Spiffy Pictures Announces Seasons 2 And 3 Of Hit PBS KIDS Series Nature Cat

Multi-season greenlight underscores the popularity, success and evergreen potential of this breakaway animated series.

CHICAGO, Oct. 20, 2016 /CNW/ -- Spiffy Pictures today announced a second and third season of the popular PBS KIDS series Nature Cat. The new seasons of the educational animated series will include 35 half hours and two hour-long specials, with episodes premiering beginning in fall 2017. Nature Cat was created by the Emmy® Award-winning team at Spiffy Pictures and is co-produced by Spiffy Pictures and WTTW Chicago. In addition to earning strong ratings since its debut, Nature Cat received a coveted 2016 Daytime Emmy® Award Nomination for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program, a Television Critics Association Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming and a Common Sense Media Seal for TV, recognizing the series for providing families an exceptional media experience.

"We are thrilled to have gotten the greenlight for both seasons two and three of Nature Cat. It has been an amazing first season and we are honored to continue our partnership with PBS KIDS," states Scott Scornavacco, Vice President, Business Affairs for Spiffy Pictures. "We appreciate the significance of this multi-season renewal and look forward to bringing two new seasons of Nature Cat's signature wit and educational content to PBS KIDS."

"We are excited to bring more new adventures with Nature Cat and his friends to all of America's children, helping us further PBS KIDS' mission of using the power of media to help kids reach their potential," said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children's Media and Education, PBS. "Research shows that children benefit greatly from playing outside, yet the amount of time kids spend outdoors has been steadily declining. Nature Cat helps inspire kids to explore the great outdoors, and introduces a variety of important natural science concepts to our young viewers."

In addition to having two seasons greenlit in the US, Nature Cat has also enjoyed a warm reception in key international markets during its first season. 9 Story Media Group holds international distribution rights to the series, and is currently showcasing new episodes at MIPCOM 2016. Nature Cat has been licensed to Family CHRGD (Canada), VT (Sweden), TG4 (Ireland), SIC (Portugal), Canal Panda (SpainNick Jr (Italy) via Funwood Media, E Junior (Middle East), and Hop TV (Israel).

Each episode of Nature Cat features two 11-minute stories, as well as interstitials. The show airs twice daily on PBS stations across the country (check local listings). The multiplatform series features the vocal talents of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE veterans Taran Killam (Nature Cat), Kate McKinnon (Squeeks), Bobby Moynihan (Hal), Chris Parnell and Kenan Thompson, along with actress Kate Micucci (Daisy). The series follows the adventures of Nature Cat and his friends. In each episode, Nature Cat can't wait to get outside for a day of nature excursions and bravery, but there's one problem: he's a house cat with no instincts for nature. With the help of his animal friends, Nature Cat embarks on action-packed adventures that include exciting missions full of investigation, "aha" discovery moments and humor, all while inspiring children to go outside and play.

Nature Cat has engaged millions of viewers since its debut in November 2015. On TV, Nature Cat has reached nearly 34 million people, including 10.3 million kids 2-11, since it premiered (Source: Nielsen NPOWER, L+7 series and specials, 11/23/15-9/25/16, 50% unif., 6+ min.). In addition, Nature Cat averages 13.5 million streams per month across all PBS KIDS digital platforms (Source: Google Analytics, November '15 – September '16).

Major funding for Nature Cat is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Van Eekeren Family, founders of Land O'Frost. HiHat Media handles brand licensing within the U.S and 9 Story Media Group handles consumer products outside of the U.S.

About HiHat Media
HiHat Media, a licensing agency and consulting group, extends brands and creates revenue streams through strategic development of content and licensed products.  Founded in 2003 by children's brand development and management veteran, David Jacobs, HiHat Media has worked closely with intellectual property owners, TV and digital producers, networks, publishers, toy companies, film companies, event groups, retailers, and investment firms to help grow brand presence alongside increasing revenues. Currently the licensing agent for the PBSKids series PEG + CAT and Nature Cat, HiHat has also worked on behalf of Random House, Nickelodeon, MTV Networks International, 4KMedia, Cartoon Network, The Mad Science Group, Lionsgate Entertainment, TIME, Inc. and more. For information contact djacobs@hihatmedia.com.

About 9 Story Media Group
9 Story Media Group is a leading content creator, marketer and distributor of kids & family focused intellectual property. Recognized around the world for best-in-class brands such as Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood, Wild Kratts, Numb Chucks and Peg + Cat, 9 Story represents over 2,150 half hours of animated and live action programming, seen on some of the most respected international channels and platforms.  With one of North America's largest animation studios, 9 Story employs over 300 creative and production staff in its Toronto facility and has produced over 900 half hours of award-winning children's content. In 2015, 9 Story acquired the award winning animation studio Brown Bag Films, which employs over 200 staff members across Dublin, Manchester and Los Angeles.  Brown Bag is recognized for producing leading animated children's series such as Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bing and Henry Hugglemonster.  9 Story is owned by senior management, ZMC (Zelnick Media Capital) and media entrepreneur Neil Court. www.9story.com

About Land O'Frost
Founded in 1958, Land O'Frost is a leading manufacturer of pre-sliced, pre-packaged lunchmeats and specialty hot dogs and sausages. The company is the largest family-owned brand of packaged deli meat in the U.S. Leading brands marketed by Land O'Frost include: Land O'Frost Premium® One Pound, the top-selling deli pouch in the U.S.; DeliShaved®; Bistro Favorites™ Simply Delicious™; the company's line of heart-healthy lunchmeats; Simply Savory™ smoked sausages and the company's newest product, Deli Snackers™, a baked, meat snack made from high-quality, oven roasted meats.  Land O'Frost products can be found in supermarkets and mass merchandisers nationwide, as well as in Mexico, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories. Headquartered in Munster, Ind., the company operates three manufacturing facilities in Lansing, Ill., Madisonville, Ky. And Searcy, Ark. For more information, please visit www.landofrost.com.

About CPB 
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org.

About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children's learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About WTTW Chicago
WTTW Chicago produces and presents a wide array of engaging content for the national public media system, with series and specials on education, politics, public affairs, science, business, arts and entertainment, history, travel, how-to, and religion. In addition to Nature Cat and its landmark music series Soundstage, other WTTW Chicago series including 10 that Changed America and other architecture specials with Geoffrey Baer, and MEXICOOne Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless. WTTW Chicago has also served as the national presenting station for numerous other programs across a variety of genres. For more information, please visit wttw.com/national, and connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

About Spiffy Pictures 
Spiffy Pictures is a creative development and production company specializing in family entertainment. The Emmy Award-winning creative team at Spiffy Pictures has created, produced, written and directed live-action and animated projects for PBS Kids, Nickelodeon (Jack's Big Music Show), Disney (Bunnytown), MTV, Comedy Central, Sesame Street and Warner Brothers (Scooby Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map). Currently, the company's hit animated series Nature Cat is airing daily on PBS KIDS (pbskids.org/naturecat). Nature Cat is a show that gets kids excited about the wonders of nature and encourages families to go on active outdoor adventures. Spiffy Pictures was founded in 2003 by brothers David Rudman ("Cookie Monster" and "Baby Bear" on Sesame Street; "Scooter" and "Janice" on The Muppets) and Adam Rudman, who has written for Tom & Jerry, Sesame Street, Cyberchase and more. For more information, please visit www.spiffypictures.com.

 

SOURCE Spiffy Pictures

For further information: Scott Goldberg, Salmon Borre Group, scott@salmonborre.com, 847.347.3333, http://www.spiffypictures.com

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