French broadcaster France Télévisions has commissioned the animated preschool series Billy The Cowboy Hamster from French producer/distribution Dandeloo.
Based on the eponymous book series by Dutch author Catharina Valckx, which has sold more than one million copies around the world, the new screen version of the story tracks a group of friends living in the Wild West who embark on thrill-seeking adventures. Currently in development, the 78 x seven-minute show is targeted at ages four to seven.
Directed by Swiss illustrator Antoine Rota, Dandeloo is producing the series at its animation studio and is expected to deliver it in 2021.
Toronto producer/distributor Boat Rocker Studios has closed six new broadcast deals for animated preschool series The Polos, which it co-produced with New York-based edutainment company MarcoPolo Learning. Boat Rocker sold the series to Discovery Family Channel (USA), where it will premiere in July. The distributor has also secured deals with Nat Geo Kids (pan-LatAm), Viacom 18 (India), CJ E&M (Korea), PCCW (Hong Kong), and Dreamia (Portugal).
The 52 x five-minute CG-animated show revolves around an inventive group of friends who explore the world through STEAM-centric road trips. The Polos is executive produced by Janice Burgess (Backyardigans).
The characters are also featured in MarcoPolo’s World School app, which won the Kidscreen Award Best Learning App in February.
LA distributor Cloudco Entertainment has secured a bevy of international sales for the first season of Toronto-based prodco Aircraft Pictures live-action series Holly Hobbie (pictured).
Targeting tweens and young girls, the 10 x half-hour episodes are launching in the UK on kidsnet CBBC this summer. Other broadcasters to pick up the series include Viaplay (pan-Nordic), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden), SEBC (Sweden), Noga (Israel), RTVS (Slovenia), RTL Videoland (Netherlands), VRT (Belgium), and i-Cable (Hong Kong).
Led by showrunner Sarah Glinski (Degrassi: Next Class), the series follows a tween singer-songwriter who saves her grandmother’s café and brings the community together by performing original songs. Holly Hobbie is produced in association with Cloudco and Canadian prodco Wexworks Media, with the financial support of the Shaw Rocket Fund.
Driver Digital Studios
New York-based family entertainment company Driver Digital sold its entire Cool School catalogue to SVOD Kidoodle.TV. Beginning this month, the platform is launching the show’s 400 educational episodes, which are four to six minutes long, in 145 countries across connected devices, including Apple TV and Roku.
Cool School’s YouTube channel has more than one million subscribers and five billion views, according to Driver Digital.