HOLLYWOOD: Wind Dancer Films is producing a second season of the animated space-themed show Ready Jet Go! for PBS Kids.
Ready Jet Go! follows an alien and his human friends as they go on intergalactic adventures throughout the solar system. The sophomore season will consist of 24 episodes, an hour-long special and a collection of new web games and mobile apps. Production kicks off this month for a debut on PBS Kids late next year.
“Our goal with Ready Jet Go! is to ignite kids’ natural fascination about space and inspire them to explore the endlessly exciting and ever-evolving world of science,” said Dete Meserve, principal of Wind Dancer Films and executive producer of the series. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with PBS Kids to bring a whole new season of engaging adventures to young viewers from coast to coast.”
“PBS Kids is pleased to introduce new episodes of Ready Jet Go!, which extends our commitment to using the power of media to spark children’s curiosity and love of learning,” added Lesli Rotenberg, the senior VP and general manager of children’s media and education at PBS. “Research demonstrates the importance of starting to build kids’ STEM skills early, especially in underserved communities, which is whyReady Jet Go! is such an important part of PBS Kids’ educational media.”
The second season of “Ready Jet Go,” the PBS Kids series that teaches viewers about scientific thinking skills, has gone into production, according to Wind Dancer Films, the production company behind the series. The new season will feature 24 new episodes, an hour-long special and a collection of new web games and mobile apps, and is set to launch in late 2017.
The show is created by Craig Bartlett and introduces three-to-eight-year-old viewers to astronomy, technology, scientific exploration, innovation, and invention. The series incorporates live-action interstitials with noted NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory astrophysicist Dr. Amy Mainzer, a science curriculum consultant for the show.
The series”follows Jet Propulsion, the new kid in town who also happens to be an alien from outer space. Along with his Earthling friends Sean and Sydney, Jet goes on intergalactic explorations through the solar system. Each episode poses a question about outer space or Earth science.
The second season is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the U.S. Department of Education.
Since its February premiere on PBS Kids,”Ready Jet Go!” has reached 22 million viewers, including 7.6 million kids on linear TV, and its content has been streamed more than 93 million times since January. In addition to airing on PBS stations, full-length segments from the show are available for streaming on pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Video app on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. The series is also on Amazon Prime Video.
TV Kids Weekly/World Screen News: Joanna Padovano
TV Kids Weekly shines a spotlight on the new space-themed animated series Ready Jet Go!, the first kids’ show from Wind Dancer Films.
The 3D animated series Ready Jet Go! follows the outer-space adventures of two friends and their alien neighbor, Jet, as they explore the solar system in a flying saucer. The show, created by Craig Bartlett (Dinosaur Train, Hey Arnold!), aims to teach astronomy and Earth science concepts to children between the ages of 3 and 8. It is produced by Wind Dancer Films (Roseanne, Home Improvement) and marks the company’s foray into kids’ television programming.
“[Bartlett] came in with a film idea and in the course of that discussion, he mentioned that he had this idea about wanting to make a show for kids to learn about astronomy and Earth science through the eyes of an alien kid,” says Dete Meserve, executive producer of Ready Jet Go! and principal of Wind Dancer, which recently set up a new children’s TV division. “I thought, There isn’t a kids’ show about space and I don’t really know why. This could be a really fun way in, and [doing a show] through the eyes of an alien kid made me really excited because it was a way to look at Earth the way we wanted kids to.”
Meserve feels that a big part of Ready Jet Go!’s appeal is that it provides answers to many of the space-related questions that children often have. “I know as a kid I had always wondered, What is it like to jump on the moon?” she says. “Well our kids [in the show] get to do that. They get to play soccer on Mars; they get to go close enough to the sun to really understand that it’s a star and that it’s not this flat disc in the sky but a sphere. It’s opening up [their] imagination at the same time that [they’re] learning how the solar system and the world work.”
Ready Jet Go! premiered in February on PBS Kids in the U.S. In its first three weeks on the air, the show reached 8.4 million viewers, 3.1 million of which were children. It had more than 30 million streams on digital platforms for the month of February.
Just ahead of its linear debut, Wind Dancer tapped Licensing Street as the property’s U.S. licensing and retail development agent. The consumer products program will launch with branded toys, publishing and apparel that will begin rolling out around the country in 2017. “Licensing Street really got this show from the day that we showed it to them and it was in its very, very early form of drawings and concepts,” says Meserve. “We didn’t even have a finished episode to show them and they [came up with] ways to make things that would be really fun for kids to play Ready Jet Go! in their backyards.”
CAKE is on board to internationally distribute the series outside of the U.S. “Ready Jet Go! is first and foremost a character-based comedy with heart and a bit of space science thrown in as seasoning,” says Tom van Waveren, the company’s CEO and creative director. “Bartlett’s talent lifts this show to be a wonderful celebration of friendship and curiosity. It’s a joy to take Jet and his crew into the world for our friends at Wind Dancer Films.”