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The show, Nickelodeon International’s first China-originated series, is the result of a partnership between Chinese streamer iQiyi, Nickelodeon International and VIS Kids, a unit of ViacomCBS International Studios. It will premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. on Jan. 25 in its preschool block and air regularly weekdays at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
The adventure-rescue show follows four “lovable, enthusiastic and heroic deer friends” who protect the animals of Central Forest and the humans who inhabit Platinum City, a futuristic metropolis surrounding their woodland home, according to a plot description. “When there’s trouble, the deer summon their special planet powers of water, wood, earth and sun” to solve problems.
The show also marked the first time for Nickelodeon Asia to partner on a Chinese original from its conception phase.
“We first partnered with iQiyi on the series with a worldwide audience in mind,” said Nina Hahn, head of VIS Kids and senior vp of international production & development for Nickelodeon International. “We’re incredibly proud to see this original preschool series become the first Nickelodeon International global Chinese-originated collaborative project, as we further our commitment to developing kids-first content from around the world.”
Yang Xiaoxuan, vp of iQiyi and the streamer’s head of original animation and investment, added: “Deer Squad is a major breakthrough for iQiyi’s development of original children’s animation, creatively supervised by Nickelodeon International. We appreciate Nickelodeon’s international broadcasting strategy on the show, and it is great news that we have achieved No. 1 in viewership in many regions. We hope that there will be more Chinese original animations to go international.”
Nickelodeon International aired Deer Squad across Asia in August, including on iQiyi’s platform in China, and premiered it in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. later in the year. It became the top kids show in the Philippines and averaged a 148 percent audience improvement for the timeslot in the U.K., among other successes.
The series is also scheduled to air in other European countries and Africa in March. Deer Squad is currently also in production on a second season.
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