What Seibert learned developing those two shows was that when it comes to finding unique, oddball programming for kids—the kind of successes you can’t focus-group—your only ally is the law of averages. The idea Seibert and his colleagues at Hanna came up with (which eventually turned into Cartoon Network’s Cartoon Cartoonsand Nickelodeon’s Oh Yeah! Cartoons) would give any traditional network executive hives.
“We had to create a circumstance where we were allowed to fail at a very high rate,” Seibert explains.
If 10 pilots seems like a lot for a single season for any network, how about 48 pilots (“41 failures!” says Seibert, cheerfully) culled from a whopping 5,000 submissions? Granted, these were traditional, seven-minute cartoons like the Bugs and Daffy shorts of yore, not multimillion-dollar dramas. But $10 million is still $10 million, whether you spend it on foie gras or potato chips.