Canada's Tricon Films Lands Frank Saperstein as Kids and Family TV Head

Courtesy of Tricon Films

The former Entertainment One exec will lead a charge into animation and scripted programming.

TORONTO — Canadian indie producer Tricon Films & Television has landed industry veteran Frank Saperstein to lead a charge into animation and scripted kids and family programming.

The former senior vp of family TV at Entertainment One becomes executive vp, kids, family and animation, based in Los Angeles and reporting to Tricon president Andrea Gorfolova.

Saperstein's new duties include overseeing production and programming in Tricon's boutique kids and family business.

Saperstein will work with previous interim head of kids and family programming Jon Rutherford as he focuses on Tricon's international distribution and business development, and will also work with Ashley Rite, who continues as head of kids development.

Until now, Tricon has made a name in kids and family reality and event programming with series like The Next Star, a YTV competition series now in its seventh season, and the upcoming Mission: 4Count, also for YTV.

But Saperstein added Tricon's next frontier was animation and scripted programming.

"It's the right time to grow the business in that direction," he told The Hollywood Reporter, while insisting Tricon is looking beyond traditional channels to produce content for fast-growing digital platforms, including Youtube and Netflix, and to expand its licensing and merchandising efforts.

"We are not locked into having the next hit tween TV show or doing family movies or late night animation. We're looking at all of those areas to build potential brands and find audiences that will stay with us," Saperstein added.

The Emmy-nominated producer most recently led his own TV development and production shingle, Surprise Bag, and before eOne held executive posts at Blueprint Entertainment, the Philippine Animation Studio and VH1/MTV Networks.

Saperstein's TV credits include Pee-wee's Playhouse for CBS and Ren & Stimpy for Nickelodeon.