Cartoon Network Europe is in the primetime kids commercial game and the playing field is 3 to 7 p.m., says Finn Arneson, VP of programming, acquisitions and development.
Although a substantial portion of the net’s programming comes from its parent’s library — it signed a deal in August with Warner. Bros. for over 600 half-hours of programming — Arneson is quick to say that there are plenty of slots available for new series.
“That’s a lot of programming, but it’s a few series over the next three years and it’s all the movie renewals and Looney Tunes. It’s not that many slots,” he says.
Arneson is on the lookout for co-production opportunities for primetime comedy, which he says there is a dearth of in Europe.
“There’s absolutely no point in buying comedy off the shelf because it’s going to be young-skewing, in between preschool and our core audience, which is 6 to 11.”
He cites TV Loonland’s “Cramp Twins” as a key example of a successful co-production that performed well across most of Europe. Cartoon Net has just signed a deal for 26 more half-hours.
At Mipcom, Arneson will be searching for teen-skewing Japanese animation. “I like to pick up the Japanese original, and then take it to be dubbed and reworked for a Western audience,” he notes.
He’ll also be taking pitches for co-productions on new shows. Any project that is quirky,and that nobody has discovered yet, will have no problem jumping to the front of his queue.