Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Genius Brands International have set a multiyear deal for SPHE to provide marketing and distribution of content from GBI’s Kid Genius and Baby Genius labels in North America, Variety has learned exclusively.
The agreement covers a quartet of brands — new music- and fashion-driven brand for tween girls SpacePop; a new original “Baby Genius” series to coincide with the brand’s expanded launch in 2016; Warren Buffett’s animated series “Secret Millionaires Club”; and “Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 (Slam 7).”
Genius Brands is also developing three new properties included in the agreement that will be announced shortly.
The deal also allows SPHE and GBI to co-develop, distribute and globally merchandise future animated or live-action properties derived from their respective programming libraries.
“SPHE will work with the GBI team to deliver enriching learning experiences and inspiring entertainment content to families and children across North America,” said Ben Means of SPHE. “This partnership underscores our long-term commitment to provide consumers with quality product for children and families.”
Andy Heyward, Genius Brands chairman and CEO, said the deal will enable the expansion of his company’s brands. “This transformative, long-term commitment between our companies allows Genius Brands International to focus on what we do best — creating, producing, merchandising and acquiring commercial content for both kids and families — and enables us to expand and accelerate our growth and shareholder value,” he said.
Heyward is responsible for over 5,000 episodes of children’s entertainment including “Inspector Gadget,” “Strawberry Shortcake,” “Real Ghostbusters,” “Captain Planet,” “Madeline,” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”
Steve Banks, head writer and story editor of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” will be the content writer for “SpacePop.” Veteran producer Ron Fair and his singer songwriter spouse Stefanie Fair, who was a member of the girl group Wild Orchid with Fergie, will create the original music.
Genius Brands relaunched Baby Genius in September exclusively on Amazon.com with the Baby Genius characters newly designed by Todd Goldman and new original songs written and produced by Ron Fair and Stefanie Fair.
“Secret Millionaire’s Club,” created in partnership with and starring an animated Warren Buffett, features a group of kids who have adventures in business. The series is aimed at helping kids understand the world they live in, teaching them about the impact their decisions have on their own lives and teaching them how ti have the confidence to be the best they can be.
Stan Lee Comics is a joint venture among GBI and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. “Stan Lee’s Mighty 7” stars Lee as an animated version of himself.