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Shaftsbury launches mobile kids’ show

Original series 'Totally Amp'd' to debut via iTunes

As content moves to smartphones and tablets, original production for mobile devices is on the increase. The latest sign of that trend: “Totally Amp’d,” an original series for kids and tweens aged 8 – 14 that will launch via iTunes on Jan. 26.

Series, from TV producer/distributor Shaftesbury (“Life with Derek”) and its digital media division, Smokebomb Entertainment, stars “Derek’s” Ashley Leggat and Cristine Prosperi (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”). Episodes are centered on five teens with raw talent who hope to become the next big pop group.

“Totally Amp’d” consists of 10 six-to-nine-minute “appisodes” of live-action music comedy, an original soundtrack and a suite of interactive activities designed to immerse kids in the action. Series is published by mobile vidgame company XMG Studio.

The first “appisode” and related activities of “Totally Amp’d” will be available for free download, and the remaining content can be unlocked for a one-time fee of $4.99.

” ‘Totally Amp’d’ is the first app of its kind for the underserved tween mobile entertainment market (which we see) as a brand-new category,” said Daniel Dales, CEO and executive producer, Smokebomb Entertainment. “Focusing on an aspirational story and very real characters that kids will fall in love with, it offers hours of interactive entertainment that will put viewers in the middle of the action, delivering a creative and emotionally immersive experience.”

Each “Totally Amp’d” episode unlocks interactive content that turns Apple iOS devices into mini music, video and design studios. Claim is that kids will engage in artistic activities such as creating posters, customizing the band’s look, directing music videos and uploading their own vocals.

“Looking at the habits of today’s teens and tweens, always on their phones texting, messaging and emailing on the subway or the bus, the decision to work on ‘Totally Amp’d’ was a no-brainer,” said Ray Sharma, founder and CEO of XMG Studio. “There’s huge potential in the ‘appisode’ space. No one wants to watch half of a made-for-television episode on their phone when commuting.”

“Totally Amp’d” is exec-produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie and Shane Kinnear; and produced by Dales, Jarrett Sherman and Jay Bennett. The live-action series is directed by Benjamin Weinstein (“Life with Derek, Baxter”) and written by Karen McClellan (“Being Erica”). All original music performed by the cast was written and composed by Jared Gutstadt, CEO and co-founder of Jingle Punks (“The Voice”).

The project was funded with the participation of the Canada Media Fund’s Experimental Stream and the Ontario Media Development Corp.’s interactive digital media tax credit.

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