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Tiring of TV rubbish, Brit parents launch own kiddie channel

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 1st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A British couple, tiring of such TV children programming pap such as "The Teletubbies" decided to take matters into their own hands and launch their own brand of kiddie TV programming. Forty-four-year-old Jez Wright along with his 35-year-old wife Julianne Martin rolled up their sleeves and started their own educational cartoon show "Jack and Holly." The idea has caught on, and the series ifs gaining wide viewership on both the United States and the U.K.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "TV effectively becomes virtual e-numbers for children with nothing remotely stimulating for them," Wright says.
   
Constantly switching off what they call "la la television," they began making educational programs for their son Cillian and daughter Beth.

The couple says shows like "Power Rangers" and "In The Night Garden" are just "virtual e-numbers" and have created a series of animated films based on characters called "Jack and Holly."

The couple is now receiving more than 500,000 monthly hits on the animated tales, which can all be found online. The parents write the stories, their son Cillian does some of the voices and a family friend does the animation.

The couple have also launched their own online channel allowing anyone with a Roku TV Box or a Smart TV to stream their programs, just like BBC iPlayer.

Business experts say the family project has the potential to become a multi-million dollar business with the right investment.

Wright, who is also a freelance media lecturer, says that the "massive problem with TV for pre-schoolers in the U.K. is that you are either sending them to la-la land with 'The Teletubbies,' or making them hyper watching programs like the 'Power Rangers.'

"TV effectively becomes virtual e-numbers for children with nothing remotely stimulating for them.

"As a society we have to move with technology, our children will be the technologically interactive generation, but if children are reading something on a tablet as opposed to a book - at least they are reading."

"Jack and Holly isn't filling children's heads with rubbish but it still captures the imagination enough for them to be entertained," Julianne adds.

"It harks back to old-school, traditional values in terms of children's TV, fulfilling genuine educational material. At least that's what we've aimed for."

The stories are specifically designed for pre-school children with each episode limited to 15 minutes in length. An important feature of the series is that the online films can only be viewed once, after they are started by parents.

Jez and Julianne believe this makes children interact with their parents and discuss the content they have viewed.

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