DIC Animation City has formed an educational animation wing, DIC Education Animation, in an effort to take advantage of the Federal Communications Commission’s new kids programming guidelines.
The unit, headed by DIC’s senior VP of creative affairs Robby London, will focus on animated rather than live-action programming.
DIC already has a show that will fit into the unit, “Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?” The program is expected to debut on theFox weblet in January.
Previously, DIC and Turner Entertainment produced “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” the only existing animated show that the FCC has indicated will be in compliance with its guidelines.
Although Turner’s Hanna-Barbera animation company has taken over production, DIC remains a financial participant in the successful weekly show.
DIC prez-CEO Andy Heyward says animated shows generally garner better ratings than live-action programs.
“If kids don’t watch the shows, the Children’s Television Act will fail,” he says in a statement. “We believe that we can develop animated programming that can compete on an equal footing with so-called non-educational shows.”
London, who launched his career as a writer at Filmation Studios and has been with DIC since 1986, will develop and acquire programming for the new division.
Others named to the new unit are Lori Crawford, a DIC vet who is serving as exec director, and company VP Seth Levenson, who heads a subdivision that will explore opportunities for DIC in the emerging multimedia technology market.
The educational unit’s mandate will be to produce at least one new kids series each season addressing educational and informational needs.
In addition to developing programming for network, first-run syndication and cable, the unit will also be active in creating fare for the CD-ROM, computer and multimedia arenas.
DIC will create a panel of educators, child psychologists and community activists to serve as advisers on the project.