Tuesday, October 09, 2012

UK's 'CBeebies' BBC Channel Acquires The UK Broadcast Rights To Nickelodeon USA's Brand New Animated Television Adaptation Of Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit"

According to this television news article on Televisual, the BBC's preschool channel 'CBeebies' has picked up the UK broadcasting rights to Nickelodeon USA's brand new television adaptation of the Beatrix Potter classic "Peter Rabbit". It is currently unclear whether Nickelodeon UK and Ireland's preschool channel, Nick Jr. UK and Ireland, will also air Nickelodeon USA's brand new animated television adaptation of Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit":
CBeebies to air new adaptation of Peter Rabbit

CBeebies is to broadcast a new TV adaptation of Beatrix Potter classic Peter Rabbit.

The series will preview with a special one-off Christmas episode in December 2012 with 52x11-minute episodes following in Spring 2013.

The new CGI animated series is co-produced by Penguin, Silvergate Media and Nickelodeon US. CBeebies has acquired the show for the UK.

Silvergate and Penguin released the first image from the show today (pictured above) of Peter Rabbit and his friends Benjamin Bouncer and Lily Bobtail, a brand new character.

The animation’s broadcast later this year coincides with the 110th anniversary of the first publication in 1902 of Beatrix Potter’s classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Frederick Warne, now an imprint of Penguin Children’s Books. Since publication, 150 million Peter Rabbit books have been sold worldwide in more than 35 languages.

Set in the Lake District, the animation follows brave, mischievous Peter and his two friends - loyal and comical Benjamin and inquisitive, independent Lily - as they embark on adventures in the big wide world outdoors.

Kay Benbow, Controller, CBeebies said: “I grew up with these books and so I am delighted to welcome this heritage brand to CBeebies. This witty, exciting and action packed realisation is true to the original work of Beatrix Potter and we believe it will have a huge appeal for the older end of our audience.”

The producers say that they are committed to the “authenticity and heritage of Peter Rabbit.“

To build the 3D sets and backgrounds that make up Peter Rabbit’s world, the creative team behind the TV series took over three and a half thousand photographs of the Lake District’s forests, grassy hilltops, farmyards and woodland lanes. These images were then compiled into artistic worlds that reference Beatrix Potter’s watercolour painting style.

Waheed Alli, chairman of Silvergate Media, said: “We are thrilled with the incredible support the BBC has shown for this production, right from the very earliest stages of development. We are absolutely confident that the combination of heritage British storytelling and cutting-edge CGI animation will be completely at home with the BBC. We look forward to seeing the audience reaction over the months and years ahead.”

Penguin will be supporting the animation in 2013 with a full publishing programme with other licensed merchandise to follow.
Also, from C21Media:
CBeebies chooses ZDFE’s aliens

MIPCOM: ZDF Enterprises (ZDFE) is distributing a new preschool series from children’s author, illustrator and producer Nick Butterworth in Cannes.

Q Pootle 5 (52x11’) has already been presold to CBeebies in the UK, while other territories are now lining up, said ZDFE.

The series centres on a friendly alien and his friends who tackle the daily problems of living on planet Okidoki. It is produced and exec produced by Butterworth out of his prodco Snapper Productions together with animation company Blue Zoo in the UK.

“We’ve been missing aliens on the channel, and you can’t get lovelier ones than these,” said Kay Benbow, controller of CBeebies.

In separate CBeebies news, the preschool channel has been confirmed as the UK broadcast partner for the new CGI animated series of Peter Rabbit. A one-off special this Christmas will mark the 110th anniversary of the publication of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, in 1902. A 52x11′ series follows in spring 2013.

Peter Rabbit is coproduced by Penguin, Silvergate Media and Nickelodeon US.

Gün Akyuz
Also, from Broadcast:
Peter Rabbit hops onto CBeebies

Mipcom: CBeebies has acquired CGI series Peter Rabbit from Penguin, Silvergate Media and Nickelodeon US, 110 years after the first publication of the classic children’s book.

The 52 x 11 minute series, which will air from next Spring further to a Christmas one-off, features Peter Rabbit along with friends Benjamin Bouncer and Lily Bobtail.

The animation is a re-imagination of the classic tales and aims to bring author Beatrix Potter’s humorous and magical stories to a new generation of children. Set in the Lake District, the series will follow the adventure of the wild creatures as they venture into the world for the first time.

Since it was first published in 1902, over 150m Peter Rabbit books have been sold in 35 languages.

CBeebies controller Kay Benbow said: “This witty, exciting and action packed realisation is true to the original work of Beatrix Potter and we believe it will have a huge appeal for the older end of our audience.”

Publisher Penguin is to support the series with a raft of merchandise.
Also from C21 Media:
Random Penguin feathers new IP

Bertelsmann-owned publisher Random House will step up its digital efforts and could launch more TV projects through its merger with Pearson-owned publishing rival Penguin Group.

The pair, which announced the blockbuster combination of their two businesses today, pinpointed broad digital experimentation and growth as some of the main reason for the deal.

The tie-up will create a combined group called Penguin Random House that will have joint annual revenues of some £2.5bn (US$4bn).

Bertelsmann will take 53% of the combined firm and Pearson the remaining 47%. The deal is scheduled to close in the second half of next year, subject to regulatory approval.

Bertelsmann CEO and chairman Thomas Rabe said: “The combination of Random House and Penguin, first of all, significantly strengthens book publishing, one of our core businesses. Second, it advances the digital transformation on an even greater scale, and third, it increases our presence in the target growth markets Brazil, India and China.”

Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino added: “Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers.”

While the move is largely a response to the rapid pace of change within book publishing, with the rise of Amazon and e-books radically reshaping the marketplace, it also opens up scope for ‘Random Penguin’ to pool its resources in areas of new business.

Earlier this year, Random House teamed with FremantleMedia – also part of Bertlesmann via RTL Group – to launch Random House Television, a division dedicated to developing scripted series based on fiction and non-fiction books.

In August, the company set up Random House Enterprises, an intellectual property arm designed to exploit its titles across media platforms – including television – bringing in a Discovery exec Jo Edwards to run it.

These moves mirror developments at Penguin, which promoted director of media and entertainment Eric Huang to director of new business and IP acquisitions in July as part of a content creation push.

The Peppa Pig publisher, whose IP includes kids books like Peter Rabbit and King Rollo, is currently coproducing Peter Rabbit with Silvergate Media and Nickelodeon US.

It recently acquired global intellectual property rights to preschool brand Ollie: The Boy Who Became What He Ate, including film and TV, and has ties with digital-first titles like Moshi Monsters, The Land of Me and Whale Trail.

A New York-based spokesman for Random House said the opportunities of the merger were “manifold” and added that the firm expected to make “additional investments through the new company in promising, and potentially innovative and far-reaching, digital initiatives.”

“Random House is not in the television business per se, but we certainly have alliances with FremantleMedia and others to increase the opportunities for our authors to have their works turned into television,” the spokesman added.

Random House CEO Mark Dohle will become CEO of the new firm, while Penguin CEO John Makinson will become chairman of the board of directors. Bertelsmann will appoint five representatives to the group’s board and Pearson will have four.

The combined group will include all the publishing divisions and imprints of Random House and Penguin in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa. It will also include Penguin’s publishing company in China, and Random House’s Spanish-language publishing operations in Spain and Latin America.

Andrew McDonald

TAGS: Mergers & acquisitions, Publishing
SHOWS: King Rollo, Ollie The Boy Who Became What He Ate, Peppa Pig, Peter Rabbit
PEOPLE: John Makinson, Marjorie Scardino, Mark Dohle, Thomas Rabe
COMPANIES: Bertelsmann, Pearson, Penguin, Random House
SECTIONS: C21Drama, C21Kids, FutureMedia
COUNTRIES: Brazil, China, Germany, India, UK, US