Nelvana wooing ‘Gaspergoo’

Co. will handle distrib, merchandising, home vid

Children’s entertainment producer-distrib Nelvana will partner with lifestyle brand company Zoup-ah! in developing a kiddie-geared property called Gaspergoo.

Brand concept will be based primarily around a mixed-media cooking show aimed at viewers ages 4-7, which is expected to launch in late 2005. Zoup-ah! is currently in negotiations with several networks for rights to the skein.

Nelvana (“Rolie Polie Olie,” “Babar”) will handle Gaspergoo’s TV distribution, merchandising and home video rights worldwide.

“It’s not your instructional cooking show, per se,” said Jeanne Smith, Gaspergoo co-creator and Zoup-ah! CCO. “It’s story-driven, it’s character-driven, and really based around the activity of the kitchen.”

Zoup-ah! partner and business development VP Bill Bourdon said the series will be merely “one tentacle of an octopus” of ancillaries including a restaurant and culinary academy franchise, houseware, cookware, clothing and apparel, and publishing.

Brand draws its unusual name from a species of freshwater fish known for its “succulently sweet flavor,” according to “The New Food Lovers Companion.”

Deal reps a new partnership between Toronto-based Nelvana and Napa Valley, Calif.-based Zoup-ah!, which is also a brand partner with the Meyer Corp. and Purcell Murray.

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