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Kids company Sutikki setting up UK base

Kids-logo-460_2Irene WeibelSutikki, the new kids content company backed by Bob’s Burgers prodco Bento Box, is preparing to open up in the UK.

The new company was set up by kids TV veterans and former Nelvana execs Irene Weibel and Andrew Kerr, alongside In the Night Garden creator and Teletubbies co-creator Andrew Davenport.

It is about to announce its first commission, tipped to come from Davenport, who works with Sutikki and also has his own prodco, Foundling Bird, which he will continue to operate.

Andrew DavenportSutikki UK will be announced soon, with Kerr telling TBI it makes sense to set up in the country given its established kids sector, and the company’s connection with UK-based Davenport.

“We will have a dedicated space in the UK, with staff and it will be headed by a well-known [kids TV] individual,” he said. “The UK is the third-largest kids market in the world and we will align the Sutikki UK launch with the announcement of our first series.”

Sutikki is expected to use parent company Bento Box’s extensive studio facilities, which are spread across three sites, with its own shows.

Its slate will cover animated programmes for kids of all ages Weibel and Kerr told TBI. “We will look at projects and ask who is the talent central to that, and we will work with that talent on projects that are commercially attractive,” Kerr said. “It is about talent and commercial viability.”

Irene Weibel said that the new prodco will have several projects underway within months. “By the end of the year we will have one show in production and a couple in development,” she said.

Andrew KerrKerr added: “We will have a mixed slate, some shows will come from IP and others will be new, content will be very disparately sourced.”

Weibel was previously VP and head of Nelvana Studios, where she oversaw development of series including Hotel Transylvania, which debuts on Disney Channels Worldwide next year, and the upcoming Nickelodeon series The Mysticons.

Kerr was co-head of Nelvana Enterprises, overseeing all aspects of distribution and merchandising at Corus Kids. He had previously worked with Davenport as executive VP, global licensing and marketing at Ragdoll, where he looked after the Teletubbies and In the Night Garden.

Toronto-based Nelvana helped Bento Box launch its first studio out of the US last year through the creation of Bento Box Canada. Nelvana and Bento at that point already had a production pact in place for Corus channel Teletoon at Night. Sutikki, however, is completely independent of Corus and Nelvana.