Former Spike and Nickelodeon player Albie Hecht has launched Worldwide Biggies, a digital media company which will develop and produce family programming in the form of computer-generated (CG) features, HD movies and TV series, direct-to-DVD series and broadband and mobile content.
“To watch how the media allows you to develop new characters and franchises is fascinating,” Hecht told B&C. “Things can start on broadband or mobile and not just TV – it’s the wave of the future. As you look at character creation, you have to look at the ability to cross all these media.”
The company has signed an exclusive two-year production deal with Nickelodeon, where Hecht formerly served as president of film and television entertainment. Under the deal, Worldwide Biggies will produce CG cartoons, live-action series, shorts and TV movies. It will also produce Spike’s Video Game Awards, which Hecht created while president of the network.
Hecht said he is in also talks with international partners to finance and distribute high-def and CG feature films including Tricksters, a comedy about an investigative team (a forensic detective and a magic creature named The New Jersey Devil), and Bigfoot and Gil, a roadtrip comedy from two writers from humor newspaper The Onion.
Hecht resigned as president of Spike in late January amid low ratings with young males, the demographic the network had set its sights on when it re-launched in 2003.
Prior to his tenure at Spike, Hecht oversaw Nickelodeon’s development and production of such popular programs as SpongeBob SquarePants and Blue’s Clues, as well as co-creating Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards. He also worked through Nickelodeon Movies to produce Paramount films including Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
Hecht said he chose his company’s name from a term he remembered reading in trade magazines as a child.
“When I was growing up it was always in a trades that a player was called a biggie,” he says. “I wanted to grow up and be a biggie. Don’t we all?”