Nancy Kanter teams up with Netflix to develop new original content for kids and families worldwide

Animation Originals OTT Top News

Netflix has entered into a new partnership with Disney Channels veteran Nancy Kanter and her Available Light Productions to develop and produce new original content for the whole world to see. 

Through the partnership, Kanter will develop and produce animated and live action projects, both feature films and series, for kids and families to enjoy worldwide on Netflix.

Nancy Kanter

Kanter most recently served as Executive Vice President, Content and Creative Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide, and is a 20-year Disney veteran who established the Disney Junior brand, developing popular programming for the network and growing them into franchises, including the Peabody Award-winning Doc McStuffins, the Emmy Award-winning Sofia the First, the Emmy Award-nominated Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and The Owl House, and other hit series Elena of Avalor and Vampirina  for Disney Junior. She also shepherded High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Monsters at Work (for Disney +), Secret Society of Second Born Royals and the upcoming movies Spin and Sneakerella, all for Disney+. 

Nancy Kanter said: “Throughout my career I’ve challenged myself to think differently, imagine bigger and aim higher. I am delighted at this opportunity to partner with the innovative creators and executive team at Netflix who value those same aspirations, and I look forward to working with them to create new stories that will inspire the minds and touch the hearts of kids and families everywhere.”  

Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Original Animation, Netflix, said: “We want Netflix to be the home of the world’s best storytellers and creative visionaries, and few embody that more than Nancy Kanter. She’s already made a lasting impact on a generation of kids — creating opportunities to see their lives on screen and inspiring them to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. We can’t wait for her to bring new stories to life at Netflix, and continue to entertain and inspire audiences around the world.” 

During her tenure at Disney Channels Worldwide, Nancy Kanter launched original series and movies that are among the most watched for K6 – 14 in recent years including the #1 movie on cable for 2019, Descendants 3, along with High School Musical: The Musical: The Series for Disney+. She also led the development for Disney+ of Monsters at Work — a sequel to Pixar’s Monsters Inc and the feature length Phineas & Ferb Movie: Candace Against the Universe for Disney+. Content created under Kanter’s leadership garnered widespread acclaim, earning awards from nearly every entertainment organization including Emmy, Annie, NAACP, IMAGEN, GLAAD and Peabody Awards. Prior to her most recent role, Kanter was Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide (2012-17). There she developed popular programming for Disney Channel including the Peabody Award-winning Doc McStuffins, the Emmy® Award-winning Sofia the First, the Emmy Award-nominated Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and The Owl House, and other hit series Elena of Avalor and Vampirina  for Disney Junior, along with High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Monsters at Work (for Disney +), Secret Society of Second Born Royals and the upcoming movies Spin and Sneakerella, all for Disney+.  Under her leadership, Disney Junior became the #1 preschooler-dedicated TV network for 8 years in a row (2013-20). In 2011 and 2012, she led the successful rebrand of Playhouse Disney to Disney Junior, establishing the brand as a global powerhouse, with a total of 36 Disney Junior channels in 27 languages around the world. Kanter also spearheaded the expansion of Disney Channel and Disney Junior content into more experiential and pro-social areas, focused on connecting content with resources and information with real-world impact in the areas of ethnic/cultural identity, LGBTQ acceptance, epilepsy research, anxiety, gun safety and children’s health. In 2017, Kanter organized the first ever Disney Channels Worldwide Diversity and Inclusion Summit. She also broke new ground in children’s health by partnering with UNICEF on a program to bring much needed medical information to impoverished families with young children in remote areas of Latin America with the character of Doc McStuffins. In 2020 she initiated a collaboration with the World Health Organization to have Doc McStuffins bring accurate and reliable safety messages to children around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to joining Disney Channel, Kanter was president, Bluecow.com, an internet site for children’s entertainment and early learning. She was previously an Executive Producer for Sesame Workshop, where she supervised the development and production of more than 30 Sesame Street specials and direct-to-video projects, including the Emmy Award-winning “Elmo Saves Christmas.” She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and has served on its Board of Governors. She currently is a board member of the Hollywood Health & Society at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and serves on the Advisory Council for the UCLA Center for Scholars and Storytellers.