MIPCOM: Kew Media Buys Stake in U.K.-Based Awesome Media & Entertainment


The plan is to turn TV and novel writer Jeff Norton's character franchises into original primetime series.

Canadian indie studio Kew Media Group has bought a stake in Jeff Norton's U.K.-based Awesome Media & Entertainment, creator of Metawars and other IP set to be adapted into primetime TV series, it was announced Monday at MIPCOM.

Terms of the deal, such as the price tag or size of the stake, weren't disclosed. But Toronto-based Kew Media and Norton will bring his novels and other character franchises to life as TV series, with WME on board with packaging.

"This partnership with Kew gives Awesome the resources to scale up into a world-class, creatively-driven IP and production company," Norton said in a statement. Awesome Media original projects in the works include Woodland, about the search for the missing grandson of a Tolkien-like literary icon; Cortex, a high-tech police procedural about human memory hacking; and Expat, a contemporary drama in development with Monumental Television.

Awesome is also developing Stomp School with Cloth Cat Animation, based on Norton's and Leo Antolini’s debut picture book, and Vancouver-based OmniFilm is adapting Norton’s upcoming book, Dino Knights, about a team of teenage knights riding on the backs of dinosaurs, as Knights of Panterra.

Elsewhere at MIPCOM, Cineflix Media said it has partnered with rival Canadian factual producer Ideacom International to do high-end documentaries as Canada-France co-productions. The pact will combine Cineflix's production, financing and distribution expertise with Ideacom’s track record in documentary films and series.

And distribution veteran Jane Rimer is at MIPCOM to launch Scott Borchetta's singing competition series, The Launch, as an international TV format. The Toronto-shot reality series has Shania Twain, Fergie, Boy George, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, and Alessia Cara as mentors.