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Cartoonito spreads across EMEA

Turner Broadcasting’s UK preschool net Cartoonito is rolling out across EMEA, debuting shows including Bananas in Pyjamas and Jelly Jamm to 125 million new homes.

Cartoonito, which is skewed to three- to six-year-olds, will launch in a number of EMEA countries in September as a branded block on sister Turner net Boomerang. In Turkey and the Middle East, the Cartoonito block will broadcast on Cartoon Network.

The news comes after C21 revealed Turner’s chief content officer Michael Carrington (left) was hunting new preschool content in preparation for a branded block for Boomerang last year. “We’ve decided to do it based on our experience introducing original content to Cartoonito in the UK,” he said in August.

Launching the block will be the latest season of CGI series Bananas in Pyjamas, which is produced by Endemol-owned Southern Star Entertainment in association with Australian pubcaster ABC.

Spanish-produced 3D musical animation Jelly Jamm, from indies Vodka Capital and 727 Shaker and pubcaster RTVE, also joins the debut slate. Turner has broadcast rights to the 52×11′ show across EMEA, except for Spain and Portugal.

The move marks a major push into preschool programming for Turner, which launched Cartoonito in the UK in May 2007 and broadcasts shows such as Fireman Sam, Baby Looney Toons and The Care Bears.

Turner called the move an “exciting new phase” for its kids’ channels portfolio, and said Cartoonito would act as a stepping-stone for its older-skewed sister nets across EMEA. The firm claimed the roll-out gives it added distribution to 125 homes in 112 territories.

Carrington, the former CBeebies controller who joined Turner last year and immediately made EMEA a key priority, said today: “While controller of CBeebies, I’d always admired Cartoonito from afar, and having the opportunity to extend this preschool brand across EMEA was one I couldn’t resist.”

Turner will make further pan-EMEA preschool content acquisitions over coming months. It wants the new programming blocks to mirror the design of original UK channel, which broadcasts locally produced shows such as Go & Be a Grown Up and Cartoonito Karaoke.

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