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Nickelodeon Animation sets up first-look deal with Lion Forge Entertainment

Paramount-owned Nickelodeon Animation has signed a first-look deal for animated series and features with Lion Forge Entertainment in the US.

David Stewart III

Nickelodeon Animation will have a first look at all Lion Forge kids and family IP across animated series, features, shortform and digital content, and may bring select Nickelodeon and Paramount IP to Lion Forge to develop and produce.

The deal also creates an option for Lion Forge to co-finance certain projects the company brings to Nickelodeon, as well as serve as the animation studio on selected Nickelodeon projects.

Projects already identified for potential development are Born Driven, which is a story based on the life of the first Black NASCAR driver, Wendell Scott, and an original comedy-adventure called Iron Dragon, which was created by Jay Kim, the CEO of South Korean animation studio Mostapes, and Lion Forge.

Also in line for development is Marley & the Family Band, which is an animated series based on Cedella Marley’s picture book of the same name, coproduced by Universal Music Group (UMG)’s Polygram Entertainment and Marley and UMG’s Tuff Gong Collective.

Stephanie Sperber

In a joint statement, Nickelodeon Animation and Lion Forge said the relationship “underscores a commitment by Nickelodeon and Lion Forge to create content that features diverse voices in front of and behind the camera.”

Launched in 2019, Lion Forge is one of the few black-owned animation studios in North America, led by CEO David Stewart III. Its current projects include an animated adaptation of Hero’s Journey the Series with Folktellers Studios and an animated adaptation of graphic novel series Iyanu: Child of Wonder for HBO Max and Cartoon Network.

Lion Forge’s president and chief content officer is Stephanie Sperber, who served as exec producer on Nickelodeon live-action series The Astronauts when she previously worked at Imagine Kids+Family Entertainment.


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