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IT'S A BIG, BIG WORLD IS COMING TO PBS KIDS®

"Shadowmation" technology lifts PBS KIDS to new heights


Alexandria, VA, April 12, 2005 - Mitchell Kriegman and PBS announced today that PBS KIDS has committed to airing 40 half-hour episodes of It's a Big, Big World, which is currently in pre-production and scheduled to launch weekdays on PBS KIDS in January, 2006.

It's a Big, Big World is an innovative new preschool science series from creator and executive producer, Mitchell Kriegman (creator of Bear in the Big Blue House, Clarissa Explains It All), that will offer parents and kids new ways to think and talk about the world. Produced in "Shadowmation," a patented technique combining puppet animatronics with computer generated animation, the television series will feature a diverse group of animal characters - an energetic sloth, a brother and sister monkey, an ancient she-turtle, a bird who thinks she knows it all, an overwhelmed anteater, a braggart fish, an eager to please singing tree frog, an old monkey trickster and more - brought to vibrant life in a lush jungle setting. With a unique curriculum that brings science and geography to preschoolers, It's a Big, Big World presents science not just as a series of facts, but as an exciting process of discovery.

"I love working with PBS KIDS and look forward to offering their audience a great new series," says Kriegman. "Parents and kids today need positive ways to talk about the world, and kids need to be turned onto science early. They want to learn about and investigate the world around them at that early age. PBS KIDS is the perfect place to create the next ground-breaking new signature series that addresses these needs by speaking to kids with characters and stories they'll love and relate to."

"It's a Big, Big World is a great addition to the PBS KIDS line-up," said John F. Wilson, senior vice president, programming, PBS. "The series' ability to educate and entertain kids in a fresh, modern-day format is a terrific way to keep our youngest viewers learning and challenged."

The design of It's a Big, Big World will place special emphasis on the beautiful richness of the jungle environment, where this cast of animal characters live and play together in the biggest tree in the world - all in 3D. The physical warmth and realistic design of the characters will tap into the fascination children have with animals in a playful yet scientific way.

In addition to the broadcast series, a national family and community outreach campaign will extend the educational lessons of the series, including customized activities and support materials designed for parents and children. As well, an immersive, state-of-the-art Web site on pbskids.org will supplement series goals and awareness.

About "Shadowmation"
"Shadowmation" is a unique, patented animated process that utilizes real time virtual sets and bun raku style team puppetry, integrating live action animatronic characters and computer generated animation in real time, high definition virtual environments. This process combines all the advantages of animatronics, the expressiveness of live performance, and the freedom and range of computer animation. It has a distinctive and compelling immersive visual quality.

Mitchell Kriegman
As the creator of shows such as Clarissa Explains It All, Bear in the Big Blue House and Book of Pooh, a former writer for Saturday Night Live, and an executive head writer and developer of numerous other signature television series including Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, Doug, and the feature film Elmo in Grouchland, among other properties, Mitchell Kriegman is committed to developing innovative content for kids and their parents. Among his many honors, he has received numerous Emmys and Parents Choice awards for his work in children's programming and his production company is at the forefront of creating new production techniques that improve the economics of film and television production while serving the creative content, It's a Big, Big World will be produced at Wainscott Studios, a state-of-the-art animation and production facility in Wainscott, New York.

About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS is committed to providing the highest quality commercial-free content and learning environment for children across the country. Providing age-appropriate, diverse programming for kids, PBS KIDS' programs consistently earn more prestigious awards than any other broadcast or cable network. Only PBS KIDS has earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. With additional PBS resources to complement its programming, including PBS KIDS online (pbskids.org), PBS Parents (pbsparents.org), PBS TeacherSource, PBS Ready To Learn services and literacy events across the country, PBS KIDS is providing the tools necessary for positive child development. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 348 public television stations, serving nearly 90 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.


-PBS-


CONTACT:

Jill Corderman/PBS KIDS, 703.739.5788/703.582.1517, jcorderman@pbs.org


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