The creator of the classic children’s show Teletubbies might not agree, but the remake is legit, says the Canadian company that has rebooted the program.
DHX Media (DHX Media Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSX:DHX) CEO Dana Landry was on BNN today to talk about a quarter that saw the Halifax-based company’s revenue rise 112% to $64.25-million.
Landry says that one of DHX’s tenets is to look for a program that was once a hit that could be rejigged or remade for a global audience. The company has had success with properties such as Inspector Gadget, Caillou, and Degrassi.
But the company’s remake of Teletubbies, which will air on the BBC children’s channel CBeebies later this year has gotten some international publicity of a different kind. The show’s creator Anne Wood told Radio Times that the remaking of classic kids shows makes her “sad”.
“I couldn’t bring myself to” watch, she said. “I mean I have nothing against them, it might be brilliant. They tell me they’ve got the best producer possible on it, so that’s a good sign. But how could I watch it? All my programs are like my children.”
Wood thinks creativity may be slipping away from children’s programming.
“It comes down to the times we’re in: people feel safer remaking hits of the past rather than investing in something new”.
Landry, noting that DHX is working with Wood on a new show called Twirlywoos, sympathizes with her views but says DHX fosters an emotional bond as generations of parents introduce their kids to programming they grew up on.
“We respect her view, obviously, he said. “Sometimes you get the view that the classic brand should stay as is. Certainly we understand and respect that view. From or perspective, what we’re really looking forward to is reintroducing this brand to a whole new number of fans.”
Teletubbies, which first aired in 1997 has been broadcast in 120 countries and in 45 different languages.