Embarking on a new strategy to roll more properties into its fold, FremantleMedia Licensing – whose biggest merch focus to date has been its own Idol talent show franchise – has signed its first third-party deal with London-based Imagineire to manage worldwide licensing rights for BBC tween show Mysti.
The 21 x 60-minute drama/magazine format centers around a teenage fairy/human caught between the mythical world and this one. The live-actioner began airing Saturday mornings on BBC1 and BBC2 in April 2004, and it’s currently pulling in an average audience of 500,000 viewers per week, scoring the pubcaster’s highest ratings with girls 10 to 15. Britain’s tween girls are also showing their support on-line, posting 1,200 messages a week to Mysti’s website off the CBBC homepage.
Dom Wheeler, FremantleMedia’s licensing director for the U.K. and Southern Europe, says the show’s tween appeal naturally points to apparel and accessories as its key program drivers. No licensees had been announced at press time, but Wheeler says the apparel line will retail slightly up-market – starting at mid-tier in the U.K. this spring – and play on the styles that Mysti and her friends sport on the show. Beyond fashion, he’s looking at locking in stationery, décor and interactive licensees in 2005.