‘One of the few graphs in the Eurodata TV study suggests that daily TV viewing by younger and older children in both the U.S. and U.K. has fallen by pretty much one hour in both countries over 2012-17, from just under four hours to three hours for U.S. 2-5s.
How can TV operators push back? One way, Eurodata TV suggests, maybe by giving kids their own voice on TV. One case in point: “Esther’s Notebook,” produced by celebrated French animation house Folimage.
A banner title on Studiocanal’s Mipcom sales slate, it saw French cartoonist-director Riad Sattouf listen to real-life Esther A’s account of her life, which he then channeled into a graphic novel and now the series. The result: Upbeat, two-minute first-person episodes demo the POV of 10-year-old Esther living in Paris and talking school, friends, family, pop stars and challenges. For example: What do you do when your friends have more money than you do? Aired by France’s biggest pay-TV operator Canal Plus, and targeting an age range of 10+ and families, “Esther’s Notebook” is the No. 2 best performing children’s show on its evening slot.
“It’s not an adult’s vision of childhood but a child’s. It really lets Esther talk about herself in her own words, even swear words,” said Blondelot, pointing to a second example, “Flaskeposte fra Stillehavet,” from Norwegian public broadcaster NRK. Here the director spent six months on a Pacific island with his children, who talk about how they view the experience.
Or broadcasters can attack a major source of audience seepage: “When kids grow older, boys continue to watch animated series in many countries while girls tend to turn more to live action,” Blondelot commented.’