Cookie Jar Targets Bargain Shoppers At MIPCOM

The Canadian animation giant will be shopping classic library titles like "Arthur" and "Super Mario Brothers" to European broadcasters that it bets are reining in spending in hard times.

TORONTO -- MIPCOM-bound Michael Hirsh is packing his suitcase full of proven TV ratings winners from his Cookie Jar Entertainment library to lift the ad downturn gloom he sees surrounding European broadcasters.

“We think that it’s a good moment for library,” Cookie Jar CEO Hirsh said ahead of the Cannes TV market.

He’s betting harsh economic times in Europe has local broadcasters reining in programming investment.

So Cookie Jar will be at MIPCOM Jr. 2011 shopping classic library titles like Arthur, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Brothers, Caillou and The Busy World of Richard Scarry.

“You’re not taking a chance on shows where you know how they will perform,” Hirsh said of catalogue titles, which will also be shopped to new digital and online channels.

Also occupying the Cookie Jar topper these days is the search for a new head of his TV development arm in Los Angeles after former executive vp and head of worldwide television Tom Mazza moved over to rival Canuck producer Shaftesbury Films.

Hirsh said Cookie Jar is not getting out of primetime cartoons, just live action primetime, as it returns to a focus on kids TV and animation.

“Tom (Mazza) was originally part of an effort to broaden the company’s offering, and we decided to pull in our horns and focus on our strengths,” he explained.

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