WASHINGTON (Sept. 20, 2010)—National Geographic Kids Entertainment heads into MIPCOM bolstered by the third season of its successful live-action series “Are We There Yet?: World Adventure” and a reinvigorated sales force led by newly appointed veteran industry executives Debbie Back and Jennifer Liang.
Back, who will head worldwide sales for National Geographic Kids Entertainment, comes to National Geographic from Handmade Kids, where she managed television, home entertainment and licensing and merchandising rights for Animation Collective and National Geographic Kids programming in major territories, including the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific. Back previously served as senior vice president, international program sales, for MTV Networks International, where she was responsible for all international program syndication activities for Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Spike TV.
As senior director, sales and strategy, Liang will work closely with Back to negotiate domestic and international program sales for National Geographic Kids Entertainment and will manage all financial aspects of the National Geographic Kids business. Liang previously served as vice president, international program sales, for Handmade Kids, handling contract negotiation, managing agents and implementing worldwide sales strategy for National Geographic Kids and Animation Collective properties. Prior to that, she was director, worldwide sales, for HBO Enterprises, and also has held various positions at MTV Networks, managing international syndication and strategy across Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1 networks, with particular focus on France and francophone markets, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Scandinavia and Latin America.
Both executives will be based in New York. Back will report to David Beal, president, National Geographic Entertainment. Liang will report to Back.
“Debbie Back and Jennifer Liang’s considerable sales expertise puts National Geographic Kids Entertainment in a powerful position to build our brand. Throughout her work within the industry, Debbie has built incredibly deep relationships with broadcasters, agents and independent animation and production houses. Jen’s ties within the industry are equally solid, and she has a proven track record in growing strong, enduring properties that can be carried to multiple audiences around the world,” said Beal. “We’re excited to bring this new sales force on board National Geographic Kids Entertainment, and look forward to giving them the ability to nurture and further extend the National Geographic brand name in the kids’ space.”
Together, National Geographic Kids Entertainment’s sales team plans to work with domestic and international broadcasters to facilitate sales of National Geographic Kids Entertainment properties in multiple markets throughout the world, and will be actively seeking co-production partnerships to acquire and distribute children’s properties under the National Geographic brand name.
National Geographic Kids Entertainment will be bringing to market its live-action children’s series with Treehouse, “Are We There Yet?: World Adventure,” currently sold in 40 countries worldwide to date. The successful series, recently greenlit for a third season by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, supports an interactive companion website for the series – www.arewethereyet.tv. In 2008, the series was a finalist for a Prix Jeunesse award for its website and was a finalist in the “Best Up to 6 Non-Fiction” category. In 2009, “Are We There Yet?: World Adventure” won an Alliance for Children and Television Award and two Gemini Award nominations.
The 39 x 7 mins./13 x 21 mins. series is a kids’ global adventure program hosted by real sister and brother duos who share their explorations through journal writing, travel logs and on-location chatter. New episodes of “Are We There Yet?: World Adventure” will feature four new brother and sister pairs as they travel to Canada, Jordan, Israel, Hungary, the United States, Ecuador and Brazil, to name a few, where the kids will complete the series’ quest to travel to the New Seven Wonders of the World.
“‘Are We There Yet?: World Adventure’ captures the sense of adventure that lives inside of kids and speaks to them in their own voice,” said Tara Sorensen, vice president, development and current series, for National Geographic Kids Entertainment. “One of the reasons the show’s been so successful is the way it completely immerses our main characters in a country’s culture and lets our kids lead the narrative.”
“Are We There Yet?: World Adventure” is a Sinking Ship Entertainment production produced in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in association with Treehouse TV and National Geographic Kids Entertainment. National Geographic Kids Entertainment is the U.S. and international distributor for the series.
To make an appointment with a representative from National Geographic Kids Entertainment at MIP Jr. or MIPCOM, contact Debbie Back at (212) 378-1962. National Geographic Kids Entertainment will be at MIPCOM Booth R29.41, telephone +33 (0) 4 9299 8862.
National Geographic Kids Entertainment is an independent production and distribution entity of National Geographic Entertainment. Established in 2003, National Geographic Kids Entertainment brings the renowned National Geographic brand to children’s entertainment through the development and production of quality animated and live-action, entertainment-driven programming that excites kids to explore their world. National Geographic Kids Entertainment will work with all major broadcast outlets. For more information about National Geographic, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
National Geographic Entertainment combines into a single operating group National Geographic’s Cinema Ventures, Feature Films, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio business units. National Geographic Entertainment is part of National Geographic Global Media, which brings together all of National Geographic’s editorial platforms in order to streamline collaboration and support the Society’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet.