FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment announced deals in New Zealand and Australia for Tree Fu Tom.
Las Vegas, NV -- FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment announced significant TV and licensing deals in Australia and New Zealand and additional international licensing deals for its flourishing pre-school brand Tree Fu Tom.
The CG animated TV series, which premiered to great acclaim on CBeebies last year, has been sold to Network Ten in Australia and MediaWorks in New Zealand. Tree Fu Tom is due to premiere in both territories in September 2013 and will appear on Network Ten’s Toasted Jr timeslot on Channel 11 in Australia and on MediaWorks’ TV FOUR in New Zealand. These free to air deals follow on from the successful performance on Disney Junior last autumn.
In Australia, FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment has also secured licensing deals for the property, signing Funtastic Ltd. as its toy distribution partner and Roadshow for home entertainment. Funtastic Ltd. will be the exclusive distribution partner for Giochi Preziosi’s range of Tree Fu Tom toys. Both the toys and the DVD are slated for release in early 2014.
Liz Burnett, Director of Consumer Products Australia, FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment, said, “These fantastic new partners provide Tree Fu Tom with the perfect free to air launch platforms in Australia and New Zealand and A-grade partners in both toy and DVD. The series’ international expansion continues apace and Tree Fu Tom is truly becoming a global pre-school inspiration, delighting children around the world. We look forward to signing additional partners in the coming months for the Australian and New Zealand markets”.
“We are very excited to be associated with this magical tale of adventure, Tree Fu Tom. We believe it will deliver a unique experience to our young Australian audience as it joins the line-up of high–end animated series on our Toasted Junior block on Channel Eleven,” said Cherrie Bottger, Network Ten’s Head of Children’s Programming.
Rob Ruffolo, Commerical Director, Funtastic added, “Tree Fu Tom is an inspiring and engaging brand, kids really get involved in the show and we’re looking forward to introducing an exciting line of toys that mirrors that engagement.”
The brand’s licensing portfolio continues to expand in the UK, with the addition of five new licensees, bringing the total to 25. Aurora has signed for plush, Corsair for toiletries, Underground Toys for pocket pals, Paper Projects for stickers and Crane 3D for an augmented reality app. And in the US children’s app developer Cupcake Digital has signed to create a series of enhanced story apps.
Tree Fu Tom has sold to more than 75 territories and was the highest rated show amongst 4 – 6 year olds on CBeebies in 2012 (by highest occurrence, excluding special events) as well as the no.1 show in its timeslot for children 4-9 on YLE (Finland) and for children 2-5 on NRL (Norway). It has also premiered in the USA and France, and is due to air shortly in Latin America and Spain. FremantleMedia Kids & Family will announce more territories soon and is running a successful international licensing strategy alongside television sales.
The BAFTA nominated series combines innovative elements of heroic action, fantasy and magic, coupled with unique interactive physical activity. Tree Fu Tom is a co-production between FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment and the BBC for CBeebies, with animation by Blue Zoo Animation. The executive producers for the BBC are Jackie Edwards and Alison Stewart; and Bob Higgins and Sander Schwartz for FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment. Tree Fu Tom was created and produced by Daniel Bays. FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment manages international distribution for the series outside of the UK and manages other ancillary rights globally.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.