VIS Kids, the new children’s division of ViacomCBS International Studios, has teamed up with a handful of big names to fill out its first content pipeline—including actor/producer John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and producer Fred Seibert (The Fairly OddParents, Adventure Time).
The unit has finalized 12 new partnerships, mostly with experienced creators from around the world, as it works towards the goal of developing 30 new kids shows over the next three years. And many of these first projects will help VIS Kids expand its presence in the UK, Israel, Asia and Latin America.
On the animation front, Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions will present three to five projects to VIS Kids as part of a first-look deal for long-form animated series.
Also giving the division a first look at a minimum of three new concepts is Seibert’s new studio FredFilms, which he set up to meet a growing demand for animation from linear networks and streamers, according to a release from the company. The former CEO/founder of Frederator and chief creative officer of Wow! Unlimited Media left both companies last August.
Also on the inaugural VIS Kids slate are: a female-led adventure comedy created by WildSeed Studios’ BAFTA-winning animators Tom Gran and Martin Woolley; a mixed-media series from creator and director Joel Mackenzie (Robo Wonder Kid, Pikwik Pack); and a fish-out-of-water comedy original from Jiwan Yoon, founder and creative director of South Korean studio Electural.
In book adaptations, the kids division has signed a development deal with Argentine cartoonist Ricard Siri (a.k.a. Liniers) to adapt one of his upcoming titles, as well as optioning the rights to ¡Socorro!, a collection of kid-friendly scary stories from Argentine author Elsa Bornemann, for a live-action series treatment.
VID Kids will also team up with Orit Kuritsky, author of 24 Magic Tricks and a Cake, to create a new magic-focused live-action series. Kuritsky is a kids industry mainstay who has held exec roles at Israeli channel Hop! and wrote family-friendly drama A Good Family.
Nickelodeon vets Diane Whitley (House of Anubis, Hunter Street) and Hans Holsen (All That, Hunter Street) will collaborate on a live-action mystery series.
And for preschoolers, VIS Kids has tapped Daniel Bays (Tree Fu Tom, Bitz & Bob) to create an animated series about citizenship and community; Gili Dolev (Zack & Quack) and Nigel Packard (Floogals) for an animated series; and toy industry exec Paul Weston for a quest-based animated series.
Preschool projects already in the division’s pipeline include season two of Ib The Dog (pictured), an original animated preschool series made exclusively for Paramount+ in the Nordics, as well as Marcelo, Marmelo, Martelo and Gloria Wants to Know It All.