On the heels of a record-breaking year where Disney Junior ranked as 2022’s #1 TV Network among Kids 2-5 overall and retained its standing as the #1 Preschool Network for the last 10 years (every year since its launch), Disney Branded Television has ordered second seasons of its newest animated series Firebuds and SuperKitties, as well as an early season two renewal for upcoming series Pupstruction. The announcement was made by Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, during the Disney Branded Television presentation at the 2023 Winter Television Critics Association taking place at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California.
At the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS KIDS announced the production of Lyla in the Loop, a funny and engaging animated series for kids ages 4-8 from Mighty Picnic and Pipeline Studios. The show stars Lyla, a dynamic 7-year-old Black girl, her close-knit family, fantastical blue sidekick Stu, and a host of relatable and quirky characters living in her community, who together spotlight creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills while working collaboratively with others.
Gutsy Animations’ internationally celebrated, Emmy nominated animated series Moominvalley has been recommissioned for a fourth season by its anchor broadcasters Sky (UK) and Yle (Finland). Additionally, and new for season four, Viaplay Group has boarded Moominvalley as a co-production partner and will air all four seasons on its Viaplay streaming platform in multiple territories, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland and the Netherlands.
Mondo TV Studios, part of Mondo TV Group, one of the largest European producers and distributors of animated content, has announced an important deal with V-Me Media, the US Hispanic pay TV leader, for a number of popular children’s shows to be broadcast in English on Primo TV across the US. The duration of the license will be three years starting from this January 2023. Launch dates for the shows will be announced soon. V-me Media Inc. is a family of three television networks, including Vme TV, Vme Kids and Primo TV, available in millions of households in the United States and offering a contemporary mix of original productions, exclusive premieres, acquisitions, and popular television programmes specially adapted for a Hispanic audience.
Moonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, continues to expand the Blippi franchise with the addition of Juca, the second Blippi Buddy to be added to the franchise. Building on the success of Meekah, Blippi’s first buddy, Juca is a live-action show set in Brazil, which is currently the largest market for the franchise outside of the U.S. Juca will launch with a distribution deal with Warner Brothers Discovery in Brazil as well as globally on YouTube on January 9th. Blippi, himself, is also taking kids on international field trips this year with episodes filmed in Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Mexico and the UAE. Blippi first visited international markets in 2022 with episodes filmed in the UK and a sold-out show in London.
Global kids and family entertainment major Toonz Media Group has partnered with India’s ELE Animations Pvt Ltd to co-produce Drac and Skeletons, both companies said in a joint statement. Developed and owned by Toonz and ELE, it has an international appeal for kids 4 to 7 years old. The spooky chase comedy series will be produced into a 78×7” animated series in 2D Digital format in two versions— International version in English and Indian version in Hindi.
Genius Brands International, Inc (NASDAQ: GNUS) continues to expand distribution of its Kartoon Channel!, Apple store’s highest user-ranked kid’s streaming app (rated 4.9), with the launch of a dedicated application and channel on the Vizio Smart TV platform, reaching millions of additional television households across North America.
Sesamstraße kicks off its 50th birthday this month. Since 1973, German broadcaster NDR has been the licensee and co-producer of the beloved children’s show, which was launched in the US four years earlier as Sesame Street. The series was created by the nonprofit educational organization Sesame Workshop. NDR and Sesame Workshop have now been partners for 50 years. Frank Beckmann, NDR Program Director, said, “NDR has cultivated and constantly developed Sesamstraße in Germany for generations of children, and has thus also created a classic of children’s television in Germany with its own stories from the American Sesame Street. Sesamstraße is a children’s program with a public service profile and a long tradition. Entertainment that educates children – pedagogically valuable and hilarious at the same time.”
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), a leading entertainment company focused on the production of premium film and television content across platforms, and global film and TV studio Fifth Season and its Fifth Season Live division, announced the launch of a new live ‘Films in Concert Series’ – Respect in Concert, featuring MGM’s acclaimed film, Respect. Set to launch Winter 2023, for the first time ever, audiences around the country will be able to experience the iconic music of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin featured in Respect, performed live by a full symphony orchestra played in sync to the film as the audiences watch on larger than life screens.