ANNECY– Aiming to strengthen its children entertainment business, Zodiak Kids has poached ITV Studios Global Entertainment exec Jean-Philippe Randisi to become CEO.
Taking over this newly-created executive position this summer, Randisi will be responsible for the entire Zodiak Kids division which comprises three major production companies: Marathon Media and Tele Images in Paris, and The Foundation in the UK. Randisi will also head up the TV distribution of kids programming, along with Steve Macallister.
Based in London, Randisi will report directly into the group CEO, Marc-Antoine d’Halluin.
At ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Randisi was exec VP and director of consumer products. He oversaw the reboot of “Thunderbirds Are Go!” (now in production) and the exploitation of the IP across DVD, publishing and licensed products. He also handled the digital focus of the division’s home entertainment business.
Before joining ITV, Randisi was senior VP and managing director at Nickelodeon and Viacom where he worked on such hit properties as “SpongeBob Square Pants,” “Dora the Explorer” and “South Park.”
At Annecy, Zodiak Kids is selling two shows from Tele Images: “Extreme Football,” a full CGI sports animated series, “The Ranch,” about four teenagers who adopt a wild horse; one from Marathon Media: “Lolirock,” a girl-skewed show about three princesses with magical powers who form a rock band and fight against injustices; and from The Foundation: “Zack et Quack” about an adventurous seven-year old boy and his best friend, an impulsive young duck, who live inside a pop-up book.
The company’s production slate includes the second season of “The Ranch,” which has been picked up by TF1, from Tele Images, “Get Blake!” from Marathon Media and “The Floogals,” a co-pro between The Foundation and U.S. preschool net Sprout.
“The Floogals” is a hybrid CGI and live action comedy series based on Bob Kolar’s books, which turns on the adventures of three space animals who land on Earth and learn how to live with a family of humans.
Pre-bought by Nickelodeon for the U.S. and Gulli for France, the comedy-filled “Blake” centers on a 12-year-old boy chased by alien squirels from the future.