Cartoon Network rolling out new look and preschool blocks

Kids channel Cartoon Network is rolling out a new on-air look and focusing on preschool programming and blocks, Michael Carrington, Turner’s programming boss for the EMEA region, has told TBIvision.

The new look for Cartoon Network hails from the US, has just launched in the UK and will now be introduced to the other EMEA territories.

“We’re a global brand and shouldn’t be scared of that,” Carrington says. “The US Cartoon Network has a new look and feel that harks back to the channel’s heritage with the checker board. In Europe each of the regions has customised the brand and we wanted to make sure there wasn’t a mixed message.”

Chief content officer, Carrington, who joined Turner from CBeebies earlier this year said preschool was an immediate focus when he started in his new role and that one way of increasing the profile of the company’s programming in this area is launching branded blocks of its preschool brand Cartoonito.

“I definitely felt that we could focus on what we’re doing in preschool, what we’re doing here could be enhanced,” he said. “Cartoonito for example doesn’t exist outside the UK and that programming could be rolled out into Europe, maybe as branded blocks. We also have Boomerang, which has a huge young audience. I knew that at CBeebies where the biggest challenge was to stop the audience going to Boomerang.”

Carrington added that he will look to develop more local programming for the EMEA channels to complement what’s coming out of the US.

“The type of programme coming out of the studio now is really pushing the boundaries and we can’t ignore that – they have fantastic people and resources,” Carrington says. “What we can do here is represent the EMEA region and give those networks a local flavour with programmes that might feel a bit more European. To complement what’s coming out of the US we also need to develop programming.”