|Created by||Will Brenton
|Developed by||Tell-Tale Productions for BBC Television|
|Opening theme||"Are you ready to play?"|
|Ending theme||"Are you ready to play?" (Instrumental version with added piano)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||390 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Judy Whitfield
|Camera setup||Davy Johnson|
|Running time||20 minutes|
BBC (1999-2003)Cartoonito (2014-present)
|First shown in||CBBC|
|Original run||6 September 1999– 24 September 2003|
Tweenies is a British television programme aimed at young children, originally broadcast on the BBC's CBBC programming block. Episodes of the programme have repeated on the CBeebies channel since 2004.
The idea for the programme came from Iain Lauchlan and Will Brenton, a pair with a track record of being involved in BBC children's programming. Together with Karl Woolley and Helen Cadwallader they set up Tell-Tale Productions at Elstree Film Studios in Hertfordshire. Iain Lauchlan was a presenter on Play School, Fingermouse and Playdays, meeting Brenton, a director, writer and also a presenter, during the latter. Together they started producing two of the Playdays strands before forming their own production companies Tell-Tale Productions and, more recently, Wish Films. They also created The Fun Song Factory, Boo!, BB3B!, Jim Jam and Sunny, Basil Hair The Squirrel and Entertainment Right's The Magical Lives of Toys.
Tweenies was a production of Tell-Tale Productions in association with the BBC. Animation for the show was produced by A Productions, an animation studio based in Bristol, England, with Ealing Animation providing some animation in a few early episodes. Computer animation for the series was provided by Clockwork Digital, with Ben Mars animating Mungo, the computer creature who appears in some later episodes.
The program is no longer in production, although merchandise can still be bought from retailers, and DVDs of the program are also available.
The characters are well developed and children are able to predict what their responses might be. The mixture of story, song and creative activity provides excellent opportunities for children to learn through play. Music plays an important part in the programme and children are encouraged to join in with songs and actions.
The programme is set in a playschool attended by the four Tweenies themselves: Bella, Milo, Fizz and the youngest, Jake. They are in the care of two adults, Max and Judy, and two dogs - Doodles & Izzles
The show includes a "Tweenie Clock", with five circular lights arranged in a pentagonal shape with the lights denoting "news time", "messy time", "song time", "telly time" and "story time". "Surprise time" is a special time determined when all five lights glow. A button at the center of the clock is pressed to select the activity that will be undertaken next.
It is currently being shown on CBeebies, the BBC's channel for young children. Like a number of other CBeebies programs, a live stage version of the show has toured in the UK. The most recent tour, Top of the Tots, toured the British Isles during 2009, the series' 10th anniversary. In addition, the tour also played several shows in Hong Kong in late September and early October 2009. The Tweenies are also regulars on the annual CBeebies Live tours around the British Isles. Between 2003 and 2006, there was also a live version of Tweenies shown regularly at Alton Towers in the Cred Street section aimed at younger children, which was removed in favor of Bob the Builder. In 2000, Tweenies won two awards: Best PreSchool Educational Program and Best Live Action PreSchool Program.
The original prototypes for the Tweenies characters were designed by Sally Preisig of Mimics Productions; they were later re-scaled into two sizes for the characters shown on the series. In addition, Sally also designed the character costumes and was co-constructor/developer for the Tweenies' full-size puppets. The costume fabric comes from the UK and was imported and dyed into their present colors; it is about the same thickness as fleece jumpers.
On 20 January 2013, the programme caused controversy after the 2001 episode titled "Favourite Songs", featuring a skit of Max dressed and acting like BBC personality Jimmy Savile, who after his death was implicated for sex and abuse crimes against children and teens on BBC grounds, was broadcast on CBeebies at 8:40 am. The BBC announced that "Favourite Songs" would permanently be removed from viewing in the future, and published an apology. Due to this incident the tweenies was aired on CBeebies for a further week and then taken off air. The final episode to air was the 264th titled Digger on the 1st February 2013. The series returned on 3 June 2013, resuming with the 261st episode, No.
The Tweenies consist of Bella, Milo, Fizz, Jake, Doodles, Izzles, Max, Judy, and are sometimes joined by Max's sister Polly. Other characters have appeared occasionally, including Milo's Uncle Mickey, Jake's mother, Fizz's father and Bella's Granny. There have also been several animated characters.
All of the four main characters first appeared in the 1998 pilot Tweenie Band.
The Tweenies are played by one set of actors, while the voices are provided by other actors. Unless otherwise indicated, all of the following actors and voice talent were in the show from 1999 to 2003.
|Bella||Blue-skinned with yellow hair which is usually accompanied with a red hair ribbon. Very bossy attitude. Likes her own way. She is 5 2/3 years old and sometimes she causes things to go wrong. — the tallest Tweenie||Tamsin Heatley||Sally Preisig (1999–2000)
Emma Weaver (2000–2003)
|Fizz||She is 4 years old and wear Yellow-skinned with red hair, sometimes shy. Fizz's best friend is Bella, Her favourite colour is pink, Loves doing ballet and dressing up as a princess, playing with the dolls.||Jenny Hutchinson (1999–2000)
Angela Reynolds (2000)
Francesca Anderson (2001–2003)
|Jake||Oranged-skinned with a yellow mohican - the youngest and shortest Tweenie. Jake is 2, nearly 3 years old and sometimes shows signs of being homesick. He often gets words mixed up. Jake's best friend is Milo,||Samantha Dodd (1999–2001)
Esther Collins (2001–2003)
|Milo||Purple-skinned with black hair. He is energetic and boisterous, but friendly and cheerful. He is 4 years old. Milo sometimes says stuff he shouldn't have said and can blow a huff when annoyed and then be told off by Bella.||C.H. Beck||Bob Golding|
|Judy||Pale green-skinned with purple hair, full name Judy, originated from Ireland||Simon Grover||Sinead Rushe|
|Max||Dark pink-skinned, with white hair, full name Max||Simon Grover||Bob Golding|
|Doodles||A red and yellow male dog||Alan Riley||Justin Fletcher|
|Izzles||A purple and yellow female dog||Fiona Watkins||Colleen Daley|
Data from AllMusicCharts.com
|Title||Entered Chart (UK)||Peak Position (UK)||Weeks on Chart (UK)|
|Friends Forever||25 November 2000||56||4|
|The Christmas Album||1 December 2001||34||5|
Data from AllMusicCharts.com
|Title||Entered chart (UK)||Peak position (UK)||Weeks on Chart (UK)||Sent to CBeebies Album|
|No. 1||11 November 2000||4||23||Yes|
|Best Friends Forever||31 March 2001||12||10||Yes|
|Do The Lollipop||4 August 2001||17||8||No|
|I Believe In Christmas||15 December 2001||9||6||No|
|Have Fun, Go Mad||14 September 2002||20||7||Yes|
- Noggin (USA) - 7 April 2003 – 1 January 2006
- CBeebies (UK) - 11 February 2002 – Present
- Living - 24 May 2001 – 10 February 2007
- PBS Kids - 13 December 1999 - 11 February 2007
- CBBC (UK) - 6 September 1999 – 10 February 2002
- ABC (Australia) - 4 July 2000 - 2003
- Nick Jr (USA) - 22 May 2002 - 4 November 2005
- E-Junior United Crab - 4 January 2008 - 30 December 2010
- Pogo Tv 2004 - 2005
DVDs and videos
They were released by BBC Worldwide.
Many of the above videos have also been dubbed into other languages. In addition, several of the Tweenies videos were produced in special versions for retailers with additional footage (for example, the "Party Games, Laughs & Giggles" video distributed at Marks & Spencer stores carried 2 additional segments, adding 10 minutes to the video's running time). Many of the above videos were also released as DVDs under different names. iTunes has released a best of Tweenies volume 1 which concists of the first 6 episodes of the series, Tweenie Band, Spider, I Am Me, Wriggling Fingers, Im Scared and Old House.
- Nominated and won Best Pre-School Live Action
Ocean Spray Sponsorship of Tweenies from August 2003 - March 2005 and Sprite from May 2006 - 31 December 2006
- "CBeebies Schedule page on BBC.co.uk for 20 January 2013". Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "BBC under fire after Tweenies character dresses up as Jimmy Savile", telegraph.co.uk, 20 January 2013
- "BBC receives 216 complaints for Tweenies Jimmy Savile spoof". BBC.co.uk. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- Revealed in episode #147 Giraffes
- "Past Winners and Nominees - Children's - Awards - 2000". BAFTA. Retrieved 3 July 2010.