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Netflix wades into kids' shows

Netflix hopes new animated series will tap into the lucrative market for children's shows...and merchandizing.

Netflix is teaming up with DreamWorks to create its first original cartoon series. The new Netflix cartoon will be based on the DreamWorks movie, Turbo, about a snail who becomes super fast through a freak accident, and dreams of becoming a race car driver.

Netflix spokesman Joris Evers says, with the Turbo series, Netflix is shifting more of its focus to kids.

“Last year alone our members streamed more than two billion hours of kids content," says Evers.

Why is kids programming so attractive? It might have something to do with monster hits like Sponge Bob, which generates billions -- making money on and off the screen.

Stuart Levine, TV and features editor at Variety, says a popular show can spawn its own product line.

“You know, the DVD's and the toys and the pillows," he explains,  "and that’s what makes it such a huge hit for both the network and the studio.”

Plus, Levine says, children's shows don’t cost much to make, and a hit like Sponge Bob, can run forever.  

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.
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