Cookie Jar kick-starts production of “Mudpit”

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Production of the partly animated Cookie Jar Entertainment series Mudpit, set to air on Canada’s Teletoon English and Teletoon French in the fall of 2011, is now underway at downtown Toronto’s CBC Studio 40 with a cast of musically diverse, talented teens.

With over 20 international awards, Canada’s Guru Studio is brought onboard to produce the CGI animation for the series, currently being shot within the 13,000-square-foot “state of the art” studio in Toronto.

“I focus on producing shows that reinvest in Canadian talent and push the envelope with cutting-edge, creative ideas that stimulate the technologically savvy imaginations of our young audiences. I remain committed to that,” says Cookie Jar CEO Michael Hirsh.

Mudpit takes place at the nexus of the social and personal power of music and the appeal of role-playing in a digital world. This CGI animated/live-action series follows four real-world teens and their rock band, Mudpit, as they follow their dreams of fame and fortune.

The series takes place in a gaming café and a fantastic, virtual world known as Musika. Their online avatar rock band personas battle for a coveted record deal, while their real life selves engage in the daily comedy and drama of teenage life.

Hirsh added: “We have partnered with award-winning Canadian based gaming company NDI Media and secured some of the best writers and producers in the entertainment industry for this series. The Mudpit cast members come from across Canada, with a number of the leads credited with industry nominations and previous leading roles in other Canadian and U.S. major productions.”

The Mudpit series was created by Jamie Waese. Waese recently spent two years as head of current programming for Cookie Jar Entertainment, where he oversaw all creative aspects. He is the producer and co-director of Gotta Catch Santa Claus, a one-hour CGI Christmas movie with William Shatner as Santa.

Bruce Kalish is the series executive producer-showrunner. Kalish began his career on the hit ABC comedy series Mork & Mindy, and has since amassed numerous awards and credentials as a writer-producer.

Kalish created, wrote and executive produced Disney XD’s first live-action series, Aaron Stone. He wrote and executive produced Strange Days at Blake Holsey High and the hit series The Fall Guy, and was writer-executive producer on Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson and The Famous Jett Jackson Movie, for which he won a Gemini Award for Best Series.

Leading cast members include Montreal’s own Jesse Rath as band leader Liam/Lamb. Rath’s recurring role on CBC’s 18 To Life recently earned him a nomination for a Gemini for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series. Carleigh Beverly, who has appeared in Connor Undercover, the ABC drama Rookie Blue and the Lifetime Original Movie Who Is Clark Rockefeller?, backs the crew up as power drummer Geneva/G.

Adding to the Canadian cast is Vas Saranga as Reese/Dodge. Saranga is most well known for his recurring role on Disney XD’s Aaron Stone as Vas and Cartoon Network’s Unnatural History as Broxton Garko.

Rounding out the cast is Daniel Magder as Mikey/Booch, best known as Edwin from Life with Derek. Magder began to learn his craft working with Timothy Hutton. Daniel’s credits also include appearing with Shelley Long in Vanished Without A Trace (NBC), James Garner and Julie Andrews in One Special Night (CBS), and with Jennifer Lopez in Angel Eyes.

The cast personally sing the original songs created for the show and perform all their own voiceovers for their avatar personas.

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Paul is an old-timer here at BCDB- his contributions go back to before the site! Paul is widely regarded as a Disney historian, and is also on staff at the Disney Museum in San Francisco. Paul is also a contributing historian for D23, the Disney Club. Paul has published several books and magazine articles on Disney history, too. You are welcome to drop Paul a line here.

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