Guru Studio Gears Up for a Busy Year Ahead


In the past year, Guru Studio has seen a significant increase in demand for its original shows. “With some studios experiencing production or dubbing delays due to lockdown restrictions, we were fortunate to have a show like True and the Rainbow Kingdom with 19 languages readily available in-house,” says Jonathan Abraham, the company’s VP of sales and business development. The show has launched in countries all over the world with strong ratings, including on Tiny Pop (U.K.), Gloob (Brazil), 9Go! (Australia) and Discovery Family (U.S.). “It’s been incredible to see audiences build week over week,” Abraham adds. And True will be launching in several major markets throughout 2021 as the rollout of the consumer-products program gets underway worldwide.

“We have lots of exciting news ahead for True and the Rainbow Kingdom,” Abraham notes. “Internationally, the show is very quickly becoming a breakout hit in second-window launches.” The show has four seasons, which are accompanied by a range of short-form content and holiday specials. “Broadcasters are really able to make True a regular staple of their programming lineup year-round,” he adds. “It’s always a good sign when our broadcast partners are asking us for even more content!”

Guru Studio has also been busy launching two new original properties, Pikwik Pack and Big Blue, “both with extremely timely messages for kids and families,” says Abraham. Pikwik Pack is about a group of animal friends who must work together to deliver surprise packages of joy to their community. Big Blue is a zany underwater adventure that’s packed with comedy, about the importance of discovering and caring for our planet.

Pikwik Pack has seen strong launches on Disney Junior in the U.S. and Treehouse in Canada, and Guru Studio is looking forward to sharing news about more international broadcast partners shortly. Partners already announced include Super RTL (Germany), Hop! (Israel), Canal Panda (Portugal) and MiniMini+ (Poland). “We’re just thrilled with the level of enthusiasm and excitement from broadcasters in just a few short weeks following its U.S. and Canadian launches,” Abraham says.

Regarding Big Blue, he says that the property has generated “some amazing buzz last year as the number three most-viewed program at MIPJunior. Since then, we’ve seen interest from buyers all over the world.” CBC Kids in Canada is the commissioning broadcaster and presales have been lined up with ABC ME in Australia and CTC in Russia, with more to be announced shortly. The series is currently in production.

Regarding the factors that must be considered when developing a distribution strategy on any particular show, Abraham says the company is “always mindful of our broadcaster partners’ content strategy and platform/windowing needs alongside Guru’s always-meticulous, creative and critical marketing plans. For Guru, it’s all about finding the right partners and platforms in the territory—be it linear, nonlinear or perhaps a first-window in foreign markets on YouTube.”

And 2021 is poised to be another year of growth for the studio, with new shows kicking off in production with Sesame Workshop, additional seasons of PAW Patrol and a new series partnership that starts in Q2. “We’ll also have three brand-new properties in development,” Abraham shares. “One is a hilarious prime-time family sitcom, the other two are innovative new kids’ shows developed through unique brand partnerships—all will have the same level of storytelling care and brand-new innovative approaches to quality animation that we’ve become known for.”