King World Productions is expanding its merchandising and licensing department and hired Kevin Allyn as president of the unit. Allyn, former president of entertainment marketing company Allyn Entertainment, will be joined by VP Bill Teitelbaum, formerly of Intervisual Consumer Products, and VP of sales and marketing Holly Stein, formerly VP of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
The revamped department will manage worldwide licensing and product development for the L.A.-based company’s current properties and any future projects King World Kids produces for the kid, teen and family markets. For kid audiences, the division’s main focus will be to assemble licensing programs for two new Little Rascals feature films, which Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment has signed an option to produce. The first of the two films will be released no later than August 2000.
Prior to that, Allyn et al. will be issuing licenses in all major categories based on the property, and will also put out the licensing call for a new Little Rascals show, the pilot for which production team Coffee-Vallentine is currently shopping to broadcasters. The show ‘would be a cross between Barney and Laugh In,’ says Allyn, and would use recently colorized versions of the original 1922 Little Rascals shows as interstitial programming around live-action footage of kid hosts.