The World's Most Beloved Cat Will Whisk Preschoolers Off on a Voyage of Scientific Discovery for the First Time Ever as an Animated TV Series on PBS KIDS in Fall 2010
Award-Winning Actor Martin Short to Voice The Cat
Baltimore, MD (May 11, 2009) - Random House Children's Entertainment, in association with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and producers Portfolio Entertainment Inc. and Collingwood O'Hare Productions, have finalized an agreement with PBS KIDS to bring the iconic Cat in the Hat to television for the first time as an animated series. THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! will premiere on PBS KIDS in the fall of 2010. Award-winning actor Martin Short will voice The Cat in the Hat. The announcement is being made this week by Kate Klimo, Vice President, Random House Children's Entertainment, and by Linda Simensky, Vice President, Children's Programming, PBS at PBS Showcase, an annual member meeting held this year in Baltimore, Maryland.
Developed for television by Portfolio Entertainment and Collingwood O'Hare Productions, the animated preschool series is based on Random House's bestselling Beginner Book franchise, The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! is currently in production for 40 half-hour episodes for the first season.
THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! features six-year-old Sally and Nick, best friends and next door neighbors, who are transported on a magical journey to all corners of the globe to make natural science discoveries, with the Cat in the Hat as their guide. Along for the ride are the Cat's two energetic helpers, the mop-headed zany duo: Thing One and Thing Two.
Sally and Nick embark with the Cat in his one-of-a-kind custom vehicle, the Thinga-ma-jigger, a quintessentially Seussian contraption that can sprout wings, pontoons, booster rockets, skis;just about anything! In the Thinga-ma-jigger, they can journey down to the bottom of the sea to observe the giant sea worms, zip over to the rain forest to find out how many animals make their home in the great Kapok tree, or shrink down to the size of a bee to visit a hive and discover how honey is made.
"Research tells us that children are natural scientists who develop ideas and concepts about their world as they explore it," says Kate Klimo, Executive Director of Development for Random House Children's Entertainment and Vice President and Publisher of Random House Children's Books. "When it was published in 1957, Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat changed the way children learn to read and arguably improved the state of children's literacy in America. It is our belief that this same Cat can turn his charismatic skills to promoting science literacy, which is of vital importance to young people today."
"PBS's children's content creates a place where every child can explore and discover unlimited possibilities," said Linda Simensky, Vice President, Children's Programming, PBS. "THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! will not only nurture children's natural curiosity about science exploration and the world around them but also address a critical developmental area for children growing up in the technology-rich 21st century."
As the #1 educational media brand among parents, PBS KIDS content is designed to support a child's total well-being - cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically. With the addition of THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! alongside other popular children's series including SID THE SCIENCE KID, CURIOUS GEORGE and the soon-to-premiere DINOSAUR TRAIN, PBS is providing more opportunities for children to further develop an interest in and appreciation for science.
Audrey Geisel, President of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, says, "It pleases me to no end to see our incomparable Cat lead this new millennium of children on a rollicking field trip to learn about the vast wonders of nature. All aboard the Thinga-ma-jigger!"
"It is a privilege to be working with the Cat in the Hat. The Cat is a natural performer and he is making the transition from the page to the animated screen like a seasoned pro," said Lisa Olfman, Co-Founder and President, Portfolio Entertainment. "We are thrilled to be a part of the history and culture of such a tremendous creative property."
To further extend the TV series learning, an activity-filled Web site for kids will exist on pbskids.org, with additional parent and teacher resources available on PBS Parents (pbsparents.org) and PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org).
Random House Children's Books will publish a full line of original books to support the television series launch. Random House Children's Entertainment will oversee all licensing and merchandising. Additionally, a deal has been made for Canadian broadcast rights with Treehouse, the number one children's broadcaster in Canada, which will be premiering the show concurrently with PBS.
ABOUT RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
Random House Children's Entertainment, a division of Random House Children's Books, is dedicated to expanding the reach of children's stories beyond books to a variety of traditional and new media platforms. Drawing from the rich and varied library of books published by Random House, the company's mission is to create and produce quality projects for young people that will educate, enlighten, and entertain. Random House Children's Books is the world's largest English-language children's trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books and novels, the imprints of Random House Children's Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. Random House Children's Books is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG, a leading international media company.
ABOUT DR. SEUSS ENTERPRISES, L.P.
The primary focus of the Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. is to protect the integrity of the Dr. Seuss books while expanding beyond books into ancillary areas. This effort is a strategic part of the overall mission to nurture and safeguard the relationship consumers have with Dr. Seuss characters. Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) said he never wanted to license his characters to anyone who would "round out the edges." That is one of the guiding philosophies of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Audrey S. Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, heads Dr. Seuss Enterprises as President.
ABOUT PBS KIDS AND PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community outreach programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child's total well-being, PBS's children's media and family and educator resources - including PBS KIDS online (pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (pbsparents.org), PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org), PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month.
ABOUT PORTFOLIO ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Founded in 1991, Toronto-based Portfolio Entertainment is one of Canada's leading independent producers and distributors of award-winning television programs for kids, tweens, teens and adults. Founders Lisa Olfman and Joy Rosen's commitment to creative excellence, solid domestic and international relationships and have propelled their programs onto the world's most prestigious television networks. The partners have won numerous television industry awards internationally including the Canadian Women Entrepreneurs award they consistently rank in Profit Magazine's Top 100 Female Business Owners List. Portfolio's newest projects include: The Lumber Jacksons, an animated comedy where a single dad moves his two kids from the inner city to the Yukon to pursue his dream of being a lumber jack; HOOD, the animated adventure/comedy about a secret society of hoodie-clad super teens; and Chinatown Cops, the primetime animated comedy about two self-proclaimed super-cops who dish out their own brand of ginseng-justice on a nightly basis. Portfolio's completed projects such as the animated tween comedy Carl2 which follows the day-to-day antics of a teenage slacker and his too perfect DNA double, and RoboRoach, a series that elevates a lowly cockroach to super hero status, air globally. Portfolio Entertainment's distribution division has an ambitious, eclectic catalogue of over 2000 episodes of programming as well as access to some of the world's most established broadcasters and emerging new players. Portfolio Entertainment is located on the Web at www.portfolioentertainment.com
ABOUT COLLINGWOOD O'HARE PRODUCTIONS
Collingwood O'Hare Productions was established in 1988 by Tony Collingwood (Writer/Director) and Christopher O'Hare (MD/Producer). The company has earned a prestigious international reputation as a creator and producer of award-winning, high-quality animated series, specials and television features. In 2001, 2002 and 2004 Collingwood O'Hare won BAFTA Awards for Best Pre-School Animation for Animal Stories, Eddy & The Bear and Yoko! Jakamoko! Toto! Their most recent series for 7-12yr olds, The Secret Show, was a double BAFTA winner in 2007, scooping Best Animation and Best Interactive awards. COP's other production credits include their multi-award winning debut film Rarg, Emmy nominated Dr. Seuss' Daisy-Head Mayzie, BAFTA nominated series Dennis & Gnasher from The Beano and Harry & His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs; plus The Magic Key, Oscar's Orchestra, Pond Life, The King's Beard and Gordon the Garden Gnome.
Jill Corderman, PBS KIDS, 703.739.5788 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Judith Haut, Random House Children's Books, 212.782.8626 / email@example.com
Alison Grand, 212.584.1133 / firstname.lastname@example.org