TORONTO — Little Tugboat, a new Canadian production company, has been formed to create original television programming for young audiences. Little Tugboat is owned and controlled by company President and Director Brenda Nietupski, who previously served as Director of Programming, Treehouse & Discovery Kids Canada at Corus Entertainment. Josh Selig, Founder and President of Little Airplane Productions, is Vice President and Director of Little Tugboat and has an interest in the company.
“Josh and I have similar perspectives on quality children’s programming,” said Nietupski, “Our goal with Little Tugboat is to create the highest quality children’s content while building strong creative alliances among the most talented companies and individuals we know.”
“I’m excited to be joining forces with my friend Brenda to launch our Little Tugboat,” said Selig. “Canada is the center of the universe when it comes to production and we look forward to Little Tugboat making some truly beautiful shows here, starting with ‘The Adventures of Napkin Man.’”
Little Tugboat will be working with industry leaders, Breakthrough Entertainment and Little Airplane, on their first project, “The Adventures of Napkin Man,” a live-action/animated series for preschoolers now in development with the CBC. The series is a CRTC co-venture between Breakthrough and Little Airplane created by Josh Selig and Tone Thyne. Little Tugboat will render animation services with the live-action elements of the pilot directed by J.J. Johnson of Sinking Ship Entertainment.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Little Tugboat on ‘The Adventures of Napkin Man,’” said Kim Wilson, Creative Head, CBC Children’s and Youth Programming. “Some of the industry’s top creative minds are not only part of this project but are the people we like to work with; people who really care about making a difference in the lives of children.”
“This is a wonderful project and wonderful group of companies,” said Ira Levy, President of Breakthrough Entertainment, “We look forward to this exciting new collaboration.”
“The Adventures of Napkin Man” tells the story of Mister Anthony, a preschool teacher who draws a superhero named “Napkin Man” for his students. Napkin Man comes to life in an animated world and helps young children better understand and manage their feelings. The curriculum for the series was created by Dr. Laura G. Brown (Ni Hao Kai Lan, The Wonder Pets.)
Steven DeNure will also sit on the Little Tugboat Board of Directors as an independent member. Steven is President and Chief Operating Officer of DHX Media. He serves on the board of the Canadian Film Centre as Vice Chair and is past Vice Chair of ACT the Alliance for Children’s Television (currently known as The Youth Media Alliance).