The deal calls for Imagine’s newly launched Imagine Kids and Family division to develop five titles from Patterson’s children’s book imprint with Little, Brown & Co., dubbed Jimmy Patterson Books. Projects in the development pipeline include Patterson’s “House of Robots” series, about a boy and his robot brother; adventure series “Treasure Hunters”; and “I Funny,” about a middle school boy who dreams of becoming a standup comedian. There’s also a young adult series about a warrior princess based on the upcoming novel “Sophia, Princess Among Beasts.”
Demand for high-wattage content aimed at kids and youth has skyrocketed in recent years as Netflix, Amazon and other streaming outlets have barreled into the kidvid space once dominated by Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.
The Patterson projects will be shepherded by Imagine Kids and Family president Stephanie Sperber. The series will be exec produced by Imagine chairmen Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, along with Sperber, Patterson and Bill Robinson and Leopoldo Gout from James Patterson Entertainment.
“Imagine Kids & Family is excited to take the amazing stories that James Patterson has written and develop them for TV and film,” said Sperber. “Patterson’s titles are full of heart, great characters and imaginative worlds that we believe will translate into compelling content for kids around the world.”
Patterson has become one of the most successful and prominent contemporary authors as the creator of such popular series as “Alex Cross,” “The Women’s Murder Club,” “Michael Bennett,” “Maximum Ride” and “Middle School.” He launched the Jimmy imprint in 2015 as an outlet for his works and those of other writers aimed at kids and young adults. Patterson invests his proceeds from Jimmy book sales into advocacy initiatives to encourage reading among kids.
“Imagine Kids & Family is the ideal partner to help us realize our Jimmy books mission: We believe a kid who reads is a kid who can succeed. We want to make reading fun for kids—through stories and voices that speak to them and expand their world,” said Robinson. “Naturally, we are thrilled to adapt some of Jimmy’s most popular works alongside Brian and Ron.”