“The Ollie & Moon Show” has been greenlit by Sprout for a 2017 debut. In the series, two animated cats travel around the world. teaching viewers about “the joy of unlikely friendships and global citizenship,” the network said in a statement. The series will use art that blends live-action with 2D designs.
Announcement of the series shows Sprout continuing to launch original series rather than increasing its dependence on older programming from other sources. Before NBCU bought control of the network from partners, Sprout relied heavily on old PBS Kids series like “Sesame Street” and “Caillou,” which continue to appear on its schedule. PBS and Sesame Workshop were partners in Sprout when the network began.
In the recent past, Sprout has unveiled new originals like “Nina’s World,” set to launch in 2015, and “Terrific Trucks,” slated to debut in 2016. A space-themed series, “Astroblast!” launched last year. The original series lend the network not only a calling card of sorts to lure viewers flooded by offerings from youth-skewing outlets ranging from Nickelodeon to Disney Junior to Netflix, but provide the chance to secure funds by selling the series to international markets and video-streaming outlets after their runs on Sprout have come to an end.
“The Ollie & Moon Show” is based on the eponymous book series created by author and illustrator Diane Kredensor, an Emmy Award-winning artist, director and producer whose credits include “Pinky and the Brain” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” among others. The series was developed in collaboration with Robert Vargas, and David Michel. Kredensor also serves as creative producer.
The deal prefaces the first production for the newly created Cottonwood Media, founded by industry veteran David Michel and his partners Zoé Z. Carrera, and Cécile Lauritano. Over a long production career, Michel has been involved with kids’ series such as “Get Blake” on Nickelodeon and “Redakai” and “Totally Spies” for Cartoon Network.