Harvey, Hearst merchandising deal

Pact to include clothing rights

Harvey Entertainment and Hearst Entertainment have inked a global merchandising licensing deal that will cover all of Harvey’s classic characters, including teen property “Bunny” — currently being developed into an MGM live action film starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Agreement, which will take effect June 13, excludes certain of Harvey’s previous Latin American commitments. The deal will include U.S. apparel rights covered by Harvey Entertainment and manufacturer Azteca Prod. Intl.’s recently announced joint entertainment-apparel venture, Harvey Fashion (Daily Variety, Feb. 7).

“The experience that Hearst has in managing and licensing such classic popular properties as Flash Gordon, Beetle Bailey, Hagar and the Family Circus makes them an ideal partner to more fully exploit the Harvey classic cartoon characters,” Harvey Entertainment prexy Rick Mischel said in a statement.

Perfect marriage

“This new strategic alliance is the perfect marriage of equity properties,” added Rick Karo, Hearst Entertainment exec VP of licensing and family programming. “We are thrilled with the challenge and opportunities these great classic characters and their new filmed entertainment support activities provide.”

Upcoming classic character-based projects include computer-animated “Casper’s Haunted Christmas,” to be released by Universal Home Entertainment in November; and new animated series “Wendy the Witch,” which will be available in the fall of 2001.

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