LONDON: Pearson Television has poached John Bullivant from producer/distributor Hit Entertainment to head an ambitious expansion into animation.
Bullivant, who has led Hit’s own drive into animation production during the last two years, took up a similar role at Pearson last month. However, the company gives him a much broader canvas to work on.
Pearson’s sister company, the book publisher Penguin, owns a vast library of rights to children’s books, including works by Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter. It will be Bullivant’s job to build links between the two companies. Pearson’s program library also includes Cosgrove Hall animated classics such as Dangermouse and Count Duckula.
Pearson TV chief executive Greg Dyke says, ‘We have been looking for someone to help us re-enter the animation market and John is that person. Our sister company Penguin Books owns rights with major animation potential.’
On a happier note for Hit, pretax profits for the second half of 1997 jumped year on year by 91 percent to £1.4 million (US$2.28 million). Almost half of that total is now derived from the company’s own productions. Hit also unveiled commissions for Anthony Ant (13 x 20 minutes for the BBC) and Archibald the Koala (13 x 20 minutes for ITV).