Sony is tapping into its vast catalog of TV properties to develop programming aimed at young viewers.
Sony Pictures Television — Kids (formerly known as Silvergate Media) studio develops animated versions of classic sitcoms Delighted And The partridge family. It also delves into its library of game shows and unscripted series, with early versions of Wheel of Fortune And shark tank.
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“There’s such a huge history at Sony Pictures Television with properties that we could play with and reinvent, introducing them to a whole new generation of kids,” Joe D’Ambrosia, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SPT – Kids (and member of The Hollywood Reporters 2023 Kids Entertainment Power List), says THR.
THE Delighted The update would focus on Tabitha Stevens, the 13-year-old daughter of the witch Samantha and the human Darrin. She juggles two college lives while secretly enrolled in a magical academy run by her grandmother, Endora – D’Ambrosia describes the premise as “Hannah Montana meets Harry Potter.”
Delighted, which took place from 1964 to 1972 and had an endless afterlife in syndication, also spawned a 2005 feature film starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. CBS, NBC, and ABC all tried to reboot the premise in the 2010s, but none of them saw the light of day.
The partridge family, meanwhile, would focus on a black family in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn who operate a food truck. They travel through New York’s five boroughs serving up treats and music. Like with Delighted, there have been attempts to revive or reboot the show over the years, most notably with a 2004 VH1 reality show that sought the cast for an updated scripted series. Reality TV, Finding the Partridge Familyfeatured Emma Stone winning the role of Laurie – but the sitcom that was to follow never made it past the pilot stage.
Both animated projects are in early development and had no writers attached prior to the Writers Guild of America strike.
On the unscripted side, Sony is in early discussions of kid-focused iterations of Wheel of Fortune And shark tank. The former would likely incorporate a few gameplay twists, including physics and comic challenges to earn letters or buy vowels.
“Our mission is simple and clear,” D’Ambrosia said. “We would like to be recognized as a leading content creator for kids creating new global franchises for Sony, as the scripting team SPT did with Cobra Kaithe game show division accomplished with Danger! and the international team with The crownbut in the space of children.
Additional reporting by Julian Sancton.
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