×

MipJunior: Cottonwood’s ‘Ollie & Moon’ Closes U.K. With Sony’s Tiny Pop (EXCLUSIVE)

Secured by Federation Kids & Family, deal adds to distribution pacts in U.S. and multiple English-speaking markets

CANNES — Federation Kids & Family, the Paris-based premium  family content distributor, has closed U.K. rights on “The Ollie & Moon Show” with Tiny Pop, the U.K. pre-school TV channel owned by Sony Pictures Television Networks.

Produced by Cottonwood Media, FK&F’s production arm, in association with Sprout and France Télévisions, the buddy slapstick comedy features two six-year-old square-headed cats:  the near obsessive-compulsive Ollie, and the highly impulsive Moon, his best friend; and Stanley, a blue and purple snail, their traveling companion.

Adapting Emmy-awarded author-illustrator Diane Kredensor’s best-selling book series, a typical episode features some reason for Moon to drag Ollie off around the world. In “A Sweet Time in Scotland,” Moon gobbles up Ollie’s special honey that his auntie gives him for his birthday ever year and tastes likes Scottish heather flowers and which he needs on his toast breakfast every morning. Otherwise, he doesn’t function.

There’s a visit to a foreign location, maybe a moral – in “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” the buddies learn not to lie – and certainly a lot of knock-about comedy; some information about foreign cultures – yes, some men in Scotland really do wear skirts – and live-action photo backgrounds giving vistas of real locations, which is only appropriate for a series designed to promote children’s curiosity about other cultures.

“It’s about standing out in a way that is smart and not too commercial, not making more of the same thing, which can become a commercial opportunity at the end of the day,” said Cottonwood Media and FK&F president David Michel, who co-developed the series, and also produced with Cottonwood’s other founders, Zoé Z. Carrera and Cécile Lauritano.

Making its global debut in the U.S. on NBC’s Sprout on May 27 last year,”The Ollie & Moon Show” has pre-sold and sold robustly to dozens of territories. Netflix (U.S., Canada), France Télévisions (France), UYoung (China), TVO, TFO and Knowledge (Canada), Discovery (Middle East), and VRT (Belgium) count among the buyers. “Ollie & Moon” closed with K2 (Italy), RTP (Portugal), ERRTV (Estonia) and LTV (Latvia) in deals announced earlier this year. Discovery Latin America has re-upped for Season 2.

Meanwhile, a further Cottonwood Media production, now renewed for Season 2,  tween adventure “Find Me in Paris,” was acquired by Nick U.K. in the run-up to MipJunior. completing its sales to major English-language markets.

Taking place in the iconic Parisian Garnier Opera House, “Find Me in Paris” turns on Lena Grisky, a dancer and princess poised to become the next young star of the ballet world in 1905. But suddenly she is whisked to the modern world. A rare European high-end live action series aimed at tweens and teenagers, “Find Me in Paris” is written and co-executive produced by Jill Girling and Lori Mather-Welch (“Ride”).

But the origins of the original writing talent on “The Ollie & Moon Show and “Find Me in Paris” does not explain their sales success in English-speaking territories, Michel argued.

“I don’t think it’s connected to country, more to taste. We like bold and gutsy characters. Over the top, optimistic characters with an attitude. Stories that have perspective and character. Fast-paced storytelling,” he said, adding that “It’s a good thing for the U.S. market, but it’s a personal taste”

Also, with regard to “Find Me in Paris,” “the mix – sci-fi with something very classical – is different.,” Michel added.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

  • ABC Studios Logo

    ABC Studios Head of Alternative Fernando Hernandez Exits

    ABC Studios’ head of alternative Fernando Hernandez has departed from his post at the Disney-owned television studio, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Hernandez’s exit follows an executive shuffling at the top in recent months that has included the departure of Amy Hartwick, ABC Studio’s head [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

  • TV Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville'

    TV News Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville' Role in 'Arrowverse' Crossover

    In today’s TV news roundup, Erica Durance reprises her “Smallville” role in the CW’s annual “Arrowverse” crossover, and Showtime shares with Variety an exclusive sneak peek at the return of “The Circus.” FIRST LOOKS “2020 is the most important election of our lifetime,” Alex Wagner says in a new trailer for the fourth season of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content