Cartoon Network At The Children’s Media Conference 2016

Cartoon Network At The Children's Media Conference 2016

Cartoon Network At The Children’s Media Conference 2016

Today (07/07/2016), was the final day of the annual Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield, probably the most important annual event in the year where the British children’s media industry gather and discuss their ideas, their work and their plans for the future. Yesterday (06/07/2016), Turner (Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito) along with Viacom (Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons) and Disney (Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior) ran a combined content commissioner event. Turner, Viacom and Disney are the three major players in the UK children’s pay-TV industry.

During Turner’s part of the session, Cecilia Persson, VP of Programming & Content Strategy for Kids Channels at Turner EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) stated that Cartoon Network is looking for more original show ideas from outside the United States, Sarah Fell (Executive Director for Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball) was also there to emphasise the importance of international kids programming. The Amazing World of Gumball was used as a successful example, produced by Cartoon Network but made outside the United States which is Turner’s main and home country.

At present, there is around 20% of non-US content airing on Cartoon Network UK, 40% of Boomerang’s schedule is content from outside the United States, half of which is commissioned. Nearly 100% of the programming on Cartoonito is acquired (not counting the programming from Turner’s sister company, Warner Bros.).

Micro-formatted content is also being commissioned and Mighty Magiswords produced by Cartoon Network Studios is one example, which has evolved from an interactive choose-your-ending fifteen-second animated shorts into a full-blown 11 minute per episode show.

In terms of Turner EMEA’s current operation, the situation of the UK leaving the European Union (which still might not happen) won’t affect their operations in the short-term and they’re still committed to using the UK as a creative base and to take advantage of children’s content/animation industry tax breaks.

Sean Gorman, Director of Cartoon Network UK, took part in an UK/Canada content collaboration session, two countries united by a common language, history and culture, both countries also have a large animation and kids TV production industry.

Cartoon Network At Annecy Animation Festival 2016

Cartoon Network At Annecy Animation Festival 2016

Cartoon Network At Annecy Animation Festival 2016

This week (13/06/2016 – 18/06/2016) is the Annecy Animation Festival in Annecy, France. The Annecy Animation Festival is the largest convention dedicated to animation in the world, for both major and independent producers of animation. As usual, Cartoon Network is there to promote their current and upcoming animated programming.

The creator of Samurai Jack, Genndy Tartakovsky is at the animation festival to give a “work-in-progress” presentation of the returning series. People attending the session will get to see the progress already made on the new series. Samurai Jack originally aired on Cartoon Network between 2001 and 2004 and will be making a return to Adult Swim USA later this year. The new series will continue from where the story ended.

Cartoon Network as a whole will have a session at the festival showcasing action-animation on Thursday 16th June under the title “It’s Hero Time”. The session will have representatives from Cartoon Network USA and Cartoon Network EMEA, including Haley Mancini (staff writer on the new Powerpuff Girls) and animator Kyle Carrozza, the creator of Mighty Magiswords, which is now becoming a fully-fledged animated series. Both Mancini and Carrozza will discuss the creative process behind scriptwriting for The Powerpuff Girls and the development behind Mighty Magiswords. Following the talk, there will be a special sneak peek of the Ben 10 reboot which is currently in production. In terms of management, Patricia Hidalgo (Chief Content and Creative Officer of Kids EMEA and International Kids Strategy) and Tramm Wigzell (Vice-President of Multi-Platform Development at Cartoon Network Studios) will also be speakers.

Before the main event on Thursday, Cartoon Network will be hosting a smaller acquisitions MIFA event tomorrow (15/06/2016), with Adina Pitt, USA Content Acquisitions and Co-Productions and Cecilia Persson, Vice President of Programming and Content Strategy Kids EMEA, Acquisitions and Co-productions International.

Sister animation studio, Warner Animation Group unveiled their upcoming animated feature “Storks” at the festival today, Brad Lewis, the film’s producer will also be having a signing session tomorrow (15/06/2016). Storks is an action-packed, funny and heartfelt new animated adventure about finding your family in the most unlikely way.

Regular Show: The Movie is also being showcased with daily screenings during the length of the festival:

Yesterday, Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich hosted a panel at Annecy, Robot Chicken is one of Adult Swim’s most popular shows.

Patricia Hidalgo, SVP, Chief Content & Creative Officer, EMEA Kids & International Kids Strategy at Cartoon Network, commented:

“Anyone who has watched Cartoon Network, knows that our hero characters are a little unconventional – and that’s what makes them so aspirational to our audiences and the perfect team to be bringing along to a modern and innovative environment like Annecy Animation Festival, We’re excited to share some of the trade secrets behind the creation of these heroes.”

Tramm Wigzell, VP Multi-Platform at Cartoon Network Studios added:

“We have some of the best creative minds in animation working at Cartoon Network Studios and we’re always on the lookout for creators with unique ideas. It’s key to us to work with talent that understand the importance of creating content across multi-platforms for this generation of kids. We’re looking forward to meeting the talent at Annecy and discussing these shows and how we are developing content in a different way.”

Mark Eyers, SVP & Chief Content Officer for Turner Kids Networks in Asia Pacific remarked:

“Cartoon Network’s characters always inspire viewers because they demonstrate that anyone can be a hero. For years, Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls have had exactly that effect right across the world, and that’s why we are expecting such big things from these all-new re-imaginations. Along with colleagues in the US and Europe attending Annecy, we cannot wait to identify even more fun and engaging ideas as part of our successful original development initiatives.”

Cecilia Persson Appointed Cartoon Network EMEA Head Of Programming

Cecilia Persson Appointed Cartoon Network EMEA Head Of Programming

Cecilia Persson Appointed Cartoon Network EMEA Head Of Programming

Today (03/05/2016), Turner Broadcasting System Europe has appointed Cecilia Persson as the new Vice President for Programming and Content Strategy for Cartoon Network, Boomerang (and other associated kids channels) for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) area. Cecilia Persson will oversee programming, co-production and acquisitions across Turner’s linear and digital services. In 2004, she joined Turner as director of acquisitions, and has been promoted from vice president of acquisitions and co-productions. Previously, Cecilia Persson worked at Middle Eastern pay-tv provider Showtime (now known as Orbit Showtime Network, better known as OSN) and before that at Carlton Cinema (a defunct British movie channel which was owned by Carlton, now part of ITV plc).

Persson will report to Patricia Hidalgo, Turner EMEA’s chief content & creative officer for kids content, Patricia Hidalgo also made this statement in regards of joining programming and content production together:

“There’s never been a more important time to bring together teams that produce winning programming strategies with those that source and create the best programmes our audiences crave across all platforms.”