Cottonwood Media, in co-production with Opéra de Paris, and Hulu, ZDF, ZDF Studios and France Télévisions have joined forces to produce the live-action tween series Spellbound.
When 15-year-old Cece Parker Jones (Hailey Melody Romain) relocates from a small town in the U.S. to France to study at the Paris Opera Ballet School, she’s on top of the world. But things turn upside down when she discovers a book of family spells in the back room of her Aunt Ginger’s apothecary.
The 26×30-minute series combines ballet, magic, witchcraft and more. Diversity and inclusivity are at the heart of the production.
Spellbound is created by the same original executive producers and showrunners Jill Girling and Lori Mather as Find Me in Paris. Each storyline has been crafted to appeal to the tween demographic.
Federation Kids & Family and ZDF Studios will handle worldwide sales.
Girling and Mather said: “Having worked in the ballet world for a few years, we got excited about telling aspirational stories with a BIPOC lead. With a fresh perspective on ballet and the added excitement of a magical twist, Cece and her friends have a lot of exciting stories for us to share. We are thrilled to have a fully diverse writers’ room, other than the two of us, giving us new and different perspectives than we’ve had in the past, allowing us to tell authentic stories for Spellbound.”
Arne Lohmann, VP Junior at ZDF Studios, added: “After the tremendous success of Find Me in Paris, it was only logical to partner again with the great production team of Cottonwood and the Paris Opera House. Spellbound will delight audiences just like Find Me in Paris did and we are proud to be part of it.”
Claire Heinrich, deputy director of children’s and head of acquisitions at France Télévisions, said: “After Find Me in Paris, which enchanted our viewers for three seasons in the exceptional setting of the Paris Opera, the Spellbound project appealed to us because it goes further in terms of diversity and inclusion. We are delighted to continue our collaboration with the Cottonwood team on this ‘magical’ series and to enrich our fiction offering with strong female representations, aimed at tweens demo who consume them mainly on our Okoo platform.”
Co-founders of Cottonwood Media, David Michel, Cécile Lauritano and Zoé Carrera Allaix, said: “We have anchored a superb team for this production and are delighted to further consolidate our partnership with such great broadcasters. Having kept the Paris Opera House as the main setting as per Find Me in Paris, Spellbound brings a completely fresh and innovative storyline with some surprise elements to delight audiences worldwide.”