Thursday, July 12, 2012
Kindle, the production company behind Leonardo, Some Dogs Bite and Dustbin Baby, will co-produce a new TV series based on the books, with Hachette Books who have acquired the rights to the Enid Blyton literary estate (excluding Noddy).
The reimagining of Blyton’s much loved children’s stories, in which four young children and their dog have adventures while on school holidays, is planned as a family series, rather than a kids-only show, with Kindle targeting the early Saturday primetime slots filled by the likes of Doctor Who and Merlin.
The pilot follows tomboy George, now a modern girl, tand her dog Timmy, being transported back in time to Kirrin Bay in 1954 where she meets the rest of the gang. Through each episode George will gradually learn more about Uncle Quentin’s mysterious experiments before all is revealed. The series, currently being developed by scriptwriter Gareth Roberts, will include a number of adventures based on Blyton’s original plots
If a broadcast deal is struck, each of the 21 books will make a 45-minute standalone commercial hour, allowing channels to run it as a 13x45 minute or 26x22 minute series.
2012 marks the 70th anniversary of the publication of the first of The Famous Five books, Five on a Treasure Island.
Melanie Stokes, founder and co-director of Kindle Entertainment, said: “The Famous Five is one of the most successful children’s books series of all time, loved by three generations across the globe. We are over the moon to have the opportunity to bring these stories to life for today’s audiences. Kindle Entertainment prides itself on producing fresh and imaginative programming that engages children and adults alike. With this year being the 70th anniversary of The Famous Five it’s the perfect time to introduce a fresh new take on these much-loved adventurers.”
Anne McNeil, publisher for The Famous Five, added: “All of us who love these books feel that the Five belong to us—that we know them; that we could be them. This innovative and creative proposal will allow new fans to share our excitement, as they are introduced to familiar characters and settings, shown through the eyes of a contemporary George. Blyton’s sense of adventure lasts for ever.”
Other upcoming productions from Kindle Entertainment include The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby, a modern retelling of the Charles Dickens classic for the BBC.