PBS to house ‘Wimzies’ in U.S. this fall

MONTREAL — PBS has acquired U.S. rights to the kids series “Wimzie’s House,” produced by Cinar Films of Montreal, and the pubcaster will be launching the puppet show this fall, it was announced Monday.

Cinar’s “Arthur” is already airing on all of the PBS stations in the U.S. and it is one of the top three kids series on the web, along with “Barney” and “Sesame Street,” according to Alice Cahn, director of children’s programming at PBS.

“Wimzie’s House” is an educational series for pre-schoolers that follows the adventures of Wimzie and the rest of her family, including her 150-year-old grandmother Yaya. It has been on Canuck public broadcaster CBC’s sked since last fall and is currently the top children’s show on the Canadian network. It also airs on the French-lingo Radio-Canada web and is on in several European territories, including Super RTL in Germany, Canal J in France and Channel 5 and Nickelodeon U.K. in Britain. It has been sold in over 50 countries.

The show will air Sunday mornings on PBS, but stations will have the option to run a daily strip.

“The kind of series that Cinar makes are very well-suited to PBS,” Cahn said. “Another key factor was that it is based in a home daycare facility. A goal for us is to allow children to see themselves on PBS every day.”

Lindberg Licensing and Promotions will take care of the licensing of “Wimzie” products and merchandise in the U.S., and there will a national community outreach program targeting parents and daycare managers.

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