--First-Ever Animated Primetime Series for PBS to Launch in Summer 2008--
--TV Series Titling Contest Open to Fans--
PBS Press Tour; Beverly Hills, CA; July 11, 2007 - Start your engines! PBS is bringing Tom and Ray Magliozzi, of CAR TALK, to TV. Based on the hit NPR radio show, the as-yet-untitled animated sitcom will launch with ten 30-minute episodes targeted for summer 2008. Fans will be invited to submit title suggestions for the television show.
The fast-paced series will take off where the radio series ends, focusing on the adventures of Click and Clack and their crew of mechanics and co-workers. Based largely in Tom and Ray's fictional garage, the show will focus on the "off-air" escapades of Tom and Ray Magliozzi ("known to their listeners as Click and Clack," the Tappet brothers) as they try to fix cars, fend off disgruntled customers and seek out ways to do less and less work.
"We want to apologize in advance to Jim Lehrer, Bill Moyers, the folks at FRONTLINE, NOVA and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE for the damage we are about to do to your network's reputation," said Tom and Ray Magliozzi, who will provide the voices for their own animated characters. "Oh, and Big Bird, too. Sorry, pal."
"Tom and Ray are larger than life characters, and the only way to keep them larger than life, and not diminish them on TV, is through animation," said creator and executive producer Howard K. Grossman. "We've brought on a world-class animation team, and I'm confident the series will rank among the best anywhere."
"Unlikely!" said Tom.
"We're looking forward to bringing Tom and Ray to television, with new characters and stories that capture the humor of the radio series and take it even further," said John Boland, PBS chief content officer. "Through animation and fresh content, we anticipate the show will be a hit among current fans of the radio show and new audiences. PBS has long been a leader in creating animated, educational programming for children, but, with CAR TALK, we will present our first primetime animated series for a general audience."
The animated series takes place at Car Talk Plaza, a fictional building which houses their radio studio and their famed garage in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in Harvard Square. Along with "Click and Clack," the cast of characters includes:
- Fidel -- A mechanic with a cleanliness obsession, who insists on wearing Armani suits while working on cars. He can sense car problems through smell and touch.
- Crusty -- A former Harvard professor who was tossed out of the nearby academic institution and now turns a wrench, while thinking deep thoughts, for Tom and Ray.
- Sal (short for Sally) -- The veteran Bostonian garage receptionist who handles insiders and outsiders with the same lack of etiquette.
- Beth -- Their young, eager radio producer who desperately wants to improve their show and make it more professional to please the network higher ups.
In conjunction with the series, an innovative partnership brokered by executive producer Howard K. Grossman with The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), whose membership includes all state motor vehicle agencies (DMVs) in the United States and Canada, will feature a public safety campaign, with the cartoon versions of Tom and Ray dispensing safe driving tips and other useful information to drivers renewing their licenses in person at participating state DMVs, and online, as well as other educational materials.
The titling contest will be announced on the CAR TALK radio program and will allow listeners to submit their own suggestions for the television program title. More details regarding the titling contest will be available soon.
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CONTACT: Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703/739-5129; firstname.lastname@example.org