Broadcasters Flock to Aardman’s Shaun

Following its successful MIPCOM debut a few months ago, Aardman Animations’ new animated series Shaun the Sheep has been sold to broadcasters in 60 countries. Licensing partners around the globe have also come aboard the clay-animated property, which is a spin-off of the Wallace and Gromit short A Close Shave.

Shaun is a rebel who doesn’t follow the flock but instead leads his fellow sheep into all kinds of trouble and causes job-related stress for Bitzer the sheepdog. Other characters include the Naughty Pigs, Timmy the baby lamb and the enormous Shirley, a sheep who eats anything and everything. A series of 40 seven-minute stop-motion episodes has been commissioned by CBBC in the U.K. with Aardman’s Richard Goleszowski directing. The show is scheduled to make its broadcast debut later this year.

Viewers in Germany will be able the catch Sean on WDR, a co-producer on the series, while others pick it up on ABC in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand, RTBF in Belgium and TSR in Switzerland.

In the latest round of sales, TF1 in France has acquired Shaun rights across all categories, including TV, home video and licensing and merchandising. Sony Creative Products has also picked up all rights and is currently negotiating a deal with a major broadcaster in the territory.

Aardman has additionally signed a major pan-territory television partnership deal with Disney in Asia, France, Italy and Latin America, and has sold the show to Cartoon Network for broadcast in Central and Eastern Europe. HRT Croatia and Ceska Televize in the Czech Republic have also snagged television rights.

In Asia, sales have been made to major broadcasters including TVB in Hong Kong, while Noga Communications in Israel makes room for the show on its Logi Channel. Nordisk Film has acquired home video rights for Scandinavia, where the series will air on DR, SVT, NRK and YLE. Licensing and merchandising rights for the territory have been secured by Alicom.