Newark, New Jersey-based IDT Media announced that its animation production unit, Digital Production Solutions (DPS) will acquire a 51% interest in toon shop Film Roman, through the purchase of newly issued shares of Film Roman common stock. Film Roman is known for its production work on TV series such as The Simpsons and King of the Hill. IDT Media is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company.
Film Roman develops, produces and distributes a broad range of programming for the networks, cable outlets, first-run domestic syndication and international markets. Founded in 1984 by acclaimed animator Phil Roman, it has grown into one of the leading independent animation studios in the world.
In addition to powerhouse toons The Simpsons and King of the Hill, Film Roman has produced and continues to produce series such as X-Men The Mask. Bobby’s World, The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, and Garfield & Friends. Recently, the company teamed up with Showtime Networks to bring to life the characters of Brett Merhar’s popular comic strip Free for All for Hi-Definition broadcast release in summer 2003.
“With 18 Emmys and program credits that include TV’s best loved, most successful primetime animated series, Film Roman is the broadcast industry’s leading animation company,” said Jim Courter, IDT’s CEO, and a director of IDT Media. “With this acquisition, IDT Media’s Digital Production Solutions unit takes its place among the world’s animation production leaders.”
“Digital Production Solutions brings Film Roman the ability to combine our creative strengths with the incredible technological abilities of DPS. Together we will be able to innovate and build a powerhouse in animation, both 2D and CGI,” stated John Hyde, president and CEO of Film Roman.
Digital Production Solutions is aggressively pursuing the acquisition and licensing of program ideas and properties suitable for animation. These properties can now be jointly produced by DPS and Film Roman.
In March of this year, DPS acquired rights to upcoming projects created by Gene Roddenberry. Gene Roddenberry’s Starpoint Academy and Gene Roddenberrys Char are the first original properties acquired by DPS. The company is also currently working on a co-production with Jim Jinkins and David Campbell of Cartoon Pizza (Doug, Stanley and PB&J Otter). In addition, the DPS studio has produced episodes of Monster by Mistake under an agreement with CCI Entertainment, to be broadcast in the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany.