Universal Music UK makes animation move

Deal struck with Cbeebies to air new pre-school property, Uki, from September; licensing plans to follow.
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Universal Music is turning its hand to pre-school animation, having created a new series called Uki.

The show has been picked up by Cbeebies and will air daily from early September as a key part of the 'Show Me Show Me' programme.

Each of the 52 five-minute episodes describes a day in Uki's life, with the character taking pre-schoolers along for the ride using sounds, laughter and smiles to encourage them to interact.

Licensing is being handled by Universal Music UK's Neil Jennings.

The show is already being aired in Belgium on children's channels Ketnet and Club RTL. Books, DVDs, greetings cards and plush are due to launch in the territory in October.

In addition, Uki has been sold into Australia, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Poland, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan, the Middle East and South East Asia. The show will be screening as part of Mip Junior in October, with BBC Worldwide concluding further deals in the meantime.

"This is a really exciting development for us," said Lesley Douglas, Universal Music UK's MD, Commercial Media Partnerships and Globe TV. "Universal Music is all about creativity, and Uki is a brilliant creation with a great character at its heart; it is impossible to watch it without smiling."

Neil Jennings, director of business development at UMUK, added: "From a UK licensing perspective, we think Uki is a key prospect for retail in 2011. The show is a breath of fresh air in the often noisy and chaotic world of children's television, and we have a great broadcast partner in Cbeebies.

"We are putting together a tight, well managed licensing programme to reflect the demand for product we anticipate."


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