DeRolf aims for kidvid niche

Former Random House Entertainment prexy Shane DeRolf has launched his own production company, Smart Studios Inc., that will specialize in original children’s product from TV, radio and multimedia to toys, books and music.

DeRolf will serve as the new firm’s prexy and CEO. While at Random House, he created the syndicated preschool series “The Crayon Box” that’s currently scoring well with its target audience, 2- to 5-year-olds.

The producer’s eight-member company is also in pre-production on the first Smart Studios’ project: the educational campaign “Watts on Your Mind,” geared to teaching kids the importance of energy efficiency.

“There seems to be a misguided notion that children’s programming can be either educational or entertaining but never both at the same time,” DeRolf said.

“We hope to dispel that belief by introducing kids to personable characters who convey positive life lessons through engaging stories and adventures.”

“Watts on Your Mind” is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Advertising Council, with a budget of $3 million.

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