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Chellomedia’s Panda moves into original programming

Canal Panda has made its first major move into original content with the commission of a live-action series featuring its iconic mascot.

The Portuguese channel, which is run by Liberty Global’s content division Chellomedia and Portuguese pay TV platform Zon, ordered the series from Iberian producer Coral Europa.

The 52x10mins show, Bairro do Panda, follows the channel’s panda mascot as he has adventures in a magical town.

The music score is from Portuguese singer Luisa Sobral.

Each episode features a segment in which kids and parents learn about the rights of children, as part of the Panda mascot being appointed the UNICEF ambassador for Portugal.

“The Canal Panda brand is well known and one key to growth is in-house production, tailored exactly to local tastes,” Isabel Mimosa, Dreamia children’s channel director, told TBI. “It differentiates the channel from the global kids nets and helps consolidate the brand and reinforce the fact that we are Portuguese. There is a strong identification with the brand and the Panda mascot.”

The show has started airing on the kids channel and Mimosa said a decision is pending about a possible second series. “We’re happy with the results and are looking at a second season,” Mimosa said.

Canal Panda is part of Dreamia, the channel operating joint venture Chellomedia and Zon created in late 2009.

Canal Panda is distributed in Portugal and in Portuguese-speaking Africa.