The top kids’ content creators in the business gathered in Cannes, France, in April to showcase their new offerings and extend the reach of their top series.
More than 11,000 TV and digital media executives gathered in Cannes this spring for the annual MIPTV television market, where top production companies and studios including Saban Brands, DreamWorks and FremantleMedia showcased their content offerings.
Disney Junior in Italy became the latest broadcaster to pick up Saban Brands' "Julius Jr.," which is inspired by the Paul Frank brand. The partners expect to expand the relationship into additional countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the near future. The series made its premiere on Nick Jr. in the U.S. in September 2013 and will also debut on TF1 in France and Discovery Kids Latin America later this year.
Planeta Junior highlighted its new distribution partnership with DreamWorks Animation, which will see the company sell more than 1,100 half-hours of DWA TV content, as well as some of its feature films, in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.
In other DWA news, the studio's Classics division secured a range of new sales across Europe, the Middle East and Asia for the children's series "The Owl & Co.," which follows a grumpy owl's struggles with his neurotic forest neighbors. Among the broadcasters now signed on to air the show are Super RTL (Germany), DR (Denmark), Planeta Junior (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus), MBC (Middle East), Minika Channel (Turkey), TVB (Hong Kong) and Cineplex (Thailand).
The 3D, CGI TV series is produced by Studio Hari in partnership with France Télévisions.
FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment secured deals to bring two of its animated series, "Ella the Elephant" and "Grojband," to the U.K. The preschool series "Ella the Elephant" is now airing on Tiny Pop, and the musical comedy series "Grojband" launched on Pop in late April.
VIZ Media Europe signed several new broadcast partners as well as a licensing agent for its boys' property Tenkai Knights in Benelux. J&M Brands will represent the brand for licensing in the region, and the series was sold to Disney XD in the Netherlands, Club RTL in French-speaking Belgium and SBS in Dutch-speaking Belgium for broadcast this spring.
Rainbow and Nickelodeon announced that a seventh season of the global girls' hit "Winx Club" was on the way and will begin airing on Nickelodeon's global network of channels in 2015.
"Our ongoing partnership with Rainbow has enabled us to continue to bring the Winx fairies to Nickelodeon viewers around the world," says Jules Borkent, senior vice president, programming and acquisitions, Nickelodeon. "We're delighted that our channels will continue to be home to the 'Winx Club.'"
PGS Entertainment made a number of sales for its new animated series inspired by the Playmobil toy brand, "Super 4," to Cartoon Network in Italy and Latin America. The series marks the first time the 40-year-old children's brand has come to television.
Studio 100 Media secured distribution rights to the new 2D animated series "Knietzsche" from the German studio Vision X. Studio 100 now represents the property for all broadcasting rights including home video and digital in all worldwide territories excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Targeted to kids ages 5 to 12, the series follows Knietzsche, the world's smallest philosopher, as he ponders important topics that intrigue children and often leave adults stumped for an answer.
The Pokémon Company International, HIT Entertainment and others used MIPTV to debut new content, as well.
HIT Entertainment announced that it is planning a brand-new, CG-animated series featuring Bob the Builder. Currently in pre-production, the show will include two seasons and is due to be delivered in late 2015.
The Pokémon Company International debuted a new feature-length animated film Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction that features Ash, Pikachu and other classic Pokémon, as well as those that made their debut in the "Pokémon X" and "Pokémon Y" video games.
The company also signed a slew of new broadcast and VOD partners–fans in all Netflix territories have enjoyed classic Pokémon seasons and movies since March; Pokémon animation debuted on Hulu in the U.S. this February; and Russian free-to-air broadcaster 2X2 will begin airing "Pokémon the Series: XY" this September.
Mercis, owner of the preschool character Miffy, has partnered with the animation studio Blue-Zoo to produce a brand-new animated TV series for the publishing brand. Based on the work of Dick Bruna, the show is intended to continue the success of the stop-motion "Miffy and Friends" series that has aired in more than 70 countries since 2003. The new series will mark the first time the classic character is animated in CGI and is slated for the second half of 2015.