VOOM's Animania HD Secures Exclusive HD Rights to Mr Bean, The Animated Series

Rowan Atkinson, star of original Mr Bean comedy series, lends voice to animated series for Animania HD's U.S. premiere on June 10th

New York, NY – June 7, 2006 – VOOM HD Networks' Animania HD, the high-definition destination for animation where cartoon worlds take on astonishing depth and detail, announced today the exclusive HD broadcast rights to Mr Bean, The Animated Series, from Tiger Aspect Productions Limited, recognized as one of the UK's most successful and prolific independent television producers. "Mr. Bean," was first broadcast on UK TV in 1990, with Rowan Atkinson as the star in this live-action comedy series that was featured both on television and film. Since its launch, the 14 half-hour live action programs have sold to over 190 countries worldwide and have been in continual distribution worldwide for 16 years. For the new animated series, Atkinson himself provided the distinct vocal sounds of Bean, working on the transformation to animated character for over two years. As part of the deal, Animania HD has acquired 26 half-hour episodes. Animania HD is part of the VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high-definition channels nationwide and currently available on DISH Network.

Mr Bean, The Animated Series heralds a new era on television, for one of the UK's most successful characters of all time, with this brand new series of hilarious animated adventures. We are very pleased to have secured such a well-known brand with a strong following and transfer it into a new type of medium all in high-definition," said Keith O'Connell, Vice President of Programming for Animania HD. "This series reinforces Animania HD's commitment to showcasing quality and ground-breaking animation from all over the world, while continually contributing to our increasing library of high-definition programming."

The original "Mr. Bean" was a near-silent comedy series that showcased Rowan Atkinson's considerable gift for physical comedy. For the animated series, Rowan Atkinson acted out every frame, in front of cameras in order to assist animators in capturing the unique movement of Britain's most infamous character. Each episode was written by a team of comedy writers, with new stories that take place in the real world, but with Mr. Bean ordinary events, like finding a parking space and getting a suntan, escalate into the extraordinary.

In February of this year, VOOM HD announced its distribution agreement with Echostar Communications to carry all fifteen HD channels on its Dish Network. Since its launch, Animania HD has introduced a variety of high-definition animated series including PICME, an award-winning interactive animated series where a child literally stars in his/her own cartoon and Lola and Virginia, a witty animated sitcom, targeted to girls 6 to 12, telling the story of the relationship between these two girls involving alliances, strategies and betrayal. This new announcement for Animania HD confirms VOOM's commitment to growing and to investing in the brand's aggressive move into the marketplace.

VOOM HD Networks is the largest suite of high-definition channels available anywhere, produced exclusively in high definition for distribution in the U.S. through satellite and cable operators. The VOOM HD Networks carry programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music and art. Today, the VOOM HD Networks are available nationally on Echostar's DISH Network. The VOOM HD Networks were developed by Rainbow Media to meet the growing demand for quality high-definition programming, building on Rainbow Media's history of original programming innovation.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media creates and manages some of the country's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands including popular national and regional television channels AMC, fuse, The Independent Film Channel (IFC), WE, and three FSN affiliated regional sports networks managed by Rainbow Sports Networks. The company also manages Mag Rack and sportskool, two original on-demand networks; VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high definition channels available anywhere; IFC Entertainment, its film distribution, production and exhibition division; Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales division; and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.

About Tiger Aspect Productions Limited
Tiger Aspect Productions is recognized as one of the UK's most successful and prolific independent television producers. The company's portfolio includes animation, comedy, drama, entertainment and factual programming and spans all UK channels.

Audience-delivering, critically acclaimed and award winning programming for all the UK's broadcasters is Tiger Aspect's stock in trade.

Successes across the full range of channels and genres include:

  • Comedy- (BBC TWO) The Catherine Tate Show and (BBC ONE) Vicar of Dibley.
  • Drama – (BBC ONE) Murphy's Law, Robin Hood (in production) (Channel 4) Teachers.
  • Factual – (Five) Make Me A Supermodel (BBC TWO) A Seaside Parish, The Monasteryan American version of this program, 40 Days and 40 Nights, due to screen next year, is currently in production through Tiger Aspects's Washington Office. (Channel 4) Men In White.
  • Entertainment – (BBC ONE) The Lenny Henry Show. (BBC ONE) Great Big Bid. (Channel 4) My New Best Friend.
  • Animation – (Cbeebies) Charlie & Lola (ITV1) Animated Mr Bean.

Tiger Aspect has also expanded beyond the UK and Tiger Aspects creative output now enjoys an increasingly high profile in the U.S. through its commissions for major stateside networks.

Tiger Aspect programming is built on a hot-bed of the best on offer in UK talent. The company's belief in nurturing and supporting creativity on every level means that Tiger Aspect consistently attracts the UK's ultimate in on-screen, writing and production talent. This has resulted in further brand extension with Tiger Aspects enjoying global recognition through film, (Tiger Aspect Pictures – Billy Elliot), theatre (Our House – Madness Musical) and wildlife programming (Bristol based Tigress Productions).

All these constituents combined with on-going development and reversioning of Tiger Aspect programs and formats for international broadcasters and producers make sure that Tiger Aspect remains a major player in today's highly competitive production sector.

Press Contacts

  • Lisa Rogen
    Rainbow Media - VOOM
    (917) 542.6216