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Little sprout in Olympia gets on TV show

A South Sound boy has a "starring role" in an episode of a cable television program that airs today.

Sonny Charneski, 5, of Olympia will make his television debut on the Sprout Network’s “PICME” show. The five-minute video, titled “Spot the Difference,” will feature a photograph of the St. Michael’s School kindergartner superimposed into the animated show.

The episode featuring Sonny will air sometime between 2 and 3 p.m. during “The Sprout Sharing Show,” which features viewer-submitted videos, puppets and other interactive programs.

“We’re totally supportive, it’s a great thing and we can’t wait to watch it,” said his mother, Dani Lewis, 40, of Olympia.

She said Sonny and his sister are big fans of the show, which puts children’s images alongside cartoon animal characters such as Juno the lion, Gerty the giraffe, Banjo the monkey, Umi the parrot, Clarence the alligator and Neville the elephant. Parents are invited to submit photos on the Sprout’s Web site for the show’s consideration.

“There are thousands of photos submitted, and they’re selected randomly,” said Barbara Murphy, a representative of the cable network, which features 24-hour-a-day programming geared toward preschoolers.

Lewis said her son and daughter have watched “PICME” for about a year. They recently saw a shout-out to viewers to submit photos for consideration in upcoming shows.

“He and his sister were like, ‘We want to do that,’” Lewis said. “It was very easy.”

Sonny’s reaction to learning he had been chosen for the show wasn’t what his mother had expected.

“He thinks that I’m pulling his leg right now,” Lewis said. “I think until he sees it, it’s going to be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’”

But his family is excited, and they plan to host a viewing party. And several of the people in his extended family, of sorts – Lewis’ teammates on South Sound’s championship roller derby team, the Oly Rollers – also are thrilled about the upcoming show.

“They’re all going to be watching it,” Lewis said of her teammates. “They’re all stoked about it.”

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