Boasting animation, live-action shows and tween series, ZDF Enterprises’ ZDFE.junior division offers a diverse catalog of domestic and international productions.
The unit is attracting strong global interest with such titles as “The Worst Witch,” “The Bureau of Magical Things”
and “Find Me in Paris,” particularly on the VOD front, says ZDFE president and CEO Fred Burcksen.
ZDFE’s recent kids’ titles have all attracted leading VOD partners.
Nickelodeon was quick to pick up global linear and non-linear rights to Jonathan M. Shiff Prods.’ Australian teen fantasy series “The Bureau of Magical Things.” Co-produced by ZDF and ZDFE, the show is already set for season two.
Hulu nabbed U.S. streaming rights to Cottonwood Media’s tween drama “Find Me in Paris,” about a Russian ballerina in 1905 Paris who is flung into the future by a magical pendant and forced to adapt to modern technology, fashion and teen slang while still attending the city’s prestigious Opera Ballet School. ZDF and ZDFE likewise co-produced.
Netflix similarly boarded “The Worst Witch” early on. Developed and produced by CBBC, ZDF and ZDFE, the show is based on Jill Murphy’s popular books centering on a young witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. The series is now heading into its fourth season.
“It’s a business model that works very well for us and we are profiting very strongly from the digital platforms,” Burcksen says.
ZDFE aims to later sell the shows’ second-window rights to other major clients, such as broadcasters like TVE in Spain and Mediaset in Italy.
ZDFE.junior’s animated titles this year include “Zoom — The White Dolphin,” based on the cult 1970s toon series created by Vladimir Tartakovsky and Marc Bonnet, from France’s Media Valley and Marzipan Films; and preschool series “Bobo,” about a curious young dormouse, from Cologne-based JEP-Animation.