In a show of force, “Spellbound,” the live-action tween series from the creators and production partners of “Find Me in Paris,” is getting a second season.
Produced by Cottonwood Media, with ZDF, ZDF Studios and the Paris National Opera, the 13 new episodes of the ballet/witchcraft series will go into production in August.
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The news of the renewal of “Spellbound” comes as Season One will be released in international markets via broadcasters and streaming services starting this fall.
Federation Kids & Family, the sales arm of Federation Studios, parent of Cottonwood Media, and ZDF Studios, the marketing company of German public broadcaster ZDF, will handle worldwide sales.
They will launch a second season of a premium program in English aimed at a still underserved audience of the children and families market around the world at a time, moreover, when buyers are stuck between a rock and a hard place: a studio-streamer is pulled from original production and the WGA strike, which means a lot less premium English-language content making it to production.
The first season caught 15-year-old feisty American Cece Parker Jones moving to Paris to study dance at the Paris Opera Ballet School. She discovers by accident that she is a “wizen”, a witch with untapped potential, and has to try to balance dancing, friendship, romance and her unknown new powers.
In season two, Cece vows to give up magic and focus on dancing, but secrets from the past are revealed and she befriends a new student, who is a mystic.
“It’s magical chaos to the end! This season sees her pushing the limits more than ever to fulfill her dream of becoming an ‘etoile’. Cece also has a new crush, new friends, and the surprise of a familiar face, when a BLOK hip-hop challenge ignites and unites the second division,” she teases the synopsis.
“Everyone says ‘premium’ these days. Basically you get premium with expensive sets, VFX or something like ballet, that’s really hard to shoot and expensive, because it takes time. What’s really unique about ‘Spellbound’ is that it has all three,” said David Michel, co-founder and president of Cottonwood Media, and director of Federation Kids & Family.
“Spellbound” is the brainchild of Jill Girling and Lori Mather (“Find Me in Paris,” “Ride”), who serve once again, as in the first season, as executive producers and showrunners, weaving a story in which the Witchcraft, like ballet, work cohesively. as fantasy metaphors for a girl’s discovery of a sense of self.
“Witchcraft is used so often for coming-of-age stories for a reason. It’s about discovering who you are as a person, while dance is also about discovering and mastering your body,” said Michel.
“Spellbound” also has the accessibility of an ambitious narrative, “a beautiful fish-out-of-water story about a girl who in many ways shouldn’t be in such an elite school, about a girl who’s pretty good but not great at the ballet”. , but doing whatever it takes to get it right at the end of the series,” Michel added.
“As with all of our live-action series, we have assembled a team of creatives who have also worked on award-winning prime-time series, bringing a unique quality and feel to the production,” said Michel, Cécile Lauritano. , co-founders of Cottonwood Media. and Zoé Carrera Allaix.
They continued: “With its stunning visual graphics, entertaining storylines, vibrant characters and the season one finale verging on a true cliffhanger, we hope the ‘Spellbound’ adventure continues to work its magic on audiences around the world.”
“We are thrilled to see the ‘Spellbound’ story continue. I am sure that children and adolescents around the world will also be very excited,” said Nicole Keeb, Head of International Co-Productions and Acquisitions, Children’s and Youth Programs at ZDF.
Arne Lohmann, Junior Vice President of ZDF Studios, added: “The first season of ‘Spellbound’ wowed us with a fantastically diverse cast and stunning sets from the world of Parisian ballet. Cece and her friends will love us even more with the new episodes. It is a pleasure to re-team with our friends at Cottonwood Media.”
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