Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nickelodeon USA Picks Up The Broadcast Rights To The First Season Of "Splatalot", Distribution360's Canadian Children's Obstacle Course Reality Show; To Premiere On Nick USA On Tuesday 17th July 2012

From Kidscreen:
Distribution360 sells Splatalot to Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon US has picked up the first season of the Canadian obstacle course reality series Splatalot as part of a deal with international distributor Distribution360.

The series from marblemedia, which airs on YTV and Teletoon French in Canada, will debut on the US channel today with back-to-back episodes airing in primetime.

The first season of Splatalot, comprising 26 half-hours, features kids attempting to make their way along an extreme obstacle course by avoiding spills into the water.

The series was originally commissioned as an international co-production by YTV, the BBC and Australia's ABC.

Splatalot is now seen in over 100 countries worldwide.

From Playback online.

Tags: Distribution360, marblemedia, Nickelodeon, Splatalot
Also, from C21Media:
Nick gets physical with gameshow

US children's cable channel Nickelodeon has acquired a Canadian medieval-themed physical gameshow. Nickelodeon has acquired Splatalot! (26x30'), which was created by Marblemedia as an English-language series for Canadian net YTV. In May, Dutch pubcaster Tros picked up rights to the format.
In the UK, the British version of "Splatalot", which is shown on the BBC's CBBC Channel, is presented and hosted by the television presenters Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood (also known as 'Dick and Dom').

Also, from The Cairns Post:
The accidental dancer

James Elmer has a life that must be the envy of his generation but it hasn't come without hard work.

The 20 year old from Cairns is lighting up TV screens from Australia to Canada but in school he certainly didn’t think he was going to do well.

“I was intellectual at school but not tenacious,” James says, tired from an early morning flight from Melbourne
and meetings with Cairns Central, for whom he is emceeing the Face of Cairns Central competition.

“I was taken into the office (at Smithfield High) and told I wasn’t doing enough OP subjects,” he says. “To stay in, I had to do either Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies or dance.”

James chose dance because there was a girl in the dance class he thought was cute, and that’s where his story truly began.

“About three weeks into the class, I had forgotten about the girl but dance was my life,” he says. “It was the sheer excitement.”

James’ passion was street dance and though he’d never had formal training before, he took to it like Michael Jackson to his moonwalk.

He entered an eisteddfod which, for the first time, had a hip-hop category and won $200.

That was a turning point for the aspiring dancer.

“It’s one thing thinking you can dance and your mum thinking you can,” James says. “But it’s quite another when professionals say you can dance.”

For all the high of his win, James says he encountered the first sparks of jealousy from dancers who had trained in jazz and ballet, and didn’t think he deserved the award.

“It happens to this day,” he explains. “It happened when I got into The Ministry of Dance in Melbourne and then I got a job at the ABC. Jealousy can turn to dislike.”

James says his troubles come from his “cocky nature”, something he hasn’t acquired but with which he was born.

“I was cocky when I was skating at Cairns Skate Park,” he says. “I was cocky sitting on the bench at rugby.

“I was born cocky and funny but it can be misleading, because really I work very hard.”

Straight after his eisteddfod win, James was picked up by the 365 Crew, a hip-hop dance troupe in Cairns.

His strength seems to be that he never allowed himself to be pigeonholed, and he likes to push his boundaries.

It didn’t stop him leaping further into the unknown, joining a production of CATS with Cairns Choral Society, which earned him a prize for being the most cat-like.

“It was the furthest thing from what I was doing,” James says. “There I was wearing my hat on backwards and then I thought, let’s do it.”

He was part of a comedy trio in school that reached the regional finals of Class Clowns (part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival) before auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, which yielded him his biggest break.

He reached the top 40 but the true blessing was meeting his now mentor, one of the judges of the show, Jason Coleman, who invited him to audition for his school, The Ministry of Dance, the largest dance company in the southern hemisphere.

James succeeded and made the move to Melbourne, where he has now lived for three years.

“My parents never had much money but my aunt in Melbourne loaned me $10,000 for my tuition for the first year and I stayed with her,” James says.

James learned tap, jazz, and ballet, which he loved the most because of the discipline and the challenge.

“I had planned to go for two or three years but by my third term I did an audition for a big TV show called Splatalot and they flew me to Canada,” James says. “It went to air to the BBC, YTV and ABC3 here.

“Now the second series has been shown in 100 countries.”

The show has a similar format to Wipeout but children rather than adults are put through an assault course, with characters like James, who plays defender Kookaburra, hired to taunt them and drive them off course.

The program was picked up by both Disney and Nickelodeon and now has an audience of 1.7 million.

The good feedback James received from his Splatalot gigs led to an invitation to audition for children's channel ABC 3 to present for their program Studio 3.

“My biggest thing so far was interviewing Kermit the Frog,” James says. “I said I wanted to high-five him as he was coming into the studio and I could hear his voice saying ‘yes’.

“Jason Segel was there too but I couldn't care less because this was Kermit the Frog!”

He turns just 21 in October but James has already achieved many of his life goals.

“Every single day I sing, dance, act, or interview dinosaurs. All my dreams have come true,” he says.

Last year he reached the top 10 in Australia's Got Talent as part of the dancing duo Team Rocket.

There are some dreams, however, still to be realised by this young entertainer. Newly signed up to Groove Pill Records, he is embarking on a singing career.

“Of all the things I do, singing gives me the most joy,” James says. “When you are creating music, it is huge.

“For my EP, the concept is day and night. The first three tracks are (UK folk and grime artist) Ed Sheeran-inspired, songs that you might like to drive to during the day, while the last three are more night-time.”

Back home for work with Cairns Central, James says Cairns was a good launching pad for his career and he wants to inspire others to follow their dreams.

“Here was a good start as it gave me the confidence,” he says. “If I can get on a podium here, I can get on a podium in Melbourne, or London, or LA.”