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Content Canada 2019

Universal Kids ‘to focus on DWA IP’

DreamWorks Animation series Trollhunters

US cablenet Universal Kids will only develop original shows based on DreamWorks Animation (DWA) IP going forward, but will continue to acquire series from third parties, according to reports.

The channel shares a parent company with DWA in the form of Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and will now have closer ties to the children’s content giant, Variety has reported.

Existing originals that have already gone into development are expected to make it to air, including shows such as American Ninja Warrior Junior, the second season of which is due in 2020.

The move comes amid declining ratings at Universal Kids, which underwent a management rejig earlier this year that resulted in the departure of general manager Deirdre Brennan, as first reported by C21.

Meanwhile, DWA has quickly grown its production of TV series in recent years, owing largely to an extensive output deal with Netflix that has resulted in hundreds of hours of TV based on its library of IP. This includes properties such as DreamWorks Dragons, Puss in Boots, Trollhunters and Where’s Waldo?.

Universal Kids last month added to its unscripted slate with two new series in development, a spin-off from Top Chef Junior and Create the Escape.

It launched in September 2017 after rebranding from preschool network Sprout and targets two- to 12-year-olds.

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Content Canada 2019
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