Sullivan Entertainment, best known for its family classic Anne of Green Gables, is jumping into the older-kid niche with its new live-action series SuperHero, which stars a ten-year-old hero and his sidekick. The small-town duo create their own ‘advanced’ technology for fighting off imaginary bad guys, like a water gun filled with stinging shampoo. After showing the program to a gaggle of nine-year-olds at her daughter’s birthday party, Trudy Grant, co-founder of Sullivan Entertainment, was convinced that eight- to 12-year-olds would love the program, noting that it speaks to every kids’ fantasy of saving the day.
SuperHero has been presold to the BBC and has attracted interest from potential U.S. partners. Sullivan Entertainment Distribution has worldwide distribution rights for the program, budgeted at approximately US$235,000 per episode. Currently, 13 half hours are in development.
According to Grant, there is a void in the marketplace for solid, live-action programming for kids in this demo, and SuperHero will appeal to both girls and boys. Production will be completed by fall 2000, and the program will debut on the BBC by October 2000.
For wee ones ages three to six, Sullivan is developing a combination live-action and animated comedy series called Wellington Weevil. Wellington is a butternut weevil who lives under the carpet in the Land of Nan with his microscopic, microbiotic friends. The series will display the wonder of seeing the world from a teeny perspective. Co-pro partners for the US$70,000 per-ep series are being sought. Weevil has received a commitment from CBC.
Riding the wave of the success of the carrot-top from Avonlea, an animated Anne of Green Gables is in the works. It’s the inaugural toon series by the recently launched Sullivan Anima-tion division. So far, the 26 x half-hour series has been sold to PBS, and is hoped to be completed by next Sep-tember. Anne will feature new kid-friendly story lines with an educational component and original characters based on Anne’s overactive imagination, like fairies, wood nymphs and goblins. The entire series, aimed at both boys and girls ages six to 12, is budgeted at US$7.5 million. Sullivan Distri-bution has the worldwide distribution rights.
Rounding out Sullivan’s new kid TV projects, the prodco is developing a 13 x half-hour sci-fi dramedy called Spacetrap about a 12-year-old girl from the year 3030 who is transported to the home of a Brady-esque family in the 1950s.