LazyTown stands stronger than ever. The company's relatives are big-hearted and seem to have every reason to be optimistic about the business in the coming years. "We have just become part of the Turner group, which in turn is part of Time Warner. Those agreements were finalized late 2011, and the purpose, among other things, to bring on board an owner who has the right distribution channels," say...
On September 3, 2003 LazyTown and Nickelodeon signed an agreement for the production and broadcasting of forty episodes of the television series Latiboer/Lazy- Town in the United States. Altogether 100 people will work at the production of the series in Iceland and it will reach about eighty-six million homes in the US. A news release from Lazy- Town states that Nickelodeon is the most popular children’s station in the US, and it is a part of one of the largest public media companies, Viacom.
Merchandise linked to the subject matter of Nickelodeon generate about two and a half million US dollars yearly and if the series LazyTown becomes popular, income from the sale of merchandise connected to the TV series may be substantial, according to Magnús Scheving, the main brain behind LazyTown.
Magnús signed the agreement on behalf of LazyTown and Brown Johnson, the assistant manger of Nickelodeon, on behalf of the US firm. In an interview with the Morgunblað’, Brown Johnson said that the environment and facilities were especially positive right now for marketing a children’s TV series where the emphasis is on healthy life style in a positive and entertaining way.
“It is a very fertile time for these kinds of ideas in the US right now. In reality it is in full force, because many articles have been published in the last six months about the obesity and eating habits of children in the US, and that US citizens are on the average too fat and don’t exercise enough. I think LazyTown brings forth the right attitude, because I don’t find that there is any preaching being done to the children in the series, but rather it shows how much fun it is to eat healthy food and exercise,” Johnson said.
According to her, Nickelodeon connects this collaboration with LazyTown with their extensive experience in making TV shows for children, as the company has produced countless of children shows. The company decided to negotiate for the production of 40 LazyTown episodes, which is very large because Nickelodeon usually does not negotiate the production of more than 13 to 20 episodes at a time, according to Johnson. “Hopefully this will lead to great success, and I think that will be the case” said Johnson.
Magnús Scheving has worked at the idea of LazyTown for the last eleven years and has, along with his supporters, put a lot of work into marketing the idea in the last few years. He says that the agreement is a fantastic opportunity to put the idea across and that it opehs up many future opportunities. The production of the series will begin in November and people are being hired now for jobs related to the production of the series.
“It is going to be forty halfhour programs which are supposed to be ready in June of next year. About 100 people will work at the production here in Iceland. Máni Svavarsson looks after the music and they are trying to get me to play the elf, but it is still not solved because I am trying to get someone else to do it. Actor, Stefán Karl Stefánsson, will play Glanni, the super-villain, because there isn’t anyone else who is fit for that role.”
According to Magnús, the agreement gives Nickelodeon the rights to the income from the sale óf merchandise connected to the series in the US, but LazyTown has those rights anywhere else in the world. “This is what makes this agreement so exciting. The TV show itself doesn’t generate much income. It is the exclusive right that does and Nickelodeon does get two and a half million US dollars from the sale of such merchandise, that is to say the sale of toys, T-shirts, dolls and such. We will get a percentage of the revenue in the US and if things go well it will be a goodly sum,” according to Magnús.
He says that the series will be produced in Iceland in conjunction with those Icelanders who already work at them. The main manuscript producer of the Rugrats series, which is Nickelodeon’s best-known series, will work at the production of the LazyTown series and the puppeteers have worked at famous puppet shows, which were produced by the Jim Henson Company. A girl has been chosen to play Solla and according to Magnús she could well become a big star in the US.
Production of the episodes will begin in November, and Magnús says that the film studio will probably be located in Garðabær, but other municipalities have shown interest in getting LazyTown to join them.