Cartoon Network France is launching its first regionalized programming slate on November 1. Headed by VP of Europe André de Semlyen, the French channel shares the common Cartoon Network goal of providing 100% animation for eight- to 10-year-olds, but it now adds specialized skeds, on-air IDs and interstitials (created by Antefilms), promotions and contests that appeal particularly to the French audience and market.
Strategic broadcast hours for France are breakfast starting at 7:00 a.m., family lunch time at noon, Wednesday mornings and afternoons (since French kids are off school this day) and Saturday and Sunday mornings. To fill these prime slots, Cartoon Network France will air several episodes of series that have proven popular with French kid viewers back-to-back in little miniblocks. These include Looney Tunes, Tex Avery’s 1942-1955 productions and Tom & Jerry. The Cartoon Cartoons block, which is set to debut Ed, Edd & Eddy on November 24, will also help fill these important windows. Some titles from the Turner library, such as The Flintstones and The Jetsons, were deemed not appealing enough to French viewers and have been dropped from the schedule.
Based in and transmitted from London via the CanalSatellite dish and a few cable operators, Cartoon Network Europe is not subject to the French quota law that requires broadcasters to air 60% French and European fare, but to the EEC law, which stipulates that European productions will be broadcast when possible. Cartoon Network, however, intends to co-produce at least two or three French or European series each year.
The first co-production deal (with Canal +, France 3 and Cromosoma) has been signed with production company Alphanim for Spaced Out, a 26 x 26-minute comic toon that will launch on Cartoon Network UK in Q4 2000 and on Cartoon Network France in 2001 (after airing on France 3). PP