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Cartoon Network captures ‘Spies’

Channel also buys 'Amazing Spiez'

PARIS — Firming up its role as one of Europe’s leading toon providers to the U.S. TV market, Paris-based Marathon Media has closed a raft of sales with Cartoon Network.

The deal, handled by Zodiak Entertainment, includes flagship toon “Totally Spies” and spinoff “The Amazing Spiez,” a E16 million ($21.5 million) action-comedy series.

Each 52-minute episode of “Amazing Spiez” centers on friends from an L.A. spy school who travel the world solving crimes.

Cartoon Network also picked up the $20 million feature “Totally Spies! The Movie,” which bowed last July in France.

Run by Vincent Chalvon-Demersay and David Michel, Marathon’s able to pull down higher budgets thanks to its internationally driven business model.

“We produce first for the U.S. market with an emphasis on international storylines and production values,” Chalvon-Demersay said. “That way we’re able to finance about two-thirds of each series with international co-productions, and the remaining 30% from France with local subsidies and TV pickups.”

Marathon has sold all its toon series — including “Gormiti,” “Martin Mystery” and “Monster Buster Club” — to major U.S. nets, notably Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney XD.

Going forward, Chalvon-Demersay and Michel plan to diversify into live-action for teens.

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