Cartoon Network alum heads creative unit

Cartoon Network alum Bob Higgins has joined San Francisco-based kidvid and animation house Wildbrain, home of the Nick Jr. hit “Yo Gabba Gabba,” as its head of creative.

Higgins, formerly senior veep of programming and development at Cartoon Network, will oversee all of Wildbrain’s film and TV development, production and acquisitions, reporting to CEO Charles Rivkin. Higgins will work out of the Gotham offices of KidRobot, Wildbrain’s toy and merchandising division, as of Jan. 1.

Higgins’ hire is part of the broad expansion of Wildbrain’s activities during the past two years since Rivkin, former prexy-CEO of the Jim Henson Co., joined the company.

Higgins said he made the move to Wildbrain in an effort to be more of a hands-on producer again, and he noted that indie kidvid concerns are well positioned these days because of the voracious appetite that Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, et al., have for new programs and franchises.

“Yo Gabba Gabba” has developed a cult following among teens and collegiates, providing ample merchandising opportunities for Kid Robot.

During his four-year tenure at Cartoon, Higgins helped oversee the development and launch of such hits as “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” “Camp Lazlo” and “My Gym Partner’s a Monkey.” Before Cartoon, he was senior veepee and exec producer for Gotham-based rights holder Classic Media, where he helped develop TV and direct-to-vid revivals of vintage properties including “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Richie Rich,” “Sherman and Peabody” and “Underdog.”

In addition to the music-centric “Yo Gabba Gabba,” Wildbrain’s kidvid slate includes Disney Channel’s “Higglytown Heroes.” Company also has an active commercial production business, having produced blurbs for Kraft, Coca-Cola, Honda and other top advertisers.

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