Nickelodeon has ordered stop-motion series The Tiny Chef Show (working title) from Imagine Kids & Family to expand its food-focused content offering.
Nickelodeon’s Burbank animation studio will produce the new preschool cooking show in association with Imagine Kids & Family and IP owner Tiny Chef Productions. This is Nick’s second project with Imagine; the first was live-action sci-fi series The Astronauts.
The Tiny Chef started off as an Instagram IP that now has more than 600,000 followers. It centers on the titular character as he cooks, sings and lives in his tree-stump house. Imagine’s kids division invested in the IP in July 2019—its first such investment—and the plan is to develop it into a global franchise, complete with content and consumer product.
It was the wee chef’s fun language-free approach (reminiscent of the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show) to topics like cooking and environmental sustainability that initially drew the studio to the property, according to Stephanie Sperber, president of Imagine Kids & Family.
The number and length of episodes and a release date have not yet been set, but the series will premiere on Nick Jr. and Noggin in the US, as well as Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. channels internationally.
Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Sperber are attached as EPs, alongside Kristen Bell, Morgan Sackett and Tiny Chef Productions’ Rachel Larsen, Adam Reid and Ozlem Akturk. Eryk Casemiro, SVP of Nickelodeon preschool, and Elly Kramer, content executive VP at Imagine, will oversee production.
Nickelodeon has been cooking up a lot of food-themed content recently, including the Rachael Ray and Amirah Kassem unscripted special Cake My Day, and new digital series Annie vs Hayley LeBake Off! Cooking shows have long been a staple of many kidsnets’ non-fiction slates, and the new batch of tasty fare comes amid a growing awareness that kids who watch cooking shows are more likely to make healthy food choices, according to a Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior study.