Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Enterprises’ agent, Ciwen Media Group, has entered into a deal with China’s national broadcaster Chinese Central Television (CCTV) to air preschool series Franklin and Friends for the first time on its children’s channel, CCTV Kids Channel (CCTV-14).
“We’re thrilled to bring Franklin and Friends to more than 400 million households on CCTV Kids,” said Colin Bohm, VP of Television, Head of Corus Kids. “Franklin’s universal childhood experiences will resonate with children in China, just as they do with children in North America and all over the world.”
Airing in Chinese, the 52 x half hour hit animated series premiered in China on September 23, and airs from Monday to Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the channel’s Animation World block. As part of the translation, the opening song of the series was recorded by CCTV Kids’ popular channel host, Uncle Dong Hao.
The broadcast deal follows Nelvana’s content acquisition and representation deal with Ciwen Media Group, which granted the Chinese firm exclusive distribution rights and merchandise representation rights across a broad array of categories for Franklin and Friends as well as several other Nelvana brands.
“Franklin and Friends appeals to children across the globe, and its educational value transcends national boundaries,” says Sean Chu, Vice President of Ciwen Kids. “We are very excited to bring Franklin and Friends to China’s children and to be a part of this landmark licensing agreement.”
As part of the roll out, Ciwen is launching a merchandise program in conjunction with the CCTV broadcast of Franklin and Friends, which will integrate TV, new media platforms, publishing and consumer products. The first of such deals is a major publishing deal with Jieli Publishing, one of China’s leading children’s book publishers.
Based on the best-selling children’s book series by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, published by Kids Can Press, the CGI-animated TV series, Franklin and Friends, follows Franklin the Turtle as he experiences adventures and milestones, learning lessons along the way with his pals Snail, Rabbit, Beaver, Fox, Goose and best friend Bear. The series airs on Nickelodeon in the US, TF1 in France, and Corus Entertainment’s preschool channel Treehouse in Canada. Franklin and Friends is a Canada-Singapore co-production from Nelvana Limited and Infinite Frameworks.