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TBI Weekly: What Disney & Sony are looking for in kids programming

This week, execs from Sony Pictures Television (SPT) and Disney EMEA described the projects they would like to see on their slate in the coming years, during a panel discussion at The Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield, UK.

Since joining SPT as VP of kids and youth in January, Sarah Muller says Sony channels POP, Tiny Pop and POP MAX may start to offer more varied methods of bringing new titles to their platform.

The Sony kids’ channels have so far predominantly relied on acquired programming such as Alvinnn!!! And The Chipmunks and Power Rangers, but Muller says it’s important to integrate different offers from pre-buys to commissions.

“We need to access ideas, relationships, partners of content, at different points to make sure we get other rights and have different relationships with brands other than just buying them,” she adds.

Muller explains that while Sony’s strategy has worked well so far – POP was the No.1 commercial children’s channel in the UK in 2018 – it has to keep up with an evolving media landscape.

Disney’s programming director, Matt Robson, and VP of animation, digital and acquisitions EMEA, Orion Ross, say that the majority of their slate is original IP. There are currently 11 animated projects in production and they are continuing to develop live-action ideas.

The execs say the best way to work with a major studio like Disney is to get in touch early on into the project and grow it together. In EMEA all projects are all a part of  some form of coproduction.

An example of this is the UK project Claude (pictured), which has been a successful title for the mouse house. “We need the story, character and some kind of authentic vision,” says Ross.

Also in the news…

IWC, a Banijay Group company, is to make the second series of Britain’s Most Historic Towns for Channel 4

Studio 100 and MBC3 have teamed up to bring WISSPER to the Middle East and Africa

Disney Channel’s Sadie Sparks is set to get an all-British voice cast including Rufus HoundGeorgia Lock and Tyger Drew-Honey

CBS is set to premier true-crime series Whistleblower and Pink Collar Crimes on July 13th and 28th, respectively

Bake Off Argentina averaged a 54.5% viewer share since its launch on Telefe in April

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