With this partnership, Epic will help bring authentic, contemporary Arabic series to the global market.
Bidaya Media has appointed independent IP creator and kids franchise company Epic Story Media Inc. (ESM) as the content and licensing agent for the new 2D animated series, The Adventures of Mansour: Age of AI.
The series will join ESM’s growing portfolio of franchises in the upcoming MIPTV event in Cannes, France, and will be represented going forward throughout the upcoming licensing and content distribution forums. As part of Bidaya’s global promotion efforts, ESM will represent the new series globally (excluding the MENA and China territories) to secure broadcast rights across multiple linear and streaming platforms.
The rebooted series will build on the success of the original Mansour series, which currently has more than 2bn views on YouTube with more than 25m viewers. As an action/adventure series, developed and produced by Bidaya in English and Arabic, the series covers universal issues and themes that speak to the current generation of children globally. The show playfully addresses the benefits and challenges of artificial intelligence, the balance between the usefulness and overreliance on technology, climate change issues and the complexity of social interaction in the digital age.
Commenting on the deal, Nabil El Jisr, CEO of Bidaya Media, said: “Mansour has captured the imagination of children across the MENA region in a powerful way. We are inspired to build on this success with the production of the new season of Mansour and by partnering with Epic to achieve global reach and inspire a new generation of children around the world. As a uniquely entertaining show that harnesses positive, universal values, Mansour addresses the major influences affecting children’s lives and has the potential to create a positive impact for future generations.”
Ken Faier, President of ESM, added: “We’re extremely excited to start this partnership with one of the top production companies in the Middle East and help deliver compelling stories that match our commitment to diversity and finding cultural and authentic content, relatable for a global audience. We’re proud to work with Bidaya Media and to bring Mansour to our unique slate that we’ll be presenting at MIPTV. As with all our projects, we love properties that have those unique elements that can deliver an expansive 360 experience. Mansour: Age of A.I. has so much to offer fans who want to delve deeper into their favourite characters and stories, and we look forward to exploring this over the coming years with Bidaya.”
Bidaya plans to produce four seasons of Age of AI, of which the first 26 episodes will be ready for Q3 2023.
The hero of the show is Mansour, a 12-year-old tech-wiz, who upgrades his sister’s favourite robotic gerbil plushie toy, Mr Blinky, with some high-end chips and algorithms he pulls together. But to his horror, Mansour’s creation goes into overdrive downloading everything the technologically advanced world of Salam City has to offer transforming him into a crazy, mischievous digital shapeshifter, intent on sabotaging Mansour and his world. In the previous series, over 93 episodes were produced and originally targeted an under-served audience of Arabic-speaking children, aged 6-12.