Nick Jr. Premieres New Series “The Backyardigans” on Monday, October 11
via Nickelodeon press release:
Nick Jr.’s The Backyardigans Sends Preschoolers on Epic Adventures Filled
With Original Music and Groundbreaking Animated Choreography
Each Episode Features Five High-Spirited Friends and Their Imaginative Journeys
Filled with Different Genres of Music and Dance
Series to Premiere on Nick Jr. with Back-To-Back Episodes
on Monday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. (ET/PT)
New York, NY – Sept. 1, 2004 – Nick Jr. will introduce preschoolers to five-high spirited friends who take epic, musical adventures by transforming their yards into fantastical places like ancient Egypt or the high seas, with the premiere of the groundbreaking CGI-animated show The Backyardigans. From swing to reggae to James Brown-style funk, each episode’s soundtrack features a unique music/dance genre with four original songs, along with real choreographed movements recreated in animation. The Backyardigans will debut with two episodes on Monday, Oct. 11 in its regular 11 a.m. timeslot (all times ET/PT) on Nick Jr. and, beginning Oct. 16, will also air weekends on CBS (check local listings).
“Like a Hollywood musical just for them, The Backyardigans will inspire kids to sing and dance along and stretch their imaginations as they climb up mountains, slide down glaciers and sail across oceans,” said Brown Johnson, Executive Vice President, Nick Jr. “Each adventure has its own musical style and original songs that kids and parents alike won’t be able to resist.”
“The Backyardigans is truly a home-grown Nick Jr. property,” said Johnson. “The whole creative team, including creator Janice Burgess, have been part of the Nick Jr. family for years, and we are proud and excited to welcome their lovable characters and amazing stories to the line-up.”
The five high-spirited neighbors who make up The Backyardigans are: Pablo, an energetic, enthusiastic and excitable penguin; Pablo’s best friend Tyrone, an easy-going, confident young moose; Uniqua, a one-of-a-kind character with an adventurous nature; Tasha, a deceptively sweet and girlish hippo; and Austin, a resourceful, but shy, kangaroo.
The show’s CGI, 3D-animation style features lush, photo-real backgrounds. Each of The Backyardigans animated dance steps are choreographed by a former director of the Alvin Ailey Dance School’s children’s program and performed by real dancers, whose movements are then recreated in animation.
The first of two premiere episodes airing on Oct. 11, “Knights are Brave and Strong” is set to the sound of big band swing. Queen Tasha sends Uniqua, the brave pink messenger, through the forest to deliver a message to King Austin’s castle – but she has to get past some obstacles to get there. “The Yeti,” the second episode, features James-Brown style funk, complete with an animated recreation of his signature dance moves. Pablo is a yeti, a mysterious creature of the frozen north, and he leads Uniqua, Tasha and Tyrone on a chase all the way back to his igloo.
The Backyardigans was created by Janice Burgess, who joined Nick Jr. in 1995 as a production executive for the award-winning series Blue’s Clues and Little Bill. Burgess also serves as Executive Producer. Robert Scull is Executive Producer and Supervising Director, and Jonny Belt is Co-Executive Producer and Supervising Creative Director. Scull and Belt also teamed up for Little Bill and Whoopi’s Littleburg, both on Nick Jr. The Backyardigans original music is composed by accomplished jazz musician Evan Lurie, and former director of Alvin Ailey School’s children’s dance program Beth Bogush serves as choreographer.
The Backyardigans is a co-production with Nick Jr. and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana.
Nelvana Limited is one of the world’s leading international producers and distributors of children’s programming and products. Nelvana is owned by Corus Entertainment, a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in both specialty TV and Radio. The company’s other interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed in the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) Exchanges. Corus’ website can be found at www.corusentertainment.com
Nick Jr. is a specially designed programming block airing on Nickelodeon weekdays from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. (ET/PT) and weekends on CBS (check local listings). Completely dedicated to preschoolers ages 2-5, Nick Jr.’s Emmy, Peabody and Parents’ Choice Award-winning programs are curriculum based, fun and commercial free. At Nick Jr., kids play to learn with innovative, original shows created just for them.
Nickelodeon, which is celebrating its landmark 25th anniversary this year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 88 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for more than eight consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.