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‘Wonderama’ Returns!

The Variety Show for Kids and Families Has It All

The all-new “Wonderama” returns this weekend following a triumphant revival in first-run syndication last January. Hosted by David Osmond (of the iconic Osmond family), and now 30-minutes per episode in length, “Wonderama” offers a blend of musical artists, science demonstrations, cooking segments, fun and messy games and surprise guests, all within the FCC-friendly, children’s educational/informational (E/I) compliance. And it’s great fun for the whole family.

Capitalizing on the success and growth of the first installments of the updated series earlier this year, “Wonderama” is the centerpiece of Wonderama Holdings, LLC, a company designed to entertain and engage kids and families across multiple screens and platforms through original content and branded entertainment. By presenting the series in a variety show format, the new “Wonderama” embraces several genres of programming (science, cooking, musical artists, etc.) that kids won’t find anywhere else and that can be seamlessly offered alongside other, new original short-form content on WonderamaTV.com and across social media.

Additionally, the newest installments of the syndicated series can be seen on 55 new affiliate stations nationwide, including Los Angeles station, KTLA and New York’s PIX11, an original partner of the “Wonderama” rebirth.
“’Wonderama’ is back and better than ever thanks to a dedicated team charged with elevating the series to a whole new level of fun and informative E/I entertainment,” said Chuck Armstong of Wonderama Holdings LLC, the mastermind behind the ‘Wonderama’ revival. “Each member of the newly-formed ‘Wonderama’ family brings passion, industry accolades and a commitment to entertain kids like no other show can. I am humbled to have them on my team, excited to present 26 new episodes and energized by their commitment to putting kids’ entertainment needs front and center. The new ‘Wonderama’ is amazing!”

Fresh off a 23-year run as Senior Producer on “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee” is Mark Lyons, a 10-time Emmy Award winner who joined the show as senior producer this past May. “When I saw the updated first season of this timeless brand, I immediately knew Wonderama really had legs,” said Lyons. “In our newest installments, our approach is to keep up the entertainment value and seamlessly blend it with fun, educational content that our core demo will respond to and appreciate. Every episode is chockful of fun performances, science experiments, cooking demos, loads of information and messy games. Even better, the new half-hour format keeps ‘Wonderama’ moving at a brisk pace and no segment is longer than three and a half minutes, perfect for today’s busy tweens and teens.”

“We wanted the show to give off a fun, Saturday night vibe,” added Lyons. “We have five segments per show, the energy of each episode unfolds at a very brisk pace. With two performance segments, two demo segments and then a game, the new “’Wonderama’ moves like a locomotive!.”

New Episodes/More Clearances

Scheduled to air on 55 additional affiliated stations across the country (predominantly on weekend mornings), participating celebrities familiar to the target audience include rapper Baby Kaely, singer Aja9, British pop trio New Hope Club and Jamaican reggae star, Conkarah.

“Many of our acts have tremendous social media following because that’s where today’s kids live,” noted Lyons. “As we roll out each new installment, we’re partnering with our guests to help spread the word of ‘Wonderama’ and bring us even more fans. There is an unmistakable web presence on this show.”

Regular games in this new batch of episodes will include Circle of Pies, which is like musical chairs only with pies; Snakes in a Cannon (an update of Snakes in a Can) which is part of the original DNA of ‘Wonderama;’ and original games like Rock Soccer and Bucket Head Splat, where kids throw balloons filled with paint to their partners who have buckets on their heads as they try to catch them in their buckets.

“These are fun and messy games,” noted Lyons, who also underscores the consistent presence of science, crafting and cooking segments on ‘Wonderama.’ “We got a lot of kids from ‘MasterChef Junior’ to come on and show off their favorite recipes as we feel it’s important for talented kids to be reflected on-air. In some cases, we have grown-ups come on. Stomp, for example, was a guest and did their finale. But, for the most part, the acts are kids themselves.”

Something for Each and Every Fan

Dancers, singers, inventors, animal experts, crafts, money experts, musicians, magicians, baton twirlers, sport stackers…”Wonderama” has it all. Even kids’ show icon, Marc Summers of “Double Dare” fame and baseball legend, Bobby Valentine drop by for surprise appearances.

For the baby boomer generation, of course, “Wonderama,” is synonymous with pure fun, great escape and some of the greatest prizes for any kid at the time, all set against an educational and non-preachy tone. The original version ran on Metromedia-owned stations from 1955 to 1977, while a revival from 1980 to 1983 was magazine in nature and hosted by teens. Returning to its roots, the current version of “Wonderama,” appropriately updated to fit society today, also pays homage to the success of the original franchise from yesteryear.

“Mirroring the original, the new ‘Wonderama’ is designed for audiences to enjoy and interact in an entertaining and educational setting,” said media analyst Bill Carroll, a distribution consultant on the series. “Today’s ‘Wonderama’ is also an engaging cross-platform vehicle reaching today’s on-the-go consumers so it really does a great job connecting with today’s youth on all screens.”

“’Wonderama’ is also the kind of show that young people can watch and engage with their families, which is not all that common at present,” he added. “There are more genres blended into one than any show I have ever seen. This high energy, fun and involvement are the core of ‘Wonderama” and a great escape for anyone of any age.”

For more information on “Wonderama,” visit: www.wonderamatv.com

Twitter: @wonderama_tv
Fans can access show clips and bonus content on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wonderamatv

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Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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