Tag Archive: Zodiak Kids

  1. Zodiak Kids and Family Studio UK Secures Taylor for Creative Lead

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    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.”

  2. Zodiak Kids Secures Pre-Sale for Mumfie

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    Zodiak Kids, part of Banijay, today announces it has secured a pre-sale from KiKA Germany for its upcoming new animated series of the heritage property Mumfie (78 x 7’). The series, 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).


    KiKA will launch the series in their 6:30 kids prime time slot.


    Mumfie is a preschool comedy series based on Britt Allcroft’s Magic Adventures of Mumfie(creator of Thomas & Friends and the film Thomas & The Magic Railroad). Told with heart and humour, the brand-new series features the optimistic young elephant Mumfie, who along with his best friends, Pinkey the flying pig and Jelly Bean the colour-changing jellyfish, are the helpful heroes of this whimsical series. As our trio embark on their daily adventures you’ll get to meet their eclectic bunch of animal friends: a cheeky crocodile who thinks he’s a king and his mischievous cat confidant; there’s a hermit crab mayor and a giraffe who runs a hotel on an iceberg; you’ll see a jolly yellow whale and a skateboarding zebra, as well as some pirate wolves and a Greek chorus of funny frogs. In this world, nothing is quite what it seems and no matter what challenges arise, no flop, failure or fiasco is unfixable for Mumfie and his friends.


    Sebastian Debertin, Head of International Content Acquisitions & Co-Productions, KiKA said: “We are truly delighted to be adding Mumfie to KiKA’s schedule of pre-school programming. I think our audiences will fall in love with the absolutely unique and eclectic cast of characters and adore exploring the magical world of Mumfie with them.”


    Benoit Di Sabatino, CEO, Zodiak Kids said: “Following France (FTV) and Italie (RAI) Mumfie is now travelling to Germany, it’s found the perfect home in such a prestigious kids house with KikA!  We can’t wait to bring KiKA’s audience the funny, exciting and touching adventures of Mumfie and his friends created by Britt Allcroft.”


    Britt Allcroft’s Mumfie was a beloved and classically animated children’s musical series, first shown in the UK in the 1990’s on CiTV, Fox Kids in the USA, and many other international channels. The series was lauded for its gentle storytelling and earned top ratings.

    Zodiak Kids own international distribution rights to the series.

  3. Zodiak Kids Scores New International Deals for Novel Entertainment’s Horrid Henry

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    Zodiak Kids, part of Banijay, has signed a raft of international broadcast and streaming deals across all five seasons of Novel Entertainment’s perennial hit animated series, Horrid Henry (250 x 11’) consolidating its success in global territories.


    Netflix has picked up season one for Andorra, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Mauritius; in addition to seasons three and four for the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Russia, Iceland, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Samoa. For India, Netflix has picked up the show’s fourth and fifth season.


    Emirates Cable TV has taken seasons four and five for the United Arab Emirates, in addition to seasons three and five for the Middle East (exc. Iran and Israel), Pakistan, Northern Africa (exc. Eritrea, Ethiopia) and Mauritania. Additionally, Sony India has picked up rights for season 1-5 for its Pay TV channel; Discovery Networks Asia Pacific has taken the SVOD rights to seasons three to five for India and the Indian subcontinent, and Okko Limited has picked up SVOD and TVOD rights to seasons three and four for CIS and Mongolia.


    In Europe, Horrid Henry’s fifth season has been picked up by Teilifis Na Gaeilge for the UK & Eire; Leisradio Oy in has acquired rights including free tv, pay tv and AVOD to the show’s second season in Finland; and P&P Permissions and Rights has picked up rights including free TV, VOD and catch-up to season one for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia.


    Viacom International Media Networks Africa has taken all free TV, pay TV, AVOD and SVOD rights to seasons one to three. The DVD, SVOD and TVOD rights have been acquired to Horrid Henry’s fourth season by Asiana Licensing for South Korea.


    Mike Watts, Co-Founder of Novel Entertainment, says: “Since Horrid Henry first debuted in the UK 15 years ago, it’s been fantastic to see the show embark on a remarkable global journey and build an extensive fan-base in all corners of the world. Over the course of our long-standing partnership, Zodiak Kids has established an impressive line-up of both local and global partners for Horrid Henry, and this latest wave of deals is testament to both their strong understanding of the show as well as Henry’s broad international appeal.”


    Delphine Dumont SVP of Sales, Acquisitions & Co-Production adds: “We are so pleased that Horrid Henry keeps on being a success after all these years. The extended volume of episodes as well as the efficiency of the show’s premise have proven to be great assets for broadcasters who keep engaging with the series.”


    To date, Zodiak Kids has sold the series to nearly 150 territories with additional broadcasters on board across the globe, including: Nickelodeon (UK), MBC (Middle East), Alati International (Russia), Atlantic Digital Networks (Canada), TG4 (Ireland), Amazon Prime Video (India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), Produkcija (Slovenia), Kids Network (Latvia and Estonia), Turner Broadcasting System (Asia Pacific), Mediacorp (Singapore), POP TV (Slovenia), E-Vision (Middle East) and Discovery+ (India).


  4. Zodiak Kids Secures Co-Development Deal for Detective Series

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    Zodiak Kids Studios, part of Banijay, today announces it has secured a co-development deal with Asner Productions to develop a live action TV series for 8 – 12 olds, based on the prize-winning book series, The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency.

    The first book from The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency was published by Penguin Random House in 2015 and there are now four books across the series from best-selling author Jordan Stratford.


    In the series, history, mystery, science, and unlikely friendship collide in an alternate 19thCentury London, where teens Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet and form a detective agency — a secret constabulary for the apprehension of clever criminals.



    Steven Andrew comments:


    “We are delighted to be working with Anne-Marie to bring to life this wonderfully inventive and imaginative retelling of these two remarkable young women. Zodiak Kids has brought many entertaining and thought- provoking live action drama series to children worldwide, such as BAFTA Winning Joe All Alone, Secret Life of Boys & Millie Inbetween (CBBC) and The Lodge(Disney), and we are looking forward to bringing The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency into our portfolio.”


    Anne-Marie Asner, Founder of Asner Productions, co-development partner said:


    “I was drawn to the Wollstonecraft series because of its contemporary feel applied to a period piece for kids.  I believe its unstoppable science and literary odd couple girl leads alongside its use of real historic figures, like Ada Lovelace, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, will be aspirational role models for viewers.  And who wouldn’t want to spend time with brilliant, eccentric and unintentionally funny Ada or feel calmed knowing that savvy, well-mannered and well-read Mary could smooth any social calamity?  Wollstonecraft’s Ada and Mary are who many of us would like to be or at least have as our best buddies.”


    The Executive Producer for the series will be Steven Andrew, Creative Director, Zodiak Kids.

    Zodiak Kids own international distribution rights to the series.

  5. Zodiak Kids Secures Development Deal for Award-Winning Book Series

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    Zodiak Kids Studios, part of Banijay, today announces it has secured a development deal to produce a live action TV series for 7 to 12-year olds, based on the Cookie books written and illustrated by Konnie Huq.

    Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World was first published by Piccadilly Press in 2019, followed by Cookie and the Most Annoying Girl in the World in 2020.  The award-winning series starring science-mad Cookie has now sold over 60,000 copies in the UK.

    TV presenter and writer Konnie is a popular favourite in the children’s book world and is described by fans as ‘a brilliant, engaging writer who understands what children enjoy’.  David Walliams called the books ‘smart, funny and full of warmth’ and Jaqueline Wilson said they were “fresh and very funny.” There are further adventures planned for 2021.

    The working title for the TV series is ‘Cookie!’, named after the titular character in the books. The show will follow the hilarious adventures of British-Bangladeshi Cookie whose big mouth and overactive imagination often land her in hot water.

    The Executive Producers for the series will be Steven Andrew – Creative Director, Zodiak Kids, James Farrell for Terrible Productions (This Is Going To Hurt) and Konnie Huq.


    Steven Andrew comments:

    “I loved Cookie from the first page and I am thrilled that we have been able to secure the rights to make the TV series.   Konnie has created a delightfully funny, flawed but wonderfully accessible character whom all children will be able to relate to and I am sure will become an iconic part of children’s culture for years to come.   I am looking forward to working with Konnie to bring Cookie to the small, medium or even large sized screen.”


    Konnie Huq said:

    “It’s so great to be working with Steven Andrew (who I worked with in Blue Peter days) once again and also the fabulous team at Zodiak. I know they’ll do a brilliant job of bringing Cookie to life! Growing up from a minority background, it’s important to me that all children feel they’re represented. Although Cookie can feel like a bit of an outsider, she has a lot to offer. I’m a huge fan of bringing together education and entertainment, and I hope viewers will be belly laughing and perhaps even getting a dose of stealth science!”


    James Farrell adds:

    “I can’t wait to work with Konnie and the wonderful team at Zodiak to bring Cookie to life. Konnie’s deft use of humour and emotion to make STEM subjects accessible to a mainstream audience means that adapting her brilliant books for telly couldn’t be more timely. Cookie’s love and enthusiasm for science is sure to inspire the vaccine-creators of the future.”


    Zodiak Kids own international distribution rights to the series.

  6. Kody Kapow Keeps on Kicking for Zodiak Kids

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    Banijay Group’s Zodiak Kids today announces further global sales for its animated pre-school show, Kody Kapow.


    Produced by Zodiak Kids Studios, Kody Kapow has been picked up in Europe by French media group, Lagardere, for its multi-territory dedicated kids’ channel, Tiji. Other European sales include: Sony Pictures Television, which has acquired the UK rights for free-to-air channel, POP TV Kids; Turner, which has acquired the rights in Italy for its free-to-air channel, Cartoonito; MTVA in Hungary; VTM (Medialaan) in Belgium, and Dreamia Servicos de Televisao for Canal Panda Portugal.


    Further afield, a deal struck with Fox sees Kody Kapow go to Nat Geo Kids in Latin America, National Geographic Partners’ multiplatform entertainment destination; DHX Television in Canada; and HDTV in Russia. Across Asia, the show has been picked up by  Viet Content JSC in Vietnam; CJ ENM’s English Gem in South Korea; Mediacorp and Viu OTT Video Service in Singapore; and Mango TV in China. Additionally, there has been pickup by MBC Middle East and Israeli channel, Hop.


    The 52 x 11’ pre-school series commissioned for the NBCUniversal cable network, Universal Kids, launched as a top-performer with kids 2-5 on the channel in summer 2017.


    Previous sales announcements include: Discovery for its children’s channel, DKids (Middle East and North Africa), SVT (Sweden), DeAgostini for DeAJunior (Italy), Super3 (Spain) and AMC Networks International Iberia for its Spanish channel, Canal Panda, amongst others.


    Kody Kapow is about an aspiring martial arts-style superhero named Kody who spends the summer with his extended family in a small village in China.  His grandfather, a martial arts master, teaches Kody ancient lessons of mindfulness, patience and perseverance, which Kody employs as he and his super-spy cousin, Mei, set off on adventures in the village together with their tiger friend Goji, voiced by Jason Alexander in the U.S.


    Zodiak Kids owns all international distribution rights to Kody Kapow.

  7. BBC iPlayer and CBBC Commission New Content from Zodiak Kids

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    Zodiak Kids, part of Banijay Group, today announces it is producing a brand-new comedy drama for BBC iPlayer – Flatmates, as well as a further series of multi-award-winning comedy drama, Secret Life of Boys, for CBBC and ABC Me.


    Flatmates follows the lives of young Gen-z’ers as they take their first uncertain steps into adulthood. Getting to grips with the next stage of growing up the group wrestle with the expectations and anxiety of trying to fulfil the ‘Millennial Dream’.


    Struggling with the realities of independent living are Lauren, a scatty, ambitious young woman, determined to go places, she just doesn’t know where, her dependable and lovesick ‘boyfriend’ Declan, and deluded and insecure step-brother, DJ Craig. The odds are stacked against them as they grapple with the world of work, dating, and new friends, but from their point of view, it’s an exhilarating, intoxicating leap into freedom; and they’ll do anything to make it work.


    The BAFTA-winning series Secret Life of Boys returns for a fourth series with another 10 x 22’ episodes for broadcast on CBBC and ABC ME. The series has been scooped its fifth award this month winning its second Broadcast Digital Award for Best Children’s Content.  Series two also picked up a Broadcast Digital Award as well as the RTS Northern Ireland Award in the Children and/or Animation category. The accolades follow the prestigious Children’s BAFTA Award for Interactive: Original and the Kidscreen Award for Best Web/App Series, which was given to series one.


    Series 4 of Secret Life of Boys picks up with sixteen-year-old Ginger having adjusted nicely to living in the UK.

    She starts the summer on a mission to travel across Canada with best friend Heath. Robbie wants to grow up

    fast and having put his dreams of owning a motorbike on hold, he decides to refocus on his band which is going on a tour through Germany! With Ginger and Robbie away, the series introduces some new characters and Corey and Bob are both hard at work this summer on their own projects, prompting them to call on Bob’s mother to help with the kids. Unfortunately, Granny Bob’s idea of ‘helping’ isn’t quite what they expected…


    Steven Andrew, Creative Director, Zodiak Kids Studios comments: “Flatmates represents the significant journey we all make from childhood to adulthood. With a balance of drama and comedy, the show taps perfectly into BBC iPlayer’s millennial following and has all the elements we hope will make it a bingeable success. Secret Life of Boys continues to go from strength to strength scooping up its fifth award this month across three series.”


    Flatmates will be executive produced by Zodiak Kids‘ Creative Director, Steven Andrew, and Raymond Lau will serve as producer. It was commissioned by CBBC’s Melissa Hardinge. The 10 x 30’ youth-targeted series will launch this month on the platform.


    Creator and lead writer Anthony Q. Farrell (The Office) is executive producing Secret Life of Boys alongside Trevor Klein and Zodiak Kids Studio’s Creative Director Steven Andrew. The Executive Producer for CBBC is Amy Buscombe, and for ABC, Jan Stradling.  The series will launch on CBBC Autumn 2019.


    Zodiak Kids own international distribution rights to both series.


  8. Zodiak Kids Agrees Youku Package Deal

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    Banijay Group’s Zodiak Kids has secured a package deal for over 250 episodes of its content with Chinese Video-Streaming Service, Youku. Youku, which is a division of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has more than 500 million monthly active users, with 800 million daily video views.

    The Youku package includes Zodiak Kids Studios brand new production Lilybuds 52 x 11’, which launched on Sony’s Tiny Pop channel in the UK last month; Tee and Mo (50 x 7’) the CBeebies hit from Plug-in Media; Magiki the 52 x 11’ series based on the best-selling figurines range by DeAgostini; and Sammy & Co series 1 and 2 (104 x 11’) the aquatic animated adventure series.

    The Lilybuds are tiny, magical gardeners who live under our noses, undetected, in an urban oasis called Garden Park. This friendly community of eight works tirelessly and passionately to create lush, colourful landscapes in every season, under extraordinary circumstances.


    Magiki is a fantasy land of ditzy fairies and sassy mermaids where Princess Billie explores real world issues of fairness, sibling rivalry and self-confidence.


    Tee and Mo follows the adventures of a fun-loving three-year-old monkey, Tee, and first-time super-mum, Mo, as they navigate the swings and roundabouts of their life together, learning what it takes to be a son and mum.


    Sammy & Co explores themes of friendship, respect, and nature, the adventure-loving turtles face the same challenges as children on land.


    Dephine Dumont, Senior Vice President of Sales, Acquisitions & Co-Production comments: “With a wide and diverse audience, Youku acts as the perfect partner for us in bringing Zodiak Kids’ content to Chinese audiences. As one of the top streaming services in China, the platform serves as a great home to Lilybuds, Magiki, Tee and Mo and Sammy & Co and we look forward to exploring other opportunities with the business in the future.”


    For more information and to screen the properties please visit www.zodiakkids.com.