Cartoon Pizza and Sesame Workshop are partnering to develop at least six new kids properties as part of a two-year deal that will include the production of both animated and live-action programming for all media.
Under the agreement’s terms, Cartoon Pizza, which created Disney’s Doug, PB&J Otter and Stanley, will look after creative production, while Sesame will handle worldwide distribution.
For Cartoon Pizza co-founder David Campbell, whose company’s five-year production deal with Disney recently expired, teaming up with another large player will give the studio the distribution support that has become increasingly important in the current economic climate. In addition to distribution, Sesame, which will now house Cartoon Pizza’s HQ in its offices, will oversee research, educational content and production financing. Sesame’s senior VP Nancy Steingard says the deal with Cartoon Pizza should help Sesame fill some holes in its edutainment programming lineup for the six to 11 demo, where its research suggests kids are currently underserved.
As well as co-developing new series, the partners will also look at pre-existing projects, including a Cartoon Pizza preschool property that Sesame has been hankering after. ‘They jumped all over it like a duck on a June bug,’ laughs Campbell.