As Chief Content Officer at Cartoon Network, Rob Sorcher has witnessed a radical shift in the idea of what storytelling is. Instead of a single author putting forth a vision in a classic three-act structure, today storytelling is a much more collaborative, participatory process. Not only does it involve brilliant creators with a clear vision, it also means being open to input from the audience, who have an expectation of interactivity and want to contribute. For a show like OK, K.O.!, for example, audiences responded not just to the narrative, but to the show's fully realized world and identifiable characters—its entire ecosystem.
Sorcher also makes sure that when a story is told, it's told in as many mediums and in as many ways as possible. He and his team often introduce new properties not with a television show, but via games, comics, social media, and other platforms, creating a world with a million of different jumping-off points—and one that audiences can imagine themselves inhabiting. The goal isn't to monetize the property, however; it's about developing it to be as rich as possible, about using good storytelling to make it resonate and transmissible in a multitude of ways.