Mottola Ventures Into Entertainment for Toddlers
Tommy Mottola, the music guru behind the successful careers of Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion, is now delving in the field of entertainment for infants and toddlers.
Mottola, the former chief of Sony Music Entertainment, is partnering with New York-based Every Baby Co. to launch a Spanish-language version of the award-winning series eebee’s Adventures.
The new series, Las aventuras de eebee, features Thalía, 37, the Mexican telenovela actress-turned-singer who is married to Mottola. Several eight-minute episodes have already been taped in a New York studio and are slated to debut on V-me this fall.
“All of a sudden, there is an explosion of interest in the field of programming for children under 2 years old,” Stephen Gass, president and co-founder of Every Baby Co., told Hispanic TV Update. Gass, a former director of education for the Sesame Place theme park, says eebe’s Adventures is targeted at babies age 6 months to 24 months.
The show’s main character, eebee, is a 1-year-old puppet of indistinct gender whose vocabulary is based mostly on baby blabber.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to Gass, it includes an equity investment in the Every Baby Co. by The Mottola Co., which will also play a role in the brand expansion. Every Baby and its co-founders, Gass and Don Burton, will manage day-to-day operations.
At launch, the Spanish-language eebee episodes will be broadcast as part of V-me’s children’s programming, with the goal of extending them later through DVDs, cable and video-on-demand.
The original eebee series is currently available on-demand via Comcast, Bresnan Communications and Cox Communications systems, and reaches 12 other providers via on-demand content aggregator Mag Rack.