The Smurfs are heading to Nickelodeon. The small blue creatures are launching on the small screen with the new CG-animated series The Smurfs, as well as a CP program that the kidsnet will launch internationally.
Nickelodeon and the brand’s worldwide licensing agents Lafig Belgium and Belgium-based International Merchandising, Promotion and Services (IMPS) are teaming up on the comedy/adventure series, which will follow the adventures of the popular gang.
The series will premiere on Nickelodeon’s US channel in 2021, before it launches it internationally. Produced by Belgium’s Peyo Productions and France’s Dupuis Edition & Audiovisuel, Nick is partnering on the series in order to grow its catalogue of big-name franchises, according to a statement from the kidsnet.
First announced in 2017, a number of broadcasters have joined on as co-production partners of the five- to 10-skewing series, including TF1 (France), Ketnet (Belgium), KiKA (Germany) and Ouftivi (Belgium).
Viacom’s consumer products division will seek new merchandising and promotional partners for the brand—spanning toys, stationery, apparel and accessories, home and consumer packages goods—which will begin to roll out 2022. Viacom will manage the new CP licensing in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Singapore and Malaysia. Layla Lewis, Nick’s SVP of global acquisitions and content partnerships, and Dana Cluverius, SVP of current series animation will oversee the new series and CP program.
The Smurfs have been a mainstay of kids entertainment for decades, and regained international relevancy within the last 10 years when the brand expanded into three feature-films from Sony. Mixed-media films The Smurfs (2011), The Smurfs 2 (2013) were followed by the fully animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017). Those three titles combined pulled in more than US$1.1 billion worldwide at the box office. The property started out as a comic book in 1958, and has previously expanded into a 1980′s animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, Belgium’s SEPP International and Lafig, which ran for nine seasons on US network NBC.
In January 2019, IMPS focused on growing the property’s global presence ahead of the show’s launch by tapping Toronto-based producer WildBrain’s AVOD unit WildBrain Spark to manage the brand’s YouTube distribution. The licensing agency also signed a deal with Spanish distributor Planeta Junior for Planeta to manage consumer products programs in Spain and Portugal.