KidScreen’s guide to hooking up with international kidcasters

ABC-TV (Australia)
February 1, 2004

ABC-TV (Australia)

Deirdre Brennan, ABC Kids Programmer

Looking for: ABC Kids’ expanded weekday morning block means Brennan is looking for more programming targeting the seven and up crowd, with a focus on high-quality, humor-based animation. Almost 50% of the current schedule targets preschoolers, but the net’s 2004/2005 acquisitions priorities are non-violent, entertaining animated series for the five to nine and eight-plus demos. A minimum 26-ep run is preferred, and episode length should be five, 10 or 25 minutes long (interstitials excepted).

Preferred approach: E-mail ( with concise details relating to the program/concept, target audience and availability. Send additional material via snail mail for further consideration.

Pitch turnoff: Distributors/producers who push for an acquisitions commitment, based on merchandising potential.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPCOM

Canal J/TiJi (France)

Emmanuelle Baril, head of acquisitions

Looking for: Gentle, comedy-driven 2-D or 3-D series for TiJi’s preschool audience (kids two to six). Baril looks for a minimum of 26 episodes (five minutes to 26 minutes long). Edgy comedy or action-adventure toons (seven to 26 minutes in length) that reflect the kid experience fit the bill for Canal J’s seven to 12 target demo. Baril is also scouting for live-action sitcoms, ‘scary’ shows and kids sci-fi.

Preferred approach: Call (33-1-49-54-5414), fax (33-1-42-22-8767) or e-mail ( with a brief project description. If Baril is interested, she will request a pitch package by fax, e-mail or snail mail (91 Bis Rue du Cherche Midi, 75006, Paris, France).

Pitch turnoff: Pitches that are nothing more than initial concepts with scripts. (A bible – even a thin one – is essential.)

Market circuit: MIPTV, Annecy, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

Cartoon Network (U.S.)

Terry Kalagian, VP of programming and acquisitions

Looking for: Gender-neutral animated series for kids ages six to 11 and younger-skewing daytime programming for the four to eight demo – not preschool fare. Kalagian prefers comedy-driven story lines with lots of mischief and visual gags, or action shows for six- to 11-year-olds. A minimum of 26 half hours is required in order to launch the series in a strip. Each episode or short within the half-hour format should be at least seven minutes long. Kalagian is also looking for feature-length, contemporary animated films – preferably in English or already dubbed.

Preferred approach: Kalagian prefers not to receive unsolicited e-mails or cold-call pitches. A producer’s best bet is to mail (1050 Techwood Drive NW, Atlanta, Georgia, 30318) a pitch package – including demo tape (completed half hour, dubbed or subtitled in English), story synopsis, character bios, etc. – and then call (404-885-0610) for an appointment. Be prepared to flesh out characters more thoroughly, discuss the number of seasons available or planned, and explain why your program is a good fit for Cartoon Network.

Market circuit: NATPE, KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, Licensing Show, MIPCOM

Cartoon Network Europe, Boomerang & Toonami

Jo Sweby, acquisitions manager

Looking for: Sweby is after top-quality animated comedy and action series and movies for kids ages four to 15. Series should be comprised of no less than 26 half hours, made up of seven- or 11-minute episodes or full half hours.

Preferred approach: E-mail ( a brief outline of the series, the format and, if possible, a couple of images. From this, she’ll decide whether she wants to receive screening materials.

Market circuit: NATPE, MIPTV, MIPCOM

CBC (Canada)

Cheryl Hassen, creative head of children’s and youth programming

Looking for: For the Kid’s CBC preschool block (mornings from 6 a.m. to noon), Hassen looks for entertaining, educational programming that encourages preschoolers to be creative and optimistic, solve problems, get along with others and have fun. Humorous, reality-based shows and dramas that tap into teen subculture characterize the CBC Youth block (weekdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and are another buying priority for Hassen.

Preferred approach: Project submissions can be submitted by mail (P.O. Box 500, Station A, Room 2C 200, Toronto, Canada, M5W 1E6) or

e-mail (

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, MIPCOM


Estelle Hughes, head of programming

Looking for: CiTV is fully commissioned in most slots for 2004 across drama, animation, factual, entertainment and preschool, but the channel’s greatest international need is animated comedy-adventure series for the six to 11 set.

Preferred approach: E-mail ( or phone (44-207-843-8132) with an outline.

Market circuit: MIPTV, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

Discovery Kids UK

Lucy Pryke, program editor

Looking for: Factual or discovery-themed animated series aimed at four- to nine-year-olds, as well as live-action factual series targeting the six to 12 set. Arts & crafts, outdoor activity and history shows are particularly attractive. Discovery Kids UK is mostly stocked up on preschool, but Pryke may consider animated projects for kids two to five featuring strong, aspirational and positive characters that explore the world around them in real-life scenarios.

Preferred approach: E-mail an initial pitch to Bridgette Rolfe (

Market circuit: MIPTV, MIPCOM

Disney International Television (France, U.K./Eire, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Scandinavia, Asia, Taiwan, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, the Middle East and Latin America)

Mary Bredin, director of acquisitions and programming

Looking for: A live-action comedy series with high-quality production values (think Sabrina the Teenage Witch). Pitches for family-friendly movies (animated or live-action) are also welcome, and Bredin is keen on European content. She prefers longer-running series (26 episodes-plus) for the net’s two to 12 target audience. Since the channels are commercial-free, length can vary, though 11-minute and 22-minute formats are ideal.

Preferred approach: E-mail ( sample scripts for an initial ‘How’s this?’ The ideal pitch includes a series pilot, but if it’s too early in the development cycle for that, and if Bredin has indicated interest in the project, then scripts, story outlines, a bible and some designs are acceptable.

Market circuit: MIPTV, LA Screenings, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

Fox Kids Europe

Henrietta Hurford-Jones, director of European acquisitions

Looking for: Comedy/action-adventure series (animated and/or live-action) with an edge for FKE’s core six to 11 demo. Hurford-Jones generally looks for a minimum of 26 half-hour episodes, though shorter, long-running formats are acceptable (i.e. 52 x 11 minutes).

Preferred approach: To set up a market or office meeting, contact Hurford-Jones’s assistant Naomi Abou-Keer by phone (44-207-534-9487) or e-mail (

Market circuit: NATPE, MIPTV, LA Screenings, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

Fox Kids Germany

Karola Bayr, programming director

Looking for: Animated or live-action series and movies for a core target group of kids eight to 12. Girl-skewing pitches are just as welcome as boy-skewing ones, provided they feature compelling stories, unique characters and an innovative style. Adjectives that describe both the Fox Kids brand and the flavor of programming Bayr is hunting for include edgy, streetwise, confidence-inspiring, cheeky, colorful and non-traditional.

Preferred approach: E-mail ( concise details about the program/concept, target audience and availability. Send additional material via snail mail (Schwere Reiter Strasse 35/3, Munich, 80797, Germany) for further consideration.

Market circuit: MIPTV, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

France 2

Sophie Gigon, head of the channel’s youth department

Looking for: Gender-neutral live action for tweens 11 to 14. Half-hour formats or shorter are best, with 13 episodes as a flexible minimum. Gigon is open to pitches for any type of fiction series, provided the concept is imaginative and creative, and she is keen on comedies. Pitch caveat: Animated series are currently a no-go for acquisitions.

Preferred approach: E-mail Gigon ( with your name, company and five or six lines explaining the project.

Market circuit: NATPE, KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, Annecy, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

France 5

Celine Limorato, head of youth and animation

Looking for: Animated series for kids ages two to six. Pitches should have at least 26 episodes planned, and the length of these can vary from four to 26 minutes for acquisitions and from five to 13 minutes for co-pros. Limorata is also interested in seeing Christmas specials that are at least a half hour in length.

Preferred approach: Send a bible with as much information and as many graphic images as possible (10 rue Horace Vernet, Issy-les-Moulineaux, 92785, France).

Market circuit: MIPTV, Annecy, MIPCOM

Kids’ WB! (U.S.)

John Hardman, senior VP

Looking for: Comedy/adventure programming with hit potential for boys six to 11. Hardman is especially receptive to series with a strong marketing hook, but most important are distinctive characters, dynamic relationships and compelling stories. While the channel’s lineup is animation-heavy, live-action pitches are welcome if the network’s key demos are addressed in an exciting manner.

Preferred approach: Call director of development David Wiebe at 818-977-4011 to discuss the best approach. Pitchers should be aware of Kids’ WB!’s target audience and current slate of hit series before calling. Also, materials must be submitted via an agent or entertainment attorney or they will be returned without review by WBTVN legal.

Market circuit: NATPE, KidScreen Summit, Toy Fair, Licensing Show, ComicCon, Tokyo Anime Fair, MIPCOM

KI.KA ARD/ZDF (Germany)

Sebastian Debertin, head of acquisitions and co-productions

Barbara Uecker, deputy head of acquisitions and co-productions

Looking for: Innovative, gender-neutral animation with challenging and exciting content plus strong/positive characters. A minimum of 26 half hours is preferred, as are projects with merchandising potential.

Preferred approach: A phone call (49-361-218-1869) briefly introducing the project, supported by a short fax (49-361-218-1850) with additional information. E-mails to Debertin’s assistant ( are also acceptable. Debertin will request a pitch package if the initial correspondence piques his interest.

Market circuit: Cartoon Movie, MIPTV, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

KRO (Netherlands)

Jan Willem Bult, head of youth TV and creative director

Jean-Loeck van Kollenburg, program buyer for youth TV

Looking for: On the KRO shopping list is a preschool drama or animated short series that stars a five-year-old and deals with social and relationship themes. Adventurous series and long-running, humor-driven, inspirational toons featuring everyday kid stories fit the bill for KRO’s Tien Plus!!! weekend morning block for eight- to 12-year-olds. And pitchers should know that the KRO team prefers to pack two episodes into each half hour that airs in this daypart. Also needed are animated and live-action comedy and drama series for the preschool, six to 12 and 10 to 14 demos.

Preferred approach: E-mail van Kollenburg (, fax (31-671-3009) or snail mail (KRO Youth, PO Box 23000, Netherlands1202, EA Hilversum) a pitch package including series synopsis and target demo explanation. Do not send screeners – the team will request one if they’re interested in the pitch.

Market circuit: MIPTV, Berlinale, BBC Showcase, Short Film Exchange Oberhausen, Nosdisk Panorama, Buster Children’s Film festival, MIPCOM

Nickelodeon UK

Debbie Macdonald, head of acquisitions and co-productions

Looking for: Nicktoons TV (kids four to seven) is primarily a platform for Nick’s own animation, but Macdonald is keen to co-produce toons that complement the current lineup. Series must be funny, put kids first, and fit with their lives (like As Told By Ginger and Hey Arnold!). Series of 26 x half hours (or two 11-minute eps) are preferred. Nickelodeon (kids seven to 12) focuses mainly on the live-action comedy genre (no drama series!), but will look at animation for the younger end of this demographic. Episodes should be self-contained and kid-centric. A half-hour format is a must, and a 26-episode minimum is preferred. For Nick Jr. (kids up to age five), Macdonald is on the hunt for U.K.-originated series (animated or live-action) and leans towards projects that allow for audience participation, as opposed to passive viewing. Any length is acceptable for this channel.

Preferred approach: Send a bible via e-mail ( or snail mail (Rathbone Place 15-18, London, England W1T 1HU) with character designs, script, further story outlines, a rough budget and what the producer needs. A meeting will be arranged should this be of interest.

Market circuit: NATPE, MIPTV, LA Screenings, MIPCOM

Noggin/The N

Kenny Miller and Sarah Tomassi Lindman, VPs of production and programming

Looking for: For preschool channel Noggin, creatively cutting-edge educational programming in at least a 26 x half-hour format tops the wishlist. All styles are welcome. The N is in need of programming that fits the ‘Real. Life. Now.’ philosophy of the tween/teen brand. Miller and Tomassi Lindman are looking for comedies, dramas, reality shows – everything that is relevant to the tween and teen experience. They are not interested in educational programming based on in-school curriculum. The target audience for The N is 14-year-olds.

Preferred approach: Send a brief description of your property via e-mail ( or or snail mail (1633 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, New York, 10019). Miller and Tomassi Lindman may follow up with a request for more substantial materials. Please note: Large digital files should be held onto until requested. Property pitches can also be forwarded to Noggin programming coordinator Yvette Buono ( and The N programming coordinator Emily Mandelbaum (

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, MIPCOM

Super RTL (Germany)

Frank Dietz, head of aquisitions and co-productions

Looking for: Potential and established hits featuring strong and unique characters. Series must have obvious merch and on-line potential. A minimum of 26 half-hour episodes is a prerequisite. The channel’s core targets are kids three to five and six to 13, with a slight boy skew. Super RTL is stocked up on action toons at the moment, but Dietz is looking for high-quality animated family movies for prime-time programming. He will also consider co-pro activities.

Preferred approach: Send a package with trailer, bible and story lines by snail mail (RTL Disney Fernsehen, attention F. Dietz, Richard-Byrd-Strasse 6, 50829 Köln, Germany).

Pitch turnoffs: The same pitch presented again under a different project name, over-enthusiastic intros that do not meet expectations, and obvious look-alikes/copycats.

Market circuit: MIPTV, Annecy, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

Teletoon (Canada)

Carole Bonneau, VP of programming

Madeleine Levesque, director of original productions

Looking for: Teletoon is on the hunt for animated series targeting its core audience of nine- to 12-year-olds, and pitches for specials, movies and ground-breaking toons are always welcome.

Preferred approach: Phone (514-939-5016), e-mail ( or fax (514-939-8029) Levesque.

Pitch turnoffs: A caveat to prodcos peddling empowerment, technology or environmental themes: Teletoon’s original productions team values a good story over a trend-driven pitch.

Market circuit: NATPE, KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, Annecy, Banff, MIPCOM

The Children’s Channel and Logi – Noga Communications (Israel)

Dganit Atias-gigi, head of programming

Looking for: Animated and live-action comedies and knowledge-based shows focusing on nature, science and history for kids seven to 13.

Preferred approach: E-mail (

Market Circuit: NATPE, KidScreen Summit, MIPCOM

TV2 (Norway)

Beathe A. Daae, project leader and executive producer for TV2 Junior

Looking for: TV2 Norway is a commercial channel that broadcasts five hours of kids programming each week – Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 10 minutes daily from Monday to Friday within the channel’s Good Morning Norway show. Daae is hunting for animated or live-action/puppetry series and specials (one to 200 episodes running from five to 25 minutes in length) targeting kids two to 12. On her checklist for winning pitches are established hits with high awareness levels, promising merchandise potential, good stories with humor, strong characters and no violence.

Preferred approach: E-mail ( or snail mail (Nostegaten 72, 5020 Bergen, Norway). The ideal pitch should only include a pilot of the first episode and a short description of the project.

Market circuit: MIPTV, French Screenings, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

YTV (Canada)

Joanna Webb, director of programming

Bonita Siegel, director of original productions

Looking for: Strippable, kid-centric shows based on humor rather than plot. Webb and Siegel are predominantly interested in animation. Action shows work well, but they must be unique as the channel already has a large inventory of such programming. YTV is tailored to a six to 11 target, and hits tweens in prime time. On weekends and after 9 p.m., YTV offers shows for youth and family. Specials are welcome, but no docs, educational or instructional shows are required. The same team commissions and buys for Treehouse TV, a subscription-based cable channel for preschoolers ages two to six. Webb’s team also buys for Discovery Kids Canada, an entertainment-based informational channel for six- to 12-year-olds. The most successful DKC shows are experiential in nature, featuring real kids going on adventures and gaining knowledge along the way. Discovery Kids Canada is open to acquisitions only.

Preferred approach: Acquisitions – send screeners and short descriptions to Jackie Pardy, manager of program acquisitions ( Commissions – e-mail a pitch package and scripts to YTV coordinator Delia Leandres ( and follow up with Siegel (fax: 416-534-1959, e-mail: Commissions must qualify as 100% Canadian content and require that a Canadian producer be involved.

Pitch turnoffs: Too many shows pitched in one meeting. Nice books with no indication of how the producer would bring them to life as a TV series.

Market circuit: NATPE, KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, Banff, MIPCOM

ZDF (Germany)

Barbara Biermann, head of children’s and youth

Nicole Keeb, commissioning editor (responsible for co-productions and acquisitions)

Irene Wellershoff, head of fiction

Looking for: High-profile animated and live-action series that appeal to girls and boys. Well-told stories and strong characters are a must, and kids viewers should be able to identify with appropriate role models. Keeb is always on the look-out for concepts with a different style that explore new and original topics for ZDF’s six to 12 target demo. Program length is fairly flexible, with 13 episodes (half hours or two 12-minute segments) as a minimum. Half-hour to 50-minute specials are also on the shopping list. Series based on popular children’s books work best for ZDF’s preschool (two to seven) audience. Animation is preferred (2-D, stop motion, 3-D, hybrids), and program lengths may vary, but they usually fall in the five- to 12-minute range.

Preferred approach: All available material should be sent to the ZDF office (ZDF-Strasse 1, 55100 Mainz, Germany).

Market circuit: MIPTV, Annecy, Cartoon Forum, Berlinale, BBC Showcase, MIPCOM

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