Pitch Guide 2009

Getting ready to lob a few pitches? Check out international kidcasters' buying priorities for next year and into 2010 before stepping onto the mound.
January 6, 2009

Getting ready to lob a few pitches? Check out international kidcasters’ buying priorities for next year and into 2010 before stepping onto the mound.

Cartoon Network UK
Cecilia Persson

VP of programming, acquisitions and presentation
Looking for: Original and entertaining programs for kids ages six to 11. For preschool channel Cartoonito, Persson wants shows that inspire and encourage activity. Overall, with limited slots available in 2009, Persson is now focused on making acquisitions for the 2010 season.
Preferred approach: Email Persson ( or acquisitions executive Richard Rowe ( with a brief outline of the project.
Market circuit: Natpe, KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, L.A. Screenings, MIPCOM

Cartoon Network US
Adina Pitt

VP of content acquisitions and co-productions
Looking for: Everything that targets six to 11s and nine- to 14-year-olds, with no parameters on genre or style. Pitt is currently reviewing a wide range of content, including animation, live action, miniseries, movies, specials, shorts and even shows with formatting potential.
Preferred approach: It’s always best to either call or send an email to Pitt to introduce the idea. She’s happy to meet in person, but prefers to see materials in advance of pitches whenever possible. CN tries to review and respond to content in the order it was received.
Market circuit: Natpe, Kidscreen Summit, MIPTV, MIPCOM

Cartoon Network/Turner Entertainment Networks Asia

Mark Eyers

VP of content

Looking for: Comedy-adventure has been pivotal to CN’s success in the region, and this genre will continue to be a key driver for 2009. Eyers is looking for a slate of character-driven comedy-adventure series for four- to 14-year-olds, and movies that offer larger-than-life surprises. For Pogo (India), he is on the hunt for game shows and formats with a strong

comedic touch to engage audiences.

Preferred approach: Email Eyers directly (

to sound him out on concepts.

Market circuit: Tokyo Anime Fair, MIPTV, MIPCOM, Asia Television Forum


Anne Gilchrist

Creative director

Looking for: Live-action comedies, formatted factual series, entertainment formats, co-productions and concepts that are truly multiplatform.

Preferred approach: CBBC has an e-commissioning system where pitches are submitted via There are two commissioning rounds per year, one in the spring (March) and one in the fall (around September). Gilchrist says it’s best to keep an eye on the site, where more extensive briefs are posted, to fully develop ideas and pitch more effectively.

Market circuit: MIPTV, MIPCOM

CBeebies (UK)

Michael Carrington


Looking for: Entertainment-driven series that deliver a sense of wonder and delight to a preschool audience that is not afraid of learning. Pitches should be targeted at two- to four-year-olds, with 26 to 52 episodes that run between 14 and 22 minutes in length. Although any concept should have strong underlying learning values, as with all CBeebies output, story and humor are key.

Preferred approach: Via the commissioning website at Search for CBeebies.

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

Corus Kids (Canada)

Jocelyn Hamilton

VP of content


Looking for: Hamilton continues to keep her eyes peeled for great comedies,

animated or live action, that have a clear concept with long-lasting potential.

Treehouse TV

Looking for: Fun character-driven preschool series with heart that make you giggle.

Discovery Kids Canada

Looking for: Live-action adventure series.

Preferred approach: Reach out to content coordinator Leah Wolfson via email (leah.wolfson@ or phone (416-535-0935 x3150). She’ll coordinate with the appropriate director of content for each brand – David Wiebe (YTV) and Jamie Piekarz (Treehouse TV and Discovery Kids).

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, MIPCOM

Disney Channel (US)

Robin Agranoff

Executive director of program planning, scheduling & acquisitions

Looking for: Exceptional storytelling with kid-relatable characters. For the older six to 14 demo, kid-driven family comedy series and movies are needed. For preschoolers, the priority is curriculum-based storytelling.

Preferred approach: Send print and video pitch materials addressed to Agranoff at Disney Channel, 3800 West Alameda Avenue, 20th Floor, Burbank, CA, 91505.

Market circuit: Natpe, MIPTV, MIPCOM

Discovery Kids (US)

Dea Perez

VP of programming and operations

Looking for: Acquisitions is the magic word for Perez right now. DK has been laying low in terms of new productions, and it needs some new programming to get back on track. In the short term, Perez is on the hunt for series that are ready to hit the air.

Preferred approach: Pitches should be made through the producers’ portal at

Market circuit: Natpe, KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, MIPCOM

Family Channel/Playhouse Disney Canada

Sandra Walmark

Manager of original programming

Looking for: Live-action, half-hour comedies that support the channel’s ‘Never a Dull Moment’ brand promise and that target girls and boys ages eight to 14. It’s important that concepts have a home and family component as well, since the channel’s audience is still so attached to their home and family life. The net also has an appetite for live-action, animated or mixed-media preschool projects that complement the story-based, character-driven half hours (generally comprised of two 11-minute episodes) featured on Family’s newest brand, Playhouse Disney Canada.

Preferred approach: Creators/producers interested in pitching Family or PDC should send an email ( or call first to introduce their concept and then request an opportunity to pitch it in person. Walmark will accept a one-page concept outline for a development deal pitch, and production deal overtures should be supported by a more fully developed package that includes a bible, a script and a financing scenario. But she really prefers to get in on the ground floor of developing a concept in partnership with an established producer so it aligns with channel branding.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, Banff World Television Conference,

Ottawa International Animation Festival, MIPCOM, Alliance for Children & Television Conference

Five (UK)

Nick Wilson

Controller of children’s programming

Looking for: Story-driven preschool animation and drama concepts for four- to seven-year-olds that are not completely in the can yet.

Preferred approach: Send Wilson an email ( to introduce the concept and gauge interest.

Market circuit: MIPCOM

France Télévision

Julien Borde

Children and youth program director

Looking for: Animated series that appeal to preschoolers, four to sevens, six- to 12-year-olds, teens and families. Borde is in the market for character-driven toons that entertain kids and arouse their curiosity. Also on his list are series and shorts based on humor, and educational formats that offer viewers the keys to understanding their world in an amusing, original and entertaining way. Borde points to The Garfield Show, Famous Five and the upcoming Little Prince from Saint-Exupéry as three good examples of the types of shows he’s interested in. IPs with strong potential in the MMOG space, like Wakfu, are also on Borde’s radar. He’s particularly hot on series with a high count of short eps (i.e. 52 x 10 minutes or less).

Preferred approach: Submissions can be sent to Borde via email (, and he also routinely takes pitch meetings at markets and events or directly at his Paris office.

Market circuit: MIPTV, Annecy, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

Jetix Europe

Marc Buhaj

SVP of programming

Looking for: Unstoppable character-driven comedy and adventure, mainly for boys eight to 14.
Jetix Europe is genre- and technique-agnostic, and is currently developing, producing and buying both live-action and animated shows. Its multi-territory approach, however, means animation continues to dominate the slate as it travels well. Jetix is open to all half-hour formats, including 22 minutes, two x 11 minutes or (if something is really, really funny) three x seven minutes. The broadcaster also produces and acquires short-form series with episodes two minutes long or less, and insists on working closely with key creative talent from the early development stages of any new project, remaining a committed partner throughout the production. Multi-platform potential is essential for any project; however, it must be driven by story and characters – not by interactive or merchandising plans.

Preferred approach: For acquisitions, send queries to individual Jetix Europe program directors. Development and co-production pitches should be made to Orion Ross, VP of original content and creative ( Be sure to include initial designs, synopses and bios of key creative talent involved.

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

Korean Character Animation Fair

KidsCo (international)

Paul Robinson

MD of worldwide

Looking for: High-quality, non-violent children’s animation and live-action fare targeting boys and girls age six to 10, as well as preschool series underpinned by learning, and family movies (which can be live-action, animated, theatrical and/or made for TV/DVD).

Preferred approach: Email program director Eileen McCarthy ( or Robinson ( directly.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, MIPCOM, Discop, CASBAA

Ki.Ka (Germany)

Sebastian Debertin

Head of fiction, acquisitions and co-productions

Looking for: Innovative and strong programming concepts for the six to nine demo, especially quality animation with a slightly younger skew, and live-action for kids nine and up along the lines of ZDF’s H2O, NDR’s The Peppercorns or Ki.Ka’s KRIMI.DE. Debertin is looking for shows with interactivity, and fresh ideas with respect to stories and programs

with mass-appeal design are also important. He is looking to acquire programming with high potential for sustainable brand value, and a long shelf-life is a priority.

Preferred approach: Send an email to Debertin’s assistant Constanze Spilling ( or send a convincing one-page pitch

via snail mail (Gothaer Str. 36, 99094 Erfurt, Germany) However, if a full package including a bible, pilot scripts and any screening materials is available, send it via post. Ki.Ka will request further material if the initial correspondence piques its interest.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, Goldener Spatz (Golden Sparrow – Kids Media Festival & Market), Cartoon Movie, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

The N (US)

Amy Friedman

SVP of original programming and creative director

Looking for: Comedies and dramedies about the teen experience. Friedman is interested in high-concept story lines and characters with bright, smart and funny edges. Family, love and self-expression of all kinds fascinate the team at The N, as does genre-bending fare. Friedman’s ideal on-air ratio is 75% comedy/dramedy to 25% drama.

Preferred approach: Send queries via email to senior director of development Lauren Wagner ( or development coordinator Fatime Kaba (

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, Banff World Television Conference, MIPCOM

Nickelodeon Australia

Deirdre Brennan

Director of programming

Looking for: Given local audience trends that point to a changing kid relationship with animation and the broader success of new genres and formats, Brennan is focusing on strengthening her lineup for the eight to 12 demo in 2009 with live-action and animated comedies, new formats (long- and short-form) and features. She’s particularly interested in content that will translate effectively to digital platforms (mobile and online). Additionally, Nick Oz will continue to source distinctive Australian presales, as well as short-form or feature concepts that can be considered at an international level. Preschool continues to be a lower priority for 2009, and efforts there will focus on Nick Jr. original series, co-productions and international acquisitions.

Preferred approach: Email an overview to Brennan ( for an initial indication of her interest. Follow-up materials (bible, script, screeners) should be sent by mail. Nick Australia also has a Local Production Guide available on request.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPCOM

Nickelodeon (international)

Jules Borkent

SVP of global acquisitions and international programming

Looking for: Borkent’s focus is on keeping the pipeline at 50 international Nickelodeon channels full of fantastic comedy animation and action-adventure programming. Following the success of Nick shows such as iCarly and Drake & Josh, he will be on the hunt for live-action sitcoms, and he’s also scouting for creator-driven shows with strong characters and fun, compelling story lines, no matter what the genre.

Preferred approach: It’s best to arrange meetings with Borkent at markets. Contact him through his New York office via email ( or by phone (212-258-8000).

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, L.A. Screenings, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

Nickelodeon UK

Debbie Macdonald

VP of programming

Looking for: Creator-driven shows told from a kid’s point of view. And since Nick UK has six channels to program, covering between them a broad two to 12 age range, Macdonald is looking to co-produce, commission or acquire multi-genre programming for preschoolers on up. Nick UK also runs a pilot scheme with a primary focus on live-action sitcoms.

Preferred approach: Email Macdonald ( or send initial project intros via mail to her attention at 15-18 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1HU.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, L.A. Screenings, Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM

Once TV (Mexico)

Silvia Pérez Chavarría

Executive of strategy and development

Looking for: Chavarría wants content that expresses the interests of children between eight and 11 in all aspects of their lives. Right now, she’s mainly looking for live-action comedy and fiction, as well as documentaries that explore science, art and the way children live in different parts of the world.

Preferred approach: Submit concepts and proposals via Once TV’s website


Market circuit: MIPTV, MIPCOM


Linda Simensky

VP of children’s programming

Looking for: Concepts originating from any medium geared to preschoolers ages two to five or kids six to nine. Simensky has no preference for animation over live-action and mixed media, but she insists on a strong educational curriculum. Keep in mind the pubcaster’s library has no room right now for literacy or social/emotional series. Be ready to explain how the series’ website would look, and give ideas as to how the content might translate to other platforms.

Preferred approach: Send an email including the overall series concept, an educational curriculum outline, character descriptions, four to five episode ideas and designs to Brad Pettingell at PBS Children’s Programming ( or 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA, 22202.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, Ottawa International Animation Festival

Playhouse Disney (US)

Paula Rosenthal

VP of original programming

Looking for: Series exhibiting innovative approaches to storytelling

and design that are suitable for the two to six demo.

Preferred approach: Rosenthal only accepts material submitted through an agent, lawyer or production company. She prefers to see print material first, including visuals and a creator profile, and then follow up with an in-person meeting if she’s interested.

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

RTL2 (Germany)

Andrea Lang

Head of animation and children’s programming

Looking for: Strong fantasy and adventure-driven programming with humor for boys ages six to 13, such as Storm Hawks, Pokémon and Ben 10. And with RTL2′s relaunched website and Pokito Kids Club, the broadcaster is particularly interested in kids properties that offer web entertainment, club activities and strong merchandising potential. The corresponding show, My Pokito, is the only daily live kids series available on TV and online in Germany.

Preferred approach: The most efficient MO is to send information

by mail first, to Lil-Dagover-Ring 1, 82031 Grünwald, Germany.

Market circuit: Natpe, KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, MIPCOM

Super RTL

Frank Dietz

Head of acquisitions and co-productions

Looking for: Humor-driven animated series for families with a minimum of 26 half hours. New preschool titles aren’t currently a high priority for Super RTL, and Dietz is primarily looking for shows targeting six- to nine-year-olds with the potential to deliver winning ratings in the competitive 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. slot. Super RTL is also interested in live-action comedy series for a slightly older audience, as well as edutainment series/formats and selected

state-of-the-art animated features for a family audience.

Preferred approach: Send bibles, story lines and screeners to Frank Dietz or Sylvia Schmöller at RTL Disney Fernsehen, Richard-Byrd-Strasse 6, 50829 Köln, Germany. Animation tests are helpful, but not absolutely required.

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

Teletoon (Canada)

Caroline Tyre

Director of programming

Looking for: Known boys action brands with lots of humor, comedy shows that fit well with Teletoon’s Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. slate, and blockbuster movie titles for kids and adults that are related to animation (think Scooby-Doo and Aeon Flux). Teletoon doesn’t need preschool or educational programming.

Preferred approach: Email Tyre ( with a short synopsis of the series and possibly a picture.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, Ottawa International Animation

Festival, MIPCOM

V-me (US)

Guillermo Sierra

Chief content officer and SVP

Looking for: Completed CGI, 2-D animated, clay animated, live-action or mixed-media series targeting preschoolers ages two to five. Also, V-me keeps an eye out for programming with high production and educational values that is innovative and that reflects its unique cultural identity.

Preferred approach: Send an email with a series overview and descriptions of the educational curriculum, characters and episodes to Doris Vogelmann ( or to V-me Media Inc., 450 West 33rd Street, 11th floor, New York, NY, 10001.

Market circuit: Natpe, MIPTV, L.A. Screenings, MIPCOM

VRAK.TV (French Canada)

Dominique Bazay

VP of programming

Looking for: Tween live-action series. VRAK has had success with series such as Life with Derek, The Latest Buzz and H2O, so Bazay is looking for a mix of comedy and great storytelling for the net’s core target of kids age nine to 14.

Preferred approach: Email Johane Landry (, director of acquisitions, or director of original production Veronique Lussier (

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, MIPCOM


Brigid Sullivan

VP of children’s, educational and interactive programming and media access

Looking for: Entertaining, curriculum-oriented series for preschoolers, six to eights and nine to 12s. Sullivan wants shows with partial or full funding in place, an easily understood concept or well-known brand, and a cross-platform strategy. She needs proof the series can be delivered on budget, and would like to see details about the creative team. It’s a great idea

to add research data that demonstrates a need for this particular kind of series.

Preferred approach: Email Eric Taub ( or mail him the pitch at 1 Guest Street, Boston, MA, 02135-2016.

Market circuit: KidScreen Summit, MIPTV, Banff, MIPCOM

YLE (Finland)

Virve ‘Vicky’ Schroderus

Acquisitions executive

Looking for: Animated series (shorts, 10-minute, 13-minute or half-hour eps) and specials (from five minutes to a half hour in length) for preschoolers and core kids up to 12 years old. Bonus points given for a clear new media distribution plan.

Preferred approach: Email Schroderus ( or post the project’s details to Tohlopinranta 31 P.O. Box 196, 33101, Tampere, Finland. All pitches should have synopses for at least three episodes, as well as main character designs.

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

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