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Apple scoops up Peanuts

Peanuts was created by Charles M Schulz

Apple has agreed a deal with DHX Media that will see new animated content based on the iconic Peanuts brand made available on the tech giant’s forthcoming streaming platform.

DHX will develop and produce original series, specials and shorts based on the property, working with subsidiary Peanuts Worldwide, according to US reports.

One project included in the deal is a shortform series exclusive to Apple that will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) themes, featuring Snoopy as an astronaut and produced with NASA and Peanuts Worldwide.

Charles M Schulz created the world of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Woodstock and the rest of the Peanuts friends almost 70 years ago.

Canada-based DHX took a stake in the brand in 2017, before selling part of that stake to Sony Music Entertainment (SME) in Japan earlier this year.

DHX now owns 41% of the property, SME has a 39% stake and the Schulz family estate owns the remaining 20%.

Five hundred animated shorts based on the Peanuts comic strip were produced by French studio Normaal for France Télévisions in 2015, while previous owner Iconix Brand Group launched a feature film based on the IP in the same year.

It marks the latest tie-up between a major family entertainment brand and Apple, after the company agreed a multi-series deal with Sesame Workshop earlier this year.

Apple, which has pledged to invest more than US$1bn in programming for its forthcoming video platform, hired Amazon Studios’ head of children’s programming, Tara Sorensen, to oversee its kids’ series late last year.

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