The future of children’s TV could be ‘Super Funiverse’ on Twitch

A boy writes on his phone as he watches TV. (AFP pic)

A new form of Saturday morning TV is finding its home on livestreaming site Twitch, according to a Kotaku report detailing “Super Funiverse” shows “BanzaiBaby’s Workshop” and “The Adventures of Em.”

Phone-ins and studio audiences are being replaced by livestreaming and community chat on Saturday morning children’s show “Super Funiverse.”

Two online shows are teaming up to help pioneer a new form of children’s TV, as Kotaku reports in its February 6 article “Kid-Friendly Twitch Streams Aim To Be The New Saturday Morning Cartoons.”

“Super Funiverse” is the result of toymaker Antoinette Feore (aka BanzaiBaby) and her husband, who created an umbrella brand and Saturday morning programming block for their weekly arts and crafts show “BanzaiBaby’s Workshop,” and another team’s puppet show, “The Adventures of Em.”

Feore’s husband, James, also managed to license 1999 cartoon series “Sonic Underground” to broadcast during each “BanzaiBaby’s Workshop”three-hour make-and-do live set.

“Super Funiverse” then spreads the love by encouraging its audience to drop in on other family-friendly Twitch channels en masse.

The format is a twist on live video game streaming that Amazon’s Twitch is known for, incorporating several standard features.

Twitch’s viewer text chat is used to inspire character conversations and improvised skits, for example, or help decide the course of a story as it’s being told, or allow everyone to watch and comment on a cartoon together.

Children are “not content to be passive consumers of their entertainment,” James Feore told Kotaku.

The two shows started to make plans after meeting at the official TwitchCon convention in October, and this new trend could become Amazon’s uncommissioned answer to a slowly growing collection of interactive children’s stories over on Netflix.

Netflix rolled out special interactive episodes of two existing shows halfway through 2017: Dreamworks’ “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” and Stoopid Buddy’s “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile.”

Then in November 2018 it released a Netflix edition of video game adventure “Minecraft: Story Mode,” a full month before dystopian interactive sci-fi film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” caught the attention of the adult world.