Sacha Baron Cohen

Warner Bros. Discovery kicks off first upfront with Sacha Baron Cohen special

Veteran comedians Cohen, Mike Judge and Greg Daniels will exec produce the "family-friendly" animated special Chelm: The Smartest Place on Earth, while Cartoonito picks up Octonauts for LatAm.
May 18, 2022

Warner Bros. Discovery is making a splash in kids content with its first upfront since the companies merged, announcing a big-name animated comedy special and a key kids acquisition for LatAm.

Cartoon Network and HBO Max used the event to unveil a new “family-oriented” laugher called Chelm: The Smartest Place on Earth from comedian and Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen (pictured) and a team of veteran comedy executive producers.

Targeted at “new, younger audiences,” the special puts a comedic twist on Jewish folklore and traditions through the antics of residents living in the Town of Fools. The project is helmed by Cohen, King of the Hill executive producers Greg Daniels and Mike Judge—under their new Bandera Entertainment shingle—and SNL writer Michael Koman. They’re currently in the story development phase, and a release date has not been set.

On the acquisitions side of things, preschool channel Cartoonito and HBO Max have picked up Silvergate Media’s Octonauts to run in Latin America. Seasons one to three (92 x 11 minutes) of the CG-animated series will launch across the region at some point later this year in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. Octonauts, which spans six seasons and a spinoff that was made for Netflix last year, is about a team of underwater adventurers who explore and protect the oceans.

Warner Bros. Discovery has been quick to pick up new kids content post-merger, including season two of CG-animated Mush-Mush & The Mushables for an EMEA launch. It has also invested in preschool programming with Tom and Jerry Time, the famous duo’s first preschool series.

The merger has led to a major reorganization of the company’s executive ranks, including the departure of Tom Ascheim, Warner Bros. president of kids, young adults and classics. Ascheim is credited with significantly evolving Cartoon Network over the past two years to reach younger audiences.

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at



Brand Menu