Kids round-up: ABC & BBC team for ‘Spooky Files’; Wildbrain expands ‘Fireman Sam’ & ‘Polly Pocket’; Cottonwood & Ananey partner for ‘Fairy Express’

Patricia Hidalgo

ABC & BBC team for ‘Spooky Files’

Australia’s ABC and UK pubcaster BBC have co-commissioned The Spooky Files, a new comedy series from Tony Ayres Productions and Megaboom Pictures.

Created by Guy Edmonds & Matt Zeremes, the 10 x 24-minure series is a “fun, spooky, adventure-filled” look at the universal experience of childhood fears.

The series is produced by Paul Watters with executive producers Tony Ayres and Andrea Denholm for TAP, which is part of Universal International Studios.

Production is expected to commence in early November 2022, shooting in Victoria. It will air on ABC ME in 2023 and in the UK on CBBC and BBC iPlayer.

Libbie Doherty, ABC Head of Children’s, said “We’re enormously proud to revisit our creative alliance with the BBC to partner with industry leading creatives from Tony Ayres Productions.

“This brilliant Australian creative team has another hilarious hit on their hands that demonstrates their understanding of the tween audience, their humour, their hang-ups and how to squeeze the funny out of every moment on screen.”

Patricia Hidalgo, BBC director Children’s and Education, added: “This is a great opportunity for us to forge a new working relationship with ABC that will result in brilliant new content for our audience and we look forward to bringing The Spooky Files to CBBC next year.”

Fireman Sam

Wildbrain expands ‘Fireman Sam’ & ‘Polly Pocket’

Wildbrain has greenlit new seasons of both Fireman Sam and Polly Pocket.

Two new CG-animated seasons of Fireman Sam are on the way – with season 14 scheduled to begin delivery in December 2022 and season 15 set for June 2023, with each season bringing 26 x 11-minute episodes.

Fellow Mattel brand Polly Pocket is also returning, with season five slated for delivery beginning March 2023.

WildBrain has also secured multiple new streaming and broadcast deals for Fireman Sam and Polly Pocket. In deals that include the new seasons of Fireman Sam, ABC Kids (Australia) and HOP! (Israel) have picked up seasons 13-15, MiniMini+ (Poland) has picked up seasons 14 & 15, and Cartoonito (UK & Ireland) and NRK Super (Norway) have picked up seasons 13 & 14. Season 13 of Fireman Sam has been picked up by KiKA (Germany), Amazon Prime Video (UK, Ireland, Germany), Milkshake! (UK), RTE Jr. (Ireland), Cartoonito (Italy), France Télévisions (France), MiniMini+ (Poland), and Vudu (US).

Seasons 4 & 5 of Polly Pocket have menwhile been picked up by Minimax (CEE excluding Poland). Seasons 3 & 4 have been picked up by Netflix (US, U.K.); POP (U.K.), Amazon Kids+ (US); Discovery Kids (LatAm); Family Channel (Canada); teleTOON+ (Poland); Gulli, M6 & Tiji (France, French-speaking EMEA); Cartoonito & Boomerang (Italy & Turkey); SUPER RTL (Germany, Austria, Switzerland); KidZone TV (Baltics); BIGI (Israel); Channel 9 (Australia); TVNZ (New Zealand); Vudu (US); and EITB (Spain). Season 3 has also been picked up by Amazon Prime Video (UK, France, Italy) and Astro (Malaysia & Brunei).

The new greenlights and distribution deals are part of a multi-year, co-development, production, distribution and licensing agreement between Mattel and WildBrain. The new seasons of Fireman Sam and Polly Pocket are being produced at WildBrain’s Vancouver animation studio.

Fairy Express

Cottonwood & Ananey partner for ‘Fairy Express’

France’s Cottonwood Media and Israel’s Ananey Studios have joined forces to co-produce brand new CGI animated kids’ series, Fairy Express.

The 52 x 11-minute series is aimed at 4 – 6-year-olds and follows three entrepreneurial fairies – Charm, Pixie, and Wonder, who have invented a special app named ‘Fairy Express’, to grant kids their wishes.

Each day, the fairies fly to the coastal town of Wishington, where kids are eagerly waiting for them to grant their wish.  Whether it’s a young dog walker who lost all ten dogs under his care, or a girl whose birthday invites were sent for the wrong day – the solution is only a magic spell away.

The show is based on an original concept by creator and director Gili Dolev (Zack and Quack, Nella the Princess Knight), and co-creator & head of kids and family, Ananey Studios, Shirley Oran (Craft Party, Hahamama).

It is executive produced by Gili Dolev and Shirley Oran, and produced by Cottonwood Media’s David Michel, Cécile Lauritano and Zoé Carrera Allaix.

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