Toonz inks strategic deal with Hearst Media Production Groupadmin
Recently launched production and distribution entity Hearst Media Production Group (HMPG), which sits under New York-based Hearst Television, has struck an animation-focused strategic partnership with India’s Toonz Media Group.
Under the deal, HMPG said it will bring its distribution expertise to engage North American audiences with Toonz’s slate of children’s animated projects.
The companies are collaborating to find US distribution partners for Toonz’s slate of animated titles, including interactive preschool series PaddyPaws, about a group of adventurous kitties led by the mischievous Paddypaws and their loving owner Daisy; upbeat comedy Sunnyside Billy, from the makers of Oggy and the Cockroaches; Robotboy, about a happy-go-lucky fried egg who gets into wild adventures with his friends; and Kingdom of None, in which the main character Meter and his friends transform their backyard into the ultimate playground.
Also on the Toonz slate is Aliens In My Backpack, a comedy adventure series about a family from a distant planet on a mission to share their secrets with earthlings and make our planet greener. It is created by Fireman Sam co-creator Rob Lee.
HMPG produces and distributes more than 30 series annually on broadcast station groups and networks, and has a library of more than 4,000 hours of programming. In January it was revealed that Hearst-owned prodco Litton Entertainment was being merged into HMPG, with several Litton execs taking up roles within HMPG. It produces series including CBS Dream Team on CBS Network, The More You Know on the NBC Network and Weekend Adventure on ABC stations.
HMPG’s executive VP and GM Angelica Rosas McDaniel said alliances like the one with Toonz are “critical to [the company’s] aggressive strategy to expand our reach into all genres of content for all audiences.”
Toonz Media Group is one of the largest animation producers in Asia by volume, with more than 10,000 minutes of 2D and CGI kids and family content produced annually. The company is behind shows including Wolverine and The X-Men, Speedracer Next Generation and Playmobil.
Bruno Zarka, chief sales and marketing officer for Toonz Media Group, added: “This is a strategic alliance for Toonz as we broaden our presence in North America. We are confident that together, Toonz and Hearst Media Production Group can produce and deliver high quality content that will appeal to and entertain children and family audiences everywhere.”