Granada Media Children’s has formed what it hopes will be a long-term joint venture with the makers of Sesame Street-U.S.-based Sesame Workshop.
The agreement involves developing factual entertainment series for eight- to 12-year-olds, plus an exclusive first-look deal for all new programming ideas in this genre with the goal of co-developing six formats over the next 18 months.
The first project of the new liaison is a Sesame Workshop version of GMC series The Big Bang for the U.S.-a do-it-yourself science series that combines experiments kids can try at home with little-known background info on past discoveries. In addition, the companies are looking to produce field elements for a new factual magazine devised by GMC called Spot The Spoof, which entails globe-trotting to gather stories that will appeal to kids.
The factual hook-up with GMC gives Sesame Workshop a jump start in the course Julian Scott, group VP of creative development, set upon last year of reaching an older demographic and widening the platform for the Sesame Workshop brand.
A GMC insider said it was too early to say how much the outfit intends to invest in the new initiative, adding that the tie-up was in line with the group’s attempts to build a global reputation. Of late, Granada has opened production offices in the U.S. and Germany, as well as taking a stake in Australia’s Seven Network, with which Granada operates Red Heart Productions. GMC is a key producer of children’s fare in the U.K. Current productions include: the comedy drama My Parents Are Aliens, a hit for CITV last year; New York High, a documentary series for Channel 4 that offers a fly-on-the-wall look at the NYC school of Fame fame; and two co-productions with Disney and Nickelodeon for 2001.