Tony Parker agrees to animation deal

Series centers on character of basketball star

PARIS — French toon production shingle Tele Images Kids has inked a deal with San Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker to develop “Basketball Adventures,” an animated basketball series using his image.

Series’ first season follows Parker and his street basketball team — boys and girls in their teens — in an amateur tournament across the U.S. Every episode will take place in a different city and will have a theme that echoes the lifestyle or culture of the location.

Concept is similar to Tele Images Kids’ latest hit “Foot 2 Rue,” a Gallic soccer cartoon that has sold to 100 countries.

Series’ helmer Franck Michel said the show will be in 2D and will have a hip-hop, urban touch, similar to animated feature “Les Lascars.”

“We want it to be a hip show that’s entertaining and appealing to both boys and girls,” said producer Philippe Alessandri. “And we also want each episode to work like a little tale to teach kids important values.”

Parker, who explained that the series will feature guest stars — probably including wife Eva Longoria — told Variety, “I liked the idea of being part of the first French cartoon on basketball.”

Budgeted at Euros 6 million ($8.8 million), “Basketball Adventures” — which is a working title — has been picked up by French net M6. Production will start next January.

Zodiak Ent. reps the series in international markets, while M6 handles merchandising.

Alessandri said “Basketball Adventures” has already sparked interest from North American and Spanish buyers.

Tele Images Kids is part of Zodiak.

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