The Jim Henson Company's television series "Fraggle Rock" is celebrating its 30th anniversary with new licenses.
Preschool television series The Hive has gained popularity stateside since the U.K. show debuted in the U.S. in October. Space Enterprises named The Joester Loria Group as the exclusive licensing partner in North America, after hearing great things about the company from Australian agent Graham Grassby. Debra Joester, CEO and president of JLG, is equally excited at what The Hive has to offer its U.S. consumers, noting that the characters in the animated series lend themselves to product and the shows is garnering great ratings worldwide.
Disney's newest preschool animated series, "Doc McStuffins," which follows a girl named Doc who can speak with and heal toys, has been a hit in the U.K. and in the US. The show is ranked No. 1 in the U.K. and is the No. 1 preschool launch in the history of cable television. Due to its success, products based on the show, including a talking plush, the Doctor's bag set, and a mini bean bag, have been Disney's fastest-selling toys.
Nickelodeon is partnering with Entertainment One to bring the BAFTA Award-winning animated short film, Lost and Found, to U.S. airwaves. The film is based on the Oliver Jeffers' children's book and tells the tale of a boy helping a penguin find his way home to the South Pole. "I'm very excited for Lost and Found to be shown to an American audience," Jeffers says.
Disney acquired the rights to The Hive television show for cable and satellite in all countries except Australia and Israel. Agent Space Enterprises has also said that plush, toys and LeapPad and iPad apps are on their way as well. "The Disney US deal once again spotlights the series' charm and appeal for young children," says Tatiana Kober, president of Bejuba Entertainment, the distributor of The Hive.
Last week Saban Brands announced that an animated television show based on the Paul Frank brand and characters is being developed in partnership with Brain Power Studio. "Julius Jr." will officially premiere in October at MIP Junior and MarVista Entertainment is said to issue the series on international television channels. President of Saban Brands Elie Dekel says the new series is a way for the brand to expand and reach the preschool market, and that MarVista was a perfect partner in achieving that goal.
In anticipation of the September "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" premiere on Nickelodeon, Toys "R" Us is dedicating a "sewer lair" space for products inspired by the four crime fighters. "Creating the atmosphere of the Ninja Turtle's sewer lair in their stories makes it look like the Turtles are leaping out of our TV series and into kids' hands," says Manuel Torres, senior vice president of global toys at Nickelodeon Consumer Products. The collection includes vehicles, action figures, playsets from Playmates Toys and action figures.
The television network announced that it's debuting a new line of kids' fishing gear. The new line, based on Animal Planet's series "River Monsters," is for children ages 4 to 8. The products include a camouflage gear bag, a spincast rod and a junior net that young fishers can use to catch minnows and bugs. The show, which follows biologist and angler Jeremy Wade around the world as he catches, and releases, unique underwater creatures, is in its fourth season and is the best-performing show in the network's history.
HIT Entertainment has signed Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing as its first licensee in the U.S. and Canada for preschool property Mike the Knight. Aimed at kids aged 3 to 5, the CG-animated TV series launched on Nickelodeon in February and Nick Jr this month and has aired on Canadian network Treehouse since September. The publisher will release story, picture, novelty, activity and coloring books, as well as non-interactive e-books, under its Simon Spotlight imprint starting in 2013.