FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment aims to launch one show in each of the major categories of kids TV per year and Kate & Mim-Mim is 2013’s preschool offering.
The show is Canadian producer Nerd Corps’ first move in preschool and follows Kate and her toy bunny Mim-Mim who in each of the 52x11mins episodes travel to an imaginary world where Mim-Mim becomes a walking, talking playmate.
It was created by husband and wife team Scott and Julie Stewart who under their SpeakeasyFX banner were behind Sesame Workshop’s Emmy Award winning series Abby’s Flying Fairy School.
“They have tons of fans and understand the preschool audience and what makes them laugh,” says Bob Higgins, executive VP, FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment.
FremantleMedia and Nerd Corps worked together previously on boy-skewed action toon Max Steele.
Higgins says they came on board this show as distribution partners because of its dynamic look and the standout comedy.
“In preschool a lot of programming is very pragmatic and educational and made to make you think it is good for you – this just goes straight for the funny bone,” he says. “It’s a buddy comedy so kids can still take something away about friendship, but it’s not about teaching ABCs or 123s or learning a foreign language.”
In a crowded preschool category, the laughs might be what seals deals with
buyers. Higgins says: “When they watch it they will be laughing, which they often don’t do when they’re buying. Kate’s relationship with Mim-Mim is truly funny.”
In Canada BBC kids and The Knowledge Network both have the show. The preschool CBeebies digital channel has pre-bought the series and will launch it in the UK next year.
Given one of the two main characters is a plush toy there is built-in licensing and merchandising appeal and FremantleMedia is in the throes of recruiting a toy partner.
The show is CG and the fact the story sees Kate and Mim-Mim travel to a fantasy world gave the animators a lot to work with.
“The look they created makes me think of a CG Dr Seuss-type world; it’s like something you might see in The Lorax for example,” Higgins says. Comedy is, as ever, in demand, he adds. “This is a boy/girl comedy with action and fantasy elements, so I think, more than most shows, it has a universal appeal.”
The show: Kate & Mim-Mim
The producer: Nerd Corps Entertainment
The distributor: FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment
The broadcaster: BBC Kids, The Knowledge Network (Canada), CBeebies (UK)
Concept: Preschool comedy about a young girl and her rabbit friend who travel to a fantasy world