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Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...

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Michael MunkittrickTaking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 26, 2006 at 4:22:03 am

So, I invested a few bucks and a bunch of hours into an idea my 9 year old daughter pitched to me to create a program for her elementary school, and that investment has apparently paid dividends. I need some advice on the best way to reach higher with it.

We made a show for kids called "Mostly Gross, for Kids" from grade 1 through grade 5 that gets them participating at school in the morning with discussions like "Where do boogers come from?" and "How do snails go to the bathroom?". The idea WAS that kids would get to school on time to be "grossed out" by truthful facts about life outside of the classroom and so on. The show was an instant hit with our school board, then the regional school system wanted the right to use the format so we obliged and grew to encapsulate them and finally we made a program that airs once a week gratis thanks to a few affiliates in my immediate area in the 30 minute format that bring in professionals in each specific filed that allows them to "showcase" their profession as a "totally gross" option for kids when they grow up. IT'S A HUGE HIT!

I'd like to know what I should do in order to pitch it to a network or maybe outward regional outlets in order to reach a larger audience. What steps should be taken so as not to make it inaccessible to the people we made it for in the first place, but not go over-the-top with requests of broadcast outlets. What type of compensation, beyond that provided by advertisers should I assume would be applicable? Obviously, I'd barter time for space if that were an option, but my research has shown that the likelihood of a program of this type would not be a high priority of a station without some form of groundswell or grassroots support dragging it through the red tape. What can you share with me oh wise people of the COW?



Michael Munkittrick
Managing Creative Director
Evolve Media Solutions

Forum COWmunity leader for:
Sony DV
Magic Bullet


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Timothy AllenRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 26, 2006 at 7:34:29 am

Michael,
I'm at the NATPE convention in Las Vegas right now, where thousands of content producers are asking the same types of questions. Forgive me for the long post, but it's been rare lately that I've had much to post, and I want to offer a few suggestions if I may...

You said "research has shown that the likelihood of a program of this type would not be a high priority of a station without some form of groundswell or grassroots support dragging it through the red tape". That's exactly right! What you need is a structure to measure and quantify the amount of support that it has. Once you can quantify that a large amount of people want to see it, getting both advertisers and distributors is much easier.

I would suggest that you create a companion website for the show where a larger audience can view segments of the show in order to generate interest. Add a blog section where viewers can connect with the creators of the show (hosts, producers etc.) so they can actually be a part of the push that drives it to the next level.

If you can create a context for "social engineering", where your audience is passionate about seeing more (for instance, using web blogs, discussions and other


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Mark SuszkoRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 26, 2006 at 4:13:54 pm

I wish you luck with it, but have to say, I have already seen one or more shows like this, it was either on Nick, Discovery Kids, or maybe Disney Channel. There are also numerous books and web sites covering the same grotty territory.;-)

So, be prepared to answer the criticism that "it's been done".

You'll want to find the "prior art", see what kind of success it had, partly to avoid straight rip-offs or accusations of same, also so you can make intelligent comparisons and arguments why your take on the idea is better in some way.

That could be an economic argument, (we can do it cheaper, or we have a way to leverage sponsorships from Waste Management inc. or etc.) or based on content and approach, (we have a health awareness hook with a doctor's input on each episode) or a combination of things.

Good luck with it.


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Michael MunkittrickRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 26, 2006 at 9:46:11 pm

That's kind of funny that you mentioned the Nickelodeon Network show "Totally Grossed Out" as I was one of the people who conceptualized it back in my days as an intern over there. THOSE guys knew how to throw a party, and the show was huge. And in truth, I'm not concerned about the comparisons or likeness issues as we're not trying to break new ground with the broad concept, just the structure and delivery. I am well aware of the difficulty of this process, but my gut tells me that I can do it.

I am confident that we'll get some wider reach, but I simply wanted to make sure that I don't overstep my abilities or reach by overlooking something minor in the process. Thanks for the input and keep it coming.



Michael Munkittrick
Managing Creative Director
Evolve Media Solutions

Forum COWmunity leader for:
Sony DV
Magic Bullet


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shooterRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 29, 2006 at 1:48:17 am

"as I was one of the people who conceptualized it back in my days as an intern over there"

Would there be any reason for Nick to think you were stealing 'their' idea? The networks can be pretty aggressive about protecting 'their' properties or anything that resembles it. Especially from somebody 'inside'.


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Michael MunkittrickRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 29, 2006 at 7:04:30 am

There should be no reason for them to think that it was their idea or derived from it as the core concepts are vastly different. The only clear likeness might be the fact that Nickelodeon's program was designed to get kids participating in the TV experience. My idea, while not necessarily a "new and improved" idea is still quite a bit different from anything that I've seen. I appreciate the reply and let me know if anything else pops into your head.



Michael Munkittrick
Managing Creative Director
Evolve Media Solutions

Forum COWmunity leader for:
Sony DV
Magic Bullet


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Charlie KingRe: OT but needed to ask
by on Jan 26, 2006 at 5:33:29 pm

[Timothy Allen] "I'm at the NATPE convention in Las Vegas right now,"

WHAT????? You are in Las Vegas and didn't call?

Charlie

ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada


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Timothy AllenRe: OT but needed to ask
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 4:02:48 am

Charlie!!!
I was kicking myself as soon as I got back from Houston and realized I hadn't called you or Frank Otto while I was in Vegas. To put it mildly, I was swamped and didn't think of much else but the NATPE show while I was there. I didn't even make it North past the Excalibur where I was staying (with the minor exception of a quick trip to the M&M store for my kids.)

Next time Las Vegas is in my travel plans, I'll make sure to look you up.

...and the next time you come to Houston, please let me know. There are plenty of good Mexican restaurants near Johnson Space Center, and I'd love to treat you to lunch and a personal tour of our facilities (both TV production and astronaut training.)

-TJA


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Michael MunkittrickRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 26, 2006 at 5:51:13 pm

[Timothy Allen] "Again, we here at the COW know that you are very experienced in bringing concepts to fruition


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Timothy AllenRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 3:38:23 am

Don't worry about missing NATPE too much, Michael. As much as some want you to think the deals are made there, you can think of selling the show like planting a garden. It's not done in that one week.

...and what you reap from the garden isn't a "sold show", the "fruit" is new or better relationships that can help you get to your goal.

NATPE is really an event where you can either make initial contact and plant the seeds of a relationship, or simply get together and let the world know how your "crop" is coming in.

Most of the work on the garden is in-between the NAPTE shows.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that just about EVERYONE is selling something at NAPTE - so when you approach someone there about your content, they are quite often defensive - and they are not listening to what you are saying. Instead they are thinking of what it is they want to sell to you (That could be their distribution capability or something else.)

Luckily, since NASA doesn't sell content (we give it away for free), I didn't really have to "sell" - just inform. I was just there to let people know about some of the content we have to offer.

If you have a specific entity that you want to contact and need a name and number, contact me off list and I'll see if I can help.

Also...don't be concerned, Michael, that we hear more about your challenges than your successes. The very fact that you participate in this and other forums here at the COW demonstrates that you still care about getting better at what you do - no matter how much you've already done. That goes a long way in my book.

-TJA


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Michael MunkittrickRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 7:22:52 am

As always, you're inspirational and appreciated. I'm proud to be such a terribly small part of this very large process when I find people of your caliber willing to help.


Michael Munkittrick
Managing Creative Director
Evolve Media Solutions

Forum COWmunity leader for:
Sony DV
Magic Bullet


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mattRe: Taking a successful regional kids TV program to the next level...(I NEED YOUR HELP)...
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 4:32:39 am

Different Take...
Maybe if you buy the airtime and create a business model similiar to a infomercial...early morning weekends are pretty cheap in my area...anyway build segments with your concept within larger advertising vehicle thus creating innovative advertising opportunities for products and services that target this demographic. This is a safe way to take it to one episode to the next with profit. After creating a compelling framework build out cost model and realize your inventory, price it and sell it...You can even create package opportunities that include production costs and even standalone 30 second spots for these client whereas they can repurpose for marketing and traditional advertising...oh yea, with you...more unrealized revenue. Try to sell everything but kitchen sink...ie Title Sponser, Segment/Insertive advertising avails, 30 secdond avails....be creative here. Sell more production services to these guys as a turnkey advertising opportunitiy...

The above serves a couple of needs...Defines Intelectual property, Creates interest in community and if done well will catch the attention of a local station...Then negotiate air buys and do the next round but step it up a notch...


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