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Dr. Seuss Acquisition Is Start of New Path For Family Producer

Dr. Seuss Acquisition Is Start of New Path For Family Producer

By DARRELL SATZMAN

Staff Reporter

JP Kids is growing up.

The Hollywood production company that has focused on television programs for preschool-aged children has changed its name to Mindrocket Media and is developing a more mature slate of shows.

The makeover of San Francisco-based Mindrocket, which has production facilities in Los Angeles, is being fueled in part by its recent acquisitions of the television rights to 15 Dr. Seuss titles and Howard Garis’ “Uncle Wiggly” series.

Mindrocket has signed deals to co-produce series based on the Seuss and Garis’ titles for Public Broadcasting System stations in Chicago and Minneapolis. The company wants the educational oriented shows to be picked up nationally by PBS.

Those offerings are aimed at an audience only marginally older than the one reached by JP Kids. But Rick Hawkins, Mindrocket’s senior vice president for television and film, said the company has several other projects in development that will appeal to both kids and adults. He declined to go into details but said it will shop the projects soon to the major networks.

“Rather than putting all our eggs in one basket it makes great business sense to produce shows that the whole family can enjoy together,” Hawkins said.

The change in orientationhas been fueled by a desire to get Mindrocket programs on the major networks. This year Mindrocket will have a new show, “Gordy’s Rebellion,” on the Noggin channel, a commercial-free cable station developed by Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop. Another new show, “Merlin in Miami,” is being co-produced with Granada Kids of England and will air in Great Britain.

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