BY SHERRY DEAN CURRERI
Although he often flies around the world to manage television networks that reach over one billion people, Sony Pictures Television President of Networks Andy Kaplan still finds time to support the Zimmer Children’s Museum by serving on its board of directors. In fact, this year he is being honored by the museum for his support at the 11th Annual Discovery Award Dinner. “The Zimmer is a place for young kids to come explore, learn and have fun,” says the father of three children. “It’s a great combination of education and the arts.”
From his headquarters at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, Kaplan oversees some 120 cable and satellite television feeds that go out live around the world every minute of the day. “We have multiple channel brands,” Kaplan explains, “Animax is our Japanese Anime channel in Japan, which is also rolled out into other territories around the world. We’re converting it into a youth brand in Latin America, called Spin. We have Sony Entertainment Television, AXN, AXN SciFi, AXN Crime, AXN Beyond, AXN Black. We have joint venture channels with a number of partners in Australia, and in the US; then there are GSN, which is Sony Pictures game show network in partnership with DIRECTV; Sony Movie Channel; 3Net, a 3D entertainment channel; and FEARnet, a horror/thriller channel.”
How does he keep up with global operations? “In our offices we can see 30 or 40 networks from all parts of the world but, in terms of communicating with the 1,200 employees of Sony Pictures Television all around the globe, I start with Europe in the morning, Latin America in the afternoon, Asia at night.”
Kaplan says there are different facets of programming internationally. “The best of American programming travels well.”
One-hour dramas such as Lost, CSI and House are either dubbed or subtitled depending on the tastes of the people in the region where they air, while reality programming and game shows are often re-done with local hosts and contestants. “We’ve done the Latin American and Indian versions of Idol; The Amazing Race in Asia; a new Deal Or No Deal in India. We do Top Model in Brazil and Mexico, so we we’ve done a lot of local versions based on American and British formats.
Kaplan says his work provides him with a fantastic opportunity to see the world, but he’s always glad to get home to his family.