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PR: qubo Bounces into Fall 2007 with Exciting Slate of New and Returning Series

by on September 6, 2007

NEW YORK – August 7, 2007 – Beginning Saturday, October 6th, kids will be able to spend their time with a friendly neighborhood postman as he makes his daily rounds, frolic with rabbits, learn life lessons from a tomato and a cucumber and even travel the universe with superhero penguins. Where can they do this? Why on qubo, the place where the world’s finest kids media and entertainment companies provide programs that allow young viewers to take part in humor, journeys and fun with an array of beloved children’s characters and charming new friends.

Entering its second year, qubo’s multi-platform offerings can be found on NBC on Saturday mornings, ION Television Friday afternoons, Telemundo weekends, seven-days a week on qubo’s newly launched digital channel and online at www.ionmedia.tv. The 2007 Fall Season features even more programming, including new series and returning favorites with new episodes that emphasize qubo’s mission of providing family-friendly content that encourages children’s literacy, positive values, imagination and more.

One of the newest members of the qubo family is POSTMAN PAT, which makes its U.S. network television debut on qubo this Fall. POSTMAN PAT has already won the hearts of kids throughout the UK as one of the top-rated shows airing on the BBC and CBeebies. Now, making a first-class delivery to the USA, Postman Pat invites viewers to join him as he sets off each morning to deliver the mail to his neighbors in the town of Greendale. Everyone in town knows Postman Pat, and his loyal sidekick Jess the Cat as they leave a lasting impression and help provide timeless lessons about neighborliness and community. Join Postman Pat as he embarks on his daily delivery of letters, packages, postcards and, most importantly, fun.

Also coming this to qubo is MY FRIEND RABBIT, a new series inspired by the popular book by Eric Rohmann. Produced by renowned kids’ animation company, Nelvana, this series captures the unique spirit and charm of Rohmann’s book as it lets young viewers into the world of Rabbit and his best friend, Mouse. Together, they try to find the end of rainbows, turn the moon on and off, play Follow the Leader with their geese friends, the Gibble Girls, and learn about life from a menagerie of friends that includes alligators, rhinos and more.

“qubo launched last Fall with the mission of bringing together the world’s premier kids entertainment companies to provide a safe place for youngsters to enjoy family-friendly programming that stresses imagination and literacy,” said Rick Rodriguez, president and general manager, qubo. “The very enthusiastic response we’ve gotten from parents, kids and families tells us that we are meeting our goal, and we are excited to bring more new shows to our audience.”

The new series join favorites VEGGIETALES, JANE AND THE DRAGON, 3-2-1 PENGUINS! and DRAGON which return with episodes that have yet to be seen on qubo. Coming soon are more VEGGIETALES episodes featuring the fun-filled adventures of Bob the tomato, Larry the cucumber and their veggie friends (who have their own movie coming out soon). DRAGON, the series provided by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, features a big, blue friendly dragon who first appeared on the pages of the popular book series of the same name, written by award-winning children’s author Dav Pilkey (of Captain Underpants fame). This Fall, Dragon and his menagerie of friends return to qubo with fun and heartwarming new episodes. Viewers can also look forward to more of the daring interplanetary adventures of 3-2-1 PENGUINS! as well as new medieval adventures with a knight-in-training and her special companion in JANE AND THE DRAGON, the series co-produced by Weta Productions and Nelvana. Weta is best known for its artistic accomplishments on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong.

All of qubo’s shows are associated with popular children’s books and throughout the programming block there will continue to be positive messages reinforcing early literacy through interstitials produced by Scholastic. These READING…EVERYBODY’S DOING IT! spots celebrate the joys of reading and literacy, as well as the essential role books play in preparing children for success in school and in life.

The new qubo Fall Season Schedule will begin airing on NBC on Saturday, October 6 at 10 AM (ET/PT – check local listings for exact times). The programming block airs Fridays on ION Television from 3-6 PM (ET/PT) and Telemundo on Saturdays and Sundays from 8-9:30 AM (ET/PT). The programming also airs on the qubo digital network that launched in January 2007.

About qubo
qubo is a new multi-platform entertainment destination for children that focuses on literacy and values and celebrates the unlimited possibilities of a child’s imagination. Formed in 2006 by an unprecedented alliance of leading distribution partners and content players in children’s television, including Scholastic, ION Media Networks, NBC Universal, Corus Entertainment and Classic Media/Big Idea, qubo offers dynamic content in multiple environments. Currently broadcast on NBC Saturday mornings, ION TV network Fridays afternoons and Telemundo weekend mornings (check local listings) qubo also includes a 24/7 digital broadcast channel and Web site, www.ionmedia.tv.

About ION Media Networks
ION Media Networks, Inc. owns and operates the nation’s largest broadcast television station group and ION Television, reaching over 93 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. ION Television currently features popular TV series and movies from the award-winning libraries of Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television, among others. ION Media has also partnered with RHI Entertainment, which owns over 4,000 hours of acclaimed television content, to provide weekend primetime programming consisting of exclusive original programming and quality library titles. Utilizing its digital multicasting capability, the company has launched several digital TV brands, including qubo, a television and multimedia network for children formed in partnership with several leading media and entertainment companies, and ION Life, a television and multimedia network dedicated to health and wellness for consumers and families. For more information, visit www.scholastic.com.

About Entertainment Rights
Entertainment Rights Plc (“ER”) is the UK’s leading global media group specializing in the ownership of high quality children’s and family programming, characters and brands. ER owns or manages the rights to many global characters including Postman Pat, Jess the Cat, Little Red Tractor, Rupert Bear, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Fat Albert and the Cosby kids, She-Ra, Underdog, Lassie and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In January 2007, ER acquired Classic Media, the US-based owner of an extensive portfolio of children’s and family characters and brands including Big Idea Productions Inc, producer and creator of the award-winning ‘VeggieTales’ series of programming which to date has sold over 45 million home entertainment units in the US. Since 1999, when ER owned rights to just 39 episodes of programming, ER’s library has grown to circa 8,700 episodes of high quality children’s and family characters and brands. This includes certain rights to global brands such as Mattel’s Barbie, Scholastic’s Clifford and Hasbro’s Transformers. ER’s wholly owned subsidiary Tell-Tale Productions, created and produced The Tweenies, one of the UK’s most successful preschool brand. ER has grown rapidly. Annual revenues have increased from ₤1.8m in 1999 to ₤29.7m in 2006, the last reported financial year.

About Nelvana Ltd.
Nelvana Limited is one of the world’s leading international producers and distributors of children’s animated content. With a focus on creating branded entertainment and licensing and merchandising activity on multiple platforms, Nelvana’s stable of award-winning and globally renowned brands include literary classics Babar and Franklin. Nelvana is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising and digital audio services, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. The company’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, Movie Central, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW, CKOI and Q107. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.

About Scholastic
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.

About Telemundo
Telemundo, a U.S. Spanish-language television network, is the essential entertainment, news and sports source for Hispanics. Broadcasting unique national and local programming for the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, Telemundo reaches 93% of U.S. Hispanic households in 142 markets through its 16 owned-and-operated stations, 36 broadcast affiliates and nearly 684 cable affiliates. Telemundo is wholly owned by NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.

qubo show Descriptions and Airtimes
(All times approximate. Check local listings)

New Series for Fall 2007

POSTMAN PAT makes its U.S. network television debut on qubo in Fall 2007. POSTMAN PAT has already won the hearts of kids throughout the UK and is one of the top-rated shows airing on the BBC and CBeebies. Now, making a first-class delivery to the USA, Postman Pat invites American children to join him for his daily delivery of letters, packages, postcards and, most importantly, fun!

Welcome to the town of Greendale! Join Postman Pat, the local mailman as he sets off each morning to make deliveries to his neighbors. Will it be a letter? A package? A postcard? You never know what Pat may bring! One thing’s for sure: with his loveable sidekick, Jess the Cat, Postman Pat’s daily mail route always means fun is in store. From managing a pop band to acting as a conductor for the town train, come along with Postman Pat on this first-class ride!

POSTMAN PAT is produced by Entertainment Rights and will air at 10 AM (ET/PT).

MY FRIEND RABBIT is a charming and whimsical animated series based on the Caldecott Gold Medal winning book of the same name by Eric Rohmann. This world-premiere series introduces young viewers to the world of Rabbit and Mouse, best friends through thick and thin, and their colorful friends from across the animal kingdom.

As Mouse says, his friend Rabbit means well but somehow just can’t avoid getting into sticky situations. This series follows this duo on adventures that might include a topsy-turvy game of Follow the Leader with geese friends, the Gibble Girls, or a rainbow chase to see where they might end up. Along the way, Rabbit and Mouse join friends like Hazel the squirrel, Jasper the wise alligator, Thunder the hard-charging rhino, and others, on unique journeys that call for ingenuity, creativity and, most of all, friendship.

MY FRIEND RABBIT is produced by Nelvana and will air at 11 AM (ET/PT).

Returning Series

DRAGON is based on the books by best-selling Scholastic children’s author Dav Pilkey (author of the popular Captain Underpants series). Dragon had its U.S. premiere on qubo.

DRAGON is about a kindhearted blue dragon named Dragon. Dragon is friendly and helpful, but tends to see things from a much different perspective than most of us–and that’s when the fun begins. Set in a colorful world populated by a menagerie of animal pals, the series playfully explores themes that are universally identifiable to children: wanting a friend, being afraid of the dark, and trying new things.

Voice-over narration underscores the educational purpose of the story by asking questions and reinforcing the problem-solving strategies that Dragon incorporates as he playfully skips through his day.

DRAGON is provided by Scholastic and will air from 10:30-11 AM (ET/PT).

VEGGIETALES is the award-winning 3-D animated series that follows the adventures of Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and a bushel full of their vegetable friends. The fun-filled shows combine hilarious story telling, loveable characters and toe-tapping music to teach life lessons like self-esteem, sharing and the importance of friendship in a delightfully wacky way.

VEGGIETALES is produced by Big Idea and Entertainment Rights group company and will air from 11:30 AM-noon (ET/PT).

Buckle up for the interplanetary adventures of Jason and Michelle (a pair of seven-year-old twins) and their four out-of-this-world penguin friends. Join this space-travelin’ crew as they explore the galaxy and learn important lessons and values along the way. Blast off with 3-2-1 Penguins!

VEGGIETALES PRESENTS: 3-2-1 PENGUINS! is produced by Big Idea and Entertainment Rights Group Company and will air from noon-12:30 PM (ET/PT).

JANE AND THE DRAGON is an animated comedy-adventure series, co-produced by Weta Productions and Nelvana ,which follows the comedic exploits of a 13-year-old girl in medieval times. Weta is best known for its artistic accomplishments on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong. JANE AND THE DRAGON is based on the popular book series by Martin Banyton.

As an only child, Jane was raised to be a lady-in-waiting, but through her determination and a stroke of luck, she ends up being trained as a knight in the King’s Guard instead. Accompanied by her best friend, a giant green 300-year-old dragon who lives in her backyard, Jane experiences a series of adventures that test her character and skills as a young knight in a castle full of friends and foes. Woven through each episode are social-emotional messages that hinge on the universal themes of courage, kindness, honesty and friendship.

JANE AND THE DRAGON is produced using a combination of animation techniques, including key-frame, puppeteering and motion-capture technology, a process in which live actors’ movements are captured on computer and then used to make the animated characters’ movements more realistic. This is the same innovative technology that Weta used to develop The Lord of the Rings’ 3-D character Gollum.

JANE AND THE DRAGON is A Weta Productions Ltd., New Zealand/Nelvana Limited Co-Production and will air from 12:30-1 PM (ET/PT).

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