Since 2013, Fresno’s Roshell and Franky Franklin have been creating episodes of the animated series “Fresberg” using a single laptop computer. The series hit a milestone in February when the Fresberg Cartoon YouTube channel reached 2 million views.
The animated show looks at the lives of eight young people who live in a city called Fresberg. The series is designed as a teaching tool; each episode deals with a different life lesson.
“Fresberg” airs through the Community Media Access Collaborative public access channel (Comcast 93 and AT&T U-verse 99). It’s broadcast at 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But it’s through YouTube that the series is getting viewed around the world.
“I can think back to walking into a local TV station to talk to them about adding the show and being told that the market didn’t allow for educational programing anymore,” Roshell says. “But, with the support of CMAC giving us a voice to reach the world, the response has been amazing.”
The Franklins get messages from teachers and parents saying that they are using “Fresberg” as a teaching tool. They have even been sent photos of classrooms watching episodes. And they are getting requests from teachers for topics on future episodes.
“And we are seeing the shows being used outside the traditional school realm,” Franky says. “There are a lot of stay-at-home moms using it as part of homeschooling.”
“Fresberg” hit a chord in February with Black History month.
The stories aren’t just confined to current events. Through the “Fresberg hologram machine,” the Franklins are now adding historical figures. One episode featured an appearance by Anne Frank.
There are more than 200 episodes of “Fresberg” on YouTube. That’s a lot of work for an animated series produced by the pair with a little help from friends providing voices.
Roshell says that it does get tiresome and frustrating creating the show, but she says the way people are reacting to the series motivates them to keep producing episodes.
The Franklins are getting some attention from TV networks. The only problem is that they are so busy creating episodes that they have not had time to look closely at the offers.
“As soon as we think we are done, another story idea comes along,” Franky says. “We taught a class on bullying prevention. When we were in school the bullying stopped at 3 o’clock. Now it goes on 24/7. As soon as we heard this, we knew we had to do an episode to address the problem.”
Tasty new job
Roosevelt High School graduate Stephanie Harris-Uyidi has a new cooking and travel show on the Z Living Network.
On “The Posh Pescatarian: Appetite for Adventure!” Harris-Uyidi travels to a locations where she takes part in an adventurous activity and cooks a dish using local ingredients.
The cooking/travel series begins at 9 p.m. Monday, March 28, on the cable channel, which is only available locally on the Dish Network. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a pescatarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat but eats fish.
Healthful living has been part of the lifestyle for Harris-Uyidi since she was young. At Roosevelt she was part of the performing arts program (appearing in “The Tempest” with actor Christopher Gorham), played tennis and danced. She developed a passion for cooking at home when her mother would let her experiment with different dishes.
As for the adventure part, she admits to being a little of a chicken when she was younger. Her series is designed to push people to try new things. She will take on a variety of adventures, including driving a dog sled and snorkeling in the first season. Harris-Uyidi draws the line at roller coasters.
There was no shortage of potential locations to use in the initial order of 13 episodes.
“I have found that most places we looked at had a combination of both good places for adventures and great food,” Harris-Uyidi says. “I did rock climbing in Malibu and got on the flying trapeze in Las Vegas.”
In the first episode, Harris-Uyidi didn’t go too far away from home, shooting a “Cowgirl Experience” in Orange County. Along with riding and roping, she cooks up a meal using rockfish.
Harris-Uyidi has been trying to get the program off the ground while working in the production departments at Dreamworks, Disney and MTV. It was after she posted a few test shows on YouTube that the show got attention and became a reality.
The real challenge of the program is figuring out how to include both the adventure and cooking elements in a 30-minute program.
“It’s a very fast-paced show,” Harris-Uyidid says.
She is already looking at potential locations in the event a second season is ordered.
Job change: ABC30 weekend anchor Sara Sandrik has accepted a new job as the public information and district development officer for the Merced City School District.
She leaves the local ABC station after more than nine years working in the station’s North Valley bureau and anchoring the weekend newscasts.
Her last day is Sunday, April 3.
There is no word on who will replace her.
Sandrik is the latest in a growing roster of on-air talent who have left ABC30 in recent months.
The list includes South Valley reporter Kate Valentine, midday co-anchor Christine Park, reporter Stephanie Stone and weather forecaster Shelby Latino.
Winners: Country singer Kelsea Ballerini will make an appearance at Dinuba High School on Tuesday, March 29.
Her visit is the result of the school winning a food drive competition held by 106.7 KJUG Country, HITZ 104.9, 99.7 Classic Rock and My 97.5 FM. Dinuba High School students collected 8,403 pounds of food.
New job: Austin Reed, who joined the Ventura Broadcasting Company in August to provide five-day outlooks, agriculture weather information, live radar reports, viewer pics, wake-up weather and traffic alerts, has changed jobs.
He’s now executive producing and hosting segments for the “Central Valley Buzz With Chuck Leonard.”
“Central Valley Buzz” airs noon weekdays on KAIL (Channel 7.1).
On my honor: KMJ talk show host Ray Appleton has been named the Boy Scouts Sequoia Council Citizen of the Year.