TVO gets kids ready for school with Hi Opie!

TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - TVO premieres new children's series Hi Opie!, about a 5-year-old who navigates his way through the struggles and successes of kindergarten for the first time. Hi Opie! is a TVO developed live-action series, teaching preschoolers kindergarten readiness skills, helping to ease their transition from home to school.

The show features Opie, a custom-built puppet created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, as he interacts with new real kid friends, gets to know his teachers and discovers a whole new world, all while learning important life lessons.

Targeted to ages 3-5, preschoolers and their families can tune in to watch the sweet and lovable Opie as he overcomes challenges and works toward a positive resolution at school.

  • In Opie The Special Helper, Opie gets chosen as the classroom's Special Helper and learns about sharing when he forgets to split his responsibilities with another classmate.
  • Opie's Gotta Go presents a classic kindergarten predicament when Opie doesn't want to miss the lesson on making a glow-in-the-dark comet, but he's really "gotta go".
  • Special guest appearances by media personality Pay Chen (The Pay Chen Show) and musician Jason Collett (Broken Social Scene) in the episodes, Not Ms. Doney and Opie Rocks, offer great co-viewing experiences for parents to join in on the fun with their kids.

Kids can get a sneak peek of episodes on tvokids.com from August 18-22 and on TVO August 25 at 7 am and 12 pm ET, August 29 at 7 am ET. The series premieres on September 1, 2014 and will air daily Monday to Friday at 10:30 am and 1:15 pm. In addition to the on-air broadcasts, families can play along with Opie in his virtual interactive classroom at tvokids.com/games/hiopie.

"This fall marks the implementation of Full-Day Kindergarten province-wide and Hi Opie! provides kids the skills they need to make a successful transition into school, for the first time," said Pat Ellingson, Creative Head of Children's & Parents' Media, TVO. "As Opie explores and reaches new goals, he helps role-model the ways in which children can excel in kindergarten and throughout school."

"Kids will love Opie for his enthusiasm, sensitivity, silliness, and insatiable curiosity - all traits that kids recognize in their own experience," said Lawrence S. Mirkin, Series Producer, Hi Opie! "Families will genuinely enjoy sitting down together to watch Opie on his journey."

Hi Opie! was developed in partnership with TVO and is produced by marblemedia in association with The Jim Henson Company. The series will also premiere on September 1, 2014 on City Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan) at 9:00 am CST and on Knowledge Network (British Columbia) at 11:50 am PT. Hi Opie! is produced with the financial participation of the Shaw Rocket Fund, Canada Media Fund and The Bell Fund.

For more information and updates, follow @HiOpie_TV or "like" Hi Opie! on Facebook.com/HiOpie.TV and join the conversation with the hashtag #HiOpie.

About TVOKids

TVOKids exists to help Ontario's 21st-century learners be successful in school and in life. Developed for every kind of young learner and covering virtually all Ontario Curriculum areas for Grades JK-5, TVO-produced children's programs, web activities and mobile apps are built in collaboration with TVO's on-staff educator and classroom-tested to ensure specific educational objectives are met. According to a 2011 Ipsos Reid poll, Ontarians rate TVOKids both the most trusted and most educational children's media brand in Canada. TVOKids airs daily on TVO from 6 am to 7 pm. The award-winning tvokids.com is home to over 170 educational games and TVOKids offers a growing inventory of educational mobile apps for all platforms.

About TVO

TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and is a registered charity supported by sponsors and thousands of donors. For more information, visit tvo.org.

Where to find TVO
On air:
Over-the-air (may vary in some areas)
Cable: channel 2 (may vary in some areas)
Rogers TV HD: channel 580
Bell Fibe TV HD: channel 1209
Bell Fibe TV SD: channel 209
Bell TV: channel 265
Shaw Direct HD: channel 39
Shaw Direct SD: channel 353
Websites:
tvo.org
tvokids.com
tvoparents.com
ilc.org
Online:
YouTube
iTunes
BlackBerry World
Bell Mobile TV
Connect:
Facebook
Twitter

About marblemedia develops, produces and distributes engaging multiplatform entertainment experiences for audiences around the world. With nearly 250 hours of programming distributed in more than 200 territories, marblemedia has been honoured by Playback Magazine with the 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award, in addition to being named Transmedia Producer of the Year (2011) by the publication. marble has won a Canadian Screen Award, two Gemini Awards, been nominated for an Emmy® Award and was identified as a Next Generation Content Producer (2009) by The Hollywood Reporter. The company owns a 50-acre production ranch and operates a Toronto-based studio, home to 50 staff. The company was co-founded by Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg in 2001. www.marblemedia.com, @marblemedia and Facebook.com/marblemedia.

SOURCE TVO

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Nicole Morrison
TVO Public Relations Specialist
416.484.2600 x2281
nmorrison@tvo.org

Sarah Etherden
Phoenix PR for marblemedia
416.725.1696
sarahe@phoenixpr.ca