Monday, October 11, 2021

ViacomCBS Acquires 'Anna & Friends' for Nickelodeon Channels Internationally

Superights, the distribution arm of France’s Superprod Group has signed a milestone deal with ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) to bring its series Anna & Friends to Nickelodeon channels globally.

The agreement marks the first multi-territory sale between the Paris-based Superights and Nickelodeon, and a massive first window distribution ensuring that the series will broadcast in nearly all international territories. Nickelodeon will specifically bring episodes to Asia-Pacific territories, excluding mainland China, as well as to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The deal also excludes North America.

The 78×7-minute series centers on 6-year-old Anna and her group of friends, including impatient Froga the frog, thoughtful Ron the cat, overly-confident Bubu the dog and naïve Christopher the orange worm. Each episode follows the diverse gang on their daily adventures with engaging storylines full of heart, humor and happiness.

Broadcasting will start in 2022.

Made on a brand-new addition to the Superights catalog, the deal was announced on Monday (Oct. 11), the first day of MipJunior, which this year forms part of Mipcom.

Nathalie Pinguet, deputy General Manager (GM) at Superights, commented: “We are thrilled to be undertaking this new collaboration with Nickelodeon and feel honored by the trust they have placed in Anna & Friends. We are looking forward to the exciting opportunities this new partnership promises.”

Layla Lewis, Senior Vice President (SVP) of global acquisitions and content partnerships at Nickelodeon, added: “Anna & Friends is a charming preschool series that is full of heart. We are excited for this new partnership with Superights, and look forward to using the power of our platforms to introduce Anna and her friends to our audiences internationally.”

The series sees Superprod, however, leveraging its own assets, with production taking place at its studios in France, as it looks to two of the major forces which explain why France is becoming such an animation power in Europe.

One is Gallic public broadcaster France Telévisions, the biggest single animation financier in France, which co-produces Anna & Friends. A second is neighboring Belgium, the go-to production partner for French animated projects. In this case, Digital Graphics Animation — Atmosphere Media’s sister company in Belgium – has also boarded as a co-producer.

Anna & Friends also underscores the innovation coursing through much contemporary animation, using what Superights describes as “innovative CG animation techniques” to create a “charming, hand-modeled clay appearance.”

In an interesting distribution arrangement, free-to-air (FTA) broadcast networks will have the opportunity to acquire the program for further broadcasting after Nickelodeon’s first window.

The Nickelodeon deal for international marks the latest move from Superprod, founded in 2010 by Jérémie Fajner and Clément Calvet, which has made its name producing both animated series (Pat the Dog, Netflix’s Go, Go Cory Carson) and features and runs its own animation studio. It leapt to prominence co-producing Tomm Moore’s Academy Award-nominated Song of the Sea.

In February 2021, in a new expansive thrust, Superprod acquired a majority stake in startup Italian animation studio Red Monk. At June’s Annecy Festival, Superights made two major rights pick-up announcements in a matter of days, confirming it had acquired three new titles– Croco Doc, Hidden Waste and Giuseppe – and securing global distribution rights to Tencent Video’s slapstick series The Adventure of Little Penguin.

Originally published: October 11, 2021.

Sources: TVKIDSVariety.

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