With 65 episodes already on air in 15 languages and 40 countries, an international deal has been signed to produce a further 52, taking the total to 117.
“This is a serious achievement for an independent,” said Henry Becket, executive producer and CEO of the brand owner, Olly. “Close to £4m has already been invested in the brand and this next step will take that figure over £6m. Not many home-grown pre-school series make that leap.”
The co-production deal sees the creative lead stay in the UK, but with a very significant role played by one of India’s leading producers. A joint venture is being established in Chennai, and the plan is to augment TV production with a greatly enhanced investment in new media, including online, mobile, augmented reality and e-learning.
It is also anticipated that Olly will grow into new regions for both broadcasting and licensing/merchandising, to augment the progress already being made in major new markets like China, Russia and Turkey.
In China, the series is soon to start airing in Mandarin on the main children’s channel, with two hi-tech character vehicles scheduled for launch pre-Christmas. In Russia, the series has 44 million YouTube viewings and is in talks with one of Russia’s L&M companies.
In Turkey, 10 colouring and activity books have just been added to the 30 product lines already on sale. Many other markets are in the pipeline and Olly continues to get great ratings in its home country, with year-round broadcasting on Milkshake! and Turner’s Cartoonito.
Henry added: “Our aim has always been to create something which becomes sustainable, in other words, a true global brand which is ever more challenging in the current climate. With this announcement we are one step closer to achieving that, with a series that parents as well as children around the world can genuinely relate to.”