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Canadian Networks: CBC Kids and CORUS Execs Break Down What They’re Looking for in 2018

Networks – What are they looking for?

From last months’s The Animation Conference (TAC)’s Meet the Networks was a brief talk by development executives about what the networks are seeking and what’s new. Cartoon North’s intrepid note-taker, Brent Smith, was on hand to give you a summary of the talk:

From Brandon Lane, Production Executive for Corus Entertainment:

Corus Entertainment is a mass media and broadcasting company which includes a number of networks (and Nelvana studios). The following networks accept pitches for original shows:


  • It’s funny, surprising, playful and even a little bit mischievous
  • According to Brandon: “If it was a radio station, it’d be a rock station – more rambunctious.”


  • entertaining live-action comedies and 6-11 animation for kids and their families
  • according to Brandon: “If it was a radio station, it’d be a pop station.”


  • fun and imaginative character-driven programming for preschoolers




  • biggest show right now: Teen TItans GO
  • some of the new current original shows on the air:
    • Chop Chop Ninja
    • Bravest Warriors
    • Super Dinosaur
    • Cupcake and Dinosaur
    • Total Drama Rama
  • actively seeking:
    • Age 6-11
    • comedy
    • creator-driven
    • spooky
  • also interested in Adult Swim style show pitches



  • biggest animated shows right now: Spongebob, The Loud House
  • current new original show on the air: Go Away Unicorn


  • new original show on the air right now is co-production with Sesame Workshop:
    • Esme & Roy

YTV and Treehouse don’t have a particular mandate for shows right now but are always looking for strong pitches from brands that fit the network


Drew Mullen, Executive in Charge of Production for Children’s Content, CBC

CBC Kids is the children’s block of programming on CBC Television.

There has been a big change from seeking strictly educational to entertainment

    • less focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math)
    • more emphasis on character & story
    • still welcoming educational elements, but not absolutely necessary
  • Broadcast & digital
    • launched in September:
      • CBC Kid News
        • Digital portal
        • 2-5 new stories a day
      • lots of digital additions to broadcast
        • separate budget
        • supporting content for digital connected to broadcast properties
      • original digital properties as well
    • currently in production with Sinking Ship
      • Endlings
        • a tween broadcast property
      • Looking for pre-school pitches
        • bridge shows: co-viewing for older and younger siblings
        • creator-driven
        • has a unique look, e.g.:
          • Becca’s Bunch – puppet and animation
          • Kyrie & Lou – Claymation
          • Something tha that makes a child say, “I wanna watch that”
        • Mandated programming for up to 12 years old
          • Majority of the programming is upper preschool and bridge programming
          • open to properties aimed at older audiences
        • mainly 11 min episodes or 7 min episodes
        • open to 22 min for more sophisticated storytelling

Thanks to Brent for the info! For those of you out there developing your stuff, I hope this helps.


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