NBCU, Corus and Cookie Jar-backed kids network KidsCo is making its first foray into original long-form programming with animated series Sinbad in Space, TBIvision has learned.
The 26x11mins series will be produced by KidsCo and Creative Image Partners and rollout across its networks in the second half of next year.
KidsCo has invested in original short-form programming before in the shape of animated series Boo & Me, but this is the kids net’s first long-form series. Paul Robinson, KidsCo global CEO, told TBIvision: “By having your own, original programming you have something that truly fits your brand and in a world where there is a lot of clutter, the KidsCo brand needs to really stand for something. Secondly, in terms of rights, the situation is getting more complex and it is increasingly important to be able to control rights across all windows.”
Robinson added that KidsCo would like to have at least one original series a year and that committing to investing in its own programming will help the channel secure wider distribution. “We have wide distribution and with the platforms left, mainly established DTH and cable players, we need to demonstrate that we are a long-term player and can compete on a like-for-like basis with the other kids channels in terms of content. Platforms need to see content that will define the channel and help differentiate it.”
The series will be CGI animation with 2D backgrounds. Image Venture handled the creative for Boo & Me and will partner with KidsCo on its new series. Creative director Raja Masilamani says that reimagining Sinbad will give KidsCo a series that kids and other family members, who remember the property in its earlier incarnations, can connect with. “We want parents and children to watch together,” he says. “We thought we would take Sinbad to space and that will allow us to connect with the past, present and future of Sinbad.”
In the show Sinbad and three cohorts have a portal that allows them to travel to different galaxies to battle different environmental disasters and issues. The emphasis is on non-violent adventure with a helping of comedy, Masilamani says.