VIDEO: DreamWorks Animation Television’s Margie Cohn

Margie Cohn, the president of DreamWorks Animation Television, discussed binge-worthy content and girl-centric shows in her MIPJunior keynote, which was followed by a Q&A with World Screen’s Anna Carugati.

Cohn’s keynote speech was titled Creating Timeless Content in Ever-Changing Times, but she stressed at the opening of her address that “there never has been, nor will there ever be, a formula for creating timeless content. Indeed, whenever content gets formulaic, you can be pretty sure it’s not going to be timeless.”

DreamWorks Animation Television was founded in 2013 with a business plan that initially consisted of “a piece of paper with a bunch of names on it: titles from DreamWorks IP and the Classic Media library, which mostly consisted of older cartoons and comic-book titles.” From that initial outline, DreamWorks Animation Television clinched a landmark deal with Netflix for 300 hours of animated content. “We had a staff of about five people at the time,” Cohn said.

While that deal was daunting, Cohn said, she knew the business had some clear advantages, notably, “we had overall series commitments for multiple seasons, not season-by-season orders. This not only gave us a pipeline but also meant there’d be no renewal anxiety. It also enabled us to tell complete, layered, immersive stories with narrative threads that pull through from beginning to end.”