StoryZoo was founded by former Sony Pictures and Endemol digital exec Johannes Gropp.
The StoryZoo series was developed with language experts, and uses music and animation to help young viewers learn their first words in English.
Gropp’s Amsterdam-based prodco makes the StoryZoo series for RTL8, and the Dutch broadcaster puts it out in its dedicated Telekids childrens’ TV strand.
Gropp and his team are distributing the show themselves, striking the deal with ORF. The Austrian pubcaster will launch the show on its ORF Eins channel in March and strip the show through the week.
On RTL the 13-part series has performed well, garnering a 13.5% share in the 3-to-5 demo, which is broad above channel average. The broadcaster has just ordered a second season and 26 new eps are now in production for delivery in mid-2017.
Toby the Monkey, Pepper the Parrot, and Bax the Bear are the lead characters, with the latter reading to the viewers and sending his friends on adventures in the process. Pepper is the an English speaker, creating opportunities to translate and introduce new English words to the audience.
“We are very proud having the first international sale after such a short period,” Gropp told TBI.
“It feels great having an educational product that teaches kids the first couple of words in a foreign language in a fun-and entertaining way. For the kids it feels as a ’normal’ animation series, but by watching StoryZoo they get in touch with, in this case, English.”
The producer is understood to be lining up more international deals for its series.