With the rapid expansion of new broadcast outlets around the world, the demand for television product continues to increase, as evidenced by the growth of markets such as MIPCOM and MIPCOM Junior. With this special report, we continue to follow the evolution of children’s television programming through a series of co-production diaries, as well as a snapshot view of the children’s television industry.
Also, for the second time, we present the KidScreen ‘Dream Block,’ the best two-hour block of children’s programs, according to a poll of senior programming executives. To find out which shows came out on top and why, turn to page 74.
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In our second annual ‘Dream Block’ poll, KidScreen asked leading programmers and distributors of children’s television programming to take a look at programming from around the world and identify their ‘Dream Two-Hour Children’s Block.’
The ‘Dream Block’ was determined by a simple consensus. We specified that the target audience was children age six to 11, and that the block would appear on whatever day of the week attracts the largest children’s audience. Once the results were in, the shows that were mentioned most often made the ‘Dream Block,’ while an additional five programs received honorable mentions.
Our poll representatives:
Finn Arnesen, vice president of programming and development, Cartoon Network, Europe, U.K.
Mark Green, manager of program acquisitions and development, Discovery
Networks International, U.S.
Dale Taylor, vice president of programming and production, YTV, Canada
Theresa Plummer-Andrews, head of children’s acquisitions and creative development, BBC, U.K.
Margaret Loesch, vice chair of Fox Kids Worldwide, U.S.
Linda Simensky, vice president of original animation, Cartoon Network, U.S.
Howard Litton, head of programming and acquisitions, Nickelodeon UK, U.K.
Janie Grace, managing director, Nickelodeon UK, U.K.
Phil Sissons, head of programming, Fox Kids (U.K.), U.K.
John Riley, president, TELETOON, Canada
Hillary Firestone, vice president of network marketing and promotions, TELETOON, Canada
Carole Bonneau, director of acquisitions and scheduling, TELETOON, Canada
Elizabeth Partyka, head of children’s programming, Scottish Television Enterprises, U.K.
Michael Hirsh, co-CEO, Nelvana, Canada
Adrian Mills, creative head, children’s and youth programming, CBC, Canada
Broadcasting Corporation, Canada
The Dream Block
Warner Bros. Television Animation/
Scholastic Productions/Protocol Entertainment
Gracie Films/Twentieth Century Fox Television/Film Roman
Other Shows That Scored High
Alliance Communications Corporation/
*Bill Nye The Science Guy
KCTS Television for Buena Vista Television
Paragon Entertainment Corporation/Maryland Public Television/The Earth Creatures Company
de Passe Entertainment/Paramount Network Television
to the series that received the most votes overall
Rugrats was the show that received the highest number of votes and was often cited as ‘the best kids show in television today.’
‘RugratsÑeven though it’s my personal nemesis! It’s a great show and all kids love it.’
‘Rugrats is simply the best kids animation series around. Great characters, well written and works on so many levels. My favorite episode is `I Remember Melville,’ which is about Chuckie’s pet insect dyingÑbrilliant in the way it deals with death in a touching and comical way.’
Comments from the participants:
‘My `Dream Block’ includes shows that have high-quality writing and break the mold because they are a little irreverent and edgy, but can appeal to both kids and parents.’
‘We’ve seen The Simpsons enough times that the shock value has gone away. It’s now a kids show, or at least kid appropriate.’
‘Programs like Kratts’ Creatures provide high-quality edutainment with an edge that appeals to teens.’
‘Goosebumps epitomizes the semi-horrific schlockerama that fascinates kids, yet it doesn’t contain gratuitous violence, irresponsible horror or aggressive carnage found in film theaters and video releases.’
‘The SimpsonsÑit just doesn’t get better than that.’