Canal J/TiJi–Pierre Belaisch, director of programming
Belaisch racked up multitasking points for fine-tuning the interactive lineup at preschool spin-off net TiJi, while launching a new Canal J branded block called XTRM.J (pronounced extreme J) featuring shows like Jackie Chan Adventures, Max Steel and Mummies Alive!
Cartoon Network Europe–Finn Arnesen, VP of programming, acquisitions and development
CNE’s entry into co-pros could mean some golden opps for Euro producers struggling to get their toons off the ground. The Cramp Twins, a co-pro with TV-Loonland, leads off the new initiative, launching on all Cartoon Network Europe channels by the end of Q4.
CBBC–Nigel Pickard, controller
The U.K. government has greenlit the Beeb’s two proposed kids digital channels, meaning that Pickard is gearing up to direct programming for three nets instead of one. To manage this feat, he’ll be equipped with a beefed-up budget–from US$58 million to US$130 million, most of which will be funneled into original production. Pickard was also busy this year devising a new 52-ep music format called The Saturday Show, which is duking it out with ITV’s SMTV: Live for Brit youth ratings on Saturday mornings.
Kids’ WB!–Donna Friedman, executive VP of programming
Kids’ WB! has come out of the AOL-Time Warner merger in a very strong position, with its decent upfront performance in a dismally soft ad market as proof. Kudos must be doled out for exciting hard-to-impress media buyers with double-platform ad deals, but on the programming side of things, new entries like Cubix and Yu-Gi-Oh! are posting winning ratings, and Cartoon Network’s Toonami branded block is getting double play on its new sister caster.
KI.KA–Sebastian Debertin, head of acquisitions and co-productions
Going after older kids and tweens, KI.KA has adopted an interactive gaming format called Kikania as the centerpiece of its lineup, offering kids a chance to play against one another in multi-player games.
Nickelodeon–Cyma Zarghami, executive VP and GM
Our hats are off to Nick for leading the way in providing the burgeoning Hispanic kids demo in the U.S. with culture-specific programming like Dora the Explorer and Taina. The net also made significant strides this year in keeping up with the ever-changing tween demo, launching a new TeeNick block on Sunday nights.
Super RTL–Susanne Schosser, program director
Schosser has been diligently toiling away on a multi-platform strategy that will enable the German caster to service properties across the realms of TV, Internet, print, publishing and events. Schosser also opened an in-house licensing unit and started the ball rolling on a rebranding effort to identify all non-Disney programming under the Toggo umbrella label.
WAM!–Midge Pierce, VP of programming
Pierce focused her efforts on teens this year, launching a new movie package for the 13-plus crowd called TBIO (Teens By Invitation Only) and fine-tuning an image campaign called WAM! 4 Real that features short videos produced by high-school students. The U.S. caster also tripled its inventory of exclusive series.