Entertainment Rights is readying a Where’s Wally? TV series that it hopes will be on air in 2009. The UK-listed company acquired the brand (Where’s Waldo? in the US and Japan), excluding traditional publishing rights, from creator Martin Handford in January for £2.5 million ($5m). Now its plans for developing the property have emerged.
“We’re developing a 360-degree offering, web, broadcast and all areas,” says Chloe van den Berg, director of international at ER. “We’re working on the principle of a new series up and running by 2009. We’re in strategic meetings [at the moment].” There is expected to be animated and live-action Where’s Wally? content.
ER acquired Classic Media, which incorporates faith-based producer Big Idea, for $210 million in early-2007. “We were integrated at Mip but have spent the last six months bedding down,” says van den Berg. “The first six months were about integrating, now we’re getting ready for phases two and three.”
The enlarged company comes to MIPCOM with scripts for a new animated series of Classic property Casper the Friendly Ghost. The 26x30mins series will be produced with French producer Moonscoop and ER is hoping to capitalise upon the success of the CGI feature length Casper’s Scare School, which was on Cartoon Network.
ER is also looking at reviving other Classic titles including Lassie, which Van den Berg notes has “huge marketing appeal.” She added that in a kids TV market awash with preschool there are opportunities for shows skewing slightly older. She said: “We have seen a huge proliferation of preschool and four-to-nine or to-twelve is definitely a big requirement.”
Other highlights for ER include another Classic series George of the Jungle. A new animated series launches on Nickelodeon UK this Autumn 2007 and on Cartoon Network US in January.