In a show of force, English-language “Spellbound,” the live-action tween series from “Find Me in Paris” creators and production partners will get a Season Two.
Produced by Cottonwood Media, with the Opéra national de Paris, ZDF, ZDF Studios, the 13 new episodes of the ballet/witchcraft series will go into production in August.
The “Spellbound” renewal news comes as Season One is set to roll out in international markets across broadcasters and streaming services from this fall.
Federation Kids & Family, the sales arm of Cottonwood Media parent Federation Studios, and ZDF Studios, the commercial company of German public broadcaster ZDF, will handle worldwide sales.
They will be bringing to market a second season of a premium English-language show targeting a still underserved kids & family market audience worldwide at a time, moreover, when buyers are caught between a rock and hard place: a studio-streamer pull back from original production and the WGA strike, meaning far less English-language premium content moving into production.
Season One caught feisty American Cece Parker Jones, 15, relocating 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 attempt to balance dance, friendship, romance and her unfamiliar new-found powers.
In Season Two, Cece vows to give up the magic and focus on dance, but secrets of the past are revealed, and she befriends a new student, who is a Mystic.
“It’s magical mayhem all the way! This season sees her pushing the boundaries more than ever before to fulfil her dream of becoming an ‘etoile.’ Cece also has a new crush, new friends, and a surprise from a familiar face, when a BLOK hip-hop challenge ignites and bonds the second division,” the synopsis teases.
“Everyone says ‘premium’ these days. Basically, you get premium with costly settings, VFX or something like ballet, that’s really hard to film and costly, because it takes time. What’s really unique about ‘Spellbound’ is that it has all three,” said David Michel, Cottonwood Media co-founder and president, and head of Federation Kids & Family.
“Spellbound” is created by Jill Girling and Lori Mather (“Find Me in Paris,” “Ride”) who serve once more, as on Season One, as executive producers and showrunners, weaving a story where witchcraft, like ballet, work cohesively as fantasy metaphors of a girl’s discovery of sense of self.
“Witchcraft is so often used for coming-of-age stories for a reason. It’s about discovering who you are as a person, whilst dance is also about discovering and mastering your body,” said Michel.
“Spellbound” also has the accessibility of an aspirational narrative, “a beautiful fish out of the water story about a girl who in many ways shouldn’t be at such a very elite school, about a girl who’s quite good but not great at ballet, but doing what it takes to do it well by the end of the series,” Michel added.
“As with all our live-action series, we have pooled a team of creatives who have also worked on award-winning prime time series, bringing a unique quality and feel to the production,” said Cottonwood Media co-founders Michel, Cécile Lauritano and Zoé Carrera Allaix.
They continued: “With its stunning visual graphics, entertaining storylines, vibrant characters, and Season One ending on the edge of a real cliffhanger, we look forward to the ‘Spellbound’ adventure continuing to work its magic on audiences worldwide.”
“We are delighted to see the story of ‘Spellbound’ continue. I am convinced that kids and teenagers all around the world will be very excited too,” commented Nicole Keeb, ZDF head of international co-productions and acquisitions, children and youth programs.
Arne Lohmann, VP junior at ZDF Studios, added: “Season One of ‘Spellbound’ took us by storm with a fantastic, diverse cast and breathtaking sceneries of the Parisian ballet world. Cece and her friends will charm us even more with the new episodes. It is a pleasure to team up again with our friends at Cottonwood Media.”
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