OCTOBER 11, 2016
SUTIKKI – NEW KIDS AND FAMILY DIVISION OF BENTO BOX – IN GLOBAL PRODUCTION AND LICENSING PARTNERSHIP WITH ICONIC KIDS TV CREATOR ANDREW DAVENPORT
DAVENPORT IS CREATOR BEHIND THE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ‘TELETUBBIES’ AND ‘IN THE NIGHT GARDEN’ FRANCHISES
Sutikki, Headed by Industry Executives Irene Weibel and Andrew Kerr, to Develop, Produce and Distribute Kids and Family-Focused Brands and Content
LONDON AND LOS ANGELES – 11 OCTOBER 2016 – Bento Box Entertainment today announced the launch of its new kids and family division, Sutikki, and a partnership with Andrew Davenport, co-creator of Teletubbies and creator of In the Night Garden – two of the most award-winning and commercially-successful global preschool franchises ever. The announcement was made by Bento Box Co-Founder and CEO Scott Greenberg on the first day of Brand Licensing Europe in London, where Sutikki is making its official debut.
Through this relationship with Davenport’s production company Foundling Bird, Sutikki will be the primary production partner and global commercial product licensor for his next landmark series for young children, which will be announced shortly.
This marks the first entry into the age 2 to 11 marketplace for Bento Box Entertainment, the Emmy® award-winning entertainment content and technology company known for producing prime-time animated hits targeting young adults ages 18-34, including Bob’s Burgers on FOX and Legends of Chamberlain Heights on Comedy Central. Bento Box has also announced that prominent kids production, distribution and merchandising executives – and Sutikki Co-Founders – Irene Weibel and Andrew Kerr will head this business unit and be responsible for all of its day-to-day operations.
“Andrew Davenport has had a storied career as one of the world’s most prolific creators of innovative and popular preschool content, and he is the ideal creative talent for us to partner with as we establish ourselves in the kids marketplace globally,” said Greenberg. “This creative relationship, coupled with the leadership of Irene and Andrew, two of the industry’s most talented and respected executives, will make us a formidable player in this space.”
Davenport is a multi-award-winning English producer, writer and composer specialising in creating high-volume television and publishing series for young children. He co-created Teletubbies (first broadcast in the UK in 1997) and wrote all of its 365 episodes. Teletubbies was broadcast in 125 countries, translated into 45 languages, won 17 industry awards and achieved ‘iconic’ status as probably the most instantly recognisable British product of contemporary times. Davenport also created the double-BAFTA-winning global success In the Night Garden (first broadcast in the UK in 2007), writing all of its 100 episodes, and composing its title theme and all incidental music. Teletubbies and In the Night Garden remain leading global pre-school brands - after nineteen years and nine years respectively. Davenport’s uniquely holistic approach creates high-end, high-volume, stand-out, evergreen brands that engage a specific, developmentally-defined audience.
Davenport explained: “I am thrilled to be setting out in a new partnership with Sutikki – which amounts to a new journey with old friends. I look forward to announcing a significant new project in the very near future.”
Prior to cofounding Sutikki, Weibel served as VP and head of Nelvana Studio, a division of Corus Entertainment and one of the world’s leading international producers of children’s animated and live-action content. There, Weibel managed the development slate and served as executive producer of all series in production in the Toronto-based studio including Emmy Award-winning Mike the Knight, Disney's Lucky Duck and the previously announced series Mysticons, which will debut on Nickelodeon in 2017, and Hotel Transylvania due to launch on Disney Channels Worldwide in 2017. Prior to her tenure at Nelvana, she held positions at PBS stations in Illinois, Massachusetts and California including WGBH, Boston.
Kerr comes to Sutikki after holding the position of Co-Head, Nelvana Enterprises, where he oversaw all aspects of the Corus Kids distribution and merchandising business and Nelvana’s brand rights in the Americas and Australasia. He worked on a number of global hits at Nelvana, including Bakunin and Beyblade, and most recently drove the re-boot of toy phenomenon Zhu Zhu Pets, which premiered in September 2016 on The Disney Channel in the U.S. He has two decades of experience in the children's licensing, consumer products and marketing industry. Before joining Corus, he was EVP, consumer products and marketing, international, with Classic Media in London, UK, and EVP global licensing and marketing at Ragdoll Ltd. overseeing all global licensing and marketing initiatives for Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, as well as opening the company’s first international office in New York City.
Sutikki — Japanese for sticky — is the new kids and family division of Bento Box Entertainment. Founded in 2016 by executives Irene Weibel and Andrew Kerr, Sutikki develops and produces compelling content that 'sticks' and matters to kids age 2-11 by partnering with industry leaders, innovators, and best-in-class creators throughout the world. Based in Los Angeles, more information can be found at www.sutikki.com.
About Bento Box Entertainment
Bento Box Entertainment (BBE) is an Emmy® award-winning entertainment content and technology company. With studios in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Toronto, BBE produces animated comedy series for broadcast, cable and digital networks. This includes Bob's Burgers, the Primetime Emmy®-winning FOX series with 20th Century Fox Television and creator Loren Bouchard; Comedy Central series Legends of Chamberlain Heights; among many others. With creative thinking, disruptive content and innovative technology at its core, BBE is dedicated to extending its reach to new audiences through its digital; kids; content rights; and live events, merchandise and brand management business units. BBE can be followed across social media channels @bentoboxent.
About Foundling Bird Ltd
Foundling Bird was established in 2014 to own, produce and administer the work of award-winning creator Andrew Davenport. It is named after the Grimm tale of the same title. Davenport’s creative goals remain the same as he says they always have been: To found a slate of developmentally informed, innovative and entertaining projects – built on compelling storytelling and an authentic sense of contemporary childhood. With 25 years’ experience in children’s global content, Andrew Davenport has been dubbed ‘the JK Rowling of the under fives’ [The Daily Telegraph], after the global success of both Teletubbies (which he co-created and wrote) and In the Night Garden (which he created, wrote and composed). Industry accolades include a clutch of BAFTA and RTS awards and Emmy nominations.
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For Bento Box Entertainment and Sutikki:
Debbie Lawrence Matt Biscuiti Jim Benson
The Lippin Group/London The Lippin Group/NYC The Lippin Group/L.A.
+44 203 008 5406 +1-212-986-7080 +1-323-965-1990
For Foundling Bird:
Katie Phillips Katie French
+44 20 3137 6499 +44 20 3137 6499