PARIS — Nickelodeon has snatched up U.S. rights to the first two seasons of the CG-animated reboot series “Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks.”
Delivered by Bagdasarian Productions and OuiDO! Productions, the series — comprising 104 episodes of 11 minutes each — is penned and directed by Janice Karman. Sales outfit PGS Entertainment handles worldwide rights outside France, where the series was acquired by M6.
Karman and her husband, Ross Bagdasarian, who own the franchise, also provided the voices and produced the series as well as the previous 1980s hit TV series and the three “Chipmunks” movies. Bagdasarian, Karman, Sandrine Nguyen, Boris Hertzog are exec producing.
“Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks” has been airing on Nickelodeon’s international channels since April and has topped ratings across 20 markets since its launch.
“I’m thrilled with the shows that Janice has created and excited to share them with our fans in the U.S.,” Bagdasarian said.
“Nickelodeon has been amazing to support the show launch across the world, and we can’t wait to extend success with them in the U.S.,” said Guillaume Soutter, who runs PGS with Philippe Soutter.
Added Soutter, ” ‘Alvinnn!!!’ is the one of the few independently owned properties that has thrived in the fields of music, TV and movies for the last 50 years. Ross Bagdasarian and Janice Karman’s involvement on all aspects of the franchise development from creative to business has certainly been critical to its longevity.”
The three “Chipmunk” movies were worldwide hits. “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” is set for theatrical release at Christmas.
The reboot marks the return of the franchise to TV after 20 years and features a new narrative and aesthetic twists on the adventures of Alvin, Theodore, Simon and the Chipettes. “We kept the franchise fresh and tried to preserve the essence of the characters but strived to bring something new to the way they react and behave, as well as their look,” Karman said.
“Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks” has already rolled out on more than 70 Nickelodeon channels, as well as on leading international broadcasters, notably M6 (France), Gloob (Brazil), Super RTL (Germany), RTBF/OufTIVI (Belgium), RTS (Switzerland) and Italy (K2).
Bagdasarian said the fact that the series was acquired by foreign broadcasters before a U.S network gave Karman and him the opportunity to have more creative control over the character designs and encouraged them to shape the series for international audiences. “We deviated from an ‘Alvin-centric show’ and developed the storyline for each character, gave them more depth. In a way, this series is like an animated sitcom with real emotions,” he said.