Lewis, Paragon talk over Lamb Chop

HOLLYWOOD — Shari Lewis and Paragon Entertainment are hoping 1994 will be the year of Lamp Chop, with two series in development for CBS’ Saturday morning lineup and talk of a feature, spurred by the popular PBS kidvid series “Lamb Chop’s Play-Along.”

Lewis also signed recently with International Creative Management, where she’ll be represented by Alan Berger in all areas.

The venerable children’s character Lamb Chop continues to enjoy renewed success in TV and homevideo, similar to that of another live-action PBS children’s concept, “Barney & Friends.”

One of the proposed CBS series, “Cop and Chop,” being developed by Lewis and Norman Martin, would be animated and feature Lamb Chop. “First Class,” created by Lewis and longtime musical director Stormy Sacks, is a live-action concept featuring real teachers and puppet students from the Lamb Chop mold.

Lewis is also working with Paragon on a premise for the movie, which they declined to unveil. A logical home may be Warner Bros., which also handles Lamp Chop merchandising through its licensing division.

Paragon chairman Jon Slan acknowledged that the company had in a sense stumbled into the children’s area with Lewis, who perceived a need for live-action fare aimed at younger children even before such programming was mandated by the Children’s Television Act.

Now, however, Paragon plans to push further into family entertainment, where returns from TV may be limited but “the size of the ancillary market is huge.”

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