Nelvana and Paramount Home Entertainment International ink multi-territory deal for The Backyardigans
(Toronto, Canada)—Nelvana is pleased to announce that it has finalized an agreement with Paramount Home Entertainment International for the video release of The Backyardigans in the U.K., Latin America, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Scandinavia. Paramount Home Entertainment distributes the title on behalf of Nickelodeon in the United States and for Nelvana in Canada based on a previous agreement. Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products, which manages international licensing for The Backyardigans outside of Canada, is preparing to launch consumer product programs in key markets around the world that will complement the release of the home entertainment titles.
“This agreement is consistent with Nelvana Home Entertainment’s long-term strategy to secure more multi-territory deals,” said Peter Maule, VP Home Entertainment and Retail Distribution, Nelvana. “The Backyardigans is a cornerstone property for Nelvana and Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products. We believe that Paramount’s incredible distribution network, combined with its sales and marketing prowess—as well Nickelodeon’s strong merchandising efforts—will ensure the successful launch of The Backyardigans as a consumer products franchise.”
“Nelvana is an ideal partner for us because the company has a proven track record of creating programs that entertain children around the world,” said Pauline Fischer, Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions, Paramount Home Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to working closely with them to release The Backyardigans in these key territories.”
In every episode of The Backyardigans, five high-spirited neighbors meet in their adjoining backyards and use their imaginations to transform themselves into different locations for epic adventures. The Backyardigans are: Pablo, an energetic, enthusiastic and excitable penguin; Pablo’s best friend Tyrone, an easy-going, confident young moose; Uniqua, a one-of-a-kind character with an adventurous nature; Tasha, a deceptively sweet and girlish hippo; and Austin, a resourceful and shy kangaroo.
The Backyardigans was created by Janice Burgess, who joined Nick Jr. in 1995 as a production executive for the award-winning series Blue’s Clues and Little Bill. Burgess also serves as Executive Producer. Robert Scull is Executive Producer and Supervising Director, and Jonny Belt is Co-Executive Producer and Supervising Creative Director. Scull and Belt also teamed up for Little Bill and Whoopi’s Littleburg, both on Nick Jr. The Backyardigans original music is composed by accomplished musician Evan Lurie, one of the original members of the eclectic musical group “The Lounge Lizards.” Each of The Backyardigans animated dance steps are choreographed by Beth Bogush, a former director of the Alvin Ailey Dance School’s children’s program in New York and performed by real dancers whose movements are then recreated in animation. The show’s rich animation style features lush, fantasy backgrounds created with CGI and 3D techniques. The Backyardigans is a co-production with Nick Jr. and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana.
Nelvana Limited is one of the world’s leading international producers and distributors of children’s programming and products. Its current stable of franchise properties includes Emmy Award®-winning and globally renowned brands such as Rolie Polie Olie, Babar, Franklin and Beyblade. Nelvana is owned by Corus Entertainment, a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in both specialty TV and Radio. The company’s other interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.NV.B) and New York (CJR) Exchanges.
About Nick Jr.
Nick Jr. is especially designed for, and completely dedicated to, preschoolers ages two to 5. Nick Jr.’s Emmy, Peabody and Parents’ Choice Award-winning programs are curriculum based and fun. At Nick Jr., kids play to learn with innovative, original shows created just for them.
Nickelodeon, the world’s only multimedia entertainment brand dedicated exclusively to kids, which first launched in the US in 1979, consists of 28 channels, 21 branded programme blocks, and 2 broadband services across Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim, CIS/Baltic Republics, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Nickelodeon’s international TV services also include digital channels in the UK, Australia, Holland, Mexico and US such as Noggin, The N, Nicktoons, GAS, Nick Replay, Nick Jr. and Nick Too. The company’s portfolio of international businesses also includes 26 country-specific web sites, Nickelodeon Movies, and global licensing and merchandising of consumer products featuring Nickelodeon’s programme franchises, including Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants.
About Paramount Home Entertainment International: Paramount Home Entertainment International is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc., one of the world’s largest entertainment and media companies, and a leader in the production, promotion, and distribution of entertainment, news, sports, and music.