Harvardwood Presents: Creating TV for Young Audiences

September 27, 2023 at 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Wednesday, September 27th 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET (virtual)

Join Harvardwood for a conversation about television for young audiences with Kari Kim, Sean Presant AB '93Loni Steele Sosthand AB '97Tone Thyne, and Maiya Williams Verrone AB '84

Kari Kim serves as Vice President, Animation Development for Nickelodeon, based in Nickelodeon’s Burbank, Calif. headquarters. Kim is responsible for all aspects of original series and shorts development from concept to pilot, including all creative and production. 

Prior to Nickelodeon, Kim was a development executive at King Features Syndicate, Inc., where she developed and produced content for many of the company’s properties, including CUPHEAD, POPEYE AND FLASH GORDON. Kim also worked as a development executive at pocket.watch, Vice President of Program Development at HLN, and was a founding member of the venture capital-funded production company, Worldwide Biggies. She has also held roles and produced content at Nickelodeon, Spike TV and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. 

Kim resides in Los Angeles with her family, but in her heart she’ll always be a Midwest kid from the suburbs of Detroit.

Sean Presant is an Emmy nominated and NAACP Image Award winning writer, producer, director, and showrunner whose work has taken him repeatedly around the globe, writing about everything from European Nazi occupations to penguin inventory in Antarctica. His first film, SUBURBAN MONOGAMY, won the Art Institute of Chicago's award for Best Independent Film Comedy, played Cannes, South by Southwest, and Deauville, and sold to Canal Plus. Writing and producing credits since include ALMOST PARADISE, INSTANT MOM (TVLand), WIPEOUT (ABC), HAPPILY DIVORCED (TVLand), THE WAYNE BRADY SHOW (ABC), PLANET SHEEN (Nickelodeon), TAB TIME (YouTube Kids) and the Dean Devlin sci-fi film THE DEAL.

A firm believer that stories can change the world, Sean runs the Save Santa’s Home movement, which introduces kids to the issues of climate change and environmental activism.

Loni Steele Sosthand is currently a Co-Producer going into her third season on THE SIMPSONS. Prior to that, she was partnered with Jim Hope as Consulting Producers on Nickelodeon's COUSINS FOR LIFE. Loni has written for various multi-cam family comedies including LAB RATS, DOG WITH A BLOG and BEST FRIENDS WHENEVER. Loni also co-created, co-wrote, and co-produced KATRINA, a half-hour dramedy pilot for The-N (Teen Nick), executive produced by Warrington Hudlin.  Loni is a graduate of Harvard University where she wrote a novel for her honors thesis.  In addition to her writing life, Loni lives in Santa Clarita with her husband, a Stunt Coordinator/Stuntman, her ten-year-old triplets, two dogs, and one very abused minivan.  

As VP of Moonladder, Tone oversees Development and Production of FableVision Studio’s original  animated and live-action broadcast properties. He has acted in the role of Writer, Director,  Showrunner and Executive Producer on several long and short form projects for Aardman Animation,  Sesame Studios, The Dodo, SuperProd, The Boston Pops, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, SpinMaster, and  Guru Studios. Tone was Showrunner/Executive Producer of SpinMaster’s hit preschool series SAGO MINI FRIENDS (Apple+); he was Showrunner/Head Writer for Emmy-award winning series GO GO CORY CARSON (Netflix); Executive Story Consultant on PIKWIK PACK (Disney); and the Supervising Producer for the Emmy award-winning WONDER PETS! (Nick Jr.) During his eleven years at Walt Disney Feature  Animation, Tone contributed to blockbuster films including THE LION KING, POCAHONTAS, TARZAN, and TOY STORY, among others. He has produced animated projects for Mattel, Nickelodeon, PBS, and SyFy  Channel and has personally animated segments for SESAME STREET. Tone is a former advisory board  member of the Fred Rogers Center and the Co-Creator/Co-Executive producer of the CSA award winning series THE ADVENTURES OF NAPKIN MAN!

Maiya Williams grew up in New Haven, Connecticut and Berkeley, California.  She was the first black writer on the Harvard Lampoon and served as Vice President under Conan O'Brien's presidency. After graduating with honors she embarked on a writing career in Hollywood and has been writing and producing television shows ever since.   Her more well known work has appeared on FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR, MAD-TV, RUGRATS, FUTURAMA, and THE HAUNTED HATHAWAYS.  She is also a writer of novels for middle-grade readers, and has five published novels.  Maiya is currently in the process of earning a Masters degree in African American Studies at UCLA.  In her free time, Maiya is a mentor at Write Girl, plays piano and harp, and hikes in the Santa Monica mountains. She is married to fellow TV writer-producer Patric Verrone, they have three lovely adult children and live with their very stubborn chow-husky, Leo.  

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