Corus buys Ian online rights, plus 10 more eps

Corus buys Ian online rights, plus 10 more eps

by: Ilona Beiks in Playback Magazine Jun 26, 2006
Corus Entertainment is getting more than just 10 new episodes of Studio B Productions’ hit toon Being Ian – it’s also picked up rights to the brand’s online assets.

“It’s a popular show, so when we decided to order up more episodes, we said why don’t we do a whole sweep,” says Bonnie Siegel, director of original productions at YTV, which is owned by Corus. “It’s a bit experimental. We’re looking to create original content, but not out of the TV material. We want something that uses the concept of Being Ian that stands alone on other platforms.”

In the recently signed multi-platform deal, Corus gets rights to, interactive web-based games and activities, streaming clips and episodes, and content on mobile TV and video-on-demand.

“This is a unique deal. It’s like the second generation of deals,” says Catherine Warren, Studio B’s digital entertainment consultant. “It’s one of the early deals that hasn’t been run through a fund. This is exceptional in that it’s a business-to-business deal.”

Studio B cofounder Blair Peters says he wanted “to take the show to the next level.”

“We have a great relationship with YTV and we wanted to transcend the borders, into the U.S., worldwide. They’ve got the kids, the number-one portal, the eyeballs. You need a wide range of stuff to get out to the kids, and we’re working hand in hand to exploit the property,” he says.

Peters says the 10 x 30 run will be scripted with the multi-platform deal in mind, unlike the previous 52, which were written like a straight sitcom. Writing starts this summer.

To mark the deal, the Vancouver-based toon house is hosting a special kids event to celebrate the last day of school, while YTV will air of the one-hour special Hurry for Hollywood on June 29.

Being Ian won the 2006 Shaw Rocket Prize and Leo Award for best animation program and series.