PARIS: On the heels of a recent North African expansion, France’s Teletoon may extend its reach even farther – this time, demographically. Ramping up to its second birthday, the kid broadcaster that has traditionally targeted the four to 10 age group, is planning to go after teens and young adults as well this fall. However, net execs have not confirmed whether they will launch a new channel or just a programming block. At this point, all Teletoon director Francois Deplanck will reveal is, ‘it would broadcast both animation and live-action series.’
Other new priorities at Teletoon include opening a fan club and a dedicated Web site, and stepping up exclusivity on its programming agenda via the co-production of short series.
Currently, 60% of the animated sked is co-pros from terrestrial shareholding channels, TF1, France 3 and M6, in addition to North American and European acquisitions. With a budget of 10 million FFr a year, Teletoon itself is not in the half-hour series co-pro game. However, the network recently made an exceptional investment of one million FFr in the new 26-episode 30-minute series, From the Files of Flying Rhinoceros, co-produced by Nelvana of Toronto, Canada, as well as TF1 and Neurones in France. Targeted to the six to 11 gang, the show launches this September on CBS. ‘We have to work upstream of the production process,’ says Deplanck, commenting on emerging relationships with foreign producers.
On the exclusivity front, Teletoon purchased The Big Garage, a 26-episode, 13-minute series aimed at preschoolers, produced by Multimedia Group of Canada. In exchange for French dubbing, Teletoon gets exclusive rights in French-speaking territories and Maghreb.
Other short series co-pros include the 13 x five-minute claymation program Les Escargolympics, which will premiere in March 1999. Teletoon has invested 10% (350,000 FFr), in the project which is a co-production of Truca Films and PPM Multimedia of Spain, French network La Cinquieme, and Megafun from Canada. Also, Jean-Luc et Faipassa, a series of educational sketches (39 x 40 seconds), produced by Bibo Films of France, will launch on Teletoon in November 1999.
Teletoon reaches 760,000 homes in France through satellite and cable.