of young viewers. The completed production is jam packed with fun and action,
all served up by a cast of characters who play, sing, tell stories and teach
the early and valuable lessons of life. In a place they call ``The Big
House''. It is here where toys come to life from the pages of Beck's first
children's book, and one of the book-based properties emerging from Nelvana's
acquisition of Kids Can Press.

About the author:
Andrea Beck is an artist, illustrator, toy designer, mother and most
recently, a published author of children's literature. After graduating from
the Ontario College of Art, she founded a toy company that designed and
manufactured a line of plush toys, including a moose she would later name
Elliot and feature as a children's book character.

Don Freeman's CORDUROY BEAR

About the series:
Based on two of the best-selling and most beloved children's books of all
time Corduroy, and its sequel A Pocket for Corduroy by author/illustrator Don
Freeman, CORDUROY BEAR is a new animated series that enters the world from the
point of view of an urban child - a world full of sights, sounds, smells,
tastes and tactile sensations; an urban world teeming with unexpected
discoveries and adventures. CORDUROY is the first urban bear in classic
literature. Instead of living in a forest, Corduroy lives in a big, bustling,
vibrant city - one where diverse peoples and cultures weave together into a
very contemporary community.

About the author:
Don Freeman was born in San Diego, California, and moved to New York City
to study art, making his living as a jazz trumpeter. With the loss of his
trumpet on a subway train, Mr. Freeman turned his talents to art full-time. In
the 1940s he began writing and illustrating children's books; his many popular
titles include Beady Bear, Dandelion, Mop Top, Norman the Doorman, and his
follow-up to Corduroy, A Pocket For Corduroy. At the time of his death in
1978, the Los Angeles Times wrote: ``Ingenuousness and humor, theatricality
and commonality, humanity and beauty; these elements survive in his picture
books.''


-30-

For further information: Michael Hirsh, Co-Chief Executive Officer,
(416) 588-5571, x201; Margo Raport, Director, Communications, (416) 588-5571,
x249; Sally Moyer Kent, Senior VP Finance and CFO, (416) 588-5571, x103

NELVANA LIMITED has 43 releases in this database.

General Inquiries - cnw@newswire.ca
Technical Issues - webmaster@newswire.ca
1999 Canada NewsWire, all rights reserved





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