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Mipcom Jr. big draw

TV mart screenings rise 15% from 2000 mark

CANNES — If the turnout at Mipcom Jr. is anything to go by, business at Mipcom should be bustling.

With 13,815 screenings, the two-day tyke programming preview that kicks off the Mipcom TV mart beat its previous record, set in 2000, by 15%.

The 11th Mipcom Jr., held Wednesday-Thursday, also reported a 5% boost in shopper numbers and an 8% increase in the number of dealers.

“Business is definitely up,” said Peter Voelkle, topper of Teutonic toon factory TV Loonland. “Things are looking good — people are smiling, the sun is shining.”

Frontrunners among this year’s hottest picks include animated skein “My Goldfish Is Evil,” about a boy’s pet fish who’s scheming to take over the world, from Canada’s Sardine Prods.

“Peppa Pig,” from the U.K.’s Contender Entertainment, and Les Cartooneurs Associates’ “Shaolin Kids” followed in second and third place, respectively.

Other titles to make the top 10 included “Winx Club,” from Italy’s Rainbow; “Hairy Scary,” from France’s Alphanim; “Franny’s Feet,” from Canada’s Decode; “Dragon Hunters,” from France’s Futurikon; “Duel Masters,” from the U.K.’s Entertainment Rights; and “Four Eyes,” from Porchlight in the U.S.

New titles on offer were up 6% to 339, with the total number of shows presented also up 6% to 738.

Despite a plethora of high-octane programming, including lots of action-adventure and anime, some buyers remained unimpressed.

“There were no standouts,” complained Frances James, acquisitions exec for Canadian pubcaster TV Ontario. “Things were very subdued.”

“We’re looking for educational programming,” said TVO producer Jarrett Sherman. “Most of the stuff on offer is not really suitable for us.”

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