LONDON — BBC Children’s and FremantleMedia Enterprises’ (FME) Kids & Family Entertainment division have inked a five year deal to develop and produce kids’ television programming.
The partnership will see FME and BBC Children’s co-developing, co-producing and co-funding children’s shows over the course of the next five years.
The duo aim to “invest tens of millions” of dollars “in order to fulfill the production requirements of the agreement.”
The partnership brings together two big players in the kids and family entertainment space.
BBC Children’s won the BAFTA Children’s Award for channel of the year for the public broadcaster’s children’s pre-school channel CBeebies in 2010 and 2011 and for children’s channel CBBC in 2012.
In three years since birth, FME’s Kids and Family Entertainment division has produced original family programming across multiple genres including traditional animated, CGI and stop motion series, live-action and mixed media shows.
The organizations have a history of working together with programming including Wizards vs Aliens, created by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford (Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood).
Through the agreement, BBC Children’s and FME’s Kids and Family Entertainment will collaborate to create programs for both CBBC and CBeebies.
Director of BBC Children’s Joe Godwin described the partnership as “ground-breaking” for the public broadcaster division adding the deal would “allow us to create and develop even more exciting new shows that will entertain and inspire kids throughout the U.K.”
The partnership does not affect the first-look deal that BBC Children’s has with BBC Worldwide who continue to invest in children’s programming and also operate the CBeebies international channels.
And BBC Children’s will continue to collaborate with other creative partners, broadcasters, distributors and indies, who currently produce 70 per cent of the BBC’s children’s programs.
“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 FME Kids and Family Entertainment president Sander Schwartz.
Extending beyond television screens, the deal will also see FME reppinging 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 U.K. and Ireland, as well as certain other rights within those countries.