"Hey Kids, Let's Cook!"
Taking a Local TV Show National.
The television industry is highly competitive, to say the least. With more show producers than ever before in the market, the fight for air time is vicious and only the best make it on screen. We worked with a Fresno-area educator, whose children’s show had plateaued while working with a different producer, in totally revamping the show to bring new life and energy to the project. Through our efforts, the show was able to land a larger distribution deal that would grow the show’s viewership from California’s Central Valley to 62% of U.S. households. The show became the first Fresno-produced TV show to go national since the 1970s.
The “Hey Kids, Let’s Cook!” television show is the brainchild of Fresno-area educator Kathy Powers who is passionate about kids’ health. The TV show is the natural progression of Kathy’s desire to reach as many youth as possible, bringing awareness to nutrition and healthy eating habits through an innovative cooking show. The show was on air for six seasons and had established a local audience in California’s Central Valley; but Kathy was getting feedback from parents that the show could have more of an impact with a modernized presentation and enhanced animations.
Producing a Hit
We started from the ground up by first creating an animated show logo. Also, a newly revamped fully functional kitchen set was built in our video production studio with a 12-foot-by-50-foot green screen cyclorama to support large-scale visual effects. To ensure the best on-screen chemistry, we provided casting support and screen testing. We shot the show in 1080p using multiple HD cameras and a 15-foot jib for consistent image quality from every angle. Furthermore, a complete overhaul of the show’s animations was done. All of these phases worked together to create a reinvigorated show that was ready to deliver on viewers’ expectations.
Animating Star Quality
A critical aspect of this project was elevating the level of animation production for two of the show’s stars: Farrah on Manners and My Plate. These beloved characters helped the young audience connect with tips on proper etiquette and healthy eating habits, respectively. Our multimedia team brought these two stars to life using Adobe After Effects for a professional-quality result.
Expanding the Brand
The hard work paid off. Kathy was able to strike a larger distribution deal for the show’s seventh season, expanding from a local market to 62% of U.S. households. The enhanced production value clearly communicated professionalism to help viewer engagement and made it a more marketable project for the network. The show also got the attention of First Lady Michelle Obama who invited Kathy and our team to the 2013 Kids State Dinner as members of the press corps. This special trip will be featured in an episode of the show’s eighth season.