EM.TV has three new series in production, all targeting eight- to 12-year-olds. Based on a classic (Italian) comic book property, the 52 x 13-minute series Cocco Bill has been presold to France 2, France 3 and Super RTL in Germany. Publishing is a rich source of content, according to EM.TV’s deputy member of the board for programming and production Dr. Sylvia Rothblum. ‘If it worked in one format,’ she explains, ‘it will most likely work in another.’
Ë la Lucky Luke, Cocco Bill is a hot-tempered cowboy-so hot, in fact, that he requires constant consumption of chamomile tea to keep him from flaring up too frequently. No cowboy should be without a talking horse (they get lonely, you know), so Cocco Bill is teamed up with Slowtrot to try and maintain law and order in the Wild West.
Co-produced with RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, des Mas & Partners and S.R.L. Cartoons Productions (all based in Milano, Italy), Cocco Bill is 2-D animated and budgeted at between US$350,000 and US$400,000 per ep, with a fall 2001 delivery date expected.
Next summer is the target to deliver Pigs Next Door, another 2-D animation based on a German-born comic strip-this one a co-pro with Fox Family slated for delivery on SAT1. Who do farmers usually leave the farm to when they pass away? Family? Friends? Maybe, but in this case the farmer’s loyal pigs have inherited the farm. Unfortunately, fed up with country life, the pigs sell the farm (not so loyal now!) and move to the city. There, they buy a pad, get jobs, go to school and generally try to survive suburban life. Twenty-six half hours are in production, budgeted at US$400,000 to US$450,000 per episode. The series has been sold into France, Ireland and the U.S.
Mummy Nanny is coming sooner, scheduled to bow this fall in Austria, France, Ireland. It should air on Super RTL next spring. Co-produced with Les Cartooneurs Associes and France 2, the 2-D series (26 half hours) is budgeted at US$350,000 to US$400,000 per ep.
The story begins when a 5,000-year-old mummy awakens in the 21st century. She has narrowly escaped her kidnapper-an unscrupulous antique dealer-and finds a hiding place with the Elsewares. Alex and Samantha Elseware convince their parents to hire the mummy on as their new nanny, and magic and adventure ensue.
EM.TV owns the licensing rights (merchandising, publishing, audio, video and TV) for all the properties worldwide, except in French-speaking countries.