Netflix Orders 'Justin Time' Spinoff Series

The U.S. streaming giant takes a new half-hour show based on a hit Canadian kids' series from Guru Studio

Netflix has ordered a spinoff series of popular Canadian preschool show Justin Time to stream exclusively for its worldwide subscribers starting in early 2016.

The U.S. streaming giant last year snapped up the SVOD rights for the first two seasons of the Sprout series from Guru Studio via a multiterritory deal. Now Netflix has ordered 13 half hours of the animated series Justin Time: The New Adventures, about Justin and his best friends, Olive and Squidgy, on fantastical adventures throughout time and from every corner of the world.

"The series has been a hit for us across several Netflix territories, and we expect nothing less for the new series," said Erik Barmack, vp content acquisition for Netflix, in a statement. Guru Studio's Justin Time also airs on Discovery Kids Latin America and Disney Junior in Canada.

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"Working with Netflix, one of the most dynamic and creative new kids' entertainment platforms today, is genuinely exciting," Mary Bredin, executive vp of Guru Studio, said in her own statement.

She isn't alone. As Netflix bulks up on original content for kids, chief content officer Ted Sarandos told the streamer's last earnings call that Netflix had poured $140 million into the Canadian production sector for animated series.

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"We're one of the largest employers in Canada for animation executives," he said. Netflix, which launched here in 2010, is also busily commissioning original Canadian live-action series, including the Canadian survival thriller Between, which stars Jennette McCurdy (iCarly, Sam & Cat).

Guru Studio, led by Bredin and president and creative director Frank Falcone, is best known for kids' series such as Nick Jr.'s Paw Patrol, Nemesis for Teletoon Canada and the newly launched Dinopaws for Treehouse and CBeebies.