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TV's Riviera Review

As it turns 45 years old, the MIPTV market, which takes place annually at Cannes, shows few signs of the aches and pains of middle-age. This April, MIPTV turned 45. But the five-day Cannes television market and conference let t

April 6, 2018

8 Min Read

As it turns 45 years old, the MIPTV market, which takes place annually at Cannes, shows few signs of the aches and pains of middle-age.

This April, MIPTV turned 45. But the five-day Cannes television market and conference let the event go unmarked without so much as a card. But while, in typical 40-something fashion, MIP didn't seem quite so raucous as it once was, there was still plenty of action happening on the Riviera. 40, after all, is the new 30.

The attendance figures released by organisers ReedMidem were respectable and stable, up 64 at 13,285 from 07's 13,224, and stand space increased by 5.5%, although stand numbers fell 1%. While one could argue that there was no one big deal, announcement, or breakout series that got everyone talking, there was certainly no lack of action. Warner's and sister company HBO announced a multiyear deal with Orange Cinema Service to supply content to its new bouquet of six channels, delivered to TVs, PCs, and mobiles across France, and quite a number of United States majors rolled out branded channels.

Like a lot of middle-aged folks, though, MIPTV is thinking hard about the future. 360-degree content innovation was still a huge buzz word at the show, and discussions about advertisers geting involved in content could prove revolutionary to the industry and the way that it does business.

While the focus of the April event is on documentaries, there was nonetheless an insight into some kids' programming with licensing potential. Look out for a handful of properties that are likely to be extended over the coming years from big players such as Hit and Decode and smaller operations like Fireback and Shaftesbury.

Ultimately, no matter where the audience watches the shows that are sold at MIPTV, what it all comes down to is the content. As Elisabeth Murdoch, chair of the Shine Group of companies pointed out in her keynote address, creativity is the heart of the industry.

Luckily, as you'll see in this round-up of this year's show, even in year 45 there's still plenty of creativity on display at MIP.

Properties to watch

Way to Blue

A three-way project between RDF's The Foundation, Decode Entertainment and BBC's Cbeebies "Way to Blue" (working title), is being articulated as one of a number of successors to "In The Night Garden." Due for delivery in 2009, the 100 x 20 minute pre-school series mixes animation with live action and features children aged four to six. In the fantasy world of Nara animated characters called Piplings embody a range of emotions such as love, wisdom, happiness and harmony. RDF Kids & Family, a division of RDF Rights, holds worldwide rights in all media in the property and will distribute the program to the global pre-school market. i1_423.jpg

Captain Mack

Fireback Entertainment's "Captain Mack", which is currently being aired on the UK's CITV, was taken to MIPTV by Granada International. The boys' pre-school live action series is set in Sunshine City and follows superhero Captain Mack as he puts right the work of mischief-makers Tracy Trickster, Grabby Crabby and Marty Meddler. Captain Mack uses three different Sky Rockets to help him avert disaster.

The licensing rights have been retained by Kickback Media, which is looking to roll out a merchandise program in the UK, followed by international.

Angelina Ballerina

Dancing mouse Angelina Ballerina is getting a CGI makeover from HIT Entertainment with co-production partners Thirteen/WNET New York and Nick Jr. UK. The new series, called "Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps," will be produced by SD Entertainment. Based on the books by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig, the new series will introduce Angelina's new home in a neighborhood on the other side of Chipping Cheddar, a new performing arts school—Camembert Academy—new friends, a new teacher, Miss Mimi, and new adventures. Angelina will also be modern exploring, tap, jazz, classic, and ethnic dance. The series is set to premiere in autumn 2009 and is to be supported by a full licensing and merchandising program.

Tangerine & Cow

Spanish distributor Imira Entertainment showed animated comedy "Tangerine & Cow," for which it has worldwide distribution and licensing rights (except for French speaking Europe, Netherlands, Greece, Hungary and Finland). The fast-paced 2-D series is a co-production between Normaal Animation and France 3 and is based on the comic book Chico Mandarine, written by Jacques Azam and published by Editions Milan.

The series follows a family that comprises an absent father, only available on a mobile phone, an eccentric inventor mother, who wants to be a Nobel Prize winner, a laid-back teen and an over active eight year old girl—plus a talking cow.

Pinky and Perky

Pinky and Perky are two porcine brothers who run a TV station, PPC TV. This series of 52 x 13 minute 3D episodes is in fact a revival of an earlier puppet series that first aired on UK screens in 1957, running on and off until 1971. A Granada production for CBBC and France 3, the series targets 6–11 year olds and aims to deliver feature film quality and be smart and funny. Licensing is being handled by Mark Hurry, head of licensing at Picture Production Company and a master toy license has already been signed with Martin Yaffe. The series goes to air on BBC1 in September, and the first products are slated to be on shelves April 2009. No air date has been set by France 3, but many other sales are due to be announced shortly after MIP.


Canada's Shaftesbury Films, the producer of "Life with Derek," has just finished filming "Overruled!" a teen comedy with partner Family Channel. Based around the "legal" drama of a high school teen court—run by the music teacher—the main characters are schoolchild lawyers, a judge, and a clerk. A number of broadcast deals are about to be announced, and the appointment of licensing agency is expected to follow. "Life with Derek" is being aired on over 100 television stations, and its licensing program, under Joy Tashjian, is just starting up.

Myo & Ga: The Life of a Hero

Korea's Vooz Character Systems, creator of Pucca, and Spain's Imira are to co-develop and co-finance a 3-D CGI animated series, "Myo & Ga: The Life of a Hero," aimed at ages 6 and upwards. Korean animation channel Tooniverse is also on board for the project, which is an action comedy with an oriental flavor.


  • Disney Channel North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific have joined forces to acquire global rights for the stop-motion animated series "Timmy," the "Shaun the Sheep" spin-off, from UK production company Aardman Animations ("Wallace & Gromit"). It is scheduled to premiere in 2009 on Playhouse Disney.

  • Entertainment Rights has secured broadcast agreements for "Transformers Animated" (26 x 22 minute), plus a 70-minute, special episode in over 80 territories, including new key international broadcast platforms—Mediaset (Italy), Turner Broadcasting (Australia, Latin America and India), Jetix (Israel, Netherlands and Belgium), Network 10 (Australia), TV3 (New Zealand), Mediacorp TV12 (Singapore), and TV Globo (Brazil). These broadcasters join key European TV broadcasters including Nickelodeon (UK), Gulli (France) and Super RTL (Germany).

  • Chorion has signed a deal with UK broadcaster Five for its new children's television series "Olivia," based on the best-selling book property. In addition, Chorion has signed a number of new international pre-sales with ABC Australia, YLE Finland, SVT Sweden, NRK Norway, and RUV Iceland for the pre-school animated series. "Olivia" will broadcast as part of Five's Milkshake! block. The 52 x 11 minute series is in production with delivery scheduled for autumn 2008.

  • Decode Entertainment has signed its second Canadian-Singaporean collaboration with Scrawl Studios for new animated series "RPG High" (working title). The companies have also recently co-produced Clang Invasion with Hong Kong's Agogo, which launched at MIPTV. Aimed at 8-12 year olds, "RPG High" (52x11) is a new 2-D series with 3-D sequences in a visual style inspired by video gaming. Distribution of the show will be split between the partners with Scrawl Studios handling Asia sales and Decode Enterprises covering the rest of the world.

  • HIT Entertainment has signed a strategic distribution and co-production agreement with Smartoonz, a division of Zeppelin Animation, to distribute and sell three of its pre-school television shows around the world. HIT has acquired the distribution rights to "Little Fables," an animated pre-school show targeting 2-5 year-olds and will co-produce "Monkey See, Monkey Do" and "Clay Play," both of which are slated for 2009. HIT has also secured first option rights on all future Smartoonz properties.

  • Studio100 Media, a subsidiary of Studio100 (Belgium) has signed an agreement with Dutch production company JFA Productions, part of the Herman van Veen Studios Group, to handle the distribution in Asia of the children's animation series "Alfred Jodocus Kwak." The agreement covers distribution of TV and video/DVD rights.

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