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VIS Kids partners with Boyega

The fledgling children’s division of ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) has struck partnerships with prodcos including actor and producer John Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions.

Nina Hahn

VIS Kids, which launched towards the end of 2020, develops and produces content for Nickelodeon and other ViacomCBS-owned brands in addition to third-party buyers and partners.

It has plans to develop more than 30 new shows over the next three years and has partnered with various creators and talent across live-action, animation and young adults in regions such as the UK, Israel, Asia and Latin America to grow its pipeline.

In animation, VIS Kids has agreed a first-look deal with Star Wars star Boyega’s UpperRoom, which will present three to five projects to the studio for consideration to develop into longform series.

VIS Kids has also agreed a first-look animation deal with Fred Seibert (The Fairy OddParents, Adventure Time), founder and CEO of FredFilms, who will present at least three projects to the studio with the goal of at least one being put into development.

VIS Kids is also working with the UK’s Wildseed Studios, Tom Gran and Martin Woolley on a female-led adventure comedy, as well as a mixed-media comedy show by Joel Mackenzie (The Becky & Bagel Show) of Wildseed Studios.

Alongside a development deal with Argentinian cartoonist and writer Liniers for an adaptation of an upcoming book, other projects on the slate include a Korean ‘fish out of water’ comedy by Jiwan Yoon, the founder and creative director of Electural in South Korea.

In live-action, VIS Kids has optioned the rights to ¡Socorro!, a children’s book from the late Argentinian author Elsa Bornemann; a magical series from Orit Kuritsky (24 Magic Tricks & a Cake); and a high-concept mystery series by Diane Whitley (House of Anubis) and Hans Holsen (Hunter Street).

In preschool animation, VIS Kids is working on a series about citizenship and community by Daniel Bays, creator of CBeebies shows Tree Fu Tom and Bitz & Bob; a series using innovative technology by Gili Dolev (Zack & Quack) and Nigel Pickard, former BBC Children’s controller and director of programmes for ITV; and a quest series by Paul Weston, founding member of Toys ‘R’ Us UK.

The projects join previously announced VIS Kids titles including Deer Squad, Spyders, Ib The Dog, Gloria Wants to Know It All and Marcelo Marmelo Martelo.

VIS Kids continues to work with Israel-based Ananey Studios, which was acquired by ViacomCBS last year.

VIS Distribution recently announced the addition of over 350 episodes of content to its sales catalogue from Ananey Studios, including Craft Party, Rescue Team, Unsupervised, Rising and The Hood.

“In launching VIS Kids, we saw a great demand in the industry for creator-driven, high-quality and platform-agnostic kids and family content across a wide genre – from preschool to animation to live-action. We’re excited to align with amazing creatives across the globe as we continue to establish VIS Kids as a leader in the world of kids’ and family content, while fuelling ViacomCBS’s global content pipeline,” said Nina Hahn, head of VIS Kids.

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