Turner Broadcasting to launch UK Preschool Channel Cartoonito across Europe, Middle East & Africa


Turner Broadcasting has announced it will rollout its UK preschool channel Cartoonito across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, increasing the brand’s distribution to 125 million homes in 112 territories.

Cartoonito launched in the UK in May 2007 and since its debut has become the UK’s most widely distributed pay TV preschool channel, airing a raft of popular preschool programming including Fireman Sam, Baby Looney Tunes and the Care Bears.

Cartoonito will roll out across a number of EMEA territories as a branded block on Boomerang in September of this year, and is set to become an exciting new destination for preschoolers aged three to six and their parents.  In Turkey and the Middle East, the Cartoonito block will broadcast on Cartoon Network.

Launching with a slate of strong and varied content, Turner Broadcasting has picked up the new series of Bananas in Pyjamas as one of its flagship debut shows.  Produced by Southern Star Entertainment/Southern Star Singapore (a division of Endemol Group) in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the well-known series has a much-loved heritage and a quirky feel that will fit aptly with the channel’s vibrant and imaginative brand attributes.  Bananas in Pyjamas is one of a number of high profile deal signings by the broadcaster.

Also forming part of the debut line up will be Jelly Jamm, an exciting new 3D animated series, co-produced by Spanish indies Vodka Capital, 737 Shaker and RTVE (Radio Television Española).  A number of additional pan-EMEA preschool series are expected to be unveiled for 2012 in the coming months.

Turner Broadcasting’s consolidated expansion into preschool signals an exciting new phase for its kids’ channels portfolio, with Cartoonito providing a stepping stone for preschoolers to its well-known Boomerang and Cartoon Network brands.

Michael Carrington, Chief Content Officer, Turner Broadcasting said: “We’re incredibly excited to be making such a big splash in the preschool market, with a full scale rollout of Cartoonito across EMEA.  Whilst Controller of CBeebies, I’d always admired Cartoonito from afar, and having the opportunity to extend this wonderful preschool brand across EMEA was one I couldn’t resist.  Building on the success of the UK channel, and with two fantastic launch shows at the helm – Bananas in Pyjamas and Jelly Jamm – Cartoonito is set to delight audiences across EMEA as a hub of fun, funny and imaginative entertainment for preschoolers and their parents.”

The Cartoonito block will be a clearly signposted place where preschoolers and their parents can watch some of the best preschool content currently available, made up of flagship programming airing in all territories across EMEA and locally produced content.  The model will mirror that of Cartoonito in the UK, which has had success with locally produced content including Go and Be a Grown Up and Cartoonito Karaoke.

Also making the leap to Cartoonito across EMEA will be the Cartoonitos, the six cute animated character shapes which introduce shows in the continuity breaks, called Lolly, Bubble, Cuba, Spike, Ting and Ringo.  As the familiar faces of the channel, the Cartoonitos bring Cartoonito its unique and identifiable personality.

The internationally renowned pre-school series Bananas in Pyjamas is a colourful new CGI animated series.  New stories, new laughs and new songs will delight audiences everywhere as those loveable pyjama wearing bananas, B1 and B2, their adorable friends the Teddies and the ever mischievous Rat, romp their way through the magical world of Cuddlestown.  There are some new friends to meet too; Topsy the cheeky kangaroo, Charlie the inventive monkey, Pedro the carefree pig and Bernard, the wise old dog.

Cathy Payne, Chief Executive, Endemol Worldwide Distribution adds: ‘We are very excited that Bananas in Pyjamas will be one of the flagship launch series for Cartoonito in the EMEA.  The original series has been hugely popular around the world and now with the expansion of Cartoonito, the new animated series will entertain and delight children throughout these territories’

Jelly Jamm is a comedy series which celebrates music and friendship, and follows the adventures of five friends who live on a magical planet called Jammbo.  Bello and his friends Rita, Goomo, Mina and Ongo are the quintet of cute characters who, through their comedic adventures, learn to live in harmony with each other on the wonderful musical planet Jammbo.

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