Fresh TV’s Jennifer Pertsch and Tom McGillis have created the first reality show for tweens that isn’t real at all – it’s animated. Total Drama Island is set in a remote summer camp in Northern Ontario where a group of teenagers are forced to endure a summer of leaky cabins, crappy food and increasingly insane challenges. Only one camper can win – the rest will walk the dreaded Dock of Shame.
The half-hour series launches on TELETOON Sunday, July 8 at 8pm ET / PT with a one-hour pilot episode. The series will then air in its regular time slot of Thursdays and Sundays at 8:30pm ET / PT.
Fresh TV worked with Reactorz Research to survey potential tween viewers (ages 8 – 12) to determine the viewing habits and preferences of this tricky demographic. According to this national research, the four most popular television shows for this audience are all animated series. Tweens appetite for reality television is strong, although their dislike for backstabbing and fake romance that takes place on these type of shows is prevalent.
“We discovered that tweens have a definite preference for reality shows that test people’s physical and psychological endurance,” noted co-creator and Executive Producer Tom McGillis. “Tweens prefer to leave the politicking to the adults and would rather laugh at the nasty characters who don’t play fair. Based on these findings, Total Drama Island is packed with incredible challenges that could only happen in an animated series and mercilessly mocks characters who scheme and backstab.”
To reach tween audiences across all platforms, Fresh TV teamed up with Xenophile Media to create Total Drama Island – Totally Interactive! an immersive and highly dynamic web experience that even extends to mobile phones. The website will feature customized avatars, 26 unique games (one game matched to every episode of the TV series), and a weekly email tabloid magazine tailored to each player. Totally Interactive! can be found at www.teletoon.com/tdi and will launch June 23, in advance of the series’ television premiere.
“Tweens don’t differentiate between platforms,” commented the interactive Executive Producer Patrick Crowe, Xenophile Media. “During and after a half-hour television experience, kids will likely use both a mobile phone and a computer. Now when tweens go to these sources for content, Total Drama Island – Totally Interactive! will be there.”
In order to keep the element of surprise, Fresh TV’s Toronto studio has been shrouded in secrecy since the series went into production over a year ago.
“We insisted that every writer, artist and actor sign a confidentiality agreement, swearing not to divulge the winner,” explained Jennifer Pertsch, co-creator and Executive Producer. “Our goal is to keep the audience guessing, just like on any other reality show.”
Fresh TV Inc. eats, sleeps and breathes to create television people will love right now. Fresh partners include veteran film, television and animation producers Brian Irving, George Elliott, Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch. The Toronto-based development and production company specializes in the creation of family entertainment. In addition to Total Drama Island, Fresh TV has produced the highly rated and award-winning animated series 6TEEN, seen on TELETOON in Canada and around the world. As well as producing its own slate of original series, Fresh also offers the production services of Elliott Animation which has worked on such renowned series as Sitting Ducks and Erky Perky.