Breakthrough Animation managing partner Kevin Gillis was like the cat who ate a canary at his company’s cocktail party last night. The Canuck studio came away as the co-winner of the MIPCOM Jr. Licensing Challenge for My Big Big Friend, which KidScreen exclusively introduced to industry readers in our April MIPTV issue. The preschool series is about a group of kids with alter ego imaginary friends who come to life and run amok. Gillis says in the wake of winning the Challenge, sharing the glory with Alphanim’s Hairy Scary, he has been approached by several broadcasters interested in pre-buying the show, as well as by a major children’s publisher looking to secure book rights.
On the heels of meeting its goal to launch last month, upstart pan-regional net KidsCo is working towards expanding its footprint to include Asia and Western Europe next year. To beef up its schedule, MD Paul Robinson has just wrapped content deals with Decode Entertainment, Sesame Workshop and Daro Films. He also expressed interest in picking up English-language rights to S4C’s catalogue of kids programming at the Welsh channel’s annual beachside buyers lunch yesterday.
In other deal news, Icon has sold Lola & Virginia to RAI in Italy, Decode’s The Latest Buzz is going to Boomerang UK, Disney Channel France& Italy and ABC (Australia), and Xilam’s
Marking its move into preschool, Aardman Animations has announced its very first production for the demo. Timmy is a 52 x 10-minute stop-motion spin-off of Shaun the Sheep that stars ‘a little lamb with a lot to learn,’ and the show has already been picked up by CBeebies in the UK for 2009 launch.