France Télévisions has acquired 44 Cats from Italian prodco Rainbow and will launch the popular new CGI-animated series for preschoolers next September.
Starring the Buffycats—a feline-focused music band that solves everyday problems—this 52 x 13-minute series promotes tolerance, diversity and acceptance.
Rainbow is gearing up for the November 12 global television debut of 44 Cats on Italian free-to-air kids channel Rai YoYo, which will be followed by launches in 2019 on Discovery Kids (LatAm), Super RTL (Germany) and Carousel (Russia). Deals are also in the works with broadcasters in the UK.
44 Cats is produced in partnership with Antoniano Bologna, and is the first project Rainbow has worked on with Canadian animation service company Bardel, which it acquired in 2015. Former Sony Pictures Animation producer Rick Mischel was also recently appointed by Rainbow as Bardel’s new CEO.
Along with broadcast growth, the feline series is expanding into the licensing world, with Discovery Kids grabbing exclusive L&M rights in LatAm (excluding master toy), and Hong Kong-based Toys Plus gearing up to launch a range of toys including figurines, playsets and musical toys globally in fall 2019. Simba Dickie Group has also been tapped as the line’s exclusive distributor in Europe and the Middle East.