CN reveals global production plans at KidScreen Summit

With the paint just barely dry on the walls of the offices of its new production division in London, Cartoon Network has started scouring the globe for its next worldwide hit.
February 8, 2007

Cartoon Network is scouring the globe for the next toon hit that will reverberate from New York City to Mumbai.

With the paint just barely dry on the walls of the offices of its new production division in London, CN has started to put out feelers in Latin America, Asia and India. The plan is to uncover new original series in those territories that will eventually feed its international broadcast pipelines.

‘We are inviting anyone to submit ideas to us,’ said Finn Arnesen, SVP and GM original series and international development for CN. ‘The future is not just in the US and Europe; it’s in the whole world.’

Arnesen was joined by Bob Higgins, SVP programming and development, Barry Koch, SVP and GM for Latin America, Daniel Lennard, VP original series and development for CN Europe, Carlo Olivares Paganoni, creative services manager, CN Latin America and Michele Schofield, director, acquisitions and development, in a panel discussion held yesterday at KidScreen Summit in New York City. The panel detailed the net’s new global outreach program.

‘There is a lot of talent out there,’ said Arnesen. ‘You just have to go and find it.’

While the toon titan continues to look for programming to complement its core roster of comic gender-neutral shows targeting kids six to 11, the first step will be to launch a shorts contest in Latin America to identify the talent CN’s confident exists in the region. (An official start date should be announced within the next two weeks.)

Meanwhile, looking at India, Arnesen said ideas are being generated from tales based on the Bhagavata and other cultural artefacts from the territory discovered during a similar event held last year. He believes it’s a great indicator of the local flavour and diversity that can be expected from the program. However, the goal is not to create specific niche programming for each region, but rather to find a great idea that will become a global hit.

And CN is keeping things on a pretty tight timeline. The group of execs on the panel expects the first original series developed from the Latin America and Asian will be on air within 24 months.

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at


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