Cookie boosts live-action slate

Production house working on tween series for Family Channel and romantic comedy pilot for CBC

Cookie Jar Entertainment is expanding into the live-action series arena with two new Canadian comedies in development for the CBC and Family Channel, and another for the Cartoon Network stateside.

The indie producer is also pivoting from its core kids animation business with the cameras now rolling in Toronto on the animation/live-action hybrid Mudpit for Teletoon — with veteran Bruce Kalish (Aaron Stone) as showrunner — and a minimum 26 episodes of the Lucha Libre TV wrestling series for MTV2 and MTV Tr3ìs, with a merchandising tie-in.

‘We are expanding and branching the company out from its core base, staying committed to animation, while broadening our palate of programming to include live-action and tween and young adult family programming in primetime,’ commented Cookie Jar’s EVP of worldwide TV Tom Mazza, as he showcased the company’s 2010 production and development slate.

Cookie Jar is developing for Family Channel the tween live-action comedy Decidedly Debra, about a 15-year-old boy who wants to be a famous magician, and 14-year-old Debra, who just has fun sprinkling her magic to bring out the best in people. Andrew Nicholls and Darrell Vickers are penning the sitcom script, while Stacey Curtis will direct.

The producer is also developing a twentysomething romantic comedy pilot set in a Montreal coffee shop for the CBC, to air in primetime, and has another live-action pilot in the works for Cartoon Network, with Steven de Souza as the comedy scribe.

Cookie Jar is marketing its new live-action teen and adult programming via its new primetime label, The Jar, and looking to eventually sell the series worldwide.