ROCK HILL, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nervousness reigns for the creators of Baxter’s Bunch who are holding the premiere of the Baxter’s Bunch TV Show Sunday evening at The Magnolia Room.
The show’s pilot, entitled “Practice,” is based upon the reputation of Rock Hill being “Football Town USA.” It fits perfectly, according to the creators, because the show’s animated characters are based on different sports balls as a way to teach children about exercise, healthy eating habits and literacy.
The co-founders are Warren Norman and Jay Thompson, who developed two Baxter’s Bunch books, “Adam Learns to Share” and “Sage Teaches Teamwork,” several years ago. Based on the books’ immediate success with parents of children between the ages of 2 to 7, the two decided that a children’s cartoon, hosted by a real person, “Mr. Bird,” who is played by Thompson, would be the next step,
“We are anxious and super excited about our red carpet event,” said Norman, who works in his family’s commercial development business. “This culminates months of planning and actual production of a pilot that brings ‘Baxter’s Bunch’ to life. We’ll have an appearance in the show by Rock Hill’s Chris Hope, who played 10 years in the NFL. Our vision is that the show will be picked up by a network and the real work will begin.”
Norman said the show targets children ages 4-5, although it will likely appeal to younger and older viewers as well because of the sports themes and the lively personalities of Baxter and his friends, who often exclaim “Gimme Potato!” when doing a fist bump.
“The characters represent basketball, soccer, baseball and football and kids around that age range are starting to be exposed to athletics in school and in various recreational programs,” said Norman. “They can relate to the characters, and that affords an opportunity to engage them in teaching positive values.”
Norman, as the author and creator, and Thompson as an artist and the on-camera host, are pouring a lot of their energy into the project to make it resonate with children based on a lot of personal observation.
“Holidays in our family are all about the children, who are swarming all over the place,” Norman said with a grin. “You have to always be careful where you step when we have a get-together. It just makes it so much fun, and it’s entertaining to watch them and how they learn and what interests them.”
Norman never stops thinking about what benefits children, and the unveiling of “Practice” is no different. The Sunday premiere is an invitation-only event, and guests are requested to provide unwrapped gifts for the local “Toys For Happiness” campaign organized by radio station WRHI.
“No kid should have to wake up Christmas morning without a toy, and no kid should have to face poor health, hunger and illiteracy,” said Norman. “That would not only be detrimental to the child, but it’s just bad for the whole community. Maybe Baxter’s Bunch can make a difference in their lives.”