(Boston, Massachusetts, USA): PBS International has licensed Work It Out Wombats! a new animated series for kids ages 3-6, to Chinese family entertainment company UYoung. Based in Beijing, UYoung is one of China’s foremost children’s entertainment production-distribution companies. This is the first multi-series, multi-format children’s content deal for PBS International in China. In addition to Work It Out Wombats!, UYoung has also licensed Elinor Wonders Why, PEEP and the Big Wide World, Molly of Denali and Arthur.
Work It Out Wombats! stars Malik, Zadie, and Zeke—three energetic and creative marsupial siblings who live with their grandmother in her treehouse apartment complex. The playful trio introduce computational thinking (CT) concepts that help young viewers solve meaningful problems, learn flexible thinking and how to express themselves – all while using the practices, processes and ideas at the core of computer science.
“The Wombats are all about exploring the world around them and, much like preschoolers, their curiosity and love of adventure know no bounds,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “Computational thinking is a way of approaching problems in strategic ways, helping young children respond and adapt to the world around them. We’re excited for viewers to explore these foundational skills and mindsets while having fun with their new wombat friends.”
Produced by GBH Kids and Pipeline Studios, Work It Out Wombats! takes place in the Treeborhood, a massive treehouse complete with secret passageways, gondolas, and rope swings. The residents of the Treeborhood—wombats, snakes, moose, kangaroos, iguanas, fish, tarsiers, and eagles—bring varied skills and abilities, assorted ways of thinking, and different family structures and traditions to this diverse and vibrant community of neighbors, a place where even the adults join in the play.
In each story, the Wombats demonstrate computational thinking skills, learning as they go. Their aspirations sometimes exceed their abilities, but with every problem they encounter, the troop stops, takes a breath, puts their heads together and figure out a fix—using the design process, sequencing, debugging, and other key elements of computational thinking.
Vice President of Sales for PBS International, Joe Barrett, says: “We are thrilled to be partnering with UYoung, one of China’s premier children’s media companies. This deal will be the first of its kind for us in China and we could not be prouder to bring high quality PBS KIDS content to this important market.”
Premiering February 6th on PBS KIDS, Work It Out Wombats! will be pitched at Kidscreen Summit in Miami.
The series is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS Ready To Learn Initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The Ready To Learn Initiative is a federal program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families.
About PBS International
PBS International is the worldwide co-production and distribution arm of PBS Distribution, a leading distributor of public media content around the world, entertaining audiences across platforms and formats. The company, a joint venture of PBS and GBH Boston, provides premium content through multiple digital channels and video services. PBS Distribution operates six subscription streaming channels — PBS Masterpiece (US and CA), PBS KIDS, PBS Living, PBS Documentaries and PBS America (U.K.) as well as numerous Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) Channels in the U.S and U.K. In addition, the company reaches viewers through transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) licensing, Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD), DVD and Blu-ray, theatrical releasing, educational platforms, non-theatrical and inflight sales, and serves broadcasters and producers providing program sales and co-production financing. PBS International offers the highest quality factual and children’s programming including films from Ken Burns, entertaining and educational PBS KIDS series, and award-winning documentaries from NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and many independent producers.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through media and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can stream PBS KIDS for free anytime, no subscription required. A large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content that spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers and caregivers, parents, and community – providing resources accessible anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
PRESS CONTACT: Carmel Nemirovsky, PBS International, firstname.lastname@example.org
The contents of this series were developed under grants from the Department of Education and from the National Science Foundation. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education and/or the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant [PR/Award No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A] provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DRL-2005975) to WGBH Educational Foundation.