Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Teletubbies Returning with New Episodes Produced by Canadian Company

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Teletubbies Returning with New Episodes Produced by Canadian Company

Article excerpt

Eh-Oh! Teletubbies are coming back to TV

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TORONTO - The Teletubbies are headed back to television with the help of a Canadian production company.

After more than a decade's absence, Halifax-based children's programming company DHX Media Ltd. plans to resurrect the series that was once a sensation with preschoolers.

DHX Media said Friday that it will produce 60 new Teletubbies episodes for BBC's CBeebies channel in the U.K., though financial terms of the agreement weren't released.

"Kid's television in particular is evergreen and some of the animated titles, in particular, are popular year after year," said Steven DeNure, president and chief operating officer of DHX Media (TSX:DHX).

Producers say new episodes will feature Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po as characters, but the series will undergo an update with new CGI effects and scenes shot on replica models of the sets.

The original episodes were filmed outdoors at a farm in England, but after the series wrapped production several years ago, the Teletubbies house was torn down and replaced with a pond.

"We thought about recreating that, but dismissed it relatively early," DeNure said.

"We've done some tests and we can recreate that look without actually having to go back to that location."

Other changes will update the characters too, though DeNure wouldn't offer many hints. He said the proliferation of touch-screen technology in homes changes some of the dynamics between the characters.

The original Teletubbies had TVs in their tummies.

"For a kid watching that now, it's no longer a television, it's a screen you can hold in your hand. We think there are some really interesting creative opportunities on that front as we develop new Teletubbies," DeNure said.

When it first aired, Teletubbies was one of the rare live-action children's television shows that crept into the mainstream consciousness with a line of plush toys, a top-selling series of VHS tapes, and a song that reached Number One on the U. …

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