| Susanna Gretz|
1997 – 2000
ITV Network (CITV)
Teddybears was a children's television programme broadcast on ITV from 1997 to 2000, based on the books by Susanna Gretz. The show was about the life of five coloured teddy bears and their dog Fred. The show was filmed by Meridian Broadcasting. Journalists have compared Teddybears as being similar to Tellytubbies.
Teddybears (TV series) Wikipedia
Teddybears is based on Susanna Gretz and Alison Sage's teddy bear books, the first of which was published almost 30 years before the TV programme's creation. Teddybear's inaugural season began on 5 January 1998.
A 1999 article in the Bristol Post said Teddybears "have become a huge hit with young viewers", having captured 64% of the target audience. Link Licensing, a United News & Media spinoff, began making toys, books, and other merchandising several months before the programme's debut. Rights and merchandising company ProVen Private Equity has from Link Licensing the rights to make Teddybears products. In 2000, Link Licensing sold the rights to Teddybears to the TV network Trio which bought 26 episodes.
The producers of Teddybears asserted that Teddybears is not an immediate rival of Teletubbies; the Daily Record and The Sun consider it a rival. The Daily Record noted that the two TV series have several parallels. Whereas the teddybears eat "hot cross buns, honey, pancakes, jelly and ice cream", the Teletubbies eat "tubby toast and tubby custard". The teddybears sing The Teddybear Song while the Teletubbies sing Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!". A difference between the two TV series is that Teddybears's intended audience is older children.
The shows' similarities sparked "intense" coverage by the media. Newspapers and TV shows requested interviews with the teddybears, who all appeared on Richard and Judy's This Morning.
The five teddybears in the series are William, Sara, Louise, Robert, and Charles. They wear "brightly-coloured furry suits" and live at No. 8 Green Street, Bearbridge. According to actress Louise Conran, who played Sara, she had to "wear a lycra body suit, padding on top of that and then the costumes which are about half an inch thick". Since the teddybear masks were fastened to their faces with glue, the teddybear actors had to keep the masks on the entire day, even when eating dinner.Robert, the youngest of the bears, yellow. Often seen with his best friend, a toy frog called Phillip.
Louise, green. The cheekiest of all the bears.
Charles, black. The oldest of the bears, wise but very stubborn.
William, red. Loves to cook.
Sara, orange. Plays the mother role. Stokenchurch actress Louise Conran played the role. She heard of the role while she was a maid on the BBC adaption of The Children of the New Forest from the TV film's assistant director who was a friend of Kate Marlow, Teddybear's producer.
Fred, the Dalmatian
Puppeteers Cheryl Blaize, Louise Conran, Tim Hulse, James O' Donnell, Carl Matthewman, John Tobias, Rebbeca Clow, and Lee Crowley all worked on the series.Teddybears: Garden Party and other stories (VHS released 1998, DVD released 2004)
Teddybears: Circus and other stories (VHS released 1998, DVD released 2004 )
Teddybears: The surprise party and other stories (VHS released, 1999, DVD 2005)
Teddybears: Giant Tomato and other stories VHS (released 2000, DVD 2005)
As well as media releases, many tie-in products were issued. Products included birthday cards and plush toys of each character in different sizes, all exclusive to Clinton Cards.