FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME), the commercial and brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, has inked a slate of deals and partnerships with the goal of furthering the company’s commitment to pushing into the children and family entertainment market.
FME is setting out to establish a new model for creative development, acquisition, production and distribution of content in the children’s and family entertainment space and in doing so has focused on programming that will target demographics ranging from preschool through high school.
Among the deals that FME has concluded is My Babysitter is a Vampire, a Fresh-TV production in association with Teletoon Canada. The live-action comedy, targeted at tweens and teens, will debut with a television movie premiering October 9, 2010 followed by a new series next year. FME retains exclusive distribution and licensing rights outside Canada, and FME’s Children and Family Entertainment’s Bob Higgins and Sander Schwartz will executive produce alongside Tom McGillis, Jennifer Pertsch, Brian Irving and George Elliott of Fresh TV.
FME and CBeebies In-House Production have also entered into an agreement for a new CGI-animated fantasy adventure series aimed at preschoolers for 2012. The deal sees FME co-developing, co-funding and co-producing the new title for CBeebies and acquiring licensing and other ancillary rights globally and all distribution rights outside the UK. FME will also soon be announcing another series with the BBC shortly.
FME and Little Airplane Productions, meanwhile, have just concluded a deal whereby FME will co-develop and co-produce a preschool mixed-media animated series called Jo B. G. Raff. FME will also handle the global distribution rights to the new property.
In Australia, FME is entering an agreement to develop an all-new television series with Sticky Pictures starring Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin of Crocodile Hunter fame. Sticky Pictures will co-produce the untitled live-action series with FremantleMedia Australia. FME was appointed the Australia Zoo’s global multi-platform entertainment partner in June and this marks the first project under its remit to develop new opportunities in television and licensing for all of Australia Zoo’s IP on a global basis.
FME has also entered into an agreement to develop a new animated series with Blue Rocket, a Tasmania-based digital media production studio. FME recently concluded a development deal for a new series based on the exploits of a real alternative rock band and is in discussion with a US broadcaster for the series.
On the publishing front, FME is entering into a co-development and co-production deal with Random House based on a children’s graphic novel and will be announcing further details soon.
DangerMouse, the UK children’s animated classic about the world’s greatest British secret agent, will soon be re-imagined by FME and a major broadcast partner. FME owns the DangerMouse franchise which the company acquired 20 years ago.
Producer/writer/creator Russell Marcus is also on board with FME to write a new kids and family animated sitcom for US cable broadcaster The Hub. The project is currently in active development for a fall 2011 or mid-season 2011/2012 start.
Lastly, FME announced its first production and distribution agreement in June with the Joint Venture formed by JAKKS and Dentsu Entertainment USA for the original new animated entertainment project Monsuno,. FME will be responsible for the exclusive worldwide distribution (except Asia) of Monsuno programming and act as the Master Licensing agent for the Monsuno brand worldwide, with the exception of Asia where Dentsu will retain rights.