Consisting of several original productions with real actors and many new productions, the Youth Program for the beginning of September on Radio Canada is once again diversifying and targeting all children.
“Makinium”, “Alix and the Marvelous”, “No Entry!” And “Side Effect” are just a few of the headlines that will tickle youngsters over the next few weeks. The show will extend from young children to teens.
Young people are serious business for Crown. “On TV, we cover around 30 hours of programming each week and have significantly increased the content on Tou.tv,” explains Christian Aslin, Senior Director of ICI Tou.tv and webtélé et jeunesse. That’s not counting the Youth Web Zone and the School Tour.
From young children to teenagers
Of the 23 new youths — seasons or series — that will soon hit the schedule, 14 are original productions, because it is “nice to see yourself on screen” and appreciate “a reflection of the society in which young people currently live.”
And this is regardless of the period of childhood.
“In Radio-Canada’s youth strategy, it is very important to provide content for all ages. This is a challenge,” explains Ms. Asselin. In recent years, we have given ourselves the challenge of covering ages from 2 to 12 and even providing content for teenagers. It’s the parents who put the kids in front of the TV, but then we want them to choose us.”
All platforms combined, display a happy combination. “We are kind of like wheat minis, with the sweet side and the salty side. Other TVs are more educational and some are really meant to entertain. We try to convey the good values in our shows while entertaining.”
While the scope of production is wide, we, on the other hand, are not ready to see the emergence of puppet shows (audience is small) and reality shows dedicated to young people (the topics discussed do not fit the mandate).
Looking to the future
If Radio Canada is making all these efforts to impress the kids, it is because it has to face stiff competition from all over. Disney and Netflix in this world also have assets in their catalog.
“All the platform frenzy and the movement towards other platforms is again putting young people at the heart of how we will keep our audiences,” says Christian Asselin. If 6- to 9-year-olds, or my 12-year-old daughter, never listen to Radio-Canada’s content, it makes future difficult audiences. We have a responsibility on our shoulders…”
Hence, the multiplicity of meeting places is here to stay. “If we wanted to have strong young people in French-speaking Canada, we decided to be everywhere because the kids are everywhere. And they still listen to TV.”
Several youth universes will be revealed by ICI Télé during the week of September 13th. For the schedule: ici.radio-canada.ca/tele. To access the Youth Zone on the web: ici.radio-canada.ca/jeunesse/scolaire.
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