Summer camp will get a Survivor twist when Canadian broadcaster TELETOON debuts the new animated series Total Drama Island on Sunday, July 8 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Created by Fresh TV’s Jennifer Pertsch and Tom McGillis, the half-hour comedy is being promoted as the first animated reality show for tweens and will kick off with a special hour-long premiere presentation before settling into its regular 8:30 p.m. time slot on Thursdays.
Total Drama Island takes place at a remote summer camp in Northern Ontario where a group of teenagers is forced to endure a summer of leaky cabins, crappy food and increasingly insane challenges. Only one camper can win and the rest will walk the dreaded Dock of Shame.
‘We discovered that tweens have a definite preference for reality shows that test people’s physical and psychological endurance,’ says McGillis, who serves as exec producer on the series. ‘Tweens prefer to leave the politicking to the adults and would rather laugh at the nasty characters who don’t play fair. Based on these findings, Total Drama Island is packed with incredible challenges that could only happen in an animated series and mercilessly mocks characters who scheme and backstab.’
The animated show is being handled like an actual primetime reality contest in that the writers, artists and actors are not allowed to divulge information regarding which character ends up winning the competition during the season finale. ‘Our goal is to keep the audience guessing, just like on any other reality show,’ Pertsch explains.
Fresh TV teamed with Xenophile Media to create Total Drama Island ‘Totally Interactive!, an immersive web experience that extends to mobile phones. The website will feature customized avatars, 26 unique games matched to individual episodes of the TV series and a weekly email tabloid magazine tailored to each player. Totally Interactive! Will launch June 23 at www.teletoon.com/tdi.
Toronto-based Fresh TV Inc. previously produced the award-winning animated series 6TEEN, which has aired on TELETOON in Canada and other outlets around the world. In addition to producing its own slate of original series, the studio offers the production services of Elliott Animation, which has worked on such renowned series as Sitting Ducks and Erky Perky.