Going into this year’s MIPCOM, producer Cosgrove Hall Films’ and distributor Granada International’s preschool series Engie Benjy already boasts sales to more than 60 territories in the last 12 months. The young auto mechanic with blue hair has tuned up TV screens around the globe with help form broadcasters like France 5, Italy’s Raisat, Mediacorp TV12 Singapore and ABC Australia.
Voiced by U.K. comedy duo Ant and Dec, the stop-motion/CG show has just returned to Britain’s CITV and Nick Junior, where the fantastical tales of the engine mending team have proved a ratings hit. The final episode of the first season averaged an impressive 41% audience share, beating the BBC’s Tweenies and Fimbles.
The property is also revving up the merchandising engine. Leading U.K. manufacturing companies have teamed up with Cosgrove Hall and Granada to introduce more than 200 product lines to U.K. retailers.
Created by Bridget Appleby, Cosgrove Hall’s creative director of model animation, the series has already been recommissioned by ITV’s new director of children’s programs, Steven Andrew, and is now back in the Manchester studios where third and fourth seasons are going before the camera.