MIPTV: Kids Rule in Cannes

MIPTV, which took place in Cannes, France, April 8-11, presented a plethora of children's programming to international broadcasters, ranging from new franchises to old favorites.

Always a showcase for new kids' television franchises, in some cases the script was flipped at MIPTV this year with several top toy and game properties serving as the inspiration for new TV series.

Mattel offered a new game show based on its card game Uno. Created in partnership with The Gurin Company and available in both half-hour and hour-long formats, players will match colors, numbers and wits for a shot at a cash prize.

The KISS Hello Kitty brand was optioned by the Hub to make the transition to TV, as well. Still in development, the series will be produced by KISS Catalogue and Sanrio and will feature the four KISS x Hello Kitty characters (first introduced in a series of co-branded products in 2010) as they pursue their rock 'n' roll dreams.

Moonscoop launched international distribution of the new "Lalaloopsy" series, based on MGA Entertainment's dolls of the same name. The series, co-produced by MGA and Nickelodeon, features all eight original Lalaloopsy characters that come to life when their last stitch is sewn.

BRB Internacional also debuted its new toy-inspired series "Filly," based on Dracco's line of toy horses. BRB will distribute the series worldwide, except in Germany, with the Simba Dickie Group serving as master toy partner for the brand.

Plenty of new franchises made their debut at the annual event, as well.

Saban Brands announced plans for the new girls' superhero series, "Gangnam Girls." Currently in development, the music and fashion-driven animated series will follow the adventures of five teenage girls chosen to protect the Earth.

Zodiak is also targeting girls with its new series, "Lolirock," which will serve as a companion piece to the long-running "Totally Spies." The new music-driven production from Marathon Media is aimed at girls ages 6 to 12 and is being developed in partnership with France Televisions and Disney Channel France. Marathon also plans to form local Lolirock bands in key territories that will serve as a secondary platform for the series.

Corus Entertainment's Nelvana Enterprises announced a new partnership with The Topps Company to develop the boys' action series "Mysticons." Aimed at 6- to 11-year-olds, the animated series is being written by veteran kids' writer Sean Jara ("Redakai" and "Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5"). Nelvana plans to work closely with Topps to incorporate game play into every level of the multi-platform series.

DQE Entertainment announced a new co-production partnership with ZDF Enterprises to create a spin-off of its series "The Jungle Book." The new combination animation/live-action show, called "The Jungle Book Safari," will feature documentary footage of animals combined with animated sequences from "The Jungle Book."

"The Jungle Book" itself continues to expand with new sales in India, Israel, Thailand and Malaysia, and DQE is currently working with Rollman Entertainment on a theatrical animated feature.

Henson Independent Properties, the third-party media arm of The Jim Henson Company, screened interstitial content for its newly acquired children's brand, I Love Egg. The property, which originated as a series of online shorts in Korea, has become an online sensation in Asia and spawned a raft of product in the region. HIP now has global rights to the brand (created by D&H) outside of Asia. The deal marks the first time that HIP has acquired a property for both global consumer products and international media distribution.

Two other Asian brands also expanded their reach, with Toei Animation presenting "Saint Seiya Omega" and "Driland" for international distribution for the first time. Previously available only in Japan, both series are entering their second season.

"Saint Seiya Omega" is based on the long-running anime property Saint Seiya, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, while "Driland" is inspired by a popular mobile game of the same name.

Mattel and FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment greenlit a second season of their action-comedy series "Max Steel," based on the Mattel franchise. The partners also expanded the reach of the series' first season with sales to broadcasters in the U.K., Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Benelux, Singapore, Belgium, Israel and the Philippines.

Fremantle's "Bindi's Bootcamp," a wildlife-based game show hosted by the daughter of the late Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was picked up by Starz, which began airing the series in early May. FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment also manages global licensing for the show.

Nickelodeon signed a slew of deals with European broadcasters for its top kids' series including "Dora the Explorer," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Bubble Guppies," "Kung Fu Panda," "Big Time Rush" and "Penguins of Madagascar." The network also launched its new preschool series, "Robot & Monster," for international syndication.

Entertainment One Family continued the international expansion of its preschool series "Peppa Pig" in a new deal with Discovery Kids that will bring the series to Latin America later this year.

Rainbow gave broadcasters a sneak peek of season six of "Winx Club," which will hit the airwaves in 2014, while making new sales for previous seasons including to Disney Spain, which picked up the first five seasons. The producer's other hit girls' series "Mia and Me" also made a series of international sales with broadcasters in Spain, Belgium, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Taiwan and Kazakhstan.

Atlantyca sold its newly acquired Russian animated series "The Fixies," into Pan-Eastern Europe, Estonia and Turkey. Atlantyca acquired the rights to the series from Aeroplane Productions in October 2012 for Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea.

HIT Entertainment and Corus Entertainment's Nelvana greenlit a second season of their preschool series, "Mike the Knight," which has already been picked up by Treehouse in Canada, CBeebies in the U.K. and Nick Jr. in the U.S.

Studio 100 Media picked up the international TV rights to the preschool animated series "Molly Monster" globally except in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Scandinavia. Aimed at 3- to 6-year-olds, the series follows the monster Molly and her best friend Edison, a clockwork toy.

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