News round-up: Middlechild splits off ad arm; Toonz & ELE animate ‘Drac And Skeletons’; Showtime investigates ‘Murder In Big Horn’

Jo Brand’s Kitten Rescue

Middlechild splits off ad arm

UK indie Middlechild Productions is splitting off its advertising arm, which will now be named Friday’s Child.

Middlechild, the firm behind Jo Brand’s Kitten Rescue and The Dog Rescuers, launched as a TV production company before also expanding into DRTV adverts.

Company founder and MD, David Sumnall said that it was time for the two sides of the business to have “their own distinct brands.”

Friday’s Child will continue to work with agencies and charities to “tell important stories to the public.”

Drac And Skeletons

Toonz & ELE animate ‘Drac And Skeletons’

Global kids and family entertainment firm Toonz Media Group has partnered with India’s ELE Animations to co-produce Drac And Skeletons.

Aimed at kids aged 4-7, the “spooky chase comedy” series will be produced into a 78 x 7-minute animated series in 2D digital format in two formats – an international version in English and an Indian version in Hindi.

Drac And Skeletons is about two netherworld rivals trying to outwit each other as three prankster skeletons take refuge at Count Dracula Junior’s castle only to stay there forever.

Toonz will oversee pre & post-production of the series, while voice-over and post-production of the international version will be handled by Telegael, a Toonz affiliate company based in Ireland.

Toonz will also have the exclusive distribution rights, except Ireland, while ELE Animations will undertake animation production for the series.

Showtime investigates ‘Murder In Big Horn’

Showtime has ordered Murder In Big Horn, a three-part docuseries about an “epidemic” of missing and murdered indigenous women in Montana in the US.

Directors Razelle Benally and Matthew Galkin explore the circumstances surrounding many of these cases, which stretch back as far as colonization, told solely through the perspectives of those involved: Native families, Native journalists, and local law enforcement officers.

The series is produced for Showtime by Fairhaven and will premiere at Sundance Film Festival ahead of its network premiere on 3 February.

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