PBS KIDS Announces New Series SPLASH (w.t.) Will Premiere in Fall 2016
New Multiplatform Media Property Produced by The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Enterprises Encourages Kids to Explore Marine Biology and Ocean Science and Builds Social-Emotional Skills
Television Critics Association Press Tour, Pasadena, CA, January 19, 2016 – In fall 2016, PBS KIDS will premiere SPLASH (w.t.), a new animated series that dives into marine biology and ocean science. Created by John Tartaglia (“Imaginocean,” “Johnny and the Sprites”) and produced by The Jim Henson Company (DINOSAUR TRAIN, SID THE SCIENCE KID) and Herschend Enterprises (Dollywood, Harlem Globetrotters), SPLASH (w.t.) is designed to encourage kids ages 4-7 to explore the diversity and spectacle of our natural undersea world. The multiplatform media property will debut on PBS stations nationwide, along with integrated digital content.
“PBS KIDS offers high-quality media content to meet the needs of today’s kids, sparking their curiosity and excitement about learning,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Media, PBS. “While oceans cover the majority of the Earth’s surface, there is a profound lack of educational media for young children that explores the science of the fascinating world under the sea. SPLASH (w.t.) will introduce kids to the wonders of marine biology, building science skills and fostering an appreciation for the biodiversity that lives in our oceans.”
SPLASH (w.t.) follows the adventures of its title character, a yellow fusilier fish who has migrated all over the oceans before settling down with his family in Reeftown, where he befriends three inquisitive fellow sea creatures. Until Splash came along, Bubbles, Dunk, Ripple and most of the other Reeftown residents had no idea what lay beyond the cozy confines of their coral walls. Together, Splash and his friends explore the world’s oceans, where they meet wildly diverse marine animals and discover otherworldly undersea habitats, bringing back what they’ve learned to share with their neighbors.
Forty episodes of SPLASH (w.t.) will be produced, each including two 11-minute stories full of comedy and adventure. A production of The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Enterprises, the series is created by John Tartaglia and executive produced by Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford of The Jim Henson Company, Julie Phillips and Merrill Puckett-Miller of Herschend Enterprises, as well as John Tartaglia, Michael Shawn Lewis and Jill Shinderman. Tom Keniston is producer and David Skelly is supervising director. The Jim Henson Company oversees all distribution and merchandising for the property and Herschend Enterprises administers all themed entertainment rights.
“We are so proud to bring our newest show to PBS KIDS and introduce young audiences to meaningful ‘first friends’ we know they will love,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “Reeftown is a bustling ocean neighborhood, welcoming kids to get to know the incredible citizens of the sea. Through the adventures of Splash and his friends, we hope to inspire environmentalism by helping young children build confidence in their ability to make a difference. We also hope they develop empathy for all the creatures that share this planet with us.”
“The ocean is a fascinating and essential part of our world, yet most kids have a very limited understanding of what it is, what lives there and why it is so important to all of us,” said John Tartaglia, the series creator and the performer of the show’s title character. “SPLASH (w.t.) will engage and educate young viewers by presenting the novelty of the ‘strange-but-true’ world of the ocean with humor and music. Funny, character-driven songs will reinforce the show’s learning goals, helping kids build key skills as they sing along with their underwater friends.”
The characters, storylines and settings in SPLASH (w.t.) are grounded in a marine biology curriculum that focuses on themes of diversity, individuality, interconnectedness and the celebration of learning and discovery. Created in partnership with an advisory panel of top marine biologists, digital media innovators and preschool educators, the series will cover a variety of foundational concepts in biology that are relatable to the everyday lives of young children, such as home and habitat, as well as physical and behavioral traits and differences. SPLASH (w.t.) also introduces the concepts of ecological balance and the importance of taking care of our oceans.
The series will emphasize important social and emotional skills, as Splash and his friends learn about getting along in a community on the reef. SPLASH (w.t.) aims to help children discover the interconnectivity among all living creatures, the planet and the relationships human beings share with them. The series will help children and their families build an understanding of the diversity of life that exists under the sea and build compassion for that life. Viewers will also discover and celebrate the value of diversity overall, as Splash and his friends explore new habitats, make new friends and learn about all the different ways life looks and lives in the ocean. As Splash and his friends play and explore such topics as habitats and symbiotic relationships, viewers will discover these connections and appreciate their importance.
SPLASH (w.t.) will offer families a multiplatform media experience, including the on-air series, as well as interactive content online and on mobile. A variety of SPLASH (w.t.) games, hands-on activities and parent resources will be available online at pbskids.org, and mobile apps from the series will be offered. The series’ digital content, which will launch in fall 2016, will help inspire children’s curiosity and excitement about exploring the wonders of the sea.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.
About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for 60 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy®-nominated Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train, and Pajanimals, as well as the CG-animated preschool series Doozers and the upcoming Netflix series for young preschoolers Word Party. Features include Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, as well as The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and MirrorMask. Television productions include Fraggle Rock, the sci-fi cult series Farscape, Henson Alternative’s No, You Shut Up! currently airing on Fusion, and the recent TV film Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow.
With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. The Company is home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television, theme park and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand is currently touring Puppet-Up! – Uncensored, a live puppet improvisational show.
About Herschend Enterprises
Committed for more than half a century to Creating Memories Worth Repeating®, Herschend Enterprises is the largest family-owned attractions corporation in the U.S. Our team of more than 10,000 employees works daily to create wholesome, immersive entertainment experiences with soul and depth for every generation. With a focus on bringing families closer together, we create, develop and operate entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties spanning 26 locations in 9 states, attracting over 13 million people annually.
Today, our properties include the world famous HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS, award-winning theme parks like SILVER DOLLAR CITY in Branson, MO and DOLLYWOOD, our partnership with Dolly Parton in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, top tier aquariums – NEWPORT AQUARIUM and ADVENTURE AQUARIUM, water parks, hotels, and other highly entertaining standalone attractions. As of Summer 2015, guests can also experience genuine Southern hospitality and storytelling from Dolly’s front porch with a visit to DOLLYWOOD’S DREAMMORE RESORT. For more information, visit www.hfecorp.com.
Maria Vera, PBS; 703.739.3225; email@example.com
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