Night Garden heads to China

Igglepiggle and co to debut on state broadcaster CCTV.
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BBC Worldwide has sold its pre-school smash In The Night Garden to Chinese Central Television.

All 100 episodes of the twice BAFTA award winning show have been sold in a rare deal to broadcast a pre-school western property to 300 million children in China.

In The Night Garden will launch on CCTV in the second half of 2009.

In addition to the distribution deal, UYoung has been appointed as licensing agent for ITNG, responsible for developing a comprehensive licensing programme. The first lines of product are set to launch this year.

The deal cements the success of the BBC's children's brands in China following the launch of Teletubbies in 2000, where it was the first live action western pre-school property to air on CCTV.

A licensing programme - including the running of two Teletubbies Play and Development Centres - continues to operate successfully for the property in China. Tiger Aspect's Charlie and Lola has also seen success on CCTV, with the first two series broadcasting from 2008 shortly followed by DVD and merchandise.

"Children in China expect and demand the best quality entertainment so we're delighted to be able to bring the magic of the innovative In The Night Garden to their TV screens," said Joyce Yeung, senior VP and GM of sales and distribution in Asia for BBC Worldwide.

Neil Ross Russell, MD of BBC Worldwide Children's and Licensing, added: "The success of In The Night Garden in the UK is well-documented and we're now seeing that success being replicated across the world. This deal is another example of the fact that great pre-school programming can cut through cultural differences - kids the world over are gripped by the adventures of Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and their friends."

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