Disney draws up new deals

WDTA topper pacts with Moon, 'Kim' creators

In a bid to keep key creative talent inhouse, Walt Disney Television Animation prexy Barry Blumberg has struck an overall deal with Mike Moon and extended his long-term agreement with “Kim Possible” creators Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle.

Pacts give WDTA exclusive first-look rights to TV projects from the toon producers for the next two years.

With increasing demand from Disney outlets — preschool destination Playhouse Disney, action block Jetix and Disney Channel — Blumberg is angling to sign a number of animation producers to create content to play domestically and in international markets.

“We want to be perceived as more of a creator-centric company,” Blumberg said, pointing to the current crop of cartoon hits — Craig McCracken’s “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” and Stephen Hillenburg’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” — that are directly associated with the creator’s vision. “To me, the greatest shows are where the veil between the creator and the show is thinnest.”

Schooley and McCorkle, the creative force behind Emmy-nominated Disney Channel franchise “Kim Possible,” have worked with WDTA for nearly 15 years and now will work on developing additional series projects for the studio.

Exec producers are just wrapping Disney Channel’s first-ever original animated movie, “Kim Possible: So the Drama,” which preems April 8, and are writers on the upcoming bigscreen feature “Sky High.” Their credits include “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command” and “Disney’s Hercules: The Series.”

“Bob and Mark have delivered program after program to us, and I want to know that I have the right to what they cook up next,” said Blumberg, who added that no series is in the works but a couple of ideas look promising.

“Kim,” an action/comedy series about high school student-superhero Kim Possible, has been a hit since its debut on Disney in 2002. Show received five Daytime Emmy noms earlier this month and has launched a consumer products line that includes toys, apparel and vidgames.

Moon is a producer on McCracken’s “Foster’s Home” for Cartoon Network and served as the art director on “The Powerpuff Girls Movie.” Blumberg said Moon’s signature design sense was highly attractive to WDTA.

“Mike is so integral to the look and feel of ‘Foster’s,’ which I love. We’ve also worked with him on ‘House of Mouse,’ so we know what an asset he is,” Blumberg said. “We tend to be more writer-oriented, and he’s one of those visual people that we need to bring in more of.”

In addition to creating and developing his projects, Moon will serve as a director and/or producer on other WDTA efforts. “I’m hoping he’ll function as the ‘right brain’ for our entire development group.”

WDTA is in production on 10 series — “Lilo & Stitch,” “Kim,” “Brandy & Mr. Whiskers,” “American Dragon: Jake Long,” “The Buzz on Maggie,” “Katbot,” “Emperor’s New Skool,” “Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!,” “Get Ed” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” — across Playhouse, Jetix and Disney, with a goal of producing four or five more series for the coming year.

More TV

  • Beta Drops Trailer, Closes Major Sales

    Beta Drops Trailer, Closes Major Sales on Berlinale Series Title ‘M’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Beta Film has rolled out its first major territory sales on drama series “M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder” (“M – A City Hunts a Murderer”), which has just been confirmed by the Berlin festival as one of seven shows selected for its TV strand, Berlinale Series. Viasat has licensed pay-TV rights for Russia [...]

  • Joel Kinnaman Mireille Enos Esme Creed

    Amazon's 'Hanna,' New Season of 'False Flag' Lead Strong Berlinale Series Lineup

    Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming high-concept thriller “Hanna” will debut at the 2019 Berlinale Series, with its stars – Esme Creed-Miles, Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos – expected in Berlin for its premiere. Netflix also features in the lineup and will debut “Quicksand,” its first Swedish original. A roster of seven shows also includes big-ticket Sky [...]

  • China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With

    China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With Animated Series and Movie

    Two seasons of the hit Chinese animation series “Boonie Bears” have been licensed for release in South Korea. The deal was struck by animation studio Fantawild with content distributor Media to Media. The broker has acquired IPTV and VOD rights to “Boonie Bears: Four Seasons” and “Sunsational Summer and Snow Daze,” a total of 104 [...]

  • Mike Royce24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot 'Story of Us' From 'One Day at a Time' Co-Creator Mike Royce

    CBS has ordered a pilot for the comedy “The Story of Us” from writer and executive producer Mike Royce. The hybrid comedy tells the story of how an unlikely couple becomes a family through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years. In addition to Royce, Nick Stoller and Conor Welch will serve as executive producers. Sony [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Bob Costas Olympics Mike Tirico

    Bob Costas Officially Out at NBC After Nearly 40 Years

    Bob Costas has formally parted ways with NBC after nearly 40 years as a sportscaster for the Peacock. Costas and NBC have been negotiating an exit agreement for months. Word surfaced last summer that he was preparing to end his tenure with the network. Costas confirmed the news in an interview with the New York [...]

  • Happy

    TV Roundup: Syfy Drops First Trailer for Season 2 of 'Happy!'

    In today’s TV News Roundup, Syfy drops the first trailer for the second season of “Happy!” and Imagine Kids & Family sets a partnership with Four M Studios.  FIRST LOOKS Syfy has dropped the first trailer for season two of “Happy!” starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt. The new season premieres Wednesday, March 27 at 10/9c [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content