Banijay Kids and Family today announces it has signed an option agreement with Canadian children’s publisher Kids Can Press to develop a preschool series based on the acclaimed picture book Arnold the Super-ish Hero.
Written by Heather Tekavec and illustrated by Guillaume Perreault, the story follows Arnold, who helps out at his family’s superhero business. The only catch is that Arnold doesn’t have a superpower of his own. One day a call comes into superhero HQ from a little girl in need, and being the only one around, Arnold jumps into action. Determined to succeed as a hero, Arnold helps all kinds of people along the way. He does so many good deeds the city celebrates their newest hero: Super Nice Guy! Arnold discovers that all you need to be a hero is the power of kindness.
Gary Milne, Head of Content Development, Banijay Kids & Family says: “As soon as I read Arnold the Super-ish Hero, I fell in love with the character and the wonderful notion that kindness is a superpower. Heather and Guillaume have created a delightful story that will translate beautifully on screen.”
“We’re delighted to work with Banijay Kids and Family to introduce more young fans to our favourite superhero,” says Lisa Lyons Johnston, President and Publisher, Kids Can Press. “Having had a sneak peek at early script and visual development, we’re confident that the team will bring Heather and Guillaume’s endearing and funny underdog story fully to life, and we can’t wait to see Arnold’s superhero-ish leap from page to screen.”
Arnold the Super-ish Hero is published by Kids Can Press, part of the Corus Entertainment family.
Zodiak Kids and Family Studio UK, part of Banijay Kids and Family, today announces that Cheryl Taylor will be joining the production outfit this month as Creative Director Zodiak Kids and Family Studio UK.
Taylor has had a long and prestigious career in Children’s and Comedy television – holding the role of Head of Content BBC Children’s until last year. She was responsible for commissioning 500 hours of multi-genre content per annum across CBeebies, CBBC and BBC iPlayer. Prior to this she held various commissioning roles at the BBC including Controller BBC Comedy Commissioning and Controller CBBC. She joined the corporation in 2005 from the independent production sector.
Taylor will be transitioning into the role of outgoing Creative Director Steven Andrew who is retiring from the industry. They will be working together at Zodiak until the spring to ensure a seamless transition.
Andrew joined Zodiak in 2011 from CBBC and has been responsible for a wide-ranging slate of programmes during his tenure. From long running BAFTA award-winning interactive series Secret Life of Boys (CBBC/ABC Australia) to CITV gameshow Spy School, Flatmates for BBC iplayer, The Lodge for Disney and critically acclaimed Joe All Alone for CBBC. He has also been developing and executive producing up-coming international drama Silverpoint (CBBC/ZDF) and Ted’s Top Ten for CITV.
Taylor will be jointly reporting into Banijay Kids and Family CEO Benoit Di Sabatino and Zodiak Kids and Family UK COO Gwen Hughes.
Benoit Di Sabatino, CEO, Banijay Kids and Family said: “It takes at least the talent of Cheryl Taylor to succeed the very talented Steven Andrew. We will miss you Steven. Welcome Cheryl!”
Steven Andrew said: “I am very proud of the programming we have brought to life for millions of viewers during my 10 years at Zodiak Kids and will miss the incredible talent on and off screen that I have worked with during this time. However, I am thrilled the remit is being placed in Cheryl’s hands. Having worked together at the BBC and then on many of our series at Zodiak Kids I know she will be brilliant and am looking forward to working together as she comes on board.”
Cheryl Taylor said: “Zodiak Kids and Family has a stellar reputation for producing inventive stories for children of all ages and I’m delighted to be joining a team who feel as strongly as I do about inspiring young audiences. I’m honoured to be picking up the reins from Steven – he’s been responsible for an exceptional canon of work and has always demonstrated enviable flair for growing popular titles and nurturing new talent.”
Banijay Brands today announces it has secured the brand licensing rights to the Banijay Kids and Family catalogue. The newly launched Banijay Kids and Family brand incorporates Zodiak Kids and Family (Totally Spies!, Lolirock, The Ranch, Yellow Yeti, Mumfie, Silverpoint), Monello Productions (Street Football, When I Was Your Age, Marblegen, Hello Kitty) and Tiger Aspect Kids and Family (Mr Bean, Charlie and Lola).
Banijay Kids and Family is a global leader in childrens entertainment, producing a wide range of animation and live action series, digital content, and entertainment formats for children worldwide under three production labels: Zodiak Kids and Family, Monello Productions and Tiger Aspect Kids and Family. Banijay Brands already represents Tiger Aspect Kids and Family IP such as Mr Bean. The new partnership will enable the infant-skewing collective to further leverage the global infrastructure of Banijay Brands and deliver extensive brand licensing programmes for titles such as Street Football, Totally Spies!, Lolirock, Silverpoint, When I Was Your Age, Mister Maker and the upcoming The Unstoppable Yellow Yeti, and Mumfie.
Banijay Brands will also work with local commercial teams to explore a number of regionally-led opportunities.
Benoît Di Sabatino, CEO, Banijay Kids and Family, says: “It’s a big achievement for Banijay to announce at the same time the creation of our new brand Banijay Kids and Family and the launch of our licencing strategy with Banijay Brands. We are confident that our evergreen IPs as well as our creations will be in good hands with such a professional team like Banijay Brands.”
Alice Bernardi, Director of International Brand Licensing, Banijay Brands added: “Banijay Kids and Family has a strong and relatable kids content slate, which, when partnered with the experienced team at Banijay Brands, should trigger a lucrative position in the the childrens licensing space. Recognising the already huge interest from the market, we will be working across a number of categories including experiential, publishing, gaming and products to ensure the relevant and successful exploitation of the business’ IP moving forwards.”
Mumfie is an upcoming new animated series of the heritage property (78 x 7’), directed by the French director Daniel Dubuis, is a co-production between Zodiak Kids Studio France and Italian animation studio Animoka alongside France Télévisions and Rai (Italy). Zodiak Kids recently announced it has secured a pre-sale from KiKA German.
Street Football is the popular animated series combining the action of matches with insights into the hardships of life is co-produced by Zodiak Kids and Monello Productions for France 3 and Rai 2
The Unstoppable Yellow Yeti is a co-production between Zodiak Kids Studio France, and Gigglebug Entertainment. An original animated comedy series for kids aged 6+ and their families, it has been co-commissioned by Disney Channel Europe, Middle East & Africa and Nordic broadcasters YLE, DR, NRK, and SVT.
Silverpoint is a 13 x 22’ sci-fi mystery adventure series about kids at summer camp. Co-produced by Zodiak Kids, CBBC and ZDF Enterprises, the series is created by Lee Walters, Lead Writer, and Executive Producer Steven Andrew, Creative Director, Zodiak Kids.
When I Was Your Age is produced for RAI and France Télévisions by Monello Productions. The animated series features 10-year-old Paul who he has a special gift – as soon as someone says “When I was your age”, Paul is thrown back into the days when the person he is talking to was 10 years old
Mister Maker is the popular ultimate interactive arts and crafts show for younger kids. Broadcast in over 200 territories, the series is a Zodiak Kids Studios for CBeebies.
Totally Spies! is the hit franchise that has been broadcasting for over 15 years, produced by Zodiak Kids for TF1 and Disney France.
Lolirock is a Zodiak Kids production for Disney France and France Télévisions, featuring five princesses with magical singing voices that fight harm with crystal charm!
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