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PBS Premieres New Episodes of 'Tots TV' and 'Teletubbies'.

A Banner Year for PBS, Ragdoll Productions (UK) Ltd. and

The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company

NEW YORK, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Directly following the tremendous launch of "Teletubbies" on PBS, "Tots TV", the multi-award winning children's series created by Anne Wood for Ragdoll Productions (UK) Ltd. and Carlton International Media Ltd., has joined PBS as a daily program effective this week, it was announced by The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company, marketers for the series in the Americas, "Tots TV" is the only bilingual children's series produced for preschoolers, with one of the Tots, Tilly, speaking only Spanish. PBS has purchased 25 new episodes of the series, now offering 65 episodes of "Tots TV" for its stations to run daily. "Tots TV" joins its sister show, "Teletubbies", also created by Ms. Wood and Andrew Davenport for Ragdoll Productions, as part of PBS's renowned Ready To Learn (RTL) Service. "Tots TV" and "Teletubbies" air weekdays on PBS (check local listings for details).

A two-time BAFTA award winner for best children's program and winner of the Banff TV Festival in Canada, "Tots TV" series focuses on the three lovable puppet Tots -- Tilly, Tom & Tiny -- best friends who live in a secret cottage in the woods with their friends Furryboo and Donkey. The Tots explore the world around them, and although children or adults never see them, often go on adventures in the real world. "Tots TV" premiered on PBS as a weekly program in October 1996.

PBS has also announced that they will be airing 15 new episodes of "Teletubbies" beginning this week. "Teletubbies", the groundbreaking children's television series that is the first show specifically designed for children aged from one year old, premiered on PBS's Ready To Learn Service on April 6, 1998 and has quickly grown to become one of the most popular shows in the PBS preschool block. The series currently airs in countries throughout the world and has become an international sensation.

"It has been a banner year for PBS children's programming," said John Wilson, vice president programming at PBS. "PBS has always taken pride in the fact that we are in the forefront of quality children's programming and the fact that 'Tots TV' will help us reach out even further to our bilingual community, continues to reinforce that commitment."

"To say we are thrilled to have 'Tots TV' join 'Teletubbies' as part of the PBS daily line-up would be an understatement," said Kenn Viselman, president & CEO of The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company. "The Ready To Learn Service on PBS is the crown jewel of pre-school television and the recognition of having these two excellent series on that schedule is like a dream come true."

Anne Wood said, "'Tots TV' has built up a special following across the USA and Canada. Tilly, Tom and Tiny will be very pleased to know children can now follow their adventures every day on PBS's Ready To Learn Service. 'Tots TV' has pioneered the use of two languages in television for preschoolers and its humor means that, even though their language maybe different children in many countries now count the Tots as their friends."

Ragdoll Productions was founded by acclaimed children's television program maker Anne Wood in 1984 with the motto: "Ragdoll Works For Children." Worldwide, Ragdoll-produced series for preschool aged children are shown in more than 60 countries, and in the UK are screened by the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Television Network. Titles include "Teletubbies", "Rosie and Jim", "Tots TV", "Brum and Open A Door", and recent awards include the Grand Prize at the 24th Japan Prize International Contest in Tokyo for an episode of "Teletubbies", and the award to Anne Wood of Fellowship of the Royal Television Society. The company is based in Stratford upon Avon, England.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 350 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week.

The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company was launched to offer creators of unique properties a strong, dedicated partnership for production, distribution, licensing and marketing. Founded in 1995 by Kenn Viselman, The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company is known for inspiring "Safehaven Entertainment(TM)" -- programming and products that maintain the highest levels of consideration for positive parenting while enhancing children's lives, allowing them to dream! The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company is a member company of North Coast Entertainment, a subsidiary of Handleman Company (NYSE: HDL).
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1998
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