By Dawn C. Chmielewski
6:00 AM PST, February 12, 2013
DreamWorks Animation will create the first Netflix original series for kids -- a show based on next summer's animated film "Turbo."
The new series, "Turbo: F.A.S.T." -- short for "Fast Action Stunt Team" -- is to debut in December in the United States and the 39 other countries where Netflix offers its online subscription service. The program will continue the animated exploits of the movie's snail hero, Turbo, who in the film pursues the improbable dream of competing in the Indianapolis 500.
"Netflix boasts one of the largest and fastest-growing audiences in kids' television,"
DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement. "They pioneered a new model for TV dramas with 'House of Cards,' and now together we're doing the same thing with kids' programming."
Netflix has been investing in original series, such as the recently launched "House of Cards," a political drama staring Kevin Spacey, and striking high-profile deals for exclusive content in a bid to differentiate its video service from competitors'.
Last December, it reached an agreement with Walt Disney Co. to offer live-action movies and animated films from Disney, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm as soon as they are available for home release.
Netflix, which has been bulking up its family-friendly fare, streamed more than 2 billion hours of children's content last year. It also created a children's interface so young viewers could more easily find episodes of such shows as "My Little Pony," "Phineas and Ferb" and "SpongeBob SquarePants."
"Families love Netflix, so creating an original series for kids was a natural for us," Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said. "And we're doing it in a big way by adapting 'Turbo.'"
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