With a sharpened focus on interactivity across platforms, Canadian pubcaster Kids’ CBC will rebrand to CBC Kids this winter and introduce new content, hosts, puppet characters and a revamped set.
As part of the changes, this fall will be the last season on the network for longtime Kids’ CBC host and associate producer/writer Patty Sullivan (pictured).
The award-winning television presenter joined Kids’ CBC in 2003 after a nine-year stint as the host of Canadian provincial pubcaster TVO Kids.
During her time with Kids’ CBC, Sullivan won a Gemini Award in 2010 for Best Host in a Preschool, Children’s or Youth Program and earned a pair of Youth Media Alliance Awards. She also stars in the block’s musical series Wowie Woah Woah!.
“We thank Patty for her talent and commitment to kids and families, and for raising a generation of Kids’ CBC viewers,” says Martin Markle, CBC Television’s senior director of children’s content. “We’re so proud to have worked with her for the past 13 years and wish her continued success.”
Markle adds that the rebrand will focus on blending digital original content seamlessly across CBC Kids’ digital platforms and broadcast channels.
“We’re going to get rid of the silos that separated the broadcast from the digital platforms. At the same time, we will create a new space in which our hosts and puppets can interact with our viewers,” he says.
With the changes afoot, Kids’ CBC will launch a country-wide search for new hosts and puppet characters.
“The casting process for hosts will begin immediately and is open to all ages. We’re looking for talented, diverse, funny, bright and optimistic people. There are no barriers on who comes forward; we want people with different attitudes from varied backgrounds,” says Markle.
“As for puppets, we are inviting Canadian puppet creators and performers to come up with ideas. We are looking for certain qualities: Relatability, charm, humor and diversity.”
Markle notes that the block rebrand will lead with fun, interactive and uniquely Canadian stories and that new content, including interstitials, will be reflective of how kids are consuming content today, whether on YouTube or through social media.
“We want to meet kids where they are in the social space,” he says. “Kids are makers now and our new hosts and puppets will also be makers. Viewers will be able to follow them on their streams and be able to create things that our hosts and puppets can react to and influence.”