American Dad! returns with new episodes on TBS (a WarnerMedia brand) on Monday, April 13 (10 p.m. ET/PT). This year marks the 15th anniversary of Seth MacFarlane’s award-winning adult animated comedy, and the milestone 300th episode is set to air September 14. An upcoming episode (May 4) will feature an original song by Grammy winner The Weeknd, with other guest stars for the season including Jane Lynch, Patton Oswalt, Ron Perlman, Craig Robinson, Criss Angel and Bill Nye. To mark 15 years, TBS will air a curated selection of episodes focusing on a different character each day, handpicked by the producers, Tuesday-Friday from 4-6 p.m., April 14-17 and April 21-24. Following, the official 15th anniversary marathon featuring the series co-creator’s top 15 favorite episodes will take place on April 27 from 2:30-10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Co-created and exec produced by MacFarlane, Mike Barker and Matt Eitzman and exec produced by co-showrunner Brian Boyle, American Dad! is a 20th Century Fox Television production.
European animation powerhouse Rainbow is celebrating a furry good result for the U.K. launch of its latest hit, 44 Cats, reaching millions of viewers and attracting top-notch licensing partners through local agents Lisle Licensing. Aimed at children 3-7, the first season launched on POP TV, Nick Jr. and Nick Jr. Too in 2019 and is already enjoying tremendous popularity across the world. The 52 x 13’ animated series is an explosive mix of music and cuteness telling the daily adventures of four kittens — Lampo, Milady, Pilou, and Meatball — who form a band called the Buffycats. CP partnerships include TDP Textile Aykroyds (nightwear), Simba Dickie’s Siso Toys (U.K. toy partner), John Toys, Amscan, Sony Music, Dreamtex, Redan Publishing, Fashion UK, Ravensburger, Celemntoni and Chicco & Bip.
Headstart International (Australia) and leading Chinese digital platform YouKu have partnered to bring upper-preschool CGI series Best Furry Friends to young viewers across the country. Under the deal, inked via Playalogy Int’l and Seny Int’l, the series inspired by the popular collectibles and toys brand launched on YouKu in late February, ranking 12th for all animated series (3rd for overseas animated property) and reaching 20,000 views in the first month. Best Furry Friends focuses on the six core friends and their BFFs. In comedy-based stories, the characters are placed in modern social scenarios that encourage personal growth and development of soft social emotional skills. The unique personalities of each Bestie offer kids the opportunity to relate to their favorite character and appreciate different types of personalities.
Viacom International Studios announces three brand-new distribution deals for Nickelodeon’s U.K.-originated hit, It’s Pony. The first season (20 x 30′) of the interspecies buddy comedy created by Ant Blades and animated by Blue Zoo Prod. is galloping off to free-to-air networks YLE2 (Finland), Televisa’s Canal 5 (Mexico) and Teleamazonas (Ecuador), to launch this fall. Inspired by an entry submitted to Nickelodeon’s 2015 International Animated Shorts Program, It’s Pony follows the adventures of Annie and her best friend, an enthusiastic, unpredictable, and carefree pony. Together, their optimism and enthusiasm turn any situation from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether making an epic quest down the street to mail a letter, heroically saving the local playground with a bake sale, or simply getting a haircut, Pony and Annie always stick together because life is better as a pair.
ZeptoLab has launched its global preschool animation series Om Nom Stories in Latin America, broadcasting on two Grupo Salinas platforms: TV channel Azteca 7 and VOD platform Totalplay. The charming adventures of the little green monster — debuting seasons 14 and 15 this year — will take flight with Latam Airlines, the largest carrier in the region, starting in May.
Berlin-based Da Vinci Media has acquired non-exclusive free TV, pay TV and VOD rights for 104 episodes of the animated series Pincode, for its 24/7 TV-channel Da Vinci TV and VOD app Da Vinci Kids, for five years. The deal covers multiple territories, including Russia and CIS, Poland, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Greece and Turkey. The first broadcasts are scheduled for May 16. Pincode is an edutainment spin-off Kikoriki, produced by Riki Group for kids up to 12 years old as well as for the whole family. The science-themed adventures engage kids in exploring the world of innovations, technology and discoveries — which is fully in line with Da Vinci’s aim to help children to develop curiosity and critical thinking.