×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Shark Tank’ Success Story ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Sells TV, Movie Rights

Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios has done a good deed — he’s secured the film and TV rights to toy maker Neal Hoffman’s “The Mensch on a Bench” property.

The plan is to create a holiday special centered around Hoffman’s plush figurine named Moshe, a good person (or “mensch”) who tells the story of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah through adventures that celebrate the season in a fresh, funny way.

“We’re always looking for great storytelling and for stories that aren’t commonly told,” said Piligian, who is Pilgrim’s exec producer and CEO. “We found both in ‘Mensch on a Bench,’ and we’re excited to launch what we believe will become an enduring holiday tradition.”

Hoffman created his plush figure in response to the tinge of holiday “envy” that Jewish kids (including his own) often feel during Christmas. He took the concept to the ABC show “Shark Tank” in 2014, where he struck a deal with investors Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner. Since then, Hoffman has secured deals with Target, Michael’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

“When my five-year-old asked if he could get an Elf on the Shelf, I joked, ‘We’re Jewish – you can have a Mensch on a Bench!’ That’s how the idea was born,” he said. “It feels great to create new ways for Jewish families to celebrate and participate in the holiday spirit, and I’m thrilled to be working with Pilgrim to make the ‘Mensch on a Bench’ an even bigger part of the season for everybody.”

More TV

  • Game of Thrones finale

    Six Things We Learned From 'Game of Thrones: The Last Watch' Documentary

    HBO gave fans a long parting look at the making of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday night in a two-hour documentary that focused on the Herculean efforts by the small army craft and technical experts who worked on the mammoth fantasy drama. “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch” introduced viewers to the leaders of the [...]

  • 'Killing Eve' Season 2 Failed Where

    'Killing Eve' Season 2 Stumbled Where 'Barry' Soared (Column)

    SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the entire second seasons of “Killing Eve” and “Barry.”  I was dead certain that “Killing Eve” and “Barry” — two of my favorite television debuts of 2018 — should have ended after a single season. Both coincidentally starring unstable assassins, the shows were smart, propulsive, and extremely weird [...]

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content