Peter Rabbit Gets a Christmas Special and a Series

Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit is moving from the page to Nickelodeon, and is kicking it off with “Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale” tomorrow, December 14th. According to the New York Times, Peter’s father’s demise is covered when Mrs. Rabbit begins the show by passing down a journal filled with Mr. Rabbit’s many adventures to Peter. Several empty pages are left for Peter and his friends to fill.

What happened to Mr. MacGregor’s Mr. Rabbit pie?  Apparently, Potter’s publishers were wary of including his death back in 1902 when the stories were originally published, and today’s tv execs are even less thrilled to portray Mr. Rabbit’s gruesome demise at the hands of Mr. MacGregor. “That would scare a 4-year-old witless, and it wouldn’t get past standards and practices these days,” said Waheed Alli, one of the co-producers. Mr. MacGregor is still mean, kids just won’t see him do anything too mean.

The new Peter Rabbit with Benjamin and Lily. Image courtesy of Nickelodeon.

When the series airs in March, Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom’s Nickelodeon Group, notes that you’ll see that the network focused on “freshening up his look” rather than revamping the characters. A pastel-hued color pallet, Peter’s blue coat (a hand-me-down from his dad), outdoor adventures, and locations in the Lake District in England are some of the aspects carried over from the books to the show. And, Nick’s executives thought that children in single-parent households would relate to Mrs. Rabbit raising 4 bunnies on her own.

Hanging out with Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny will be new-kid-on-the-block, Lily Bobtail. Lily, like many girls, has an impressively-scary amount of crap stuff into her purse, which is coined her “just-in-time pouch” for it’s ability to produce whatever the bunnies need to get out of that episode’s problem.

Of course, a line of stuffed animals, books, clothes, and God-only-knows what else will soon follow.

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