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M4E adapts Dutch character for TV

German children’s media company M4E is developing a cartoon based on the Dutch book character Pinkeltje (Fingerling).

Fingerling

Fingerling

The licensing and distribution company acquired rights to Pinkeltje from Déjà vu Entertainment at MipTV in 2009 and has now called on producer Gerhard Hahn and prodco Lucky Punch to write and develop new scripts for a 52×11′ TV series.

The project, titled Fingerling, is based on Dick Laan’s 20th century books about the titular thumb-sized characters, which are sold in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, South Africa, UK, Norway, France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and Ireland.

It will follow a family of river-dwelling Fingerlings that set off on a series of adventures, where they come across magical figures, while dealing with human beings’ lack of respect for nature.

Hahn was behind M4E’s latest toon, Mia and Me, which debuted this week on German network KiKa, scoring audience shares of up to 33% in its target demo of 3-13s, according to ratings analyst AGF/GfK TV Scope. He and M4E operate Lucky Punch as a joint venture.

“We’re developing it in-house in Berlin and for the rest we will probably bring in partners from Canada, Australia, Malaysia or even India,” said M4E CEO Hans Ulrich Stoef. A 2013/14 launch is on the cards.

The news comes after C21 revealed Frankfurt Stock Exchange-listed M4E was planning to launch its own digital terrestrial channel as it seeks to diversify its revenue streams.

The firm employs around 40 people across its businesses, which include the L&M arm, Netherlands-based sales outfit Telescreen, textiles retail specialist Tex-ass and Lucky Punch.

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