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9 Story buys Breakthrough’s kids library and slate

The acquisition brings 9 Story's distribution library up to more than 3,500 half hours, and expands its live-action offerings with titles including the Anne of Green Gables movie series.
July 10, 2018

Toronto-based 9 Story Media Group has secured a deal to acquire Breakthrough Entertainment’s entire kids and family library and development slate.

The transaction will see 9 Story snap up 757 half hours of kids and family content (both animated and live-action), in addition to taking over the fellow Toronto company’s current development slate and acquiring the right to produce future seasons of the properties.

Through the deal, Breakthrough has agreed to a three-year non-compete in the kids and family space, but will complete production on its current kids and family slate. Financial terms were not disclosed, and the deal is expected to close within the next 30 days.

In addition to book-based live-action TV movie series Anne of Green Gables and Gordon Korman’s Bruno & Boots, Breakthrough’s kids and family catalogue includes live-action sitcom Max & Shred, plus animated properties Rocket Monkeys, Jimmy Two Shoes, Captain Flamingo and Wandering Wenda, a series based on Margaret Atwood’s children’s book. The company’s kids division initially kicked off following the worldwide success of animated series The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon.

9 Story’s acquisition of Breakthrough’s library comes 10 months after Joan Lambur, who previously served as Breakthrough’s EVP of family entertainment, left the company to launch her own prodco, Lambur Productions.

With the deal, 9 Story expands its distribution library to more than 3,500 half hours of content, while continuing its streak of acquisitions.

In January, 9 Story bought New York-based children’s media company Out of the Blue (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super WHY) and last month, Angela Santomero, who was a co-founder of Out of the Blue, was appointed to the newly created post of chief creative officer at 9 Story Media Group.

In addition to its US expansion, 9 Story acquired Irish animation studio Brown Bag in 2015 and later rebranded its Toronto studio under the Brown Bag Films banner.

When asked how 9 Story plans to assign Breakthrough’s development slate across its Toronto, New York and Dublin operations, a representative of the company told Kidscreen the projects will be managed in New York and allocated to the 9 Story development team based on the type of property and other resourcing considerations. The acquisition, according to the rep, won’t see any development staff or senior executives from Breakthrough move over to 9 Story.

With New York now serving as the anchor of 9 Story’s creative development, research and creative stewardship across current series, Santomero recently told Kidscreen she is eyeing talent in the older kids space for both live-action and animated projects.

With files from Playback

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at jdickson@brunico.com.

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