Sphere Media Kids and Family has been commissioned by TVOkids to produce a STEM-learning live-action series "Project Rube" (11x26 mins), for 9- to 12-year-olds. The title is presented by designer, maker, fixer, inventor and content creator Morley Kert, who has built up a strong online following for his YouTube videos about “making stuff” using limited tools, space and resources. In the new unscripted series, Kert and a team of tweens will embark on a series of ingenious, engineering-based experiments inspired by eccentric US cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg.
"Project Rube" will be executive produced by Marlo Miazga, President of Sphere Media Kids and Family, which was created in April to bring Sphere Media’s English-language children’s factual, scripted and animation units under one banner. Also serving as Executive Producers for Sphere Media Kids and Family will be Andrea Griffith, VP Content and Development: Kids and Family, Kim Bondi, Senior VP of Development: Factual, Corinna Lehr, VP of Production and Bruno Dubé, Sphere’s CEO.
Meanwhile, another TVOkids Original show, "Riley Rocket" (30x11 mins), has been sold to ITVX in the UK and to ABC Kids in Australia. The music-based animated series, which premieres on TVOkids on October 21, is an original creation from award-winning composers and producers Matthew Gerrard and Mladen Alexander of Mojumbi Entertainment. Abacus Media Rights manages the international sales for the series.
Finally, Milan-based Studio Bozzetto has entered into a co-production agreement with Sphere Media where Banijay Kids & Family Distribution, (part of Banijay Kids & Family) has recently acquired the rights to "The Game Catchers". The first season of the animated series, which follows five friends on an interstellar exploration of fantastic planets, launched internationally last year. A second season of the series has now been ordered by commissioning broadcasters RAI Kids, TVOkids and ICI Radio-Canada Télé, Knowledge Network and is already in production.
Marlo Miazga said: “The Kids and Family unit launched earlier this year, not only to create a more productive and efficient working environment but also to turbocharge Sphere’s creativity by combining our production and distribution power. This new TVOkids commission for a dynamic live-action show and original format, as well as a string of sales to premium broadcasters for 'Riley Rocket' and 'The Game Catchers', show that we are well on the way to achieving our ambition — to rival the best players on the global market for children’s and family entertainment.”
TVOkids commissioning editor, Kirsten Hurd said: “The TVOkids community loves fun opportunities to learn. These series will encourage children to engage with their creativity, their curiosity and will inspire a deeper appreciation of STEM skills. We’re thrilled to build on our relationship with Sphere Media and add to the diversity of projects we commission.”