One major deal announced Thursday saw Chinese state-owned children’s channel CCTV-14 acquiring Kate & Mim-Mim (season one) and Tree Fu Tom (s1-2), in a first ever deal with distributor FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment. FMKFE has been making progress in Asia since 2014, when it hired Henry Or from HIT Entertainment.
Also in kids entertainment, SVOD platforms Hopster and Playkids have bought Cloudbabies and Abadas from UK-based Hoho Rights. Russian YouTube business X-Media Digital is also bringing Cloudbabies in the territory.
In other kids news, popular Cartoon Network series We Bare Bears has been commissioned for a third run, while Canada’s Portfolio Entertainment has come away from MIPCOM with deals for 6-11 animation Freaktown. Sony Pictures Television-owned UK channel Kix, Denmark’s DR Ultra and Disney Channels in India have all bought the 26x30mins show.
Drama at the Eleventh Hour
Vexed and Foyle’s War prodco Eleventh Hour will seek “to develop a slate of distinctive, exciting and original television dramas”, and already has a script commission from Channel 4. Laylah and the Universe will be a witty drama from actor-writer O.T. Fagbenle.
“Luti and I are very excited to produce content that will push boundaries, resonate with different broadcasters and attract a large, diverse audience,” said Green. “Our skill sets are very different and combined I know we’ll make a formidable team.”
Whispering Bob prepares Espresso deal
UK-based factual distributor Espresso Media International, meanwhile, signed a deal with Whispering Bob Broadcasting Company (ed’s note: best name in TV?), broadcaster Bob Harris’ production company.
Espresso will take on distribution of the Bob Harris Collection, with titles including Bob Harris – My Nashville and Under the Tree Sessions.
Factual channel National Geographic Wild commissioned another British company, Arrow Media, to create a 14-episode season four of Animal Fight Night.
In Israel, Armoza Formats has seen its dramatic Local Heroes, which follows city defenders, taken to third and fourth seasons in Flemish-speaking Belgium on VTM, with prodco Geronimo continuing to produce. ARD recently commissioned a German version.
On the other end of the spectrum, Prime Entertainment Group’s Hollywood on Set is set for HBO in Southeast Asia and Europe.
SPI pulls up Zip agreement
This will see the FilmBox, FilmBox Art House, FightBox, Fast&FunBox, FashionBox, DocuBox, 360TuneBox and Gametoon networks debut on Zip, notably meaning ITV fantasy drama Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands (pictured) is among the new programming.
Another channels deal sees Scripps Networks International channels HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel joining the TVN channels bouquet in Poland. Scripps bought TVN for €584 million (US$636 million) in July 2015.
There was also another example of YouTube producers moving into linear TV. Disney UK & Ireland agreed a deal with pay TV operator TalkTalk to make content from its MCN, Maker Studios, available by the platform on-demand.
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20th January 2019