‘Postman’ rings U.S.

Beeb puppet show to debut on HBO Family

LONDON — The venerable British preschool TV skein “Postman Pat” is set to make its U.S. debut this fall on HBO Family.

Entertainment Rights, which owns the character, will support the U.S. launch with consumer products, to be rolled out in 2006.

Postman Pat, a rudimentary puppet who moves by simple stop-frame animation, has been delivering the mail in the rural English community of Greendale for 24 years, with the help of his black-and-white cat Jess.

The show has been sold to 100 countries worldwide, and is on air in more than 40, but this is the first time it has entered the U.S. market.

HBO Family acquired the latest series of 26 half-hour episodes, produced by Cosgrove Hall for the BBC, which introduced an updated look for the show. The original English voices will be retained Stateside, and there will be a version dubbed into Spanish.

Jane Smith, ER’s group commercial director, said, “This agreement not only adds to ER’s growing business in the U.S. following the acquisition of the Filmation library in April, but is also another step toward establishing ER as a company that consistently delivers high-quality programming which is both creatively and commercially viable for U.S. audiences.”

Dolores Morris, VP of HBO Family, said: ” ‘Postman Pat’ naturally complements our strong children’s programming lineup and we are sure he’ll be loved by children and parents alike.”

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