A new deal between BBC Children’s and FremantleMedia Enterprises’ (FME) Kids & Family Entertainment division will see the businesses work together to develop innovative programming for children of all ages.
FME and BBC Children’s will now co-develop, co-produce and co-fund a number of new children’s shows over the course of the next five years, investing tens of millions of pounds in order to fulfill the production requirements of the agreement.
The organisations have a proven track record of working together: the preschool hit Tree Fu Tom was one of the highest rated new series on CBeebies in 2012 (and further episodes have now been comissioned) and received multiple BAFTA Children’s Award nominations, and Wizards vs Aliens, created by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford (Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood), was CBBC’s number two premiering show of 2012.
Under the terms of the partnership, the BBC Children’s in-house production teams will produce the shows in conjunction with the FME Kids & Family team including Sander Schwartz, president, and Bob Higgins, executive vice president.
Director of BBC Children’s Joe Godwin said: ”We’re delighted to be signing this new deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises and look forward to building on the success we’ve already had working together on top-rated programmes such as Tree Fu Tom. This groundbreaking partnership will allow us to create and develop even more exciting new shows that will entertain and inspire kids throughout the UK.”
This partnership does not affect the first-look deal that BBC Children’s has with BBC Worldwide which continues to invest in children’s programming and also operates the CBeebies international channels.
“When we started FME’s Kids and Family Entertainment division just three years ago, our goal was to join forces with leading broadcasters and producers of kids’ content in order to inspire, transform, challenge and stimulate our young audiences who will grow to be the world’s next generation of leaders,” said Sander Schwartz, president, FME Kids and Family Entertainment.
“BBC Children’s and FME’s Kids and Family division joining forces in a strategic relationship is truly an example of 1+1 = 3. The combining of strong experience and skills from both companies is sure to amplify the quality of shows that will result from this unique alliance.”
Extending beyond television screens, the deal will also see FME representing a range of global ancillary rights, including merchandise, home entertainment, live events, publishing, worldwide distribution, and more. The BBC will retain television rights for the UK and Eire, as well as certain other rights within those countries.