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Chorion Signs Development Deal With Chinese Media Group

Family entertainment producer and distributor Chorion and Shanghai Media Group (SMG), the largest media group in China, have struck a landmark accord to jointly develop new animation programs for children.

Under the terms of the joint development initiative, the two companies will seek to devise programs for children aged between 6 and 11. The deal differs markedly from those struck by other Western media groups whose efforts are generally focused on gaining a foothold in the Chinese market. The partnership between Chorion and SMG brings together the best creative talent in both China and the West to jointly develop properties with worldwide appeal.

The agreement follows a series of discussions between SMG and Chorion in Shanghai in February and at the MIPCOM global television market in Cannes last month.

Chorion and SMG will appoint co-development directors based in New York and Shanghai respectively and conduct creative summits in New York next February and in Shanghai the following June.

In a separate agreement, SMG is to become Chorion's business partner in China for its much-anticipated new pre-school television series OLIVIA.

The program is expected to generate revenue for Chorion in China from all-round promotion and marketing, home entertainment and branded merchandise.

Credited as one of the most viewed new shows at 2008's MIPCOM Jr., OLIVIA is a Nickelodeon (U.S.) commission which has already been picked up by Five and Nick Jr in the U.K. and major networks worldwide. OLIVIA will begin airing worldwide spring 2009.

Wang Lei, Deputy Director, Animation, Drama Center of Shanghai Media Group said, "According to Chinese tradition, pigs are supposed to bring good luck and prosperity. The character of Olivia is a willful piglet but one who we passionately believe will be embraced by audiences in China and bring good fortune to both sides."