LONDON — The Disney Channel is developing two new children’s shows with U.K. producers as part of its plan to beef up production outside the U.S.
The outfit’s worldwide global original programming division has signed deals with shingles Coolabi and Blue-Zoo Productions.
They are, respectively, comedy “The Shaila Show,” a mix of live action and animation, and “Clever Clogs,” an animation.
These projects are the first to emerge since the London-based programming hub was formed in April.
As part of the initiative the web has hired two new execs to help drive the move into local production.
They are David Freedman, tapped as senior development manager, and Baljeet Rai, appointed senior manager, production.
The U.K. children’s production sector is in crisis despite a multi-channel market that supports around 30 specialist kids’ channels.
ITV, Blighty’s biggest private terrestrial web, has stopped commissioning tyke fare claiming it is no longer economic to back shows for kids.
There are worries from program makers, regulators and commentators that in future only the BBC will invest hefty sums in locally produced children’s shows.