Porchlight pumps air shows for kids skein

PorchLight Entertainment is taking to the kid-friendly skies with a national show tour designed to promote the worldwide distrib’s long-running “Jay Jay the Jet Plane” series.

Starting in April, live incarnations of Jay Jay and other characters from the half-hour PBS Kids skein will make appearances at air shows. Geared primarily toward tykes, the multimedia stage presentations will last about 17 minutes.

With more than 72 show dates slated in 32 cities, PorchLight and partner the Fun Events Co. hope to capitalize on the popularity of air shows as a Middle America phenomenon — as opposed to the usual route of advertising on L.A. and Gotham billboards — as well as their broad family appeal.

“What is very interesting about the air shows, besides the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people in attendance, is that … you see a lot of moms and dads with strollers,” said Bill Baumann, PorchLight chief operating officer and exec producer on the series. “We also noticed there was not as much entertainment for young families as there might be or even should be.”

Air show tour, being launched in conjunction with Baker Leisure Group, the Nassal Co., investor Bill Bieberbach and the JBP Entertainment Group, reps only one part of the campaign.

In the fall, a “Jay Jay”-themed children’s exhibits will tour museums and science centers nationwide, starting with Orlando Science Center. PorchLight also is in talks to build “Jay Jay” play areas at airports.

Meanwhile, new episodes of the show are in development.

“Jay Jay the Jet Plane” bowed in 1998 on the Learning Channel and has been airing Monday through Friday on PBS Kids since 2001.

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