As just one part of a bid to boost its revenues by selling programs around the world, the BBC has commissioned 260 episodes of a new children's TV series, "Tweenies."
The program follows the success of "Teletubbies," which was begun two years ago and has made more than $80 million so far. "Teletubbies" airs in 62 countries including the United States.
Teletubbies, soft and cuddly creatures with TV screens in their tummies, are aimed at two- to three-year-olds. Tweenies, targeted at three- to five-year-olds, are brightly colored "children" with actors in them who operate animatronic heads.
Fizz and Bella, the female characters, love nice clothes and dancing; the boys, Jake and Milo, prefer to dismantle toys. In Britain, 20-minute "Tweenies" episodes already have started playing in the morning immediately after "Teletubbies."
"The 'Tweenies' are only one step away from reality, and hopefully children will relate to everything they do," says Ian Lauchlan, executive producer of the series.
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society