S4C, Cynyrchiadau Ceidiog Creations and Al Jazeera Children's Channel are joining forces to produce an all-new, high-definition second series of children's show Baaas, in what is a first time UK co-production for the Arabic language broadcaster.
The three companies will work together on a new 52 x 15-minute series of Baaas, a live action, pre-school show about an extended family of all-singing, all-dancing multi-racial sheep.
Work on the series, which will be made in Wales by Cynyrchiadau Ceidiog Creations, will begin in May. Editing will be completed by facilities house Barcud Derwen and post-production sound will be done at Cranc – both companies are based in Cardiff. The Arabic version will also be completed in Cardiff.
Baaas will air in Welsh under the title Meees in the autumn as part of S4C's new provision for nursery age children, which will be broadcast on S4C's digital service, available across the UK. The series will also be available to watch on-line at s4c.co.uk.
The series will air on Al Jazeera Children's Channel's new pre-school service, which is being launched early in 2009 and which is transmitted in all the pan Arab territory from the Maghreb to the Levant and also covering European countries.
The first series of Baaas was sold to Al Jazeera as part of a package of other S4C children's programming in 2006.
Baaas aims to give youngsters a taste of a wide range of musical styles, from opera to rap, while also placing a strong emphasis on family interaction as well as green themes such as recycling. The series' characters are played by actors dressed in costumes and masks, with animatronic technology controlling facial expressions.
Delyth Wynne Griffiths, S4C's Director of Business Affairs, said, "S4C values this new relationship with Al Jazeera, in particular given our common interest to provide high quality content for pre-school children. This deal is also a reflection of the strength of creativity and rights exploitation among Welsh production companies."
Nia Ceidiog, Baaas’ creator and producer and Director of Cynyrchiadau Ceidiog Creations, said, "This colourful, engaging series looks at sibling and family dynamics in a fun way, reflecting the nature of modern-day familial relationships. As well as providing youngsters with lively entertainment it will also help support their personal and social development."
Malika Alouane, Director of Communications at Al Jazeera Children's Channel, said, "We are pleased to be part of this first-of-kind children programming co-production, as an Arabic children's broadcaster with major production interest, we are confident that Baaas, like the first series, will prove successful with the Arabic pre-schoolers."
S4C will launch its extended Welsh language nursery age provision in June 2008.
For further information please contact Hannah Thomas, S4C Head of Press on 00 44 (0)7810 794853 or firstname.lastname@example.org
S4C digidol is available on:
Sky 134 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Sky 104 in Wales
Freeview on 4 in Wales
Virgin TV on 194 in Wales