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TORONTO /CNW/ – Corus Entertainment’s Waterside Studios, an IP and production venture focused on bringing premium scripted Canadian content for youth and primetime audiences to the Canadian and international marketplace, announces the start of production for its highly anticipated new series Geek Girl (10×30), based on the best-selling novels by Holly Smale. Production is now underway in the UK with co-producers RubyRock Pictures and Aircraft Pictures and will continue in Canada later this summer. Slated to premiere on YTV and STACKTV in Canada and worldwide on Netflix next year, the highly anticipated series will be distributed globally by Nelvana thereafter.

Geek Girl ‘million copy bestseller’ book cover. (CNW Group/Corus Entertainment Inc.)

“As Corus continues to build a content powerhouse, Geek Girl brings together Corus’ incredible collection of content and media assets,” said Colin Bohm, EVP Content and Corporate Strategy, Corus Entertainment. “From our YTV and STACKTV platforms, to our investment in Aircraft Pictures and launch of Waterside Studios, and Nelvana distributing the series globally, we have leveraged our full operation to bring Geek Girl to audiences worldwide.

Geek Girl is the story of awkward teenager Harriet Manners whose life is upended when she is discovered as a model, whisking her from high school to high fashion. The beloved books are loosely based on Holly’s own experience. When, in January 2021, Holly was later diagnosed as autistic she realized her beloved main character, Harriet Manners, must be autistic too.

“For the last decade it’s been my dream to see Geek Girl brought to life on screen,” said Holly Smale, author of the Geek Girl book series. “I’m so excited to work with Waterside Studios; the talent, vision and enthusiasm the entire team is bringing to my story is incredible, and I can’t wait for the whole world to meet Harriet Manners on Netflix and YTV.”

The cast of Geek Girl is led by Emily Carey (House of the DragonGet Even, Wonder Woman) as Harriet Manners.  The all-star cast also includes Sarah Parish as Jude Paignton (Industry, Stay Close), Emmanuel Imani (RichesThe Wheel Of Time) as Wilbur Evans, Liam Woodrum (Love In Zion National) as Nick Park,  Zac Looker (A Kind of Spark) as Toby Pilgrim, Tim Downie (OutlanderPaddington) as Richard Manners, Jemima Rooper (Flowers in the Attic: The Origin) as Annabel Manners, Daisy Jelley (London Kills) as Poppy Hepple-Cartwright and introducing Rochelle Harrington as Natalie Grey.

The screen adaptation was written by lead writer Jess Ruston, Sameera Steward, Holly Smale and Sarah Morgan. The series is directed by Declan O’Dwyer (Miss Scarlet & The Duke, Flowers In The Attic: The Origin, Merlin). The show is creatively produced by Zoë Rocha for RubyRock Pictures and by Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen for Aircraft Pictures.

“Holly Smale has written heart-warming and laugh-out-loud coming-of-age stories that resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider,” said Jeff Norton, Head of Waterside Studios, and Executive Producer. “It’s been a true honour to develop these books for the screen and we couldn’t be happier to partner with both Corus’ own YTV and Netflix to bring Holly’s story to the screen together with top production companies RubyRock Pictures and Aircraft Pictures.”

“The books are an incredible read – there’s so much heart in the story and characters,” added Zoë Rocha, Founder of RubyRock Pictures. “Seeing the TV series come to life first in the writers’ room and now on set, I know that the show is going to be very special with all that emotional resonance depicted on screen. For anyone who knows the twists and turns of growing up, this is going to speak to you.”


The Geek Girl series comprises six novels, two novellas and one World Book Day book, all of which are published by HarperCollins UK and translated into 28 languages. Geek Girl was originally developed with the assistance of the BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund.

Waterside Studios joins forces with Nelvana, a world-leading international producer, distributor and licensor of children’s animated and live-action content, to bring a slate of live-action programming into Corus’ overall content offering for global audiences. The new live-action series has been pre-sold to Netflix worldwide, and Nelvana has been appointed to distribute Geek Girl globally.

About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that develops and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. Engaging audiences since 1999, the company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompass 33 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, digital and streaming services, animation software, technology and media services. Corus is an internationally-renowned content creator and distributor through Nelvana, a world class animation studio expert in all formats and Corus Studios, a globally recognized producer of hit scripted and unscripted content. The company also owns full-service social digital agency so.da, lifestyle entertainment company Kin Canada, leading 2D animation software supplier Toon Boom and children’s book publishing house, Kids Can Press. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, Magnolia Network Canada, The HISTORY® Channel, Showcase, Adult Swim, National Geographic, Disney Channel Canada, YTV, Global News, Globalnews.ca, Q107, Country 105, and CFOX, along with streaming platforms STACKTV, TELETOON+, the Global TV App and Curiouscast. Corus is the domestic advertising representative and an original content partner for Pluto TV, a Paramount Company, which is the leading free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service. For more information visit www.corusent.com.

About Waterside Studios
Waterside Studios is an IP and production venture focused on bringing premium scripted Canadian content for youth and primetime audiences to the Canadian and international marketplace. Waterside Studios collaborates with independent producers as well as joining forces with Nelvana, a world-leading international producer, distributor and licensor of children’s animated and live-action content. Together with Nelvana, Waterside Studios brings a slate of live-action programming into Corus Entertainment’s overall content offering for global audiences. Waterside Studios is headed up by executive producer Jeff Norton, known for his work in bringing best-selling books to the screen.

About Nelvana
Entertaining kids for over 50 years, Nelvana is a world-leading international producer and distributor of children’s animated and live-action content. Nelvana produces a stable of award-winning and globally renowned brands that focus on comedies, preschool and action series, and ancillary consumer products programs. Nelvana’s content airs on Corus Entertainment’s kids channels in Canada and in over 180 countries around the world. The Nelvana library has well over 5,000 episodes of programming and has received over 70 major international program awards including Emmys® and Canadian Screen Awards. Visit the Nelvana website at nelvana.com.

About RubyRock Pictures
Founded by Zoë Rocha London-based, high-end scripted production company RubyRock Pictures is currently in development on a number of projects, working with companies such the BFI, Corus Entertainment and A+E Studios. Prior to setting up RubyRock, Zoë spent four years as founder and Creative Director at LittleRock Pictures. Whilst there she oversaw the development and production of shows such as Ch5 and Netflix’s hit series BORDERLINE and the International Emmy Award nominated Sky/Showtime original series URBAN MYTHSMost recently, Zoë served as creative EP on the series from A+E Studios / Lifetime FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC: THE ORIGINBased on the long running series of bestselling novels by VC Andrews, the show stars Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, Paul Wesley, Kate Mulgrew and Kelsey Grammer. The show was the #1 most watched cable series in the US on its release last Summer.

About Aircraft Pictures
Aircraft Pictures is an Academy Award® and Emmy® nominated producer of scripted content for kids, families and young adults. Based in Toronto with an office in Los Angeles, the production company was founded by Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen. Select credits include the sci-fi series Circuit Breakers for Apple TV+, the animated theatrical feature film The Breadwinner – a co-production with Cartoon Saloon in association with Executive Producer Angelina Jolie – nominated for an Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Award and Annie Award for Best Independent Animated Feature; five seasons of the Canadian Screen Award-winning and Daytime Emmy®-nominated live-action Hulu Original series Holly Hobbie; three television movies based on the Bruno & Boots book series by young adult fiction icon Gordon Korman; and twenty-six episodes of the Kidscreen Award-winning single-camera comedy Raising Expectations. Upcoming productions include the tween, live-action, comedy Popularity Papers, in association with WexWorks Media/BBC Studios; the animated series Summer Memories, in association with WildBrain; and the live-action feature film Youngblood, based on the original MGM film of the same name. For more information, visit www.aircraftpictures.com.


SOURCE Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Treydora Launches NFT Comic Book & VR Education

Treydora revolutionizes entertainment and training with NFT comics and VR education for healthcare.



Treydora, a multimedia entertainment and education company based in New York, is set to launch an innovative non-fungible token (NFT) comic book universe and virtual reality (VR) education platform. With the aim of revolutionizing storytelling and workplace training, Treydora combines blockchain technology, VR, and artificial intelligence to create immersive experiences.

Founded by Mark Loudermilk, a registered nurse, respiratory therapist, and computer scientist, Treydora seeks to utilize emerging technologies in a creative way. Loudermilk’s experiences working in New York City hospitals during the pandemic motivated him to launch something new and innovative.

In November, Treydora will introduce its first-ever NFT comic, featuring a science fiction saga centered around an ancient being named Treydora. The company has partnered with renowned comic artists to bring the meticulously crafted storylines and characters to life. Treydora plans to expand the universe into NFT artwork, VR real estate, eBooks, movies, and more.

Treydora also aims to transform workplace education and training through its pioneering VR education platform. By creating hyper-realistic 3D simulations of clinical environments, the platform has the potential to revolutionize training for healthcare professionals and enhance patient care. The company plans to extend its VR educational technology to other industries and corporate training programs.

With a focus on worldbuilding, gaming, and training, Treydora is at the forefront of interactive digital experiences, ownership, and learning. To stay updated on the latest developments, visit Treydora’s website at www.treydora.com.

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Ahead of the Biggest Week in Toys, The Dr. Lisa Company and Composition Media to Bring Entertainment Content to Diverse Audiences



ORLANDO, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — Rocking to the rhythm of authenticity and diversity, The Fresh Beats Dolls, Doll of the Year Finalist at this week’s 2023 Toy of the Year® (TOTY®) Awards, will come to life in an animated short series from EPI, the toy and publishing division of The Dr. Lisa Company, founder Dr. Lisa Williams, and Carl Reed’s animation studio Composition Media.

Being honored as a Doll of the Year Finalist with the biggest names in the toy industry is monumental for EPI

2023 TOTY (Toy of the Year) 2023 Doll of the Year Finalist

“From being honored as a Doll of the Year Finalist with the biggest names in the toy industry, showcasing our diverse line at Toy Fair, and preparing for our first animated series, this is a monumental week for EPI,” said Dr. Lisa Williams, The Dr. Lisa Company, CEO and Founder.

“We’ve been working to expand into content behind the scenes for some time,” Williams continued. “Carl’s extensive experience and mission to highlight minority and underrepresented communities perfectly align with our vision – to ensure Black and Brown children see themselves reflected in toys and entertainment, to embrace their beauty and build their self-esteem.”

“It’s an honor to be working with Dr. Lisa Williams, a pioneering leader in the toy industry who shares the same commitment to bringing diversity to young audiences,” said Carl Reed. “By bringing The Fresh Beats Dolls to life, we’re expanding the opportunity for kids to experience these relatable and captivating characters in a new way.”

The Fresh Beats Dolls is an animated series of six, three-minute shorts and centers around a titular girl group forming over the course of a EuroVision-type singing competition. The short series is set to debut later this Fall on YouTube.

Each 10″ doll in The Fresh Beats Dolls Collection features custom-blended skin tones and premium rooted hair with authentic textures, including patent-pending locs. From pop princess Bao BBY, to non-binary hip hop queen Beigne au Lei, and rock star Loxx, each embraces diverse and relatable personalities and stage-ready fashions. Dolls are available now at Target for $17.99 each.

Dr. Lisa Williams is also a 2023 Toy of the Year Finalist in the Champion of Diversity and Inclusion category and recognized as an individual who has made outstanding contributions or acted as a change catalyst to develop purposeful, environmentally friendly, and mission-driven programs that lead the way in creating a better future for the toy industry. The 2023 Toy of the Year Award winners will be announced on Friday, September 29, in New York City ahead of this year’s Toy Fair®.

EPI won Doll of the Year in 2022 for Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Fresh Fierce Collection. The company will be showcasing The Fresh Beats Dolls and more at New York Toy Fair at Booth 2779.


Carl Reed, producer of the Academy Award-winning short “Hair Love,” founded Composition Media to present universally themed stories to audiences seeking elevated content. Earlier this year, the company announced a major anime production partnership with Black Sands Entertainment, a leading force in Black comic book publishing. Additional projects in development include a feature film co-produced alongside Steve Harvey’s East 112; and “Sky & Luna,” the first movie in an eight-picture slate partnership with Labid Aziz’s PoC Studios and Man of Action Entertainment. Reed most recently served as a producer on Max’s “Young Love,” the “Hair Love” spinoff series starring Issa Rae and Kid Cudi.

About The Dr. Lisa Company:
The Dr. Lisa Company is a Black Woman-Owned multi-million dollar powerhouse, incorporating EPI, a leading multicultural toy manufacturing and design firm, including an animation division. Since establishing the company in 2003, to create dolls so children of all ethnicities can grow up seeing their beauty reflected back at them, Dr. Lisa Williams has since been recognized as a pioneer and leader in the industry. Dr. Lisa was named the 2022 Women in Toys Wonder Woman Rising Star Manufacturer and 2023 Toy Association’s Finalist for Champion of Diversity and Inclusion.

EPI brands include The Fresh Dolls (named Oprah’s Favorite Things), The Fresh Beats (2023 TOTY Doll of the Year Finalist), Positively Perfect Dolls, Fresh Squad, Simply Fresh Dolls, Fresh Fashions and Accessories. The sculpts are one-of-a-kind pieces of art, with unique facial features, custom blended skin tones, and a variety of hair textures, reflective of ethnicities found around the world – African American, Afro-Latina, Latino/Hispanic, Caucasian, and Mixed-Race/Bi-Racial. EPI dolls are priced for every budget, so every child has access and can be found in stores across the globe, including giant retailers like Target, Walmart, Meijer, Amazon, and Macy’s. https://thefreshdolls.com/

About Composition Media: 
Founded by Carl Reed, Composition Media is a diverse and forward-thinking animation studio with an innovative approach to making animated film and TV content for a global audience.

As an organization that embraces and embodies disruption in the entertainment ecosystem, Composition Media presents universally themed stories to audiences looking for elevated content. Adopting a transmedia approach to seed and develop IP through collaboration with storytellers around the world, Composition Media brings fresh entertainment properties to audiences globally.

Prior to launching Composition Media, Carl Reed co-founded Lion Forge Comics, and later co-founded Lion Forge Animation, serving as its President and Chief Creative Officer. While with Lion Forge, Reed produced Matthew Cherry’s “Hair Love,” which won an Academy Award® for Best Animated Short, “Rise Up, Sing Out,” an Annie Award and NAACP Image Award-nominated animated musical series featuring music by The Roots for Disney Junior/Disney+, and the Emmy-nominated animated musical series “Rhymes Through Times” created by Nick Jr./Noggin featuring music performed by Christopher Jackson (“Hamilton”).

SOURCE The Dr. Lisa Company

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art, culture and humanities





NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — Today, The Hip Hop Museum announces The Hip Hop Museum Tour Sponsored by CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka (tickets available HERE– kicking off in Hip Hop’s birthplace, New York City, on October 14th before traveling to AtlantaHoustonCharlotteLos Angeles, and Miami. In celebration of Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary, entertainment company Mass Appeal, and CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka, the official vodka of Hip Hop 50, have partnered with The Hip Hop Museum to tell the story of the pioneers who created and cultivated a sound that sent waves around the world.

The Hip Hop Museum Tour Sponsored by CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka

Ahead of the museum’s 2025 opening date, the touring exhibit will feature early Hip Hop artifacts from 1973-1990, highlighting important firsts along the genre’s road from block parties to sold out stadiums. Each tour stop will shine a light on the cultural and social accomplishments of a community that fought for a voice and prevailed, moving the needle on what Hip Hop was and ultimately could be.

“The Hip Hop Museum is thrilled to be in partnership with Mass Appeal and to have the support from CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka as we celebrate Hip Hop 50. Fifty years of growth and the global impact of Hip Hop culture in all its expressions. By taking the museum’s exhibition on tour, we’re shining a light on the culture’s regional creative influences, its creators, and the communities nationwide that helped give rise to the genre,” said Rocky Buccano, Executive Director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

Curated by Hip Hop historians, Pete Nice and Paradise Gray, the exhibit focuses on the genesis of Hip Hop, from its grassroots inception to the first worldwide tours. 

Hip Hop is one of the most influential cultures the world has ever seen. In its genesis, it challenged generational thinking and disrupted everything from fashion and art, to language and politics. For fifty years, this global phenomenon has fostered new creative expression from often overlooked and underserved communities. It’s given voice to the silenced; purpose to the oppressed.

We welcome you to join us on a journey back to where it all began.

 A complete list of tour dates can be found below (subject to change)

  1. New York City: 10/14
  2. Atlanta: 10/21
  3. Houston: 11/4
  4. Los Angeles: 11/11
  5. Charlotte: 11/18
  6. Miami: 12/5-12/9

The Hip Hop Museum Tour is the latest punctuation of the Mass Appeal led #HipHop50 initiative, a multi-faceted cross-platform campaign honoring the birth and rise of the most enduring movement of the last half-century. Mass Appeal recently hosted Hip Hop 50 Live – A Star Studded Concert on Hip Hop’s birthday featuring the Bottom of the Ninth performance from Run DMC. This partnership with The Hip Hop Museum will continue Mass Appeal’s quest to honor Hip Hop in the most authentic and globally impactful way possible.

Follow @MassAppeal and the @UHHM on social media to keep an eye out for the Hip Hop Museum Tour near you!

About Hip Hop Museum
The Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx celebrates and preserves the history of local and global Hip Hop music and culture to inspire, empower, and promote understanding. Anchored in the birthplace of the culture, The Hip Hop Museum opening in 2025, in the Bronx will provide a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge, creating unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences around the Hip Hop culture of the past, present, and future.

About Hip Hop 50
Hip Hop 50 is Mass Appeal’s love letter to Hip Hop. A manifestation of the company’s commitment to celebrating the culture in the most authentic and globally impactful way possible. Hip Hop 50 is activating through unique storytelling that is realized in timeless content, original music, live experiences, strategic partnerships, custom products and much, much more. Every facet of the Hip Hop 50 Universe includes a charitable component connected to the The Hip Hop Museum. Find #HipHop50 online, on-air and on the block.

About Mass Appeal
Mass Appeal is an entertainment company dedicated to telling stories from the perspective of those who shape and shift culture. Since 1996, we have documented the emerging movements that influence popular ideas. Today, Mass Appeal is the elevated voice of Hip Hop and its ever-expanding sphere of influence. Integrated offerings in content, music, and creative services stoke Mass Appeal’s ability to maximize the impact of our output. Our diverse school of thought separates us from friends and foes alike. Follow Mass Appeal on all social platforms @massappeal.

For Mass Appeal contact:
Lydia Kanuga
[email protected]

Shannon Atran
[email protected]

Cassandre Brissot
[email protected]


SOURCE Mass Appeal

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