New kids division co-founded by Irene Weibel and Andrew Kerr kicks off with new project from ‘In the Night Garden’ creator Andrew Davenport.
LONDON & LOS ANGELES -- Bento Box Entertainment, the studio behind FOX series Bob’s Burgers, has announced the launch of its new kids and family division, Sutikki, and a partnership with Andrew Davenport, co-creator of Teletubbies and creator of In the Night Garden -- two of the most award-winning and commercially-successful global preschool franchises ever.
The announcement was made by Bento Box Co-Founder and CEO Scott Greenberg on the first day of Brand Licensing Europe in London, where Sutikki made its official debut.
Through this relationship with Davenport’s production company Foundling Bird, Sutikki will be the primary production partner and global commercial product licensor for his next landmark series for young children, which will be announced shortly.
This marks the first entry into the age 2 to 11 marketplace for Bento Box Entertainment, the Emmy® award-winning entertainment content and technology company known for producing prime-time animated hits targeting young adults ages 18-34, including Bob’s Burgers on FOX and Legends of Chamberlain Heights on Comedy Central. Bento Box has also announced that prominent kids production, distribution and merchandising executives -- and Sutikki co-founders -- Irene Weibel and Andrew Kerr will head this business unit and be responsible for all of its day-to-day operations.
“Andrew Davenport has had a storied career as one of the world’s most prolific creators of innovative and popular preschool content, and he is the ideal creative talent for us to partner with as we establish ourselves in the kids marketplace globally,” said Greenberg. “This creative relationship, coupled with the leadership of Irene and Andrew, two of the industry’s most talented and respected executives, will make us a formidable player in this space.”
Davenport is a multi-award-winning English producer, writer and composer specialising in creating high-volume television and publishing series for young children. He co-created Teletubbies (first broadcast in the UK in 1997) and wrote all of its 365 episodes. Teletubbies was broadcast in 125 countries, translated into 45 languages, won 17 industry awards and achieved ‘iconic’ status as probably the most instantly recognisable British product of contemporary times. Davenport also created the double-BAFTA-winning global success In the Night Garden (first broadcast in the UK in 2007), writing all of its 100 episodes, and composing its title theme and all incidental music. Teletubbies and In the Night Garden remain leading global pre-school brands - after nineteen years and nine years respectively. Davenport’s uniquely holistic approach creates high-end, high-volume, stand-out, evergreen brands that engage a specific, developmentally-defined audience.
“I am thrilled to be setting out in a new partnership with Sutikki -- which amounts to a new journey with old friends,” Davenport commented. “I look forward to announcing a significant new project in the very near future.”
Prior to cofounding Sutikki, Weibel served as VP and head of Nelvana Studio, a division of Corus Entertainment and one of the world’s leading international producers of children’s animated and live-action content. There, Weibel managed the development slate and served as executive producer of all series in production in the Toronto-based studio including Emmy Award-winning Mike the Knight, Disney’s Lucky Duck and the previously announced series Mysticons, which will debut on Nickelodeon in 2017, and Hotel Transylvania due to launch on Disney Channels Worldwide in 2017. Prior to her tenure at Nelvana, she held positions at PBS stations in Illinois, Massachusetts and California including WGBH, Boston.
Kerr comes to Sutikki after holding the position of Co-Head, Nelvana Enterprises, where he oversaw all aspects of the Corus Kids distribution and merchandising business and Nelvana’s brand rights in the Americas and Australasia. He worked on a number of global hits at Nelvana, including Bakunin and Beyblade, and most recently drove the re-boot of toy phenomenon Zhu Zhu Pets, which premiered in September 2016 on The Disney Channel in the U.S. He has two decades of experience in the children’s licensing, consumer products and marketing industry. Before joining Corus, he was EVP, consumer products and marketing, international, with Classic Media in London, UK, and EVP global licensing and marketing at Ragdoll Ltd. overseeing all global licensing and marketing initiatives for Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, as well as opening the company’s first international office in New York City.