M6 Group Execs Outline Programming Strategy at Annecy


M6 Group’s Coralie Boitrelle-Laigle and Fatoumata Diallo told Mifa attendees today about the content driving the success of its children’s channels and platforms in France.

Boitrelle-Laigle, director of youth channels in France for the M6 Group, and Diallo, program advisor for youth channels for the M6 Group, highlighted the content strategies across Gulli, Canal J (8 to 12), TiJi (preschool) and the M6 Kid morning block, as well as Gulli.fr and M6+.

“The French TV market for children and family is really crowded, and yet our channels have had loyal audiences for years,” said Boitrelle-Laigle. “We believe in a combination of linear and nonlinear. The opportunity for Gulli is that we can offer kids an experience they cannot find anywhere else. Gulli is a cross-platform brand of quality and diversity. We have the authenticity of the correct proximity to the kids’ own living environment. I hope that you can feel those topics in the content.”

She called Gulli the “metamark” engine, touching all different kinds of kid brand accelerations, including live experiences.

Diallo highlighted how Gulli has historically been a linear channel, but it has been developed in the digital landscape, citing 1.5 million downloads on the app, 2.5 million followers on social, 3 million subscribers on Gulli Max and 200 kids brands on M6+.

For that channel, the best-performing preschool IPs include Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends, Firebuds, Madagascar: A Little Wild, Baby Shark’s Big Show!, Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures, Gabby’s Dollhouse and Kamp Koral. Shows getting renewed seasons worldwide include Pokémon Horizons: The Series, Totally Spies!, The Loud House, Alvin!!! and the Chipmunks, SpongeBob SquarePants, Rugrats, The Really Loud House, Big Nate, Kung Fu Panda and Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. There are also top-performing programs that showcase a long-standing relationship with the toy industry, including Polly Pocket, Barbie: A Touch of Magic, Sonic Boom, Beyblade Burst, Monster High, Rainbow High, Cry Babies and LEGO City Adventures.

“Each year, we invest in French animated production, and we commission five to ten new series—it’s a little number,” Boitrelle-Laigle said. “We are really serious when we read your work and watch your designs.”

She noted the model is to work in prebuys and that “a prebuy with Gulli often will involve working with other partners, such as the BBC, Super RTL or Pop and other European channels and platforms. We also work a lot with Warner Bros. Discovery. We are really open to different kinds of rights and can discuss project by project.”

Diallo highlighted “an exciting lineup for 2024” that includes 12-plus animated works in development, production and soon-to-air, with 400 ½ new hours of French animation broadcasting on Gulli channels worldwide in 2024. “Our main focus is comedy. We love to entertain kids, and we know how much joy and laughter is important in their lives. Whether it’s a sitcom-driven show like The Sisters or an adventure-driven show like Totally Spies!, we really have comedy at the core. What will make it a Gulli show is the comedy, not just in the dialogue but also in the visuals, with dynamic characters with a lot of expression. When you go to the Gulli channel, you see vibrant colors and know it’s Gulli.”

She highlighted that for TiJi, targeting kids 4 to 8, the values are around showcasing role-model heroes, imagination and positivity, with a tone that is enthusiastic, cheerful and playful.

Canal J, for audiences 8 to 12, the core values are adventure, fun and comedy.

As for evaluating projects, Boitrelle-Laigle said, “We’re really lucky because the creativity is massive, but there are some trends. This year, we had five non-verbal slapsticks to read, and zero the year before. We’ve got a very eclectic proposition. We want something that’s ‘in the air.’ We want a fresh tone. We’re happy with a classic, such as The McFire Family, but there’s something of today in this show.”

Diallo said that at this current moment, the wish is for “comedy that is inside the daily life of kids. The Sisters works so well because it’s relatable for kids to see a sibling dynamic. Shows like this that have a touch of magic but also have something new.”

Regarding the stage of development the team evaluates projects in, Diallo said you need a bible, graphic elements and a script (but several scripts are better). “When we go into a development with a producer, it’s because we are almost 100 percent sure it will go into production. We only do prebuys, but maybe in the future we will be open to co-production. It would need to be a huge IP.”