Universal Pictures Taps Nickelodeon Alum to Lead TV-Focused Kids and Family Unit

Universal Pictures has recruited Nickelodeon alum Teri Weiss to head development for the newly created Universal Kids Productions unit, which will focus on TV content.

The new wing is an effort to take advantage of Universal’s vast library to develop kid- and family-friendly programming that can air on NBCUniversal-owned channels, including Sprout and NBC’s Saturday morning slate, as well as outside channels. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in particular have been loading up on children’s  programming in an effort to broaden their appeal to subscribers.

Universal already produces the PBS animated series “Curious George,” which followed the studio’s 2006 feature of the same name. It’s based on the enduring books by H.A. and Margret Rey.

Fresh content from existing IP will also generate new opportunities for licensing and merchandising through Universal’s existing consumer products business. Universal Kids Productions is overseen by Vince Klaseus, president of Universal Brand Development. Weiss will serve as senior VP and head of kids/family development and production.

“As Universal continues to grow our business and build our kids and family programming, Teri’s track record in building world-class production teams and hit series is a huge asset,” said Klaseus. “She is one of the most well-respected and accomplished executives in this space, and we are thrilled to develop new properties together and leverage Universal’s rich library of titles.”

Weiss spent 16 years with Nickelodeon, most recently as exec VP of original programming for its preschool division. Before Nickelodeon, Weiss was a producer on “Sesame Street” from 1993 and 1999.

“It’s an honor to work with the creative teams responsible for many of the biggest franchises in movie history, as well as have an opportunity to expand the studio’s portfolio of kids and family content,” Weiss said.

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