Press Release: WILLIAM SHATNER LENDS ICONIC VOICE CLASSIC UK SPACE SERIES “CLANGERS”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEGENDARY ACTOR WILLIAM SHATNER LENDS ICONIC VOICE AND DISTINCT HUMOR
TO SPROUT’S BELOVED AND CLASSIC UK SPACE SERIES “CLANGERS”
Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award Winner to Launch Reinvented CLANGERS into the Stratosphere as Narrator in June 2015
Co-Production with Coolabi Group, Smallfilms and CBeebies
Pasadena, CA; January 15, 2015 – Sprout, the first 24 hour preschool network, today announced that pop culture legend William Shatner (“Star Trek”) will “captain” a new crew as narrator of original series, CLANGERS, a contemporary version of the BBC’s beloved British stop-animation television show from the 1960’s co-produced by Sprout, Coolabi Group, Smallfilms and CBeebies. The award-winning television and film star will help Sprout boldly go where no children’s network has gone before, bringing his distinct humor to a new audience as he comments on the extraordinary activities of the space-dwelling Clangers family in 52 new episodes of stop-frame animation. The series is scheduled to premiere on Sprout’s Sunny Side Up Show at 11 am on June 20th, 2015 and will also run nightly at 8 pm within The Good Night Show.
Shatner joins an exceptional transatlantic production and is in excellent company joining the recently announced UK narrator, the iconic actor, writer and presenter Michael Palin CBE (Monty Python).Palin takes up the mantle from the late Oliver Postgate, creator and narrator of the original series, who is often cited alongside original Clangers’ co-creator, Peter Firmin, as one of the founding fathers of UK animation.
The Clangers are a unique family of imaginary, pink, long-nosed creatures who live on a small blue planet in space. These inquisitive and adventurous creatures – who are very loving and supportive of each other and their friends – communicate through high-pitched Clanger whistles. The Clangers family – alongside a cast of many other peculiar creatures – create a warm and harmonious world of fun, imagination, exploration and invention.
“When we began working on Clangers, we knew that we needed to find a narrator for the show who could connect with multiple generations of parents and kids,” said Sprout President Sandy Wax. “William Shatner has a voice that is comfortable in outer space and captures the distinct charm of the show while bringing his own unique sensibility to the role.”
Shatner recently received NASA’s distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award NASA can give a non-government employee, for his outstanding generosity and dedication to inspiring a new generation of explorers. Shatner gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk of the starship USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek, Star Trek: The Animated Series and seven of the subsequent Star Trek feature films. He also memorably starred as Danny Crane in the television dramas The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal for which he won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In addition to his work on screen, Shatner has written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and a series of science fiction novels called TekWar, which was adapted for television.
CLANGERS will premiere on Sprout in June 2015. The new series, a co-production between Sprout, Coolabi Group, Smallfilms and CBeebies, is produced in stop motion animation by specialists Factory Create (Strange Hill High, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion), and award-winning puppet makers, Mackinnon and Saunders (Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, Mars Attacks).
Sprout is the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for children ages 2-6 and their parents and caregivers. Available in over 57 million homes with programming structured to follow the day of the child from morning to night, Sprout features original programming, including The Chica Show and Noodle and Doodle, a library of gold standard series, including Caillou and Sesame Street, and U.S. exclusives including Lazytown and Tree Fu Tom. Sprout’s hosted programming blocks, including The Sunny Side Up Show and The Good Night Show, serve as tools to guide parents as they help children prepare for their days and nights with activities, user generated content, stories, and more. Viewers are encouraged to submit artwork, birthday wishes, videos and more through SproutOnline.com, which has received over five million viewer interactions to-date. Sprout’s VOD offering is the #1 on demand service for younger children with over 1.8 billion views. Sprout was fully acquired by NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment in November 2013.
About Coolabi Group
Coolabi Group is a leading, independent, international media group and rights owner specialising in the creation, development and brand management of children’s and family intellectual property rights.The group, made up of Coolabi and Working Partners, has a particular expertise in the media of publishing, television and digital. Brands owned and represented by Coolabi include Poppy Cat, Purple Ronnie, Beast Quest and the Smallfilms’ trio of properties Bagpuss, Clangers and Ivor the Engine. For more information on Coolabi Ltd see www.coolabi.com
CBeebies is dedicated to delighting and surprising its pre-school audience and it remains the UK’s most watched and most loved channel for the under-sixes. Just under half of the target audience tune in every week (parents and carers with children aged 0-3 and four- to six-year-olds in digital homes) and our reach is over double that of our nearest competitor. Our most popular shows include In the Night Garden, Something Special, Octonauts, Justin’s House, Sarah and Duck, Tree Fu Tom, Swashbuckle and Old Jack’s Boat.The CBeebies website is hugely popular with our young audience and their parents and helps extend the ‘learning through play’ philosophy with an average of 1.2 million unique browsers. Last summer, we also launched our first app – CBeebies Playtime – which has already been downloaded almost 3 million times, and this summer we followed that with a brand new CBeebies Storytime app.