BBC picks up two slapstick comedies from HARI

The Beeb is stocking up on humor-driven, non-dialogue content to appeal to British families, this time scoring a fan-favorite disgruntled bear vehicle and a new toon about a weasel parenting a pair of ducks.
May 2, 2023

The BBC has just picked up a pair of CG-animated series from French studio HARI—Grizzy and The Lemmings and The Weasy Family (pictured above and below, respectively).

Seasons three and four of Grizzy and the Lemmings World Tour (156 x seven minutes) will join the pubcaster’s schedule soon, targeting kids ages six and up and families. Production is still underway on a fourth season that should deliver in 2024. This slapstick comedy series centers around a grizzly bear who is perpetually perturbed by a group of mischievous lemmings. 

Since launching in 2016, Grizzy has built up a strong viewership on both streaming platforms and linear channels. Last year alone, it landed among Netflix’s top-10 shows in more than 60 territories, and was the most-aired French animated series worldwide, according to a release. HARI also estimates that the show generates roughly a billion views on YouTube each year.

The new deal with BBC includes a presale for HARI’s upcoming series, The Weasy Family (78 x seven minutes), as well. Set in a Wisconsin barn, this family-centric toon follows an irresponsible weasel who must raise twin ducklings after accidentally incubating their egg. Broadcast partners already on board include France Télévisions, Germany’s Super RTL and Télé-Québec in Canada.

Both series will launch on linear nets CBBC and CBeebies, as well as on BBC iPlayer, in 2023 and 2024.

HARI is executing what it calls a “benevolent slapstick cartoon” strategy with The Weasy Family—while the series doesn’t have any dialogue, it stands apart from Grizzy and typical slapstick shows by not featuring its characters getting hurt. 

The genre has a lot of potential in the UK market, according to HARI head of sales Sophie Prigent, who noted in a release that slapstick humor “really resonates with British families.” 

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