Where children reign

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star

In many homes, the TV set is one loyal and constant companion of children especially when their parents are out for work or doing some household chores. And more often than not, kids prefer watching cartoons that delight their young hearts than any other show touching on today’s political issues and economy or talking about the never-ending intrigues and controversies in local tinseltown.

That is why Cartoon Network is presenting cartoon shows that would not only brighten their day but  promote better values, far different from those that are too vulgar in dialogues and too violent in action.

Cartoon Network has action-fantasy, comedy, adventure and fantasy shows that speak advance positive values such as team work, independence, confidence and bravery.

“All contents go through very strict guidelines and standards so whether animated or live action, they must be kid-appropriate,” says Mark Eyers, executive director, programming for Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, Inc.

The cartoon channel’s research team also continuously gets feedback from the audience for better programs and seriously takes its responsibility of blending the right content in every show — the reason why its programs cater not only to various tastes of children worldwide but suit different age brackets as well.

Every market is different. What appeals to European kids may not be endearing to children from Asia Pacific, so Cartoon Network makes sure it gets the right program mix for its audience. But Eyers admits the adventure of Ben Tennyson on Ben 10 appeals to kids worldwide, making it the No. 1 show in all its market.

In the country, Ben 10, Squirrel Boy, Tom and Jerry, Woody Woodpecker, Class of 3,000 and Powerpuff Girls are but some of the many shows Pinoy kids hold dear to their hearts.

And since the cartoon channel is popular worldwide, it has come up with a campaign which does not only contain lovable shows but also brings into play titles popular in the country and easily identifiable to the audience. In the Philippines, Cartoon Network uses Halo-Halo Espesyal.

“Every market is important to us so we make sure that the titles we use will reflect our dedication to the audience and this is one factor to which I attribute our success today,” Eyers shares.

Cartoon Network’s Halo-Halo Espesyal posted the highest ratings last year, thus outperforming other channels on cable.

“This year, we decided to make it extra special by putting in more content from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and we are going to have movies on Wednesdays as well,” Eyers offers.

Starting on weekdays of March 31 until May 30, new series and episodes of Tom and Jerry, Squirrel Boy, Ben 10, Fantastic Four, Robotboy, Powerpuff Girls, Powerpuff Girls Z and Pokemon will bring smiles and cheers to young viewers.

Vacation time will be more entertaining and enjoyable with Halo-Halo Extra Extra on Wednesdays featuring animated movies like Tom and Jerry: The Movie and Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase. Not to be missed are blockbusters E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo in Cartoon Network Friday Premiere Flick while Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix, Babe and Barbie Mariposa will be showcased in Cartoon Network Theater.

As if the shows are not enough, televiewers also have the chance to win prizes via the channel’s interactive contests promoting its shows. So far, all its contests have received positive feedback from the audience.

“The response depends on the size of the market. The Filipino audience is vibrant and active,” Eyers says.

What does he think is the main key for a cartoon channel to succeed?

“We look into a number of factors but listening to the audience is important,” Eyers replies.

And whether we admit it or not, there are times we end up sitting right next to kids and watch cartoons, too.

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