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Kiddie-Cabler Sprout Acquires Three New Programs

Net strikes its first pact with BBC Worldwide for "Sarah and Duck"

Sprout, the  cable network that programs for preschoolers,  has acquired three new series that will launch starting in August and through November.

British series “Sarah and Duck” will make its debut on Sprout in August, marking the first deal struck between Sprout and BBC Worldwide. The show, which will premiere August 19 as part of the network’s ayem programming block, is centered on protagonist Sarah and her loud, quacking companion. “Sarah & Duck” is a Karrot Entertainment production with CBeebies and BBC Worldwide. It is created by Sarah Gomes Harris and Tim O’Sullivan. It is produced by Jamie Badminton and exec produced by Chris White, Alison Stewart and Henrietta Hurford–Jones.

Animated French series “Zou” will debut Sept. 2nd, also as part of the net’s ayem block. This 3-D CGI sitcom is seen is more than 100 countries and focuses on a family of zebras, especially a five-year-old zebra who is the series’ hero.

“Stella and Sam” will debut November 1. The series is based on a series of books by Canadian author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay about an active nine-year-old red-head and the brother she wants to be in on all the action. The show is licensed by Bejuba! Entertainment and produced by Radical Sheep Productions.

Sprout, which is a joint venture of NBCUniversal, PBS and Apax Funds, also expects to continue to bolster its original programming, said Sandy Wax, the network’s president, in an interview. “We are still aggressively moving toward more original series and hope that soon we will be able to talk about some new activity in that area,” she said.,

The cabler aims to cultivate an audience of kids between the ages of 2 and 5 as well as their parents and caregivers. The network does not accept commercials that make their pitches directly to children, only taking those that talk to the parents who presumably watch the programs with them

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