Joel Williams.

Fremantle has hired Joel Williams, a former head of programming – content and consumer engagement at Disney, to head up its children’s division.

Williams’ hire marks a push into kids for Fremantle, which is keen to partner with local independent producers on the development and co-production of projects in both the scripted and unscripted space. The key focus is targeting children 5-12 years old with unequivocally Australian stories.

Williams’ role will see him drive the development slate, and work with local and international broadcasters to assess market requirements. He will report into director of content Jennifer Collins.

In a joint statement Fremantle Asia Pacific CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor and Collins said: “We are thrilled to have secured someone of Joel’s calibre to help us understand the global children’s content market and our potential place in it. Joel has been tasked to work with his incredible contacts around the world to source great ideas and projects that will entertain Australian children and children around the world. We’re also thrilled to now have the potential to partner with local independent producers on children’s content and tell uniquely Australian stories for a youth audience.”

Williams said: “I am super excited to be working with Fremantle on the development of their kids slate. Fremantle’s reputation as a creative powerhouse will ensure we produce outstanding children’s content for the Australian market that has broad global appeal.”

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