Genius discovers kidvid

Company pacts for homevid titles

NEW YORK — The Weinstein Company’s Genius Products is making a new push for the family.

Company has picked up homevid rights to all content from the Discovery Kids net as well as select child-themed properties from Discovery Communications-owned TLC.

As part of the multiyear deal, Genius has committed to release at least 16 titles per year of shows such as “Kenny the Shark” and “Flight 29 Down” as well as programming from TLC’s “Ready Set Learn!” preschool block. Principals say they’re aiming for a full complement of bonus features on the releases, which are less common in children’s programming.

Pact marks Discovery Kids first foray into homevid, with execs saying they wanted to wait until they felt there was enough demand before entering the market.

Move comes as the Weinstein Co. expands its family-entertainment ambitions as part of its evolution into a full-fledged media company. TWC is creating a line of direct-to-video family films that include “Spy Kids” animated pics and also have had success at the box office with CG pics like “Hoodwinked!”

Genius has been aggressively building its library and now has rights to content from the likes of ESPN, the Sundance Channel, NBC News and the WWE, but also aims to make a push into more family-oriented fare. “This (Discovery Kids deal) doesn’t get us all the way there, but it gets us very close,” Genius prexy-CEO Trevor Drinkwater said.

Umbrella company Discovery Communications recently announced a homevid distribution deal with Image Entertainment for content from its flagship Discovery Channel and other nets, after a deal with Sony Home Entertainment ended.

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