LOS ANGELES (Sept. 11, 2006)–National Geographic Kids Entertainment (NGKE) and King Rollo Films have partnered with the BBC’s CBeebies to co-produce the original combined live-action/animated preschool series “Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies.” CBeebies will also contribute archival footage to complement the resources provided by National Geographic. The agreement was announced by Donna Friedman Meir, president, National Geographic Kids Entertainment.
The co-production deal gives CBeebies exclusive rights to broadcast the program in the United Kingdom and Eire and to license consumer products and home video in these territories. NGKE’s sister company, National Geographic Television International (NGTI), retains program sales and equivalent licensing/home video rights for all remaining worldwide territories. CBeebies will begin airing “Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies” in fall 2007. NGKE, NGTI and CBeebies plan to develop “Mama Mirabelle” into a multimedia franchise encompassing television, DVD/video, VOD, mobile phone and interactive online content.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with CBeebies, given their extraordinary legacy as a producer of outstanding children’s programming,” said Friedman Meir. “Their support for ‘Mama Mirabelle’ is a fantastic seal of approval for our first preschool series. There is a natural fit between the BBC and National Geographic brands, and we look forward to developing our relationship so that we can continue to bring such lovable characters and high-quality programming to U.K. and global audiences.”
“Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies” (26×30′ or 52×11′) features an inquisitive cast of baby animal characters, including regulars Bo the cheetah cub; Karla the zebra foal; Max the elephant calf; monkeys Pip, Flip and Chip; and their maternal elephant host, Mama Mirabelle. Each day the animals gather in the savannah to watch home videos of themselves and other amazing creatures of the natural world. Through lighthearted and heartwarming interaction, Mama helps the baby animals find answers to many of life’s questions from a preschooler’s perspective.
Leo Nielsen (“Wide Eye,” “Paz,” “Maisy”), of acclaimed U.K.-based animation house King Rollo Films, serves as director and producer. “Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies” is based on an original concept by Wild Brain animation studio and George Evelyn. The first episode will be available for viewing at MIPCOM at the National Geographic booth (#R29.41) and will be available to international broadcasters in early 2007. For additional information about the series, contact Karen Vermeulen, NGTI’s head of kids’ sales, at +44 20 7751 7559.
Based in Los Angeles, National Geographic Kids Entertainment (NGKE) is an independent production entity of National Geographic Television. Established in 2003, NGKE brings the renowned National Geographic brand to children’s entertainment through the development and production of quality animated and live-action, entertainment-driven programming that excites kids to explore their world. NGKE will work with all major broadcast outlets in the United States and abroad. For more information about National Geographic, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
National Geographic Television International (NGTI), formerly known as Explore International, is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Geographic Ventures, the commercial arm of the National Geographic Society. Based in London, NGTI currently licenses more than 1,200 program titles to broadcasters around the globe, across a diverse and ever-growing range of genres, including Natural History; Civilizations & History; Science; People & Places; Adventure; Current Affairs/Society; and Kids. In addition to licensing programs produced by National Geographic Television, NGTI also licenses programs made by some of the world’s leading independent producers.