BIG TENT ENTERTAINMENT NAMES SCHOLASTIC CORPORATION PUBLISHING LICENSEE FOR TELEVISION SERIES BASED ON CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AUTHOR DAV PILKEY'S PRE-SCHOOL FAVORITE
Scholastic to develop broad line of new storybooks inspired by the television series; initial titles to debut fall 2005
New York, NY, April XX, 2005 - Leading New York-based marketing firm Big Tent Entertainment and Scholastic Corporation, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, have entered into a licensing agreement to develop a broad range of storybooks based on Dragon, the highly anticipated first TV series inspired by the work of Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey. Pilkey is one of the top-selling children's authors today and has sold over 30 million books around the world. Through the multi-year deal, Scholastic has obtained the North American rights to create and market a line that will launch through its proprietary Scholastic Book Clubs this fall and at retail in 2006.
Inspired by a smiling character that Dav Pilkey drew on a birthday card for his girlfriend, the Dragon book series presents the fun-loving adventures of a young dragon as he explores the world around him and learns simple life lessons. The Dragon television series -- co-produced by the property's worldwide rights holders Cité Amérique , Scopas Medien AG, and Image Plus in cooperation with Canada's Treehouse TV and Germany's Pubcatser ZDF -- brings to life Pilkey's brilliant storytelling and fun-loving characters through stunning 3-D stop motion animation. The preschool series currently airs on Treehouse TV in Canada, ZDF and Kinderkanal in Germany and the ABC in Australia and is expected to debut in the U.S. in 2006.
"We are excited to partner with Scholastic, Dav Pilkey's long-time publisher. The stunning animation of Dragon translates perfectly to print, and Scholastic's publishing, marketing, and distribution expertise will bring the Dragon experience to preschoolers across North America," said Rich Collins, President and CEO, Big Tent Entertainment, the marketing and licensing agent appointed by Cité Amérique , Scopas Medien AG, and Image Plus for the Dragon series, managing the marketing, promotional and licensing initiatives for the adorable children's property in North and South America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand.
Ellie Berger, Senior Vice President, Trade and Publisher, Licensed Properties, Scholastic added, "We are thrilled to be working with Big Tent to bring best-selling author and illustrator Dav Pilkey's delightful character to a new audience of readers. We eagerly await the show's U.S. television launch and are excited to develop an appropriate and engaging publishing program.''
Initially, the Dragon storybook line will be featured in Scholastic Book Clubs full-color catalogs that are widely distributed to schools nationwide. These efforts will get the book line in front of more than one million teachers and students.
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Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company's Internet site, www.scholastic.com.
Cité Amérique is one of Canada's leading production companies. The company has produced internationally acclaimed feature films and drama series. Their catalogue includes titles that have sold in over 65 countries and have been domestic hits. Recently Cité has extended its expertise to pre-school/youth programming, with series such as "Wumpa's World" and "Dragon." Cité is currently producing Dragon - Season 2 as well as an innovative teen series entitled "Station X." In October 2002, Cité Amérique became a subsidiary of FRV Media.
About Scopas Medien AG
Scopas Medien AG is running the leading German award winning Stop-Motion-Studio clayart, based in Frankfurt. Founded in 1994 the company is focusing on development and production of high quality children's programs for TV and cinema, like the award winning Film "Max & Ko." Scopas' clayart was chosen to produce the German fairytale Frau Holle (Brother Grim) for the internationally sold series "Animated Tales of the World" in a co-production between S4C and ZDF. In a Documentary unit, Scopas also develops and produces documentaries for the German TV market.
About Image Plus
Image Plus was established in June 1998. It has produced numerous TV commercials and a series of first clay animation in Korea. It is acknowledged as the best production system company in Korea. They strive to keep up-to-date with the latest developments as they happen. As a result, Image Plus is among the avant-garde of the clay animation field in Korea.
About Big Tent Entertainment LLC
Big Tent Entertainment is a marketing agency specializing in the integrated management of entertainment brands. Formed in 2002, the company focuses exclusively on providing brand management for entertainment and lifestyle content. Big Tent currently serves as the North and South American marketing agent for such popular children's properties as The Koala Brothers , the hit pre-school series now airing twice a day on Disney Channel as part of its Playhouse Disney block; North American agent for Miffy & Friends , one of the world's largest brands for toddlers and infants; and worldwide agent for Dragon , based on Dav Pilkey's charming children's books. The company also serves as the worldwide management company for renowned art licensing agency, Alaska Momma.
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Jeffrey Klein, Judy Drutz
DAN KLORES COMMUNICATIONS