Bruce Kalish enters 'Mudpit'

Production on tween series to start in April

TORONTO -- Cookie Jar Entertainment has tapped Bruce Kalish ("Power Rangers") to show-run its hybrid tween series "Mudpit" for the indie Canadian producer's teen and adult label, The Jar.

Production on 26 half-hours of "Mudpit" will start in April.

Kalish most recently created, wrote and executive produced the Disney XD live action series "Aaron Stone," which was shot in Toronto.

"Mudpit," a blended live action and animated comedy, portrays four teens in a virtual band called Mudpit that are forced by a sudden hit single to balance their off-line teen lives with their virtual world stardom.

Kalish was hired by Burbank-based Tom Mazza, executive vp and head of worldwide TV, who was brought in last year to broaden Cookie Jar's programming into U.S. network series and syndicated fare after the Toronto-based producer acquired the global brand management group DIC Entertainment for $83 million in 2008.

Cookie Jar, best known for its animated kids series, is looking to develop series with Canadian talent that can be made north of the border -- with U.S. and other international partners -- or to produce U.S.-originated series that can be sold internationally.

In addition to "Mudpit," Cookie Jar is developing 26 half-hours of "Abra Ca Debra," a tween live action comedy about a 15-year-old boy who wants to be a famous magician and 14-year-old Debra, who just wants to have fun, and the live- action fantasy series "Zenda," about a headstrong teen who opens a Pandora's box of power that puts her world in jeopardy.