×

Viacom takes stake in Rainbow

Italo toon house produces 'Winx Club' franchise

Viacom has acquired a minority stake in Italian animation company Rainbow Group, maker of globally distributed “Winx Club” kiddie TV franchise, in a move that will propel the expansion of the ambitious privately owned studio and boost its bridgehead toward U.S. auds.

Founded in 1995 by former comicbook artist Iginio Straffi, Rainbow is an Italian success story largely thanks to his “Winx,” six trendy teenage fairies designed with a style that mixes Japanese manga and classic Western animation, which has bewitched millions of tween girls in more than 130 countries.

Last year, Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Rainbow announced a global content-based partnership centered on “Winx Club” under which Nickelodeon secured TV and merchandising rights in the U.S. and pay TV rights for Latin America, Canada, U.K. and other territories.

That partnership now expands to co-development and co-production of seasons five and six of “Winx Club,” and to two existing theatrical “Winx” movie titles, CGI feature “Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom” and “Winx Club 3D: Magic Adventure,” which are now likely to be released Stateside via Paramount.

Neither financial terms nor the entity of the Viacom stake were disclosed.

According to Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, the Viacom stake in Rainbow is said to be 30%, allowing Straffi to stay in full control, with plans for a Rainbow Group flotation to follow.

Rainbow, which is based in the small central Italian city of Loreto, with a production outpost in Singapore, also makes the series “Tommy and Oscar,” “Prezzy,” “Monster Allergy” and, most recently, “Huntik Secrets and Seekers.”

The group, which has emulated the Disney model, on a much smaller scale, also has a Rome theme park, called MagicLand, in the works based on the “Winx” franchise and other Rainbow properties.

More TV

  • American Son review

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases 'American Son' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix released the trailer for “American Son” starring Kerry Washington and first looks at Dolly Parton’s new anthology series, “Heartstrings.” FIRST LOOKS Netflix has released the trailer for “American Son,” which premieres Nov. 1 on the streaming service. Directed by Tony award-winner Kenny Leon, the film is based on the [...]

  • BBC's Little Mix Talent Show to

    BBC's Little Mix Talent Show to Be Produced by Management Firm's New Shingle, ModestTV

    The BBC has confirmed its Little Mix talent show, which the pop band’s management firm, Modest!, will produce through a new banner, ModestTV. “Little Mix The Search” will be exec produced by Andrea Hamilton, who has partnered with the management outfit to launch the new operation. Her entertainment show credits include “The Voice” and “Strictly [...]

  • Monica Beletsky Apple TV Plus

    Apple Sets Overall Deal With Monica Beletsky

    Monica Beletsky is the latest of a small group of content creators to set an overall deal with Apple and their streaming platform, Apple TV Plus. Under the multi-year deal, Beletsky will develop and produce television series exclusively for the streamer. This is the first overall of Beletsky’s career. Her previous credits include “Fargo,” “Friday [...]

  • Saladin Patterson

    Saladin Patterson Inks Overall Deal at 20th Century Fox Television

    Saladin Patterson has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the multi-year deal, Patterson will develop, write and produce comedy series for network, cable and streaming platforms. He was previously under a development deal at the studio earlier in his career. Patterson is currently an executive producer on the upcoming FX series [...]

  • Lenny Abrahamson and 'The Favourite' Producer

    'Room' Director Lenny Abrahamson and 'The Favourite' Producer Ed Guiney Present Their BBC-Hulu Series 'Normal People' (EXCLUSIVE)

    At TV market Mipcom in Cannes this week the team behind BBC-Hulu series “Normal People” – led by Lenny Abrahamson, the Oscar nominated director of “Room” – presented the first footage from the show, and explained how they approached the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel. Variety had exclusive access to the presentation. Ed Guiney, one [...]

  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’ Scores 6.5 Million Viewers Across First Weekend

    “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which dropped on Netflix Oct. 11, drew around 6.5 million total viewers in its first three days on the streaming platform, according to Nielsen. The movie also reached just under 8.2 million unique TV viewers. “El Camino” unsurprisingly drew its biggest audience of the three days on day 1, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content