Disney+ has picked up The Jim Henson Company’s new comedy talk show series Earth to Ned (pictured). Available on the SVOD at launch on November 12, the half-hour episodes are about aliens who become obsessed with Earth’s pop culture and host a talk show featuring real-life celebrities. No details on how many episodes or the show’s target demo have been released yet.
Produced by The Jim Henson Company and LA-based prodco Marwar Junction Productions, Brian Henson and Vince Raisa are executive producers for Henson, alongside Marwar’s Joseph Freed and Allison Berkley.
The upcoming streamer scrapped plans for a scripted Muppets series in September, but unscripted short form series Muppets Now—which was announced at Disney’s fan convention D23 in August—is set to launch on the platform in 2020.
Corus Entertainment-owned prodco Nelvana has signed a number of new licensing partnerships for its popular preschool series Max & Ruby. Starting this fall, retailer and restaurant chain Cracker Barrel will exclusively roll out plush, apparel and sleepwear products across 650 of its locations in the US. Meanwhile, licensees that are creating new products include Aurora (master plush partner), Chouette (publishing), Picture This (apparel), Prime Party (party goods), Happy Threads (apparel) and Jellifish (sleepwear), while ice-cream-focused fast-food chain Braum’s will launch in-store branding across the US.
Based on a popular preschool book series by American writer Rosemary Wells, Max & Ruby explores the adventures of two bunny siblings. Canadian broadcaster Treehouse and Nick Jr. in the US recently launched the show’s seventh season, and Nelvana grew the brand through the release of eight shorts titled Super Max in April, as part of the brand’s 40th anniversary.
Panda Mony Toys
California-based manufacturer Panda Mony Toys has partnered with Malaysian animation studio Lil Critter Workshop to produce a six-part animated webseries based on Panda Mony’s flagship toy brand Alter Nation. Premiering exclusively on November 6 via the Alter Nation YouTube channel, the webisodes will each be about two-minutes long.
Aimed at kids six- to 11-years-old, the new series introduces audiences to the brands’ characters: team of soldiers who were experimented on and turned into half-animal creatures. The animated episodes supplement a series of digital comic books and a graphic novel that was released through publisher Dark Horse earlier this year. The webisodes are a step toward eventually producing a full-length animated series around the IP, said Panda Mony in a statement.
UK-based prodco Lime Pictures have optioned British writer Juno Dawson’s YA novel Hollow Pike from publisher Hachette Children’s Group.
Lime Pictures is planning to produce a live-action drama series based on the book. Hollow Pike is Dawson’s debut novel and tells the story of a young girl who moves to a small town known for its history of witchcraft and has to deal with the supernatural elements around her. It hasn’t announced any episode details or when the series will be completed.
The prodco launched a Liverpool-based kids division this past February and quickly got to work, optioning book rights to bestselling kids book series The Apprentice Witch and unreleased YA trilogy The Loop.
Entertainment One has signed new broadcast deals with Nordic broadcasters for its new animated preschool series Ricky Zoom. NRK (Norway) and SVT (Sweden) will debut season one of the series this month and spring 2020, respectively. The CGI-animated show tracks a red motorbike’s adventure with his friends and family in a town made for bikes.
The show has already been picked up by a number of international broadcasters, including Nickelodeon (US), Nick Jr. and Channel 5′s Milkshake (UK), Treehouse (Canada), Super RTL (Germany), Discovery Kids (LatAm) and Spacetoon (MENA).