Interview with Lynnette Ng, Manager, Programming, Acquisition, Disney Channels Southeast Asia

By AMRITA VALECHA | 24 January, 2011 - 10:55

Can you share about the evolution of Disney Channels Southeast] Asia's programming mix over the last few years in Asia, across its different feeds?
Disney Asia has two channels, Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney, which serve as single network feeds into Southeast Asia and Korea. To bridge the cultural diversity of the territories, cultures and backgrounds of our viewers, we anchor our programming largely with kid-focused animated comedy as that has the broadest appeal.  This includes our slate of highly popular series such as “Phineas and Ferb”, “Kick Buttowski” and “Stitch!”.   Programming specifically for Asia is also a great opportunity for us to produce and acquire local shows which imbue our channels a unique regional relevance. One of our big success stories in the last year is “Waktu Rehat”, a Malaysian version of our Disney Channel original format, “As the Bell Rings”.

Could you tell us about your role at Disney [Channels Southeast] Asia and what you love about your job?
My core role is to plan for and acquire great content for Southeast Asia, Korea and other Asia-Pacific channels. My days are spent reviewing the best entertainment and figuring out which ones will bring the biggest smiles to our viewers! And to get there, I have the pleasure of working with wonderful colleagues, both within Disney and across the industry. It’s a dream job!

It must sometimes be tough saying no to all those persistent creative people and animation studios that pitch wonderful stuff to you and you like it but for some reason it might not fit into your programming mix? Does that happen often?
Saying no is not the easiest thing, but yes, it does happen because we have a pretty specific brand and remit. Having said that, I’m always hopeful that if we can’t work on something at present, there will be future opportunities we can look towards.

What would you advise upcoming animation producers who would like to pitch for Disney [Channels Southeast] Asia?
Research and be relevant – know your product, know your target audience, and know the broadcaster and brand you’re pitching to.

Which is the most famous show on Disney [Channels Southeast] Asia? (Animation)
“Phineas and Ferb” is really big on Disney Channel, and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” is still a perennial favourite for preschoolers on Playhouse Disney.

How often does Disney [Channels Southeast] Asia release a new show?
Between our two channels, we average at least one new show per month.

What's 2011 looking like from an Animation and particularly Disney [Channels Southeast] Asia point of view?
We have a slate of great new shows premiering in 2011, starting off with our much-anticipated Disney series, “Fish Hooks”, which presents the funniest situations confronted by the most irresistibly engaging cast of characters! Younger viewers will also be treated to brand new animated shows that draw on our Disney heritage and trademarks of loveable characters and compelling storylines.