Breadwinners is a first – the first full series commissioned as a result of Nickelodeon’s Global Shorts Program, which launched in 2012.
The series is based upon a shortform show from Italian animator Gary ‘Doodles’ DiRaffaele. Keen on the project, Nickelodeon buddied up DiRaffaele with Steve Borst (Teen Titans Go!), and the result is a twenty-part series that bowed on the kids network in the US in February. It will roll out internationally from the autumn.
The series follows best friends SwaySway and Buhdeuce who are employed delivering bread to their fellow ducks, prompting madcap adventures and heaps of physical comedy. The duo live and work together and make their deliveries in a jet-propelled rocket van.
In the US, the series opener went at 7.30pm on Monday, February 17 (Presidents Day), ahead of settling into its regular 11am Saturday morning slot. The curtain-raising episode was Nick’s second-most-watched show of the week, trailing only SpongeBob SquarePants and garnering 1.7 million viewers in the 2- to-11-year-old demographic and 2.8 million viewers across all demos.
Viacom International Media Networks launched the series internationally at MIPTV, and with a chunk of episodes and US ratings in hand, it is an interesting and fully-formed proposition for buyers. Some, however, might find themselves disappointed. VIMN’s senior VP, international programme sales Caroline Beaton says that although the ink has yet to dry on sales, she already knows where the series will land in five to ten key territories.
“We know where it will go and who wants to buy it [in some territories] in the same way we did with Turtles,” she says, adding that this is a classic Nick series in the making.
“It’s very creator-driven and it does what Nickelodeon does best with shows like Ren & Stimpy, where the mayhem builds and it is frantic, bold, raucous and in your face.”
The show: Breadwinners
The distributor: Viacom International Media Networks
The producer: Nickelodeon Animations Studios
The broadcaster: Nickelodeon (US, international)
The concept: Madcap series emanating from Nick’s Global Shorts Program about a pair of duck delivery men