Mo Willems Launches Production Company


Children’s book author and Emmy winner Mo Willems has launched Hidden Pigeon Company with Stampede Ventures and RedBird Capital Partners.

The new kids’ and family content company will leverage Willems’ best-selling catalog of children’s books and IP across all platforms, including television, film, digital, gaming, publishing and more. Kathy Franklin has been tapped as CEO of the company.

Hidden Pigeon Company will harness its relationship with Stampede and RedBird to build on the historic reach of Willems’ franchises and enhance the development of his IP. The creation of the new company follows the success of Stampede and Willems’ existing producing partnership, which has already seen success with two specials for HBO Max: Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience and Storytime All Stars Presents: Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime. The latter was nominated for two daytime Emmys.

Franklin joins the company from Lightstorm Entertainment, where she served as president of franchise development for 12 years.

Hidden Pigeon Company will also house a new publishing imprint called Specific House, which has partnered with publisher Union Square & Co. to launch Willems’ new adult humor book, Be the Bus—The Lost & Profound Wisdom of The Pigeon, as well as The Pigeon Will Ride the Rollercoaster! and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh!, the latter of which will be The Pigeon’s first-ever holiday book.

“The Hidden Pigeon Company takes its name from how kids and former kids delight in finding The Pigeon hidden in every one of my books,” Willems said. “It is my hope to create a similar bit of surprise and delight in the fabric of everything we make or do. I am thrilled to have found wonderful collaborative partners to make that hope a reality.”

“We’ve deeply enjoyed the success of our partnership with Mo and Cher Willems to date, and it’s shown us that the popularity of his IP and the appetite for premium family entertainment are a powerful combination,” said Greg Silverman, Stampede Ventures’ CEO and founder.

“The launch of Hidden Pigeon Company with RedBird is our opportunity to bring the full range of Mo’s creative genius into one entity crafted to expand the impact of his work,” added Chris Bosco, president of Stampede Ventures. “RedBird’s extensive experience will be critical in HPC’s long-term success, and we are thrilled to have their support and partnership.”

Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital, said, “Working with creative entrepreneurs like Mo is at the core of our investing strategy. The creation of HPC is consistent with RedBird’s broader media investment thesis of acquiring best-in-class IP and scaling its scope of impact and commercialization. Our goal is to help this new company and partnership transform the traditional kids and family entertainment landscape and the way audiences experience Mo’s stories.”