Alison Bakunowich, general manager, Nickelodeon UK and Ireland talks to Licensing.biz about the global success of the hit pre-school series Shimmer and Shine.
For those that don’t know yet, can you talk us through Shimmer and Shine. What is the show about and what audiences are you targeting?
Created by Farnaz Esnaashari-Charmatz (the post-production supervisor for Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go), Shimmer and Shine follows twin genies and their adventures in Zahramav Falls.
The series uses imagination, magic, fun and music to tell stories with a strong base in the emotional-intelligence curriculum.
What has early response to the show been like from audiences?
The response has been fantastic.
Within the UK, the show has been watched by over eight million viewers across Nick Jr. and Milkshake, with the show achieving above benchmarks on both channels. Internationally, the response has also been impressive.
Beyond ratings we have also had huge response across social media and this Halloween got the endorsement of Hollywood actor Jessica Alba and her daughter who dressed up as the genie sisters.
Has the success of the show taken you by surprise, what sort of demand are you seeing from audiences?
Given the work that went into the development and production of the series, we’re not surprised by the property’s popularity. Audiences love the show, which is fantastic and means that we are seeing great ratings for episodes and an appetite for the property across our digital platforms and consumer products.
What makes Shimmer and Shine unique within the pre-school TV environment?
There is nothing else like Shimmer and Shine in the pre-school space with its magical setting, use of music and co-operative learning.
A lot of work went into the series to give it the greatest chance of success. From development to focus testing, to launch, we have done all we can to ensure that Shimmer and Shine grabs the attention of pre-schoolers and their families.
The challenges in the pre-school space are primarily around the competition from existing beloved brands. We have been fortunate as we can provide an ideal platform for launching new shows in Nick Jr., the channel and the website.
We have been able to build upon these top platforms with a creative launch and sustain marketing and PR, all designed to raise awareness of the show and sustain audience attention.
The placement of Shimmer and Shine across platforms is also driving maximum awareness of the property, ensuring its chances of cut-through. The availability of our properties across multiple services can be an effective tool – letting families find and enjoy properties.
Streaming services form part of our scheduling strategy for all of our shows. Pre-schoolers now are truly multi-platform and so we do all we can to make sure that our content is available wherever audiences are.
Does Shimmer and Shine have the potential to become a children’s classic?
I am biased, but yes. I really think so. The core of the property is so strong and the setting so vivid and engaging that I can see it lasting for many years to come.
What’s the next big step for Shimmer and Shine in the broadcasting space?
In the UK, new season two episodes continue to roll out on Nick Jr. and Milkshake. We will be supporting these episodes with various stunts and special promotions.