Australia’s Seven Network has agreed to purchase the rights to six new animated kids TV series from Yoram Gross-Village Roadshow. Over the next five years, YGVR will pump out 78 hours (13 hours per series) worth of programming for Seven Network, representing approximately $60 million in production value.
All six shows will be produced at YGVR’s studio based in Sydney, Australia. The first show to come out of the agreement, Flipper and the Milihune, is a half-hour, the first under a co-pro alliance with Germany’s EM TV and Merchandising (for 10 animated series over five years, worth over US$75 million). The adventures of the famous dolphin will make its TV debut on the Seven Network in the second half of 1999. The show has also been sold to ZDF in Germany. Other programs in the Seven Net deal are at various stages of development and will be released sometime over the next four years.
Yoram Gross-Village Roadshow is known internationally for its animated Skippy’s Adventures in Bushtown (co-produced with France’s Tele Image and VIDEAL of Germany), which is currently running on Canal J in France. Tabaluga, another YGVR production, is slated to run on the Fox Family Channel later this year.
Cartoon Network has also acquired Tabaluga, which will begin airing September 7. The 26-episode, half-hour series is the highest-rated kids program on a German terrestrial network. Airing at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7:30 a.m. on weekends, Tabaluga is part of the U.K. network’s preschool programming block that includes the Australian/German production Blinky Bill and Spain’s The Frutties.