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Annecy: ‘Paprika,’ ‘Mike,’ ‘Max & Maestro,’ Crayons’ on France Televisions 2017-18 Lineup

Variety logo Variety 6/16/2017 Emilio Mayorga
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ANNECY, France — Monello & MP1’s “Max & Maestro,” TeamTo’s “Take it Easy Mike” and Xilam’s “Paprika” feature among the animated TV series included on the 2017-18 lineup of France Televisions.

Also making the cut are Zodiak’s “Lilybuds” and Dargaud-Ellipsamine’s “La famille Blaireau-Renard.”

Announced in a traditional mid-week event hosted by the French broadcaster traditional event at the Annecy MIFA market, the sheer volume of the Gallic public broadcaster’s animation slate is a reminder that established TV players are still one of the driving forces of children’s and family entertainment in Europe.

Claiming it be the most active public -sector supporter of animation in Europe, France Televisions financed 139 hours of animated TV production in 2016, vs. 128 in 2015, and aired last year 5,800 hours of animation. In addition, animation received 1.1 billion VOD views, compared to 708 million in 2015.

Regarding France Televisions’ youngest viewers , key to guarantee the future of public channels, Tiphaine de Raguenel, France Televisions’ executive director and director of youth programming at France 4, reported proudly that viewership among 4-10s had shot up 60% in 2016.

A 52-episode TV series, ”Max & Maestro” follows a young 11-year-old rapper discovering the classic music at the hand of orchestra director Daniel Baremboin. Series is directed by Christophe Pinto from an idea by Giorgio Welter and Agathe Robilliard. France Télévisions, HR and Italy’s RAI produce.

“Paprika” marks Xilam’s first pre-school show, offering diverse storylines which depict the lives of adventurous twins, Olivia and Stan. The 78-part series is also commissioned by Disney Junior.

A slapstick comedy the dialogue-free “Take it Easy, Mike” pioneers for Tv production a photo-realistic re.creation of its animal characters. TeamTO described the series as “‘Tom and Jerry’ and ‘Garfield’ meet silly pet videos.”

“La famille Blaireau-Renard” delivers a pre-school adventure comedy following young twin badgers living peacefully with their baby sister Berry and their father in the woods, until one day Mrs. Fox and her daughter Rosie move in.

“Crayons” and “Kiwi,” now in its third season, mark two original productions now in development.  Produced by GHC&A Production, Aquaviva Media and Dreamlife Filmworks, “Crayons” characters – Aupa, Odo, Koma, Koke and Bing – are made from kids’ drawings, representing their states of mind. Each episode focuses on one character.

“Kiwi” is a stop-motion series introducing children to English and co-produced by Double Mètre Animation and XBO Films.

France Television signed an industry agreement on March 31 committing to a 6.9% increase of total animation investment over the period 2017-20. This increase allows FT to strengthen its support for original creations.

Animation investment came in at €29 million ($32.5 million) in 2016, on a par with 2015.

Annecy’s France Televisions event was presented by De Raguenel, Pierre Siracusa, director of animation at France 4, and Xavier Couture, France Televisions managing director, strategy & programs.

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