Teletoon ‘detours’ into online pilot project

Gathering viewer feedback on new 'toons is a primary goal of the hook-up, and enabling advertisers to get an early peek at shows may help plan potential brand involvement.

In a move that fans of adult animation will probably find irresistible, Teletoon Canada is allowing viewers to comment on, and vote for, 10 original pilots debuting weekly on and Teletoon’s Detour site for potential development into series.

The pilots, targeted at adult males 18 to 34, were commissioned as part of the Teletoon Detour Pilot Project, which launched in 2007 to find new programming for Teletoon’s evening and nighttime lineup. Starting Oct. 23, the pilots will run simultaneously on microsites hosted on and the Detour site for 10 weeks. The 11th week of the campaign will feature the pilot of a series already in development.

The episodes will be promoted on air on Teletoon and Sympatico’s homepage, and will also be available through iTunes podcasts. It’s the first time the broadcaster has worked with an external media partner in partnership like this, Athena Georgaklis, manager, original productions, Teletoon Canada, tells MiC.

The goal of the series was to gather audience feedback on the pilots, says Georgaklis, and comments will be collected on a forum on the Detour page. At the end of the 11-week schedule, viewers will be able to vote on their favourite show. That show (or more than one) may be put into development once all the feedback has been gathered and processed. Should one go ahead, the info gathered will be extended to interested advertisers looking to reach Teletoon’s distinctly niche Detour audience.

‘Absolutely we would share info of this kind if it helped bring one of these titles to reality and bring sponsors or branding efforts to help finance these things,’ Georgaklis says.

‘Admittedly, we’ve tried to get involved in product integration early on in production [of other shows], and it’s always difficult from a branding perspective because we don’t know what a show’s going to look like and how it’s going to resonate. But I think that the half-hour pilots being out there will help everyone understand how to reach that audience.’