Sesame Workshop is planning to produce two seasons of a new international series titled The Adventures of Bert and Ernie. This claymation spin-off revolves around the imaginative adventures of the classic Sesame Street duo. However the characters will not be puppets but rather full-body claymated figures brought to life though the art of stop-motion animation.
The Italy-based animation studio Misseri Studio is set to animate and co-produce the show along with German public broadcaster NDR and UK broadcaster Five's Milkshake preschool block. Although the series is still being "shopped around" to international outlet, it has already attracted many distributers. The Adventures of Bert and Ernie has been picked up by ABC in Australia, Cartoon Network India, DR-TV in Denmark, Disney Asia, Disney Spain, HOP in Israel, NPS/Zeppelin in the Netherlands, NRK in Norway and SVT in Sweden. Although the international community getting into the series, Sesame Workshop does not plan to bring the series of 5-minute shorts to US audiences at this time.
The first season of the series, which includes 26 five-minute episodes, will be available to syndicates in March 2008, and a second season (also of 26 episodes) is already planned to follow in the spring 2009.
Each five-minute episode finds Bert and Ernie recalling stories of their past adventures sparked by photos and memorabilia in their scrapbook. Viewers are quickly transported into the vibrant world of the duo's imagination where their story springs to life (and often changes in an instant due to the character's conflicting point of view or recollection of events). Other characters included in the series are Bernice (Bert's pet pigeon) Ernie's Rubber Duckie, never-before-seen family members of both Bert and Ernie and other new characters met in their adventures.
Terry Fitzpatrick, Sesame Workshop's executive VP of distribution said that "we are proud to bring a whole new dimension and energy to the wit and charm of these classic and beloved characters".