With its second quarter profits up a hefty 74% and revenues rising by 31%, DreamWorks Animation is continuing to beef up its TV strategy with the appointment of Nickelodeon vet Marjorie Cohn as its first head of television. And on the CP front, it’s landed Hasbro as the master toy licensee for two upcoming feature films.
During her 26 years at Nickelodeon – most recently as president of content development – Cohn was involved in creating and producing such evergreen properties as SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly. Her move to DreamWorks is timed with the studio’s expanded TV efforts, which over the past year have included the acquisition of Classic Media’s property portfolio, followed by original production and distribution agreements with Netflix – the latest of which will see DreamWorks develop more than 300 hours of original content based on properties like Shrek and Madagascar exclusively for subscribers of the internet streaming service.
Over the next five years, Cohn’s production slate will encompass new TV series based on DreamWorks’ current franchises, future films and the most popular heritage properties from Classic Media, totaling 1,200 new original episodes.
Joining Cohn’s revamped TV team as head of television production is fellow Nick vet and 15-year colleague Mark Taylor, who was most recently at the helm of Nickelodeon Animation Studio. Peter Gal, the DreamWorks Animation executive who oversees creative on DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk and Turbo F.A.S.T., will now serve as the head of television development. Prior to three years as VP of Production at 20th Century Fox, Gal spent five years at Nickelodeon, developing programming including Penguins of Madagascar..
Within the TV sect, DreamWorks Animation’s third quarter results are expected to be driven by worldwide pay television revenue for Rise of the Guardians and international free television for Kung Fu Panda 2.
On the consumer products front, DreamWorks has teamed with Hasbro to create toys and games based on the B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations property and the recently acquired Trolls franchise. Hasbro will launch product lines across major toy categories based on the upcoming feature films, which will bow in 2015 and 2016, respectively.