03.18.15 Good morning. It’s Wednesday March 18, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.
Exclusive: The Sinclair Broadcast Group is adding Steve Rotfeld Productions’ STEM-centered Xploration Station block beginning in fall 2016. The three-hour Saturday-morning block will run on 38 Sinclair stations, including all 36 of its Fox affiliates, for five years, according to terms of the new deal. Xploration Station premiered this year with two hours on the Fox Station Group, Tribune’s Fox affiliates, and other stations, in 80 percent of the U.S. The Sinclair deal brings carriage to more than 90 percent of the country.
Targeting kids 13-16, the block currently includes Xploration Awesome Planet, Xploration Outer Space, Xploration and Xploration Animal Science. With the Sinclair deal upping the ante to three hours, SRP will be developing two additional half-hour shows. Steve Rotfeld says he’s looking into a sports program with a science theme, and possibly an engineering show. “The STEM theme is what sold this,” he tells CynKids, “so whatever areas we get into we will stay true to that.” A plan to distribute Xploration Station programming to schools is also in the works.
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and other Muppet pals reunite for Disney Junior’s Muppet Moments, a new short-form series featuring conversations between Muppets and kids about topics like apologies, favorite foods and manners. The series will debut on Disney Channel with four shorts on Friday, April 3, beginning at 8:25a, with a new short airing daily through Friday, May 8. New shorts will roll out throughout 2015 and will also be available on WATCH Disney Junior. Kermit has this to say about the new show: "In show business, they say never work with kids or animals. Well, on ‘Muppet Moments’ we break both those rules and a lot more–and the results are fun, silly, and even inspiring."
Discovery Family Channel’s “Dino Madness” programming event takes viewers back to the Jurassic Era on Monday nights this month. It kicked off with new back-to-back episodes of Dinosaurs: The Untold Story on March 16 and continues on March 23 with two additional new eps.
On Monday, March 30, PBS Kids will air the one-hour special Curious George Swings Into Spring, followed by two new episode premieres later in the week. In these new adventures, George does everything from mending a broken costume for Chinese New Year to exploring the great Amazon. The special will repeat on April 3.
Few updates on music awards shows for young and older kids: Recording artist Becky G will take the stage at the Radio Disney Music Awards for the second consecutive year. She has held a 59-consecutive week run on Radio Disney’s Top 30 chart with her last three singles. Show airs Sunday, April 26, on Disney Channel… The iHeartRadio Music Awards will honor Justin Timberlake with its most prestigious award of the evening, the 2015 iHeartRadio Innovator Award. The event, hosted by Jamie Foxx, airs Sunday, March 29, on NBC from 8-11p from L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium.
Are you part of a team that works on a groundbreaking kids series, an addictive game or app, an infectious children’s entertainment campaign? Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards honor the year’s best in children’s, tween and family programming and marketing. Enter today at http://cynopsis.com/event/kids-awards-2015
As it celebrates some of its highest ratings in decades, Cartoon Network is cooking up a big vat of original content. EVP/chief content officer Rob Sorcher shares the recipe with CynKids:
How does the multiscreen universe affect production at CN Studios?
By now, it is assumed that all development will become multiplatform content in execution. But we have now also created an entirely separate multiplatform development group, with its own quest. I believe that if you want to make a real change to the traditional TV pipeline track, you must make a change to internal process as well.
What details can you share about CN Studios’ first original digital series, Mighty Magiswords?
Mighty MagiSwords is borne out of our new multiplatform development group. Yes, this is our first digital series but we fully expect Mighty MagiSwords will become an all-platform property, with varied content deploying over the next year and beyond, including interactive episodes and social media content, all of which is being produced as a total production package. Thinking multiplatform can also mean switching up the platforms for premiere. For instance, we will debut Mighty Magiswords as a Cartoon Network Original on our successful CN Anything app, in 15-second interactive episodes.
Tell us about one of your much-touted new series, We Bare Bears.
We Bare Bears is Cartoon Network’s new comedy series for 2015, and it is the eighth TV series created inside of our Artists Talent Program. Daniel Chong is an alum of both Cal Arts and of Pixar, so he brought his own unique vision to “bear,” including the type of VO talent they’ve brought on. Voiced by Demetri Martin, Bobby Moynihan and Eric Edelstein, with guest starring roles for Patton Oswalt and others. These three bear brothers are a refreshing new entry for our slate.
How/where do you find studio talent and what’s your mentoring process?
We are very fortunate because the talent now finds us. And we have also built a solid creative pipeline with our studio programs, which invite and mentor talent of all types, and from all over the world. Our development systems succeed because our artists develop by drawing and doingvs. talking and written notes. We also allow them time and freedom to explore with other artists and non-executive talent put into the overall mix of feedback. Mostly, we are just not afraid to be wrong. And that’s a drumbeat talent hears from miles away.
Nintendo surprised industry insiders this week with news it’s partnering with Japanese mobile gamer DeNA to develop mobile games based on its iconic franchises including Mario, Pokemon and Zelda. As part of the deal, Nintendo will purchase a 10 percent stake in DeNA for $182 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Verizon signed a multi-year deal with AwesomenessTV to add more than 200 hours of original content per year through OTT video. Available only in the U.S., the AwesomenessTV channel will target teens and young millennials with new scripted and unscripted series; DreamWorksTV will include live action and animated short-form content as well as some of DreamWorks Animation’s recognizable characters. “Mobile is where our audience lives, which is why we are looking forward to working with Verizon to introduce our programming and talent to their massive customer base,” ATV CEO and Co-Founder Brian Robbins said.
Hear from comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates (Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci) on the right way to launch on YouTube, in today’s Cynsiders.
Fuhu, the creator of the children’s Nabi tablet, finalized an agreement with Disney and Discovery Communications to bring videos, apps, games and e-books from their content libraries to the company’s Nabi Pass subscription service. Disney and Discovery join Fuhu partners supplying content to the SVOD service, including National Geographic Kids, DreamWorks Animation, Cupcake Digital, Garfield and Walt Disney Records.
On Thursday, April 2, Amazon Prime Instant Video will debut seven new eps of its original live-action series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, exclusively for Prime members at no additional cost. Series was created by first-time writer David Anaxagoras and exec-produced by Oscar winner Luke Matheny (God of Love). The coming-of-age tale of friendship is the first kids series to receive a greenlight from Amazon Studios’ open-door pilot submissions process.
Five new episodes of DreamWorks Animation’s Netflix original series All Hail King Julien will start airing on Friday, April 3. In the new eps, King Julien gets everyone hooked on caffeine, tries to automate life on Madagascar (to disastrous effects), embarrasses Maurice, misrepresents the truth and generally brings chaos wherever he goes.
Kids VOD service Toon Goggles’ budding 4K streaming video app is headed to Sony’s 4K Ultra HD TVs and media players. Toon Goggles features more than 300 eps of animated and live-action 4K content. In other Toon Goggles news, the service is now preinstalled on VOXX Electronic Corp.’s Audiovox and Advent-branded Android headrest systems, bringing the platform’s content to rear seat entertainment systems.
"The key to selling against digital competition is knowing when to compete and when to complement. When clients say they’re spending their budget on paid search, rather than fight them, tell them: Then we are a perfect fit…we can help you improve your paid search in three ways,” says Digital Media Training CEO Steve Bookbinder. Hear what else Steve and other media experts have to say at the Cynopsis webinar, How to sell digital advertising in a fragmented media World,” on March 31st at 1:30PM est. Register here.
Thomas & Friends are chugging over to the iStoryTime Library, powered by Cupcake Digital. Fifteen read-aloud titles from the HIT Entertainment brand will join the iStoryTime lineup of children’s movies, television and literary sources, which already includes HIT’s Mike the Knight brand… In other Cupcake news, the company will launch a Max & Ruby Bunny Bake-Off app tomorrow, timed to coincide with Easter.
Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana signed a publishing deal with Scholastic that gives the publisher worldwide English-language rights to produce books in a number of formats based on its new series Little Charmers. Scholastic will launch the series in the U.S. and Canada in spring 2016 with two books–Meet the Charmers and Double Trouble. Little Charmers, produced by Nelvana and Spin Master, airs on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
The competition for best kids’ programming and marketing initiatives
Entry Deadline: May 1, 2015
Late Submissions: May 8, 2015
Awards Event: September 18, 2015 (NYC)
Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.
Kidz Bop is expanding its release schedule from two to four albums per year. The expansion follows the success of Kidz Bop 27, which launched Kidz Bop in January at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, the company’s fastest-selling release in two years. The brand’s second 2015 album will be released March 23, followed by additional releases in the summer and fall. The heightened release schedule coincides with the launch of Kidz Bop’s Make Some Noise tour this month, hitting more than 40 North American cities in 2015.
Genius Brands International appointed two new international sales agents. In Canada, GBI properties will be represented for multiplatform content distribution by Kaleidoscope Entertainment, and in the Western European markets of France, Germany, Benelux, Spain and Italy, NDRL will represent GBI’s content for sales across multiple platforms, as well as licensing and merchandising.
Technicolor finalized broadcast agreements with Ketnet (Belgium), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden) and YLE (Finland) for animated series The Deep, currently in production. The Deep is a co-production between Canada-based Nerd Corps Entertainment (recently acquired by DHX Media) and Australia-based A Stark Production.
Outfit7 Limited, creators of the Talking Tom and Friends brand, snagged five new licensing deals spanning food and beverage, publishing and back to school, which will see the brand enter brick and mortar stores in China, Korea and Japan for the first time.
The cliffhanger episode of Disney XD’s Gravity Falls that aired March 9 ranked in Live +3 ratings as the No. 1 series telecast in the network’s history in Total Viewers (2.057 million) and its top animated series telecast on among K2-11 (1.021 million/2.6 rating), K6-11 (824,000/3.5 rating) and K6-14 (1.147 million/3.2 rating).
Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of March 9-16, 2015
K2-11 Total Programming Day
K2-11 Prime (Monday Sunday 8-11p.m.)
K2-11 (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)
K6-11 Total Programming Day
K6-11 Prime (Monday Sunday 8-11p.m.)
K6-11 (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)
K9-14 Total Programming Day
K9-14 Prime (Monday Sunday 8-11p.m.)
K9-14 (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research National MIT, ranked on coverage ratings
Viewing Type: Live + Same Day
K2-11 Top 10 Programs for the week of March 1, 2105
2/26/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/1788
2/28/15/Bella and the Bulldogs /NICK/9-9:30p/1458
2/28/15/Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn/NICK/8:30-9p/1350
K6-11 Top 10 Programs for the week of March 1, 2015
2/26/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/1293
2/28/15/Bella and the Bulldogs/NICK/9-9:30p/1184
2/28/15/Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn/NICK/8:30-9p/1083
3/1/15/Liv and Maddie/DSNY/8-8:30p/1059
2/23/15/A Cinderella Story/DSNY/8-9:40p/1009
3/1/15/I Didn’t Do It/DSNY/9-9:30p/1004
Source: Turner Research based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800,000 homes, Final Live+7.
Weekend box office estimates for the top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for March 13-15, 2015:
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) PG $5.69 million (weekend) $18.05 million (2-week cume)
SpongeBob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water (20th Century Fox) PG $4.02 million (weekend) $154.61 million (6-week cume)
McFarland USA (Disney) PG $3.6 million (weekend) $34.89 million (4-week cume)
The Duff (Lionsgate) PG-13 $2.85 million (weekend) $30.27 million (4-week cume)
The Lazarus Effect (Relativity Media) PG-13 $2.85 million (weekend) $21.77 million (3-week cume)
American Greetings Properties is revamping its licensing, entertainment, digital and distribution teams, starting with the hire of former longtime Zodiak Kids executive Karen Vermeulen as Head of Global Sales and Co-Productions. AGP is also assigning new roles to several other key execs. Janice Ross, former AGP VP of Marketing, becomes Head of Global Licensing. Megan Buettner, formerly AGP VP of Creative, will move forward as Head of Creative Studios. She will also take on additional duties as the division’s Head of New Media, overseeing the launch of six new licensed apps releasing in 2015 and launching localized interactive Care Bears websites globally. Angelina Castro, former Director of Public Relations, assumes larger duties as Head of Marketing.
Hoho Rights, the commercial arm of kids production company Hoho Entertaiment, appointed Jayne Pitts as its new Head of TV Sales. Pitts has held roles at Primetime (RPTA), Southern Star, ITEL and Granada International (ITV Studios Global Entertainment) and 3DD Entertainment.
FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment appointed Maurizio Distefano as the licensing agent for its property Tree Fu Tom in Italy. The company will first represent Tree Fu Tom in the market at the Bologna Licensing Fair at the end of March.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Webinar: What You Need to Know Now About Programmatic Ad Buying
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 | 1:30PM to 3:00PM
MEET OUR EXECUTIVE PANEL:
– Jason Lopatecki, Chief Strategy Officer for TubeMogul
– Lon Otremba, CEO for Bidtellect
– Brendan Condon, CEO for Media Properties Holdings
– JoAnna Foyle, SVP of Client Services & Operations at Adap.tv (a division of AOL Platforms)
Answer to last week’s Trivia: What was Sarah Michelle Gellar’s first movie? An Invasion of Privacy (1983). No correct guesses this week. Better luck this week!
Today’s Trivia Question: The song “It Isn’t Easy Being Green” was first performed on what show? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)
Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
Cathy@cynopsis.com for Cynopsis Kids!
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