New Children's Media Company, A Squared, Teams with AOL to Launch Online Children's Programs

--Each Celebrity-Driven Program Will Feature "Interactive World," Created by MGX Lab

A new children's media company, called A Squared Entertainment, announced Friday that it is working with AOL to launch a slate of broadband video programs. The programs, which will feature animated versions of such celebrities as Warren Buffett, Gisele Buendchen, Martha Stewart and Carl Sagan, will teach children about finance, the environment, creativity and science, the company says.

According to A Squared, it will produce a "season's worth" of 3-5 minute Webisodes featuring each of the celebrities. The Webisodes will premiere on AOL, the company says, and AOL will also distribute them more broadly on the Internet, leveraging "the power of social networking." In addition, it says that AOL is working with digital media agency, MGX Lab, to create what it promises will be "a unique dynamic interactive world for each property," with games and activities to support each show's content. "Secret Millionaire's Club," starring Warren Buffett (as a mentor to a group of children who have adventures in business and learn financial lessons along the way), and "GiGi & the Green Team," starring Gisele Buendchen (as a supermodel who, at night, becomes a "superhero protector of the environment"--the show is billed as "the first superhero series for girls that will educate, entertain, inspire and empower girls to protect and preserve the environment"), are scheduled to launch on AOL in the fall; and "Little Martha," starring Martha Stewart (as a 10-year-old version of herself who operates an event planning company from a "tricked-out treehouse" and who teaches children about cooking, crafting and gardening), and "Kosmos" (which was created by Ann Druyan, co-author of Carl Sagan's popular science book, "Cosmos," and which stars an animated Sagan in adventures that are billed as teaching "real science") are scheduled to launch next spring. "A Squared was created to introduce great entertainment for kids that also serves to teach them about the world around them in fun ways," A Squared co-founder and co-president, Andy Heyward, said in a prepared statement. "We are privileged to have some of the premier icons of our time to inspire modern content for children. Each an expert in their respective fields, these celebrities have committed to bringing content with a purpose to kids. Together with AOL, we are reinventing the way multimedia brands are launched to connect with kids throughout their multi-tasking daily lives." Added AOL chairman and CEO, Tim Armstrong: "AOL has a proud heritage of providing families and children with high-quality educational and entertaining online content, and we're delighted to work with A Squared to bring these innovative programs to our users and across the Web. These experiences provide fun content that serves a purpose, and we're bringing our expertise in creating and distributing digital content to this effort to help deliver this unique content to AOL users and across the Web."

A Squared was co-founded by Andy Heyward and his wife, Amy Moynihan, both of whom hold the title, co-president. Heyward previously created and ran DIC Entertainment, the children's media company responsible for such shows as "Care Bears," "Inspector Gadget," and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." Moynihan, A Squared says, is a 20-year brand marketing veteran who has developed and launched products for such companies as McDonald's, Hasbro and The Los Angeles Times.