BBC’s Children’s Channel CBeebies has announced several new shows that put the spotlight on female characters and voices:
A co-commission with BBC Learning, Melody (20×7-minute) is a mixed-media show designed to introduce pre-school children to a wonderful variety of classical music through stories and delightful, colourful animation. Melody is a partially sighted girl with an incredible imagination. In each episode she discovers a piece of classical music and, as she does so, she visualizes wonderful stories and characters conjured up by the mood of the music – everything from trumpeting elephants to lonely snowmen. As she hears the story and the music together, the audience joins her on a fantastic journey from real life into the amazing, animated images dancing in her mind. Created by Luke Howard, the series is produced by Wish Films and LAAH Entertainment with support from the RNIB. Exec producers are Michael Towner (CBeebies), Katy Jones (BBC Learning) and the series producer is Will Brenton (Wish Films/LAAH Entertainment). Melody will air on CBeebies later this year.
Minibeast Adventure – With Jess (20×9-minute) brings 20 amazing creatures into the living rooms of the CBeebies audience as zoologist Jess French encourages viewers to explore their local environment and get close to the minibeasts that live in the gardens, parks and windowboxes around them. In each episode, viewers visit Jess’s treehouse where she introduces them to her minibeast of the day. From there she sets out on a Minibeast Adventure with children to try and find that day’s animal or insect. The show is produced by Kindle Entertainment for transmission on CBeebies in 2014. Exec producers are Michael Towner for CBeebies and Anne Brogan for Kindle.
Woolly and Tig (5×10-minute) will be on the air later this year with a series of special episodes as Tig heads off for some new adventures accompanied by her toy spider Woolly. The new episodes focus on festivals and special occasions that most children will encounter such as Halloween, Hogmanay and Harvest Festival and will help children explore their feelings when faced with new experiences. Series is produced by tattiemoon; exec producers are Michael Towner (CBeebies) and Brian Jameson (tattiemoon).
The new online brand Tee and Mo is a pre-school 2D-animated series of digital, interactive experiences for young children and their parents/caregivers to play together, which launched its first two games in July. Tee And Mo comprises of 10 narrative-led desktop and mobile games accompanied by a series of one-minute shorts that will be rolled out across August to October on CBeebies. Narrated by Lauren Laverne, the series revolves around the daily adventures of an adorable and unstoppable baby monkey, Tee, and his first-time mum, Mo. The show was created by by Dominic Minns (Plug-in Media) and the executive producers are Catherine McAllister (CBeebies) and Juliet Tzabar (Plug-in Media).
Kay Benbow, Controller of CBeebies, said: “I’ve made no secret of the fact I’ve been looking for more female leads on the channel, so I’m delighted that we can announce such a strong line-up of new and established female talent and characters. Melody is a charming new series which I hope will inspire a love of music in our young audience, in Minibeast Adventure, new presenter Jess French will demonstrate that there are many extraordinary and beautiful creatures living right on our doorstep. It’s great to welcome the talents of Lauren Laverne to CBeebies in Tee And Mo and lovely to have Tig back in some longer episodes.”