London/New York, 15 February 2011: Leading family entertainment producer, distributor and licensor Chorion has sold two of its new animated series for preschoolers Octonauts and Gaspard and Lisa to Disney Channel U.S. for premiere on Disney Junior next year.

The program acquisition deal will complete the international roll-out which started in the UK and France in Autumn 2010 and is continuing through 2012 across major global territories.

Geraint Marsh, SVP Television Sales at Chorion says: “The U.S. is a key broadcast market and Disney Junior is the perfect home for both Octonauts and Gaspard and Lisa. It’s testament to the appeal of both series that the channel is showing such support to two of our new shows, and we are thrilled to be bringing them to audiences in America.”

Octonauts is proving to be a major hit show for Chorion. Since launching on CBeebies in October 2010 the animated show has become a huge success, attracting large audiences and has quickly become a top-rated show for children aged 4-6 on the channel.* The show has been such a success for CBeebies that a second series has been ordered and is currently in development.

The first series has also been acquired by TF1 France, ABC Australia, RTE Ireland, Discovery Kids Latin America, MNet South Africa, Yoopa Canada, RTP Portugal, Disney Japan and Truevision Thailand.

Chorion will manage consumer products programs for both Octonauts and Gaspard and Lisa globally.

Based on the richly imaginative books by award-winning design team, Meomi, the TV series combines elements of classic team action-adventure with dazzling CGI animation to transport preschoolers into a world they can’t ordinarily visit…the ocean. The show will arouse the curiosity and feed the imagination of preschoolers, answering questions in a journey of discovery through the world’s oceans.

Executively produced by Emmy Award-winning writer Stephanie Simpson and Chorion’s Kurt Mueller, the brand new animated series includes 50 x 11’ plus 2 x 22’ special. The HD CGI animation was produced by Academy Award®-nominated Brown Bag Films who are also the producing studio on Chorion’s OLIVIA and Noddy in Toyland.

Gaspard and Lisa is an animated series for preschoolers which celebrates the joys of friendship. Based on the books written and illustrated by the husband and wife team of Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben and published by Hachette Jeunesse,  Gaspard and Lisa follows two six-year-old best friends as they experience the wonders and challenges of school, family life, and their Paris neighborhoods.  Outgoing, curious, and devoted to each other, Gaspard and Lisa are the centers of each other’s lives, and the rest of the world usually finds itself caught up in their adventures as well.  And while Gaspard and Lisa may sometimes disagree, in the end, they’re always there for each other – because that’s what best friends do.

The series is executively produced by Chorion’s Paula Rosenthal and Diana Manson and produced by Vanessa Amberleigh, a recipient of the Prix Jeunesse. Head writer Brian Hohlfeld was a recipient of the Humanitas Prize in Children’s Animation.  Gaspard and Lisa TV series includes 50 x 11’ plus 1 x 22’ special and is animated by Impossible Television.  TF1 in France is the lead broadcaster and debuted the show in Autumn 2010.

To date Gaspard and Lisa books have been translated in more than 15 languages worldwide and the property enjoys a high level of success both in publishing and consumer products in Japan, where it celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2010.

*Source: Eurodata TV / BARB / Kantar Media October 2010

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