Discovery’s kids content production and distribution unit Discovery Kids Media (DKM) has lined up five new in-production series made in Latin America.
First up, DKM is teaming up with Latin American studio MundoLoco to produce Underdogs, the animated series (working title). Inspired by MundoLoco’s feature film Underdogs, which was released in more than 50 countries, the new CGI-animated series is DKM’s second production with MundoLoco, coming after the companies partnered on Mini Beat Power Rockers. The 52 x 11-minute Underdogs series will take place in a world where everything relates to sports in a wacky way. In this world the Underdogs are a team of foosball players who face opposing teams, while battling a diabolical mastermind bent on breaking up the team.
The other animated series in production is Bean & Friends (pictured), about a bean sprout living in the art room of a school and the adventures he gets up to with his new friends. Bean & Friends is a working title and the 52 x 11-minute series is produced by Chatrone Latin American Productions and LatAm’s Birdo Studio.
DKM is also growing its live-action catalogue, and is producing Alex’s Music , Super Lolo and Our Zoo World (all working titles), which will each feature 52 x half-hour episodes. Alex’s Music blends live-action and animation while telling the story of a young musician who struggles to be more outgoing until she finds a magical creature who changes her life. Filmed in Mexico, the series is produced by 360 PowWow and Anders Media Inc, featuring musical production by Grammy nominee Adam Anders.
Super Lolo, meanhile, is a comedy series about a 10-year-old girl who gains different super powers based around empathy. Produced by MV Videos, the protagonist uses her abilities to battle bullying, prejudice and fear. DKM is also spinning off its live-action series Zu & Her Zoo with the new series Our Zoo World, about a young girl and her clueless teenager brother taking ownership of (and protecting) a zoological reserve. The series is produced by Boutique Films, the prodco behind Zu & Her Zoo.
DKM is also growing its distribution efforts. US streamer Hulu and Sony Pictures Television’s UK kids channel Pop picked up seasons one and two of Discovery’s live-action series Big Top Academy. This marks the first broadcast deals the distributor has signed for the show, however no air dates have been announced.
Produced by Montreal-based Apartment 11 Productions in association with Discovery and Canadian kids channel TVOkids, and in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil Images, the 52 x half-hour series targets kids ages five to nine. Revolving around eight young acrobats who dream of becoming professional circus artists, the series first debuted on Discovery Kids (LatAm) and TVOkids in 2018.
Discovery Kids Media commissions, co-produces and distributes children’s animated and live-action content for both linear and digital platforms. Launched in February 2019, it’s led by GM Carolina Lightcap and Danielle Davies, the VP of kids content partnerships and revenue for the unit. DKM announced last year that it had more than 15 projects in development—although it didn’t share any specific details—and that it would manage Discovery’s joint venture agreements for kids productions, including Nelvana’s new series Dog & Pony Show and Agent Binky.