Report – Commissioner Conversations Channels

Posted on: Friday 09 July 2021 11:26pm by Cate Zerega


  • The priority for both brands is being where kids are. 
  • Projects that have local content with global legs are a fit across platforms. 
  • Exciting pitches have diversity baked into the idea and the team and helps brands reach and reflect all children and voices.

Zia Bales is open for pitching year round. The pandemic caused WarnerMedia to add virtual and email pitching to supplement the in-person process. The pre-buy process depends on the needs of the series and the slot available. They try to begin collaboration early in the project’s development process and secure a broad scope of rights. WarnerMedia is a good fit for projects that fill local needs and have global intentions. Zia would like to continue seeing a breadth of pitches with strong creative ideas and diverse characters that are meaningful to today’s audience.

  • Cartoon Network wants comedy with heart for ages 6-12, more specifically, the core of this audience is 6-9. Zia is interested right now in projects that appeal to girls and their families for this brand. 
  • Boomerang is for ages 4-7 and Zia is looking for projects for ages 4-5 in order to bring the audience in sooner. 
  • Cartoonito will be broadening out to the rest of EMEA. This brand’s ethos is about kids seeing themselves reflected on screen. 
  • HBO is rebranding to HBO Max, which allows a broader slate than its current linear position. The audience ranges from preschool all the way to tween and teen. The brand is grounded in known IPs with opportunities to develop preschool girls’ animation. 
  • The development of the Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe continues the Hanna Barbera history in a fresh and vibrant way.

Zia is excited about the recent launch of Cartoon Network’s ‘Climate Champions’; this project encourages kids to log into the climate champions app to record their daily achievable tasks, helping kids feel they have an impact and are making a difference in climate change. 

Nina Hahn is open year round for pitches via She approaches content as a collaborative partnership. Pitching to her at an early stage results in a smoother process. Nina recommends that creatives pitching do their homework so they know why their project should live and grow at Nick. An important element to a strong pitch is to think like a programmer and have an idea of what the lead in and out is because this helps establish the right tone.

Nina looks for ways to take what works with a large franchise and further develop and spin off. She also welcomes boutique properties because they help Nick make content in real time that is authentic to the way kids live. This mix allows Nick content to stay contemporary.  Children come to Nick’s shows to feel something, so that sensibility is top of mind for her as she develops her slate. ViacomCBS has globally implemented a ‘no diversity, no commission’ process to better give all kids a voice. The Nick brand abides by making the world a more creative place and being where kids are. This demands research, an approach of flexible adaptation and constant reinvention. They are embarking on their first Indian co-production and look forward to further diversifying their portfolio and broadening their scope to give voice where there hasn’t been one.

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Cate Zerega

About the author

Cate Zerega

Freelance Production Coordinator

Cate has worked as a nanny, a talent agent, in casting & production. Cate’s resume means she no longer fears anything and has sunblock & headshots always about. She completed an MA in the screen industries in 2018 & works passionately to promoting female filmmakers. Read more