They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but one 40-year-old pooch has recently unearthed one. The children’s book and animated property Clifford the Big Red Dog is making some new friends among TV viewers with the new animated series, Clifford’s Puppy Days, and Entertainment Rights (ER) has secured U.K. merchandising, licensing and home entertainment rights.
Produced by Scholastic Ent., Clifford’s Puppy Days began airing on PBS Kids in the fall of 2003. The show will soon launch on The BBC’s Cbeebies, where Clifford the Big Red Dog has been a hit for many years.
ER has already established a successful U.K. licensing program for Clifford with key partners including Character Options, Ackroyds, Smith and Brooks, Egmont Magazines, Arla and Heinz. Scholastic has extended its license agreement with ER for an additional two-year term. ER will now be responsible for securing partners to develop product for the new brand extension. Video arm Right Entertainment will be planning the first home entertainment releases for Clifford’s Puppy Days in 2005.
Like Clifford The Big Red Dog, Clifford’s Puppy Days is based on Scholastic’s best-selling children’s books by Norman Bridwell and builds on pro-literacy and community-based lessons. The series takes place in a bustling urban setting that should provide plenty of fodder for Clifford-size adventures. Actor Henry Winkler will provide the voice of a city bird.
Additional funding for the series has been provided by a Ready To Learn cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Education through the Public Broadcasting Service, Public Television Viewers and PBS.