The hiring of two new execs and the January 1st opening of a Los Angeles office rings in the new year for New York’s The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company, whose president and CEO Ken Viselman is in the process of initiating a multilevel expansion.
This summer, itsy bitsy added a new production arm called a teeny weeny production company, to handle all TV production undertaken by itsy bitsy through both the New York and L.A. offices. A Viselman-created animated series entitled 100% People, targeting an older kid and family audience, will be produced under the teeny weeny shingle.
A third, as-yet-unnamed, film production division will handle two feature film projects, currently in the early stages of development. Both are live-action, non-preschool kids movies, one of which is based on a book property.
Another aspect of itsy bitsy’s expansion involves the creation of a one- to two-hour preschool block called ‘itsy bitsy Time,’ to air on a soon-to-be-announced Canadian broadcaster and under consideration by two US casters. itsy bitsy’s newest property Animal Shelf, will likely serve as the flagship show for the block. Animal Shelf is a Cosgrove Hall production (licensed by the itsy bitsy Entertainment Company and Itel Licensing in Europe) that’s enjoying success in the U.K. and various international markets.
A primary push for itsy bitsy at Toy Fair `99 will be the Noddy property, which had no master toy licensee at press time. Specialty children’s lines for the series will be highlighted, from Learning Curve, Gund, and six other toy companies, according to Viselman.