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C21May iPad

Turner acquires LazyTown prodco

Turner Broadcasting System’s European wing has bought the Icelandic firm behind the LazyTown preschool brand.

The deal sees Turner taking over Latibaer for between £15m (US$23.9m) and £20m. LazyTown’s creator and star Marcus Scheving will remain CEO of the company and retains his management team. Turner takes over distribution of the show from Nickelodeon.

The deal comes with a commitment for a third season (26×30′) of the live-action series, which will roll out on Cartoonito next year. Production of the show, which features Scandinavian, UK and US actors, remains in Iceland.

LazyTown first broadcast in 2004 on Nick Jr in the US and has since rolled out around the world. It has aired in more than 100 territories and a Turner spokeswoman said the firm would honour all existing LazyTown broadcast deals, such as with CBBC in the UK and PBS Sprout in the US.

The series sees gym fanatic Scheving encouraging healthy lifestyles among children under the guise of his alter ego Sportacus.

The acquisition signals Turner’s “growing ambitions in the preschool space,” according to the company and comes just days after it launched its Cartoonito network as a branded block on sister network Boomerang across EMEA.

“The acquisition is immensely exciting both strategically and creatively,” added Jeff Kupsky, TBS Europe’s president. “With the great fit between our existing assets in the preschool genre, and the retention of the unique talent that is Magnus Scheving, we’re ready to expand the LazyTown brand and will immediately be starting production on a new series.”

Scheving said Turner was an “ideal fit” for his company. “Their ethos of entertaining children in a fun and educational way is perfectly in keeping with the LazyTown brand. We look forward to a bringing the LazyTown message of helping motivate children to lead a healthy lifestyle to a whole new audience of Turner viewers.”

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