Although Viacom has previously acquired Chinese content, the move is the first time that Nickelodeon Asia is taking a Chinese original from its conception stage.
The show is produced by iQIYI and will premiere in China on the streaming platform and on Zhejiang Satellite TV in mid-2019, and elsewhere in Asia on Nickelodeon Asia. Viacom says it will also explore licensing potential outside of China after completion of production.
“Deer Run” centers on four different deer characters who bump into one another one day. Together, they overcome various obstacles and find themselves quickly developing a strong friendship.
“We chose this project because of its great story and compelling, relatable characters that resonate with the Nickelodeon brand,” said Pierre Cheung, senior VP and GM, Greater China, Viacom International Media Networks.
“Animation for pre-school and youth audiences is highly lucrative within the local entertainment market,” said Yang Xiaoxuan, VP of iQIYI.
The company recently launched other animated series, including “Ling Yu,” “The Totem Warrior,” “Sword Dynasty” and “Everlasting Immortal Firmament.”