Total Drama Island (sometimes shortened to TDI) is a Canadian animated television series which lampoons the conventions commonly found in reality shows. The show and its sequel seasons are collectively referred to as the Total Drama series. It premiered on the Canadian cable television specialty channel Teletoon on July 8, 2007. The show was created by the creators of 6teen, another Teletoon program. It was the third Cartoon Network show outside of Adult Swim and Toonami to have the U.S. rating of "TV-PG-D", and a parental-guidance warning after every commercial break and at the beginning of the show (the first two being Sunday Pants and IGPX; its rating in Canada for most episodes is "G", or else "PG"). On the Cartoon Network airing in the United States, some content has been removed from the episodes by censors in order to keep the rating open to a younger audience; for example, putting in words instead of long bleeps, for the episodes "That's Off the Chain" and "Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon". As of now, reruns are not seen on Cartoon Network. The fourth season, Total Drama: Revenge of the Island is also shown in the same location except with a new cast.
Total Drama Island is a fictional reality show that follows the competition of twenty-two teens at Camp Wawanakwa, a fictional island located in an uspecified area in Muskoka, Ontario. The campers participate in competitions to avoid being voted off the island by their fellow campers. At the end of the series, the winning contestant will win C$,000. The competition is hosted by Chris McLean, who is assisted by the camp's chef, Chef Hatchet. At the beginning of the season, the twenty-two teen campers are placed into two groups of eleven, the "Screaming Gophers" and the "Killer Bass". A gopher is a wild animal that is closely related to prairie dogs. They do make a screaming-like noise to communicate, and that's probably why they chose the name "Screaming Gophers". Bass are a type of fish who are found mostly in North American ponds, rivers, streams, lakes, tide pools and even the ocean. Bass are not killers, but as a matter of fact they are mostly kill-ed by sharks, whales, etc. The campers for the "Killer Bass" are, Duncan, DJ, Bridgette, Tyler, Eva, Courtney, Katie, Sadie, Harold McGrady, Geoff and Ezekiel. The campers for the "Screaming Gophers" are Owen, Trent, Gwen, Izzy, Heather, Lindsay, Justin, Noah, Cody Anderson, Beth and LeShawna.
In each episode, the teams participate in a challenge, in which one or more campers can win invincibility for their team. The losing team is called to the campfire at night, where they vote one of their members off the island. The camper with the most votes is eliminated from the competition. At this campfire, McLean passes out marshmallows to the campers who have not been voted off, while the one who does not get a marshmallow must walk down the Dock of Shame to the Boat of Losers, which will take them away from the island and they will "never, never, never, ever, ever, ever, come back, ever," according to Chris (this was proved a lie in "No Pain, No Game", when he brought Izzy and Eva back into the game). About halfway through the season, the teams are disbanded, after which the challenges continue; the winner of each challenge then only receives invincibility for him or herself, whereupon a camper without invincibility is voted off the island. This process of elimination continued on until two players remains on the island. These two players, Gwen and Owen, were then subject to a final contest. At the end of the season, Owen wins the competition, while Gwen wins in the alternate ending to the season. Total Drama Island is a parody of the reality show Survivor. Host Chris McLean is very similar to Survivor host Jeff Probst.
Total Drama Island was developed and produced by Fresh TV. The series was animated at Elliott Animation. The series was directed by Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton of Neptoon Studios. It is primarily targeted at twelve- to eighteen-year-olds, and the creators, Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch, studied what teenagers liked and disliked about reality television shows in the writing process. McGillis says they used a "countrywide online research project" to determine this demographic's likes. Fresh TV Inc. partners McGillis, Pertsch, Elliott and Irving produced the series. The budget for the series was $ million. It was animated in Flash, All the characters were designed by Kauffman. An early name for the series was Camp TV. Voice actors from the FreshTV series 6teen have lent their voices for Total Drama Island: Christian Potenza, who played the character Jude on 6teen, played the role of host Chris McLean. Potenza said that the best part of the job was that his character could not be voted off the show. Emilie-Claire Barlow plays a recurring role as Chrissy on 6teen and plays Courtney on Total Drama Island. Barlow stated that Courtney was her favorite character that she had ever played. Other voice actors from 6teen include Julia Chantrey as Eva; Drew Nelson as Duncan; Megan Fahlenbock as Gwen; Adam Reid as Justin; Stephanie Anne Mills as Lindsay and Katie; and Rachel Wilson as Heather. Fahlenbock, Reid, Mills and Wilson play the roles of Jen, Wayne, Kirsten, and Melinda Wilson 6teen, respectively.
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