Pearson Broadband and Millimages Finalise Television Deal With BBC

Best Selling Dorling Kindersley Title "The Way Things WorkTM" to be Broadcast by BBC Education

Pearson Broadband & Millimages today announced a deal with the BBC to televise one of Dorling Kindersley’s most popular children’s titles The Way Things Work. Pearson Broadband, part of Pearson, the international media company, and Millimages are the co-producers of the new television series.

The deal will enable BBC Education to air twenty six episodes of fifteen minutes on BBC2, both in morning and afternoon slots. The slots are timed to allow children to learn physics as part of their daily school timetable.

The Way Things Work tells the story of the inhabitants of Mammoth Island. The islanders work with The Inventor to improve their world through the construction of labour-saving devices built with the unwilling participation of The Mammoths. Children watching the show will learn about the many laws of physics, in a highly entertaining and fun way.

The series has been drawn from the original David Macaulay book, The Way Things Work that was first published in 1988 by Dorling Kindersley. Since then over 3 million copies have been sold worldwide, attracting readers of all ages. The new animated television series will hold similar appeal to a broad range of viewers in both the classroom and the home.

hMacaulay’s highly imaginative and quirky illustrations set a standard for DK through the use of cross sections to explain the workings of everyday items. The book has become a staple publication for teachers and school libraries in the UK. Teachers use the book to support their core instruction in physics, using the illustrations to motivate pupils to discuss, for example, the concept of levers.

Educational elements within the book are mirrored in the television series with viewers being given the opportunity to discover the solutions to problems themselves through clues within each episode.

"David Macaulay’s book was a breakthrough in helping children to understand the complexities of physics," said Simon Jollands, Director of Television at Pearson Broadband. "Bringing the book to life with the help of our co-producer, Millimages, allows us to further build on this ground-breaking way of explaining difficult concepts to kids."

Jollands added "Pearson Broadband delivers content that makes learning entertaining and engaging, and The Way Things Work is a perfect example of this. Our deal with the BBC will allow young viewers across the whole of the UK to experience physics in a unique way."

"The Way Things Work is a modern classic that has inspired a generation of children," said Jonathan Peel, Chairman, Millimages. "Millimages and Pearson Broadband are adapting the work into a highly entertaining and informative animated television series which will illuminate the vital part physics plays in everyday life."

"BBC Education is very excited at being able to bring this entertaining and enjoyable series to our audience in and out of school. It will be a huge contribution to making physics accessible and interesting to young children" said Karen Johnson, Executive Editor, Children’s Education at BBC Education

"It’s particularly rewarding to see the BBC enthusiastically support an ambitious series that aims at teaching a very serious subject like physics, and make children laugh at the same time", said Anne Magnol, Head of Sales, Television at Pearson Broadband.

Production of The Way Things Work will be completed in early 2003.


About Pearson Broadband

Pearson Broadband is committed to discovering new and different ways to create, package and distribute relevant and accessible learning-related experiences. By developing high impact, entertaining television and broadband applications, Pearson Broadband invites individuals to participate in personalised learning, in both the home and classroom. From view to do, through TV to broadband and back again, Pearson Broadband continuously develops compelling and interactive ways to meet individual learning needs.

Pearson Broadband, part of Pearson, the international media company, has offices in London, Arizona, Beijing, Hong Kong and New York.

About Millimages

With offices in Paris and Los Angeles, London, Millimages is one of the foremost animation production companies in Europe producing high-quality animation series for television. Due to the content and high quality, their programmes have been bought by principle broadcasters worldwide. International sales account for more than two-thirds of the company's turnover. Millimages oversees the entire production process for its animated series. This is a major advantage that results in a high cost-effectiveness and enables control over the whole technical and artistic process. The majority rights held by Millimages for its programme catalogue provide a long term, growing income, which is derived from television broadcasting,the video market and merchandising.

About BBC Education

Education has always been central to the BBC's purpose as a public service broadcaster. It currently provides 7 hours of educational television each day across the analogue and digital channels and publishes around 2000 books, videos and CDroms. BBC programmes are used in 90% of UK schools and, outside of the classroom, two thirds of children further their studies through its multi-media services.

Contact Information

Pearson Broadband:
Robin Gay
+44 20 7010 2907 (In London)
+44 776 423 2855 (In Cannes)