More playtime for Magic Light Pictures’ preschool hit Pip and Posy

Pip and Posy, the hit pre-school series from multiple Oscar-nominated Magic Light Pictures, has been recommissioned for a second series of 52 x 7’ episodes to debut in early 2023 on Milkshake! on Channel 5 and Sky Kids and NOW in the UK and ROI.

Pip and Posy is the first joint co-production between Paramount and Sky and the show launched to acclaim in March 2021.

Series 2 will build on the success of the first series, which is one of the top rated shows on Milkshake! (3 million viewers since launch). Pip and Posy has also seen significant growth across its own social media platforms on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Magic Light has sold the show worldwide, securing major international broadcast partners including ZDF (Germany), FTV (France), RAI Yoyo (Italy), ABC (Australia), SVT (Sweden), Hop! Channel (Israel), NPO Zapp (Netherlands), CTV (Czech Republic), Asiana (South Korea), PTS (Taiwan), DR (Denmark), YLE (Finland), SYN (Iceland), NRK (Norway), RTV (Slovenia) and TVO (Canada). It will also air on Nick Junior UK from this spring.

Pip and Posy are the best of friends whose lives revolve around a wonderful world of play. Packed with warmth and humour, the series is a joyful celebration of their great friendship with all its ups and downs, laughter and games.

Louise Bucknole, VP Programming Kids, Paramount, says: “We’re delighted that Pip and Posy has been such a hit with the audience. We are very happy to commission a second series of this endearing show which has quickly found its way into the hearts of our young viewers, where they can relate to the stories of friendship, creative play and being a preschooler.”

Lucy Murphy, Director of Kids at Sky UK & Ireland, says: “We aim to bring our youngest audience the very best entertainment and Pip and Posy has proved to be a show preschoolers and their families love. We’re hugely looking forward to seeing what further fun and games the lovable pair will be getting up to in series two!”

Pip and Posy is Magic Light’s first animated series and we’re thrilled that it’s got off to such a successful start,” says Michael Rose, co-founder of Magic Light. “We’re delighted that Milkshake!, Sky and ZDF share our passion for the show, and we’re looking forward to bringing more episodes to our young audience.”

Pip and Posy has been jointly commissioned by Louise Bucknole for Milkshake! on Channel 5 and Lucy Murphy for Sky Kids with the participation of ZDF, Germany. The series is executive produced by Michael Rose and produced by Vici King for Magic Light Pictures. The showrunner at Magic Light is Jeroen Jaspaert (Stick Man and The Highway Rat). Animation services are provided by Blue Zoo, where the director is Sean McCormack.

Magic Light Pictures holds the global distribution and merchandising rights to Pip and Posy (excluding publishing) and is planning a full consumer products programme to complement the property with the first products due at retail this year, whilst the online shop went live at the end of 2021. The Pip and Posy characters are also appearing in Milkshake! Live and will be touring nationwide from February 2022 through to 2023.

Nickelodeon launches Avatar Studios to for new Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra content

Nickelodeon has detailed the launch of Avatar Studios, a newly formed division designed to create new animated series and movies based on the Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.

New, original content will bow on platforms including Paramount+, ViacomCBS’s own subscription video-on-demand service, as well as on Nickelodeon’s own linear and digital platforms, and third party platforms and theatres.

The first project from Avatar Studios is slated as an animated theatrical film which is set to being production this year. The new studio will be lead by the original creators and executive producers Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, taking up the roles of co-chief creative officers.

The pair will report into Ramsey Naito, president, Nickelodeon Animation.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra have grown at least ten-fold in popularity since their original hit runs on Nickelodeon, and Ramsey Naito and I are incredibly excited to have Mike and Bryan’s genius talent on board to helm a studio devoted to expanding their characters and world into new content and formats for fans everywhere,” said Brian Robbins, president, ViacomCBS Kids & Family.

“Creator-driven stories and characters have long been the hallmarks of Nickelodeon, and Avatar Studios is a way to give Mike and Bryan the resources and runway to open up their imaginations even more and dive deeper into the action and mythology of Avatar as we simultaneously expand upon that world and the world of content available on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.”

Koniettzko and DiMartino, added: “It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since we created Avatar: The Last Airbender. But even after all that time, there are still many stories and time periods in Aang’s world that we are eager to bring to life. We are fortunate to have an ever-growing community of passionate fans that enjoys exploring the Avatarverse as much as we do. And with this new Avatar Studios venture we have an unparalleled opportunity to develop our franchise and its storytelling on a vast scale, in myriad exciting ways and mediums.

“We are exceedingly grateful to Brian Robbins and Ramsey Naito for their enthusiasm and respect for the Avatar property and us as its stewards. From the start, they’ve supported our ambitious plans and created a positive, proactive environment for us.

“We’re excited to be back at Nickelodeon where Avatar began, doing what we do best in the biggest way possible. We can’t wait to build the great teams and productions to make all of this fantasy a reality.”

Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender aired for three seasons originally on Nickelodeon, where it began in February 2005 and concluded in July 2008. The series has received the Peabody Award, a Primetime Emmy, Annie Awards and Genesis Awards. The series follows the adventures of the main protagonist Aang and his friends, who must save the world by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation.

Avatar: The Last Airbender emerged from its initial three seasons (61 episodes) as one of the most beloved animated properties in history. In addition to the series’ success, the property also has been translated into a successful comic book and graphic novel series, which continue to roll out new original stories.

The “Avatar: The Last Airbender” graphic novel spent 70 cumulative weeks on the New York Times Graphic Novel Bestseller list, hitting number one. The DVD and Blu-rays are also incredibly successful, with the “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series” generating nearly $5MM in retail sales since its 2018 release.

Meanwhile, The Legend of Korra launched in April 2012 on Nickelodeon and ran for four seasons (52 episodes). Its first season premiered as basic cable’s number one kid’s show and drew 3.8 million viewers per episode, the highest for an animated series that year. Created and executive produced by DiMartino and Konietzko, the series is translated in more than 25 languages for Nickelodeon branded channels internationally.

The property has translated into a successful ongoing graphic novel series written by TV series co-creator DiMartino. The first graphic novel storyline, Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, has captured various Top 10 sales spots across children’s fiction, YA science fiction, and graphic novel categories since its debut in 2017.

The story of The Legend of Korra, set in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender 70 years later, follows the journey of Avatar Korra, a 17-year-old girl striving to live up to the legacy of her predecessor Avatar Aang, while using her mastery of all four elements to confront political and spiritual unrest in a modernizing world.

Nickelodeon and Paramount+ offer sneak peek at Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years

Nickelodeon and Paramount+ have released a sneak peek of the new Paramount+ Original series, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, the first SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off.

The CG animated prequel follows a ten year old SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends as they spend their summer building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish, and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck. Produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio, the series is landing on Paramount+ soon.

Following the season’s run on the ViacomCBS subscription VOD service, it will air on Nickelodeon later this year.

The sneak peek was first offered during a special halftime presentation of the NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon.

Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years features Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy) and Mr. Lawrence (Plankton) reprising their iconic roles. Carlos Alazraqui (The Casagrandes) and Kate Higgins (Blaze and the Monster Machines) join as new characters Nobby and Narlene, narwhal siblings who live in the woods surrounding the camp.

Since its launch July 17, 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has reigned as the number-one animated series on TV for the last 18 years, while generating a universe of beloved characters, pop culture catchphrases and memes, theatrical releases, consumer products, a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and a global fan base.

SpongeBob SquarePants is the most widely distributed property in ViacomCBS Networks International history, seen in more than 170 countries and territories, translated into more than 30 languages, and averaging more than 100 million total viewers every month.

Sonic the Hedgehog races to set new video game adaptation record at global Box Office

Paramount and SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog movie has set a new record for a video game-big screen adaptation, ringing in a three-day domestic opening of $58 million in the US.

The film’s projected four-day gross of $70 million is among the best showings for a Presidents Day long weekend opening.

The record previously belonged to 2019’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu which boasted the top North American debut for a video game adaptation with a three-day start of $54.3 million. The Blue Blur has now sped past the former top performer.

On an international level, Sonic the Hedgehog launched to a strong $43 million from its first 40 markets for a global total of $101 million through Sunday, and $113 million through Monday. The UK is ranked among the top markets for the film where it has so far brought in $6.2 million.

Sonic the Hedgehog is based on the popular SEGA video game franchise, and sees Sonic – voiced by Ben Schwartz – team up with a small town sheriff – James Marsden – to battle Jim Carrey’s evil genius Dr. Robotnik.

The film has launched with better than expected results following a rocky start for the film that underwent a re-design of its titular character, following an outcry from fans unhappy with the CG animated Sonic’s look in the first look trailer. The revision meant pushing back back the film’s release date, but has not damaged its Box Office appeal.