Totally Amp'd - The First Interactive Sitcom For Smartphones and Tablets - To Launch On January 26

From the Creators of Life with Derek, Innovative Entertainment App Targets Kids and Tweens With An Original Series & Suite of Related Interactive Activities

TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Award-winning creator, producer and distributor Shaftesbury (Life with Derek) and its acclaimed digital media division, Smokebomb Entertainment, today announced the launch of the first original mobile App series for kids and tweens, Totally Amp'd. Targeted to kids aged 8 - 14 and starring Ashley Leggat (Life with Derek) and Cristine Prosperi (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Totally Amp'd tells the story of five talented teenagers who are brought together to become the next big pop group. Featuring a 10-appisode live-action music comedy series, an original soundtrack and a suite of interactive activities designed to fully immerse kids in the action, Totally Amp'd will launch worldwide via the Apple App Store on Thursday, January 26th and is published by XMG Studio. The first appisode and related activities of Totally Amp'd will be available for free download, and the remaining content can be unlocked for a one-time fee of $4.99 (U.S./Canada). The first appisode can be viewed at http://ow.ly/8kSyH.

"Totally Amp'd is the first App of its kind for the underserved tween mobile entertainment market - we see this as a brand new category," said Daniel Dales, CEO and Executive Producer, Smokebomb Entertainment. "Focusing on an aspirational story and very real characters that kids will fall in love with, Totally Amp'd offers hours of interactive entertainment that will put viewers in the middle of the action, delivering a creative and emotionally immersive experience."

"Looking at the habits of today's teens and tweens, always on their phones texting, messaging and emailing on the subway or the bus, the decision to work on Totally Amp'd was a no-brainer," said Ray Sharma, founder and CEO of XMG Studio. "There's huge potential in the 'appisode' space - no one wants to watch half of a made-for-television episode on their phone when commuting."

Featuring 10 six to nine-minute "appisodes," Totally Amp'd tells the story of five teenagers with raw talent who come together in the hopes of becoming the next big pop group. When XMP! Music announces a contest for an up-and-coming band to win a spot opening for pop sensation Charlie Fever, the label's savvy receptionist-turned-manager, Zoe (Ashley Leggat), taps a group of teens to form the band Totally Amp'd in order to bring home the prize - and show up her arrogant boss, Archie. Through the course of the series, Zoe and her handpicked crew navigate the rocky - and hilarious - road to fame while trying to make their dreams come true. The dynamic young cast also includes Cristine Prosperi and Demetrius Joyette (Wingin' It) as members of the aspiring band.

With each Totally Amp'd appisode, interactive content is unlocked that turns iOS devices into sophisticated Music, Movie and Design studios. Creating posters and album covers, customizing the band's look, directing music videos, remixing and uploading their own vocals to the original songs, and much more, kids will have endless hours of artistic activity at their fingertips as they create their own custom content within the Totally Amp'd narrative.

Totally Amp'd is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie and Shane Kinnear; produced by Daniel Dales, Jarrett Sherman and Jay Bennett; and published by XMG Studio. The live-action series is directed by Benjamin Weinstein (Life with Derek, Baxter) and written by Karen McClellan (Being Erica). All original music performed by the cast was written and composed by award-winning composer Jared Gutstadt, CEO and co-founder of Jingle Punks (The Voice).

Totally Amp'd is a joint initiative of Shaftesbury and Smokebomb Entertainment. Published by XMG Studio, the project has been funded with the participation of the Canada Media Fund's Experimental Stream and the OMDC's Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit.

Visit Totally Amp'd online at the following links:

www.facebook.com/totallyampd
www.twitter.com/totallyampd
www.youtube.com/totallyampd
totallyampd.tumblr.com/
www.soundcloud.com/totallyampd
www.totallyampd.com

About Shaftesbury

Founded in 1987, Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator, producer and distributor of original content for television and multiple platforms, with programming available in more than 120 countries worldwide. Recent productions include three seasons of The Listener for CTV and Fox International Channels and five seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for Citytv, UKTV and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment. Shaftesbury's slate of programming for kids and families includes the global hit series Life with Derek and the movie follow-up to the series, Vacation with Derek. Shaftesbury's divisions include Shaftesbury Factual, which is focused on non-fiction storytelling across a broad spectrum of genres; Smokebomb Entertainment, the company's digital media division responsible for the development and production of original multiplatform series and companion web experiences for Shaftesbury's slate of properties; and Shaftesbury Sales Company, which manages international sales and distribution for the company's content. Shaftesbury recently launched Shaftesbury U.S., a new division focused on development for the U.S. market located in Los Angeles, California. www.shaftesbury.ca

About Smokebomb Entertainment

Smokebomb Entertainment is an award-winning pioneer in the digital media world, led by co-founders and co-heads Daniel Dales and Jarrett Sherman. Smokebomb creates original, interactive multiplatform content as well as media-rich online and mobile companion experiences for broadcast television series. At the core of every project created is a focus on character and storytelling, and how those elements speak to and engage target audiences. Smokebomb has developed several original series for digital deployment, including Backpackers and Focused, and is in production on Totally Amp'd and State of Syn, two groundbreaking App series that blend episodic live action with a suite of interactive games and activities. www.smokebomb.ca

About XMG Studio:

XMG Studio is an award-winning developer of hit video games for mobile devices. Founded in late 2009, XMG has been pushing the app envelope to create innovative titles that provide a cool experience for casual gamers. The company's core focus is to develop properties that allow players to actively immerse themselves in our games. Whether it is the incredible customization feature in Drag Racer Pro Tuner, or the experimental touch mechanic in Cows vs. Aliens, XMG's portfolio of mobile casual games all seek to drive the maximum in user engagement through innovation. Based in Toronto, Canada, XMG is presently one of the largest independent mobile game studios in the emerging app economy. For more information visit www.xmg.com, follow XMG on Twitter.com/xmgstudio or become a fan on facebook.com/xmgstudio.

Image with caption: "Standing, l to r: Brock Morgan ("Tyler"), James A. Woods ("Archie"), Ashley Leggat ("Zoe"), Demetrius Joyette ("Brando") and sitting, l to r, Cristine Prosperi ("Aria"), Camden Angelis ("Lexi") and Amanda Thomson ("Madison") star in Totally Amp'd, the first original mobile App series for kids, launching on January 26, 2012 via the Apple App store. (CNW Group/Shaftesbury)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120109_C2777_PHOTO_EN_8723.jpg

SOURCE Shaftesbury

For further information:

For further information or to obtain access to the Totally Amp'd App, please contact:

Dana Whitney | Jeane Wong
ONE PR Studio (for Totally Amp'd)
dana@oneprstudio.comjeane@oneprstudio.com
510-893-3271

Tanya Koivusalo
Shaftesbury
tkoivusalo@shaftesbury.ca
416-363-1411

Lydia Schaele
XMG Studio
lschaele@xmgstudio.com
416-619-0700


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