Time marched on. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and I kept writing. I finished my Get Along Gang script. I wrote two more scripts for The Littles. I still wasn’t getting any accolades or even an “Atta boy” from Jean.
It would take another fifteen years until he’d explain why. It didn’t matter. I accepted it was his way. I was in the entertainment business now, so I thought I should learn how itworked. The first thing I learned was that anew engine was starting to drive children’s television–toy, product and licensing revenues. For sure there were merchandise tie-ins all the way back to Mickey Mouse in 1928. But now merchandise tie-ins were coming in to their own.
Toys, product and merchandise sales generated revenues, providing production funds for television series. In turn, television series created exposure that generated more toy sales which, in return, generated still more revenues that funded the production of new episodes and new seasons of series.
I did my research and learned the two series DIC was producing–The Littles and The Get Along Gang–didn’t have much in the way of merchandise tie-ins. That worried me. What would I do if the production funds for the shows weren’t there and they didn’t get picked up for another season? Something nagged at me; something Lori said about how The Get Along Gang was owned by Those Characters from Cleveland, which was, in turn, owned by American Greetings. I wondered why she said that. This was long before the internet, so I headed to the library.