×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mattel Creates Unified Content Division Under Catherine Balsam-Schwaber

LONDON — Toy manufacturing giant Mattel has set up a centralized content division, Mattel Creations, that will handle the company’s brands across multiple platforms including theatrical, television and digital. Mattel’s content strategy will be headed by chief content officer, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, who joined in September. The company has also promoted Christopher Keenan as senior VP, content development and production.

Balsam-Schwaber will oversee the new division’s development slates, programming and distribution, as well as entertainment and talent relationships. “Today, toys and content are increasingly inseparable. More than ever, children expect play experiences that seamlessly combine toys, content and stories in an imaginative and engaging way,” Balsam-Schwaber said.

Keenan, who has helped develop several of Mattel/HIT Entertainment’s brands, including Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder, will be in charge of the development and production team, to include Playground Productions in El Segundo, the HIT content creation team in London, and the American Girl content creation team in Middleton. He will be based out of Mattel’s El Segundo offices, reporting to Balsam-Schwaber.

Mattel Creations has greenlit “WellieWishers,” a 2D animated series for girls ages 5-7, from premium brand American Girl, and will present the series to buyers at MipTV.

“WellieWishers” centers on five best friends — Willa, Kendall, Ashlyn, Emerson and Camille — who “imagine, play, sing and dream in their whimsical garden.” Written by head writer Noelle Wright and exec produced by Keenan, the series will be produced and distributed by Mattel Creations content distribution team and animated at Submarine Studios in Amsterdam. The series has entered production and will be delivered to broadcasters by end of year.

Mattel’s latest CGI movie special for Barbie, “Dreamtopia,” has been acquired by several broadcasters around the world including: Cartoon Network (Latin-America), Super RTL (Germany), Pop TV (U.K.), MiniMini (Poland) and Karusel (Russia).

Mattel has been named MipTV 2016’s Brand of the Year in acknowledgement of its “track record as an innovative content creator and forward thinker.” Richard Dickson, Mattel’s president and chief operating officer, will accept the award and deliver a keynote speech on April 5 as part of the market’s Media Mastermind Keynote series.

Balsam-Schwaber will also be present at MipTV this year, speaking at the “Brands & Online Video Lunch Summit” on April 5 as well as engaging in an on-stage interview with Fullscreen’s head of sales Kevin McGurn at Fullscreen’s Digital Fronts Session on April 6.

More TV

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert Cancels 'Late Show' New Zealand Trip After Mosque Shootings

    “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” had been scheduled to make a surprise trip to New Zealand this week — but those plans have been put on hold in light of last Friday’s terrorist attack that left 50 people dead. On Monday’s show, Colbert revealed the now-shelved trip, which had been kept under wraps but [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Hollywood Agents, Writers Guild Make Little Progress in Talks

    Leaders of Hollywood agencies and the Writers Guild of America made little progress in Tuesday meeting to negotiate proposed rule revisions to how agents represent writers. The WGA said after the meeting — the fifth since Feb. 5 — that talks would resume later this week but did not give a specific day. “The Agencies [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: L-R: Monster (T-Pain)

    New-Model Murdochs: Fox Corporation to Emerge Tuesday

    A new era for the Murdoch clan and the media business begins with the debut of Fox Corporation on Tuesday, a day before Disney completes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The new-model Fox will begin trading Tuesday on the NASDAQ under the FOXA symbol. On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox will initiate a complex transfer [...]

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Drops 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2' Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV roundup, Netflix has dropped the first trailer for “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2” starring Kiernan Shipka, and former “O.C.” star Rachel Bilson has been cast in Fox’s drama pilot “Lovestruck.” CASTING Former “O.C.” star Rachel Bilson is set to play the female lead in Fox’s new drama pilot “Lovestruck.” The [...]

  • Ron Howard and Brian Grazer

    Imagine TV Sets 'Mindscaping' as First China Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Imagine Television is developing “Mindscaping,” a 24-episode science fiction series written by Oscar Yang (“Medical Examiner Dr. Qin,” “The Ten Deadly Sins”). The series is the first Chinese-language series developed by Imagine Television, part of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment group, for a Chinese audience. The show is pitched as an original sci-fi [...]

  • "The Bow Tie Asymmetry" - Pictured:

    Pilot Season 2019: Multi-Camera Comedies Remain in High Demand

    For the second pilot season in a row, multi-camera comedies have proven to be a hot commodity. The Big 4 have collectively ordered 28 comedy pilots this year, including two animated straight-to-series orders at Fox. Of those 28, 12 are single-cams and 13 are multi-cams (including one multi-cam hybrid at ABC and two at CBS). [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content