CANNES — Sealing anchor TV partnerships as it gears up for production, “Find Me in Paris,” one of the first attempts to make a premium international series for tweens, has closed a raft of early pre-sales with some of the U.S. and Europe’s biggest kids and family players among the mix.
Produced by Cottonwood, part of the Paris and L.A.-based Federation Entertainment, German pubcaster ZDF and its commercial arm ZDF Enterprises, “Find Me in Paris” has pre-sold to Disney Channel for France and Italy, French state TV network France Televisions, ABC Australia and VRT Belgium.
Federation Kids & Family, a sister company of Cottonwood at Federation Entertainment, is handling sales on “Find Me in Paris.”
Disney Channel France and Italy, France Televisions and ABC Australia become “main creative stakeholder partners” on the show. A deal with a major U.S. partner is in advanced negotiations, said David Michel, president of Cottonwood Media and head of Federation Kids & Family.
Starting prep, and now casting, tween live-action series “Find Me in Paris” will start shooting in July for about six month through to the Winter. A “gender neutral show mixing ballet, hip-hop and time travel,” said Michel, “Find Me in Paris” turns on Lena Grisky, a young dancer (and Russian princess) who is poised to become the next young star of the ballet world in 1905 at the Paris Opera – until she is catapulted through time to contemporary world. Warming to modern times and her handsome dance partner Max, who also runs an underground hip hop dance crew, when her b.f. Henri arrives from the past to take her back and Max asks her to stay, she has to choose which life she wants.
A weekly half hour, “Find Me in Paris” is budgeted at just shy of €11 million ($11.7 million), which is very high for a tween show, kind of average for an adult show, Michel said.
While most half-hour teen shows are half-hour sitcoms, “Find Me in Paris” will shoot at Paris’ spectacular Garnier Opera House with the cast working with the Opera’s own choreographers, and doubled by Opera House dancers. Showrun by Canada’s Jill Girling and Lori Matter Welch, creators of Nickelodeon series “Ride,” “Find Me in Paris” will be in many ways a North American show which shoots in Paris, Michel argued, adding that, apart from its English-language, “Find Me in Paris’” directors and most of its cast will be drawn from Canada and Britain.
Launched by David Michel, Zoé Carrera & Cécile Lauritano and focusing on bringing together North American and European audiences, on both linear and non-linear platforms, Cottonwood Media, Federation Ent.’s children’s production arm, currently has four shows and one feature film in development or production including animated pre-school series “The Ollie and Moon Show,” and animated comedy “Squish” for 6-10s.