London-based Entertainment Rights has partnered with UrbanWorks Entertainment Llc., part of Ventura Entertainment Enterprises, as its home entertainment partner in North America and Mexico for Bill Cosbys ever-popular FAT ALBERT AND THE COSBY KIDS, timed for the holidays and release of the live-action movie from Fox.
UrbanWorks Ent. is a vertically integrated, full service studio and the leading supplier of urban content to the home entertainment market in the U.S.
This marks the first time FAT ALBERT has been made available at retail in DVD format, as the partners get positioned to exploit the lucrative urban consumer market, which has an estimated purchasing power of $890 billion annually.
The first FAT ALBERT DVD releases are due in December 2005, while ER and UrbanWorks are building a long-term release strategy. Century Foxs first live-action, major motion picture release of FAT ALBERT, launches across the US. December 25 and will be supported by a massive nationwide marketing and advertising campaign. The movie release by Fox demonstrates the popularity of this classic brand in the States, where it is considered an American treasure.
Lisa Marks and Assoc. were appointed in June 2004 to launch a consumer products program for FAT ALBERT in North America. The return of the FAT ALBERT AND THE COSBY KIDS animated 110x30 series and three 30-minute specials, to television screens is also in discussion.
ER acquired the Filmation portfolio in April 2004, which included the iconic FAT ALBERT, created by Bill Cosby and based on his own childhood growing up in a Philadelphia neighborhood. The Emmy-nominated series aired on CBS for 12 consecutive years.
Jane Smith, group commercial director, Entertainment Rights said, We recognize UrbanWorks position in the U.S. home entertainment market and believe their expertise makes them an ideal partner for us. This deal is just the beginning of the rollout of the Filmation catalog in this key territory and demonstrates the untapped potential of this valuable portfolio.
We are honored to have the opportunity to represent ER and the iconic kids brand and we look forward to re-introducing Fat Albert and his friends to a new generation of fans, said Jeff Clanagan, president, UrbanWorks Entertainment.
Entertainment Rights is one of the fastest-growing independent childrens and family entertainment brands and character rights-owning companies in the U.K. In September 2004, ER acquired Tell-Tale Productions, creators and producers of THE TWEENIES and added a significant development and production slate to the ER portfolio including FUN SONG FACTORY and BOO!