Winner–Live Action

Even Stevens
July 1, 2002

Even Stevens

Distributor: London-based Fireworks International (44-207-307-6300)

Producer: Marina Del Rey, California-based Brookwell McNamara Entertainment, in association with Disney Channel

Format: 65 x half hour

Current broadcasters: BBC (U.K.), KI.KA (Germany), Disney Channel (U.S.) and France 2

Sibling rivalry widens the sales scope for Even Stevens

Some kids might be able to imagine trading a date with their sister for a collectible trading card, or turning their house into a B&B when their parents go out of town for the weekend, but Louis Stevens actually does it. And it’s precisely this absurd and exaggerated brand of kid wish fulfillment–coupled with the borderless theme of sibling conflict–that has paved the way for Even Stevens, Fireworks International’s catalog gem.

‘Funny is money, and the writers on Even Stevens have found a way to play out the most ludicrous comic situations within the context of a normal family setting,’ says Gary Marsh, executive VP of original series programming and production at Disney Channel, which commissioned the series from Brookwell McNamara Entertainment five years ago. ‘But I think the show has been successful internationally because the comedy is not culturally or geographically specific–the yin-yang of sibling rivalry plays out in almost every family around the world.’

The live-action comedy was initially pitched to Disney by creator and producer Matt Dearborn as a concept with one protagonist: an underachieving kid in a family of overachievers. But it became clear during development that the younger brother-older sister dynamic–because it appeals to a wider viewing audience–would be a much stronger foundation for the series. Now in its third season, Even Stevens centers around two kids in a suburban family: Louis, the resident wiseguy, and his beleaguered and seemingly perfect older sister Ren.

‘The breadth of character that’s in the show now means that there’s an entry point for everyone,’ says Marsh. ‘Broadcasters can pretty much put it anywhere in their schedules and be guaranteed an audience with the age group they’re targeting,’ adds Fireworks president Greg Phillips. The BBC, in fact, has aired Even Stevens in Saturday morning, Sunday morning and after-school slots.

Another strength that sets the show apart from the heap is its strong kid talent. Shia LaBeouf, who plays Louis, is moving on to star in a feature film based on a book by Louis Sarcher called Holes. Meanwhile, his co-star Christy Romano is providing the lead voice for Disney’s Kim Possible.

Airing every day at 5:30 p.m. on Disney Channel, Even Stevens ranks number-one in its slot with tween girls ages nine to 14 (among all basic cable network programming), pulling in an average rating of 3.9 with that demo.


The Muppet Show

Distributor: L.A.-based Jim Henson Television (323-802-1500)

Producer: The Jim Henson Company in the U.K.

Format: 120 x half hour

Some current broadcasters: Teletoon (France), RTBF (Belgium) and TG4 (Ireland)

Student Bodies

Distributor: Germany’s TV-Loonland (49-89-205-080)

Producer: New York’s Sunbow Entertainment

Format: 65 x half hour

Some current broadcasters: Disney Asia and KI.KA (Germany)

The Famous Jett Jackson

Distributors: Germany’s TV-Loonland (49-89-205 080) and Toronto, Canada-based Alliance Atlantis (416-966-7741)

Producers: Alliance Atlantis and New York-based JP Kids

Format: 65 x half hour

Some current broadcasters: Disney Channels in France, Germany and Italy

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