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Territory report: Germany

Live-action shows have found loyal viewers among older kids

BERLIN — While animated fare remains highly sought after among Germany’s two main tyke channels, kiddie pubcaster Kinderkanal is continuing its focus on live-action series, which have attracted loyal viewers.

After the success of New Zealand sci-fi series “The Tribe,” which became a hit for the channel during its first season, Kinderkanal has secured two more seasons of the show. In the same vein, parent pubcaster ARD is producing the live-action “Verloren in Sydney” (Lost in Sydney), a sequel to Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” The series, being produced jointly with Studio Hamburg and Pearson Television, is coming next year.

Marco Kirchhof, head of production at Kinderkanal, says “quality live-action adventure and crime series for our older viewers are of definite interest,” adding that’s what company buyers will be looking for at Mipcom Junior.

Among younger tykes, Kinderkanal continues to do well with preschool hit “Teletubbies.” As for animation, Kirchhof says that unconventional and eccentric toons were the thing to look for this year.

The tyke pubcaster recently acquired three animated series from German producer-distrib TV-Loonland, “Cramp Twins,” “Three Friends and Jerry” and “Yvon of the Yukon,” all slated to bow on the network in November.

Super RTL, the main commercial kiddie channel, has attracted older kids with action toons like “Max Steel” and “Roswell Conspiracies” in its after-school block. The web has also obtained a slew of animated series for the fall and next year, like “Adventurers,” from Berlin-based toon producer Greenlight Media.

The web is also preeming the newly acquired Nickelodeon series “Jimmy Neutron,” about an imaginative child inventor, and “The Butt-Ugly Martians.” Execs at the network point out that “The Butt-Ugly Martians” not only tested astonishingly well among boys, but got fantastic results among girls as well.

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