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'The Chica Show' and 'LazyTown' return, plus more Sprout new programming

Today, Sprout announced its new crop of original programming aimed at children ages 2-5 and their parents. Expect pandas, shrinking kids, and lots of wordplay. Here’s a list of the shows to look forward to:

-Ruff-Ruff, Tweet & Dave: Debuting next year, this interactive game show allows audience members to answer multiple choice questions, on their smart phones or tablets, as the main characters move through different lands. Ruff-Ruff is a dog, tweet is a bird, but Dave, excitingly enough, is a panda.

-The Chica Show:  Lovable chicken, Chica, returns July 29 for her second season. Look for new adventures like ”Fashion Fun, Starstruck Dreams and a Dinosaur Romp.” READ FULL STORY

Mario Lopez talks playing an animated rag doll in new program 'The Chica Show' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Chickens and costumes and rag dolls, oh my.

A new show aimed at preschoolers, The Chica Show, is about a talking chicken and her friends — both animal and human, real and animated. It is actually a spin-off of the popular program The Sunny Side Up Show. Chica features a childlike chicken, who helps her parents run the Costume Coop. But when the store closes, the Coop becomes rather Toy Story-esque with toys coming to life and ready to play pretend with Chica.

Mario Lopez, when he’s not hosting The X Factor, loved watching The Sunny Side Up Show with his two-year-old daughter, and the duo especially loved Chica the Chicken. So when he found out that Chica was getting her own show, “I jumped at it because I knew my daughter would love it and I would love it as well,” he said. “It’s so much fun. I like to think of Chica as [being] Latina. It’s a popular name in [Latin culture].”

Lopez portrays Stitches, a rag doll that comes to life in the off hours, and is also Chica’s best friend.  “He’s a loyal friend, he’s very positive and he loves to use his imagination, so those are all things I can relate to,” Lopez said. Stitches and Chica get into lots of adventures with each other. In one episode, the two form a band, and Stitches plays a pineapple guitar. They learn that practice makes perfect and the show also spotlights the importance of creativity. Warning to the over-five set: The songs they perform are actually quite catchy.

The creative and musical elements, along with an emphasis on the arts, are other reasons Lopez wanted to be involved. He also liked that the program, which is half-animation and half live action, was something everyone could get excited about. “[It’s just] good family entertainment that kids can watch with their parents and parents will enjoy with their kids,” Lopez said. “And obviously [it] targets the preschool crowd, the high-chair crowd.”

Check out an exclusive clip of Lopez as Stitches below: READ FULL STORY

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