My Projects

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, My Projects, PRESS

Sarah Solves It

Amazon Studios has ordered the math test pilot, Sara Solves It, developed by WGBH and Out of the Blue Enterprises. 

Sara Solves It  follows who else but Sara & her brother Sam to find answers to mathematical mysteries every kid can relate to. This time, we at Out Of The Blue Ent. have joined forces with the creator of Curious George & Arthur to create something special for children.

The need for a strong mathematics foundation has never been more evident and the proper assistance outside of the classroom behooves the learning within.

Sara Solves It has been added to Amazon Studios’ Series Development Slate and will be free to be preview later on this year.

Amazon Studios

“Mathematics expresses itself everywhere, in almost every facet of life.

Mathematics is the language of science and engineering – describing

our understanding of all that we observe.”   -www.science.edu

 

Related articles:

HuffPost.com   Hollywonk.com   CNBC.com

PCMag.com   Kidscreen.com

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under My Projects, Super Why!

Following the announcement of the Grammy winners 2013, a BIG congratulations goes out to Jack Antonoff and his fun. band mates for taking home Best New Artist & Song of the Year!

Grammy Award

Perhaps Jack Antonoff is just as excited about his inspiring songs that he wrote about the Super Readers for the 2013 Super Why! Live tour as well..perhaps..maybe? Nonetheless, congratulations for this week’s big wins! We are so very happy & proud for you!

Super WHY Live! is the live stage show inspired by the hit PBS Kids TV series. S2BN Entertainment and Out of the Blue Enterprises. We are proud to announce that after a successfull first run, we have added new dates and are beginning their Spring 2013 U.S. tour of Super WHY Live: You’ve Got the Power!coming to a stage near you in 2013. We’ve created some videos to show you what’s going on behind the scenes as we continue with the show.

In this video, Super WHY Live songwriter Jack Antonoff (of fun. – presently with a #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Digital Songs charts with “We Are Young”) talks about writing music for grown ups and kids, and about how excited he is for the debut of Super WHY Live!”

~Super Why Live Tour

Super Why! - Grammy winners 2013

[Click HERE for newly added dates for the Spring 2013 schedule for Super Why Live ]

Amazon Studios

I am proud to announce that Amazon Studios, the original movie & series production arm of Amazon.com, has greenlit for production our creative arts curriculum Creative Galaxy. Amazon Studios announced today that Creative Galaxy is 1 of 5 children’s test pilots which have been selected.

“Our children’s series come from industry luminaries with credits such as Blue’s Clues, Sid the Science Kid and Dino Dan. We think parents—& our very youngest customers—are going to love the magical combination of entertainment & learning that they’ll discover in these children’s series.” said Roy Price (Dir. Amazon Studios).Amazon.com

My incredible team at Out of the Blue Enterprises and I are thrilled to be working with Amazon Studios & can’t wait to soar into a creative arts curriculum with Creative Galaxy. We know that art can have a powerfully positive effect on children & through our proven signature approach to preschool television, we will actively help young viewers learn how to think creatively in their own lives. Working with Amazon Studios has been fantastic & we look forward to jumping further into the production process.

Creative Galaxy is an animated, interactive art, adventure series, designed to inspire kids’ creative thinking through crafts, story, music and dance. The series was created by Angela Santomero, creator of Super Why! (the Emmy-nominated literacy series), Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Related articles:

 CNN Money     Deadline | HollywoodKidscreen

 

The Verge Tech Crunch  Variety

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Conferences, My Projects

Mister Rogers NeighborhoodAs a writer for kids television, every so often I hear “I’ve got THE idea for a kid’s show!”

Perhaps a tad more than every so often..perhaps.

While the concept is crucial in developing any new property, it’s the follow through on all of the intricate components that brings it all together.

And where can we immerse ourselves within the diverse styles of animation, production know-how, distribution rights, the evolution of digital media, the nail-biting pitch process, brand development and the dreaded B-word..budget, to list just a few?  The Kidscreen Summit.

Regarded as the biggest Kids’ Entertainment Event, the Kidscreen Summit takes place this year in NYC on  Feb 5-8th

Kidscreen Summit 2013

For those preschool writer’s out there, you’ll want to check out “Inside the Writer’s Room: Preschool” at Kidscreen. Moderated by Joe D’Ambrosia (VP Original Programming Disney Junior), I’ll be on the panel with preschool writers Joseph MazzarinoAdam Peltzman, Josh Selig & Craig Shemin speaking about keeping the CREATIVE front & center, while consistently bringing quality content to our viewers.

See you there!

 

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, My Projects

Much thanks to all my friends who joined us last night for the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Reception in NYC.

Lesli Rotenberg (PBS Kids), who moderated the event, and my co-panelists, Kevin Morrison (Fred Rogers Company) and Linda Simensky (PBS Kids) all did an outstanding job!

Children’s Media Association and PBS Kids hosted an incredible night which filled the 23rd street theater. The evening couldn’t have ended any better then when a four year old audience member was handed a mic & said,”Thank you. And I LOOOOVE Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood!”

If you didn’t get a chance to ask your question last night, comment away

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, My Projects

In appreciation of your support of Angela’s Clues and Daniel Tiger, I’d like to invite you & a guest to join me, PBS KIDS and Women in Children’s Media for an evening event in NYC on 10/18.

We will open the doors to the vibrantly-colorful Neighborhood of Make-Believe with a reception and special preview screening of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  A panel discussion featuring the show’s creators to immediately follow.

I hope to see you there!

-Angela

 

About the new PBS KIDS series premiering September 3: No one knew better than Fred Rogers how to connect with children – and, now, a whole new generation of preschoolers and families will experience his enduring legacy as never before with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, an exciting all-new animated series. Only on PBS KIDS. www.pbs.org/daniel

The first show from The Fred Rogers Company since the iconic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood stars the instantly-irresistible 4-year-old Daniel Tiger, son of the original series’ Daniel Striped Tiger.  In each episode, Daniel invites young viewers into his lively and engaging world, helping to introduce fun and easily-implementable musical strategies that reinforce the skills necessary for growing up and make it easier for today’s parents to navigate everyday life with their preschoolers.

RSVP:   danieltiger@pbs.org (The event is free. Business attire)

Most kids’ programs today say they’re “educational” simply to draw in parents. But effective programs aren’t created overnight..& like modern art, just because something’s minimal, does not mean that it’s simple

There’s a huge amount of R&D that goes into successful programs. On PBS Kids’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,we set out to create a show that would make the tenets of our socio-emotional curriculum as clear & straightforward as singing the ABC’s or counting to 10. We know that socio-emotional skills are skills that kids need for life.   

But how do you teach through TV?

At the end of 40 episodes, we want preschoolers to have seen the world through Daniel’s eyes & feel what he is feeling, learn the words that he uses, care so much for Daniel, and most of all, comprehend, learn & use the strategy of the day in their own lives.

A lot to ask? Well, I’m the one who’s guilty of pushing for an entire kindergarten readiness curriculum for Blue’s Clues & to ensure that kids’ reading skills skyrocket via Super Why. So, I’m always up for a challenge. And besides, us parents know how smart kids are. If we can give them the information in a well crafted story that they are interested in, they will learn. A LOT.

The Secret Sauce:  RESEARCH!

The key to creating a show that effectively reaches & engages children, is to involve the young audience in the process. We test our episodes starting very early on in the scripting stage, reading a script with storyboards to our most honest critics: the kids.

In our first episode, Daniel and his friends set out for a picnic at the Clock Factory Park. They set up a picnic with a blanket, some snacks & games to play. But, alas, it starts to rain! Disappointed, the kids run inside the clock factory.

Dad Tiger takes his time talking to the kids, breaking down the strategy to help Daniel & the home viewer apply it. Dad then sings the strategy to drive his point home: When something seems bad, turn it around, and find something good!

Suddenly, all the clocks inside the clock factory start to light up & chime all at once! The kids have an idea as to how to turn their rainy picnic around. “What about an inside picnic, with all the clocks?”

Hurray, the kids are not disappointed anymore.

Rachel Kalban, MA, head of Out of the Blue research held many sessions on this first script. What she found at the end of the first script testing is that the kids in research knew, after one reading of the story, that disappointed meant sad. This result came from children who didn’t have any knowledge of the word beforehand.

Success!   [ If you’ve just joined us from Bonbon Break, welcome! ]

Excited about our success, we decided to drive the idea home. Since we know that repetition is the key to learning, we decided that the 2nd 11 minute episode in the 1/2 hour should be about disappointment, as well. A different story, but 1 focusing on the same theme. At the end of 1/2 an hr, preschoolers would have about 10 instances of “disappointment” in the animation alone, including a full 1 minute song that exemplifies the use of the strategy. This ensures that all kids would walk away having learned our theme & strategy. Because preschoolers like to watch shows over & over, the learning would only multiply after repeated viewings. In fact, when Blue’s Clues launched, the study by Dr. Dan Anderson showed that with multiple viewings, “comprehension improved, & children increased their application of a demonstrated problem-solving strategy to problems both shown & not shown by the program.”

It was important for us to understand how kids were watching the show in their own homes & how the lessons would play out in their own lives. We sent a DVD to parents of kids ages 2-6 & asked them to watch the episode over the course of 1 week. They would then fill out the enclosed viewing diary, noting how many times their child watched & how they were using the lessons themselves.

We were thrilled to get these viewing diaries back. Kids were asking to watch the episode again & again. And after watching this episode only a few times, kids were applying the lesson into their own lives!

Some of my favorite feedback:

“Even though it’s raining, it’s good because we get to stay inside & play Barbies!”  –Madison (5.75 yrs old)

Zachary was upset that the bubble bath dissolved and I started the phrase and he finished it, then discovered he could make more bubbles by splashing. (Parent of boy, 3.75)

When Tamar was drawing a picture she “messed up” something in her picture but then just changed it to something else, like Daniel did in the first story. (Parent of girl, 6.25)

Teaching disappointment was a strong catalyst to propel our desire to enrich children’s lives by teaching many important, but overlooked, emotions such as empathy, resilience, persistence, and unconditional love in addition to sharing, remembering to go to the potty, and mad feelings.   

Zach said he had an idea of how to fix his broken zebra and turn it around and make something good.  (Parent of boy, 3.75)

 

 

by: Greg | Filed under Blue's Clues, My Projects, Parenting

What does one do when life seems to fill up your to do list..why, get a new puppy of course!

Introducing..Samoa.  Our latest (Bichon Shih Tzu) addition!

 

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, My Projects

David Newell, better known as the “speedy delivery” man on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, began working with Fred Rogers in 1967 to create the role of Mr. McFeely. Growing up, I would have swore that he lived in my neighborhood too. But on Friday, I received a speedy delivery upon opening my in box..from the man himself, Mr. McFeely :

Hi Angela.   Congratulations on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

I remember the first time you came for a visit to a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood taping. I even remember you sitting in one of those metal, uncomfortable, folding chairs we had for guests. Little did Daniel Tiger know at the time that he was looking out of his tree & seeing the creator of his son’s television series.  I am so glad you tuned into our Neighborhood early on because you are really in tune with Fred’s message & philosophy….& pace.

Thanks for being our neighbor as we all help deliver Fred’s message to future generations. He would be so proud of you. You did what he was conveying to his audience…as he often said “Attitudes are caught not taught!”

All the years you spent watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, you caught the creativity among many other attitudes that he was offering!

Congratulations to you & all of the neighbors at “Out of the Blue”……You came to watch the taping out of the blue…..we are delighted that we caught you!!!!!!!!!!!!

David Newell

(aka Mister McFeely)

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, My Projects

A week after the release of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Jumpman256 had a few questions for me, so I thought you’d like to hear some of the scoop! BIG thanks to Lawrence Martin for sharing his Neighborhood photos with us on this post.

 

1. Is the musical lesson always going to be the same for both stories?
YES. The curriculum for both 11 minutes is the same which will promote mastery of our strategy & content across the half hour.  

 

2. We got to hear 2 older residents of the Neighborhood of Make Believe..so far (Daniel Striped Tiger, I am sure, will be VERY prominent in the series—BTW, I LOVE what his job is. :) ) but will we hear any others? Lady Elaine, X, Henrietta? I mean, we SAW them, but will we HEAR them?

 YES!  Keep watching & you will get to know our adult neighbors very well.  Lady Elaine runs the Neighborhood Factory (first exhibit is “How Crayons are Made”), lives in the Museum Go Round with her daughter & husband, Music Man Stan, who runs the Neighborhood Music Store. They have playdates at their house with the other kids & attend the Neighborhood gatherings so you will see, hear & get to know them. Uncle X the Owl lives next door to Henrietta in the Treehouse & you will see & hear them interact with their kids.  

3. Will we see (besides [SPOILER!!!!!] Mr. McFeely) any human residents of the Neighborhood from the past? (If the answer’s yes on that one, you are triple awesome) :)

YES!  Mr McFeely makes many “speedy deliveries” in the Neighborhood & even shows Daniel how the mail works in the Neighborhood & takes him to deliver some letters. We get to know him as one of our beloved friends & Neighbors. We’ve also added other human residents: Dr. Anna, Teacher Harriet & Baker Aker.  

4. Why is Mr. McFeely not voiced by David Newell, the original guy?

David Newell is happy & well..if you listen carefully, you will hear that he voices the beginning/end of our show, talking about the great sponsors & “Viewers like you” message. He is not from Canada, unfortunately, & couldn’t voice the series. But he gave his blessing!  

 

 5. Finally…. Why the Sam Hill is King Friday still ruling? I mean, this takes place SEVERAL YEARS after the original show, right? King Friday was old back THEN—Tuesday should be king by now! I guess Friday still hasn’t learned to let go of anything, huh? ;)

 

Actually, King Friday wasn’t that old in the original series. He & Queen Sarah gave birth to a “later in life” baby, Prince Wednesday who joins big brother, Prince Tuesday in the Royal Family.  We felt that King Friday was such an iconic character that we couldn’t bear to let him go.  In similar vein to Queen Elizabeth, we feel he can be around a VERY long time!

 

We love that he models a different kind of parent & that he brings the Neighborhood together for some special days like the upcoming “Neighborhood Votes” episode, “Neighbor Day” and a “Neighborhood Clean Up”.  

 

Hope this helps!  Thanks for your interest!

 

Ugga Mugga, 
Angela