Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Rainbow's '44 Cats' Renewed for Season Two

Italian content powerhouse Rainbow Group has announced the pawsome news that it's popular CG-animated series 44 Cats has been renewed for a second season! 44 Cats debuted last year and is already a ‘pawsome’ success in various countries across the world, enjoying fast growth in both broadcasting and licensing.


Set in the world of animals, 44 Cats follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou and Meatball – four adorable kittens who are part of a music band named The Buffycats.

The protagonists live and play in the Clubhouse, a garage beside old Granny Pina’s house. Their adventures explore the themes of friendship and altruism: the four cats love helping others and always find creative solutions to everyday hitches and help other cats in need. The series promotes positive attitudes and conveys educational messages dealing with important themes such as tolerance, diversity and solidarity in a funny way.

This eagerly anticipated show made its world debut on Rai Yoyo in Italy on Monday 12th November 2018. Nickelodeon International acquired the broadcast rights to the series in May 2018, and has been rolling the animated series out on Nickelodeon channels and branded blocks around the world, excluding Latin America, throughout 2019. It's currently unknown whether Nickelodeon will acquire the rights to 44 Cats season two.

44 Cats will also make its Canadian premiere on Treehouse TV on Monday, September 30, 2019 at 12:40 p.m. (ET/PT).

Season two of 44 Cats will contain 52 x 13-minute episodes, bringing the number of episodes of the series up to 104 x 13 minute episodes. The second season of 44 Cats is expected to be delivered soon.

44 Cats is inspired by the very popular Italian kids song "44 Gatti", which, in 1968, won the 10th edition of the Zecchino d'Oro and has since entered the collective imagination of Italians.

44 Cats is the first Rainbow Group production jointly developed with Bardel Entertainment, the Canadian animation studio it acquired in 2015, and jointly produced in collaboration with Antoniano Bologna and Rai Ragazzi, and combines great music and edutainment with high quality animation. The series also marks Rainbow’s (Winx Club, Regal Academy, Club 57, Mia and me, Maggie & Bianca Fashion Friends) inaugural foray into preschool programming.

Rainbow inked a licensing deal for 44 Cats with Thai Group’s Hong Kong-based company, Toy Plus in August 2018. Under the terms of the agreement, Toy Plus will develop a variety of products including interactive plush, figurines, play sets, musical toys and more based on the music, creative play patterns and collectability featured in the series. The line of merchandise debuted in Hong Kong in October, and is slated to become available for purchase around the world in fall 2019. Media Service Zawada represents the property in Poland.

Rainbow has also secured a new licensing deal for 44 Cats with holistic lifestyle company Artsana Group. Under the agreement, the company will develop a range of licensed 44 Cats-themed infant educational toys for infants and a nursing line under its Chicco brand, the largest infant brand in Europe. The deal also includes apparel and accessories collections by Prenatal and Chicco. Products are expected to hit retail shelves later this year and will be supported by a dedicated, high-level marketing campaign delivered jointly by Rainbow and Artsana Group, which is also based in Italy.

Additionally, Rainbow has tapped The Joester Loria Group (JLG) to represent the 44 Cats animated series in the U.S., and Bandai America has been appointed by master toy partner Toy Plus to distribute their full range of 44 Cats toys in the U.S., Canada and Australia markets. A collection including figurines, play sets, plush, and musical toys will debut at retailers early next year. Simba Dickie Group’s is the exclusive distributor for Europe and the Middle East.

44 Gatti become the most watched Italian-produced cartoon of 2018 when it debuted on Rai Yoyo on Monday 12th November 2018, recording record ratings of 527,000 viewers and a 2.71% audience share, helping Rai Yoyo to continue to be the most watched children's channel in Italy! Since its debut, 44 Gatti has also held the record for the highest viewing share amongst children aged 4-7 years, reaching 16% and an average audience of 350,000 viewers in the 19.15 timeslot.

Rainbow SpA will be showcasing its portfolio of top-rated properties, including 44 Cats and Winx Club, at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE). Rainbow's booth will be situated at B180.

Update (9/29) - From the September/October 2019 issue of License Global Magazine:

On the licensing front, "44 Cats" made an immediate impact with major deals signed before the show even hit TV screens. Key partners include Toy Plus (master toy partner), Simba Dickie Group (special partner and distributor for Europe and the Middle East), UNITOYS (exclusive distributor for Russia) and Bandai America (toy distributor in the U.S. and Canada). Other major partners include the likes of Sony, Artsana, Ravensburger, Clementoni and John Toys, among others.

A "44 Cats" live show tour will kick off in the fall, with the premiere show already having sold out.

Next year, "44 Cats" will lead a worldwide campaign to support responsible pet adoptions alongside several pet care associations. A host of edutainment activities and events promoting social responsibility are also planned.

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Viewers can visit the official 44 Cats show website at 44cats.tv to find out more about the show and its musical stars, as well as watch exclusive video clips, play pawesome games and download purr-tastic activities.

From Animation Magazine:

Europena content powerhouse Rainbow is launching its new animated series 44 Cats (52 x 13’) in Canada with a multi-broadcaster approach. Corus Entertainment will start airing the show on Treehouse Sept. 30, playing weekdays and weekends on YTV. TVA Group launched the show on Yoopa Sept. 3 for French Canadian viewers, airing daily. Full of music, cuteness and paws-itive values, the preschool-friendly adventures of four bandmate kittens who love ot help their neighbors premiered in Nov. 2018, making its U.S. debut on Nickelodeon in June.

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More Nick: Nickelodeon. Every Age. Every Aisle. Everywhere. | Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products!

Originally published: Friday, September 27, 2019.
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