I'm doing research from own pitch bible and am trying to figure out time and episode constraints. However i'm confused about differences between 11 minute cartoons vs 22 minute cartoons and the pros and cons for an animated tv series.
From my understanding, 11 min cartoons aren't often plot based, so that the networks can mix them up in different combinations, like Spongebob Square Pants, or Dexter's Lab. However, I'm noticing that some 11 min shows do have series running plots like Steven Universe and Adventure Time. 11 min shows take less time/ money to make because they're shorter too.
22 min shows run for a whole segment (as opposed to 2 episodes in a segment), so the stories are sequential and have a running plot through out the series like Avatar The Last Airbender, Gravity Falls and most anime.
Episodical stories will catch the attention of new views and people who don't watch every episode, while series long plots will generate a continuous fan base who watch every episode.
Ok, I seem to know a lot already, so what's my actual question? When pitching to a TV network, what is it that they are looking for? Do they prefer the 11 mins to the 22 mins, or does that depend on the type of story that you're pitching?
Commercials, who will they be selling your work to is the number one issue, from what I have heard. As long as you do not cut into the commercials lots the produce can be any length. I am guessing about this.
In my experience of working on animated pilots, the length of the show really isn't as important in the pitching process as the TONE of the animation and also EDUCATION. Yes...Education... Unfortunately, all major networks have to weave in some kind of education into their shows...it can't just be 11mins or 22 mins of gratuitious violence...
On the other hand, the networks I've made pilots were:
2x 11 mins for a total of about 50 episodes (they commision in 22 minute blocks but each episode is 11 mins...) Also this was for a 5 to 10 age group
The younger age group pilot was for 25 x 6 minute episodes, but this was for pre school
So really, you need to weigh in other factors like age group. The younger the age group the shorter the show and the more education you need to factor in.
Hope that helps