9 Story Media Group
Expanding into adaptations, 9 Story has bought a minority stake in UK children’s publisher Knights Of, as well as signing a first-look deal for AV, merchandising, theatrical and ancillary rights to its books.
Knights Of’s roster of authors includes Elle McNicoll (A Kind of Spark), Kelly Yang (Front Desk), Jason Reynolds (Look Both Ways) and Sharma Jackson (High-Rise Mystery). 9 Story is investing in the publishing space as buyers seem to be increasingly keen on kid-friendly adaptations for their slates. Over the past few months alone, Netflix lined up new content based on the Redwall books, Apple TV+ ordered a new show based on the Amber Brown series, and Nickelodeon appointed Eddie Gamarra as its first VP of literary affairs.
Expanding its preschool catalogue, the London-based distributor has picked up worldwide rights to three 2D-animated series from Irish studio Paper Owl Films.
Jetpack’s latest acquisitions include Ladybird & Bee (pictured), a 26 x two-minute series about a pair of animal friends who learn about nature. Greenlit by Irish pubcaster RTÉjr, the shorts premiered domestically in March.
Jetpack has also picked up two development projects. Mr Dog (52 x 11 minutes), which stars a helpful canine who travels the world aiding people in need, is set to start production in late 2023. Going into production at the same time is Florida (52 x 11 minutes), about an aspiring engineer who repurposes unwanted objects.
Sinking Ship Entertainment
The Canadian company has signed a number of international broadcast deals through its in-house distribution arm.
Discovery LatAm and NRK (Norward) have picked up The Demon Headmaster (10 x 22 minutes) from BBC Children’s In House Productions. Aquarius Films’ tween mystery The Unlisted (15 x 24 minutes) is headed to Ypsilon (Spain) and E-Vision (MENA). BBC, SRC (Canada) and ABC Australia have acquired seasons two and three of Odd Squad (114 x 22 minutes). ABC Australia and Canal+ (France) bought season two of Endlings (12 x 22 minutes). And finally, TFO (Canada) has picked up season one of Odd Squad and all seasons of Annedroids (52 x 22 minutes).
Driven by the continued popularity of lucha libre, the edtech company is getting into the ring, signing a deal with Masked Republic to create a new IP inspired by the popular Mexican form of freestyle wrestling. The project will blend literacy, learning and life skills with the high-flying sport.
Former DreamWorks artist Zoro Rodriguez, who joined Encantos as creative director in September, is spearheading the development of art and character design on the project.
The kids industry has been flocking to lucha libre as a source of new content over the past year, with Disney, Cartoon Network and Oscar-nominated French prodco Vivement Lundi! all prepping new series about the over-the-top masked sport.