NBCU’s Sprout Will Roll With Terrific Trucks

Posted by at 11:34 am on January 15, 2015

terrific-trucksNBC Universal’s kid-TV outlet Sprout is joining the battle to lure tots with shows about larger-than-life vehicles – and develop more programming it can own outright.

Pre-schoolers have over the years displayed a clear fascination with big transports like trains and bulldozers. In the United States, PBS satiates tykes’ desire with an animated program about peevish steam engines called “Thomas & Friends.” Walt Disney offers a BBC-produced counterpart called “Chuggington.” And now Sprout has greenlit “Terrific Trucks.”

The new series will feature actual life-size trucks: a dump truck; a front end loader; a digger; a semi; and a mini front-end loader. Each truck will have animated eyes, said Sandy Wax, Sprout’s president, in an interview, and will be customized in order to develop personality for each character. Sprout has ordered 26 half-hour episodes, which are scheduled to join the network in 2016.

The show will have “a very different, cinematic feel than you’d see with standard animation or something that’s done on a small scale,” Wax said.

Sprout is placing more emphasis on creating and owning high-quality programming, Wax said, the better to benefit from distribution as the programs mature. In November, Sprout unveiled its intention to air “Nina’s World,” an animated series based on a character from its popular “Good Night Show” that will feature the voice of actress Rita Moreno.

The network already has a handful of original programs like “Noodle and Doodle,”a cooking and crafts program, and “The Chica Show,” a series about an anthropomorphic chicken that features live action and animation, but Wax wants more content with higher production values to appear on the network’s schedule. “Nina’s World” and “Terrific Trucks” she said, are “really the next generation with the scope of budget more in line with what the big guys are doing in this space.”

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