EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has learned that Hello Sunshine is shuttering its kids and animation business as part of a strategic decision to focus Candle Media’s kids and animation efforts under Moonbug, the family production studio the corp snapped up for a near $3 billion in November 2021.
Hello Sunshine will collaborate with Moonbug on future kids and animation projects.
As a result, a few individuals will be departing Hello Sunshine over the coming weeks.
The Blackstone-backed Candle Media, which is also co-run and co-founded by Tom Staggs, acquired Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine in August 2021 for $900M.
At last April’s MIP TV, Candle Media co-founder Kevin Mayer spoke about synergies between both Hello Sunshine and Moonbug. The latter is the production company behind popular kids shows like CoComelon. CoComelon was one of the top three streaming programs in 2022 with 37.8 billion minutes viewed on Netflix per Nielsen, behind Stranger Things (52B) on Netflix and NCIS (38.1B) on several services.
Since Candle acquired Moonbug, CoComelon has more than doubled its YouTube subscriber base to 153M, becoming YouTube’s most-subscribed channel, while Netflix spin-offs have been lucrative.
Hello Sunshine, which puts women at the center of every story it creates, has built a diversified business over the past few years that has spawned a variety of verticals including scripted and unscripted television, feature films, podcasts, audio storytelling, digital series, Reese’s Book Club and a direct to consumer division, including the lifestyle brand and home organization company The Home Edit.
Some of its award winning television projects include The Morning Show (Apple TV+), Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu), Truth Be Told (Apple TV+), From Scratch (Netflix), and upcoming shows Daisy Jones and the Six, starring Riley Keough and Sam Claflin (Amazon) as well as the limited series adaptation of the upcoming New York Times bestselling novel and Reese’s Book Club Pick The Last Thing He Told Me, starring Jennifer Garner (Apple TV+) and the original thriller series Surface (Apple TV+) starting Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
On the unscripted side, Hello Sunshine produced the cutting-edge series Making the Cut (Prime Video) with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn as well as the wildly popular series Get Organized with the Home Edit (Netflix) and the upcoming competition series My Kind of Country for Apple TV+, the first of its kind for the platform, and the unscripted feature film To Paris for Love (Roku).
On the film side, Hello Sunshine produced the film adaptation of one of Reese’s Book Club’s most beloved selections, the chart-topping New York Times Bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing which was a notable summer sleeper for 3000 Pictures/Sony grossing over $140M WW, Something from Tiffany’s (Amazon) and the upcoming Aline Brosh McKenna’s feature directorial debut, Your Place or Mine (Netflix).