POPULAR: Humphrey B. Bear is almost 55 but the plan is to offer the classic character some high-tech upgrades in the new series.
POPULAR: Humphrey B. Bear is almost 55 but the plan is to offer the classic character some high-tech upgrades in the new series. Cody Fox

Beloved bear gets new TV series... but still no pants

HE MAY be almost 55 and still not wearing pants, but popular children's character Humphrey B Bear is getting a new live-and-digital series, thanks to an experienced Northern Rivers TV producer.

Former Hi-5 executive producer and executive commercial director, Julie Greene, will be the executive producer of Here's Humphrey.

She will be working with early learning entertainment specialists Dr Catherin Martin and Helen Martin.

Ms Greene moved back to the Northern Rivers a year ago, after living in Byron Bay for a year in her 20s.

"I bought a house in Byron Bay three years ago, I was doing a lot of work out of Asia when I was with Hi-5 and I had this dream that one day I would live here," she said.

 

GRASS IS GREENER: Northern Rivers executive producer, series producer and creative consultant Julie Greene.
GRASS IS GREENER: Northern Rivers executive producer, series producer and creative consultant Julie Greene. Contributed

Ms Greene said a team from OzPIX Entertainment, in partnership with Deakin Motion Lab's Fika Entertainment, was preparing to bring beloved Humphrey B Bear back to the small screen.

"I was fortunate to be contacted by OzPIX after I left Hi-5 to re-imagine Humphrey and bring it to a new audience of kids," she said.

The producer said the plan was to offer the classic character some high-tech upgrades.

"We had to work on re-creating Humphrey, so he's going to be no longer just in a studio, he's going to be in a narrative-story set in a virtual environment that's a magical forest, with an ensemble of Australian animals or characters," Ms Greene said.

"In essence, we will be keeping him the same, because he is such a whimsical, innocent, lovable character, but we are going to put him in a very Australian environment."

Ms Greene said the series was currently in pre-production.

"We are working with new technology that has come out of Deakin University, combining gaming technology with production, so we can have Humphrey in a very interactive virtual background that is pretty cutting edge," she said.

TV series Here's Humphrey first aired on Nine in 1965, before wrapping up in 2008. The new series will be shot in a new studio in the Gold Coast.

"Humphrey turns 55 next year so it would be awesome if we could have a new series in to celebrate that milestone," she said.

Ms Greene is currently in Sydney preparing to fly to Europe, as her and Fika CEO Kris Maric will attend TV conferences MIPCOM and MIPJunior in Paris to talk to local and international broadcasters about the series.