03/20/18: Discovery Family heads into Upfront season with legacy kids brands, Cake Boss spinoff

CynopsisKIDS
Good morning. It’s Tuesday March 20, 2018, and this is your your first early morning Kids briefing!

UPFRONT AT THE UPFRONTS
 
Discovery Family is heralding the return of established kids and family content bolstered by the launch of new series that build on legacy brands- including a primetime Cake Boss spinoff that’ll be exclusive to the network. It’s also continuing to add more programming to the Discovery Family Go app for live and on-demand streaming.
 
Family co-viewing remains top of mind, Angela Sondon, VP at Discovery Family, tells CynKids. “Our biggest emphasis always is the type of content that targets the kids during the daytime but that parents will sit and watch with their kids,” says Sondon. “And then in primetime, we skew female so shows moms would watch and be perfectly comfortable if their kids came and watched with them.”
 
Season 8 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic premieres Saturday, March 24 at 11:30a, with two back-to-back episodes. “We’re excited because this season picks up where the movie last year left off, and we have six new characters,” Sondon says. Up next is the newest incarnation of Littlest Pet Shop, A World of Our Own, bows April 14 at noon. Transformers Rescue Bots Academy – which Sondon describes as “the same concept as Transformers Rescue Bots but more skewed to a preschool audience” – is slated to bow in the fall.
 
In primetime, look for more Buddy Valastro as family competition series Buddy’s Big Bakedown is set to premiere in the fall. “Cake Boss is one of the staples of our Monday night, and based on feedback we’ve gotten we’re co-producing a new series with Buddy where members of his family and others from Carlo’s Bakery rotate being judges,” Sondon says.
 
 
IN THE NEWS
 
Come on down, kids! For the first time in its history, The Price is Right will air “Kids Week,” this week – March 19-23, at 11a on CBS. The Drew Carey-hosted game show will give kids, tweens, teenagers, college students and expecting parents a chance to win. Highlights include Carey hosting a gender reveal, a chance for kids 4-9 to play with their parents for age-appropriate prizes (Tuesday); a “Sweet Sixteen Party” with an audience of 16-year-olds who have the chance to play for a new car (Thursday); and a college student face-off for college tuition (Friday).
 
N.E.R.D., aka Pharrell Williams and Shay Haley, are in to perform their hit Lemon at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, airing live March 24. Addtionally, Common, Yara Shahidi and Hailee Steinfeld are confirmed as presenters for the awards.

 

The Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood 50th anniversary celebration includes a Twitch marathon of the series from The Fred Rogers Company beginning today – Fred Rogers’ 90th birthday – at 10a. Twitch is teaming up with PBS to air 90 of the most popular episodes, followed by a complete run of the show’s 856 episodes.
Some recent musical chairs at Walt Disney Co.: Kevin Mayer, Disney’s chief strategy officer, takes on the new role as head of the Direct-to-Consumer and International businesses. Bob Chapek, head of Disney Parks and Resorts, will take on additional responsibility for Disney’s consumer products (including managing the licensing of toys, apparel, home goods and digital apps) and former consumer products head Jimmy Pitaro moves over to oversee ESPN. Under the reorg, the Direct-to-Consumer segment will expand to comprise the planned ESPN+ and Disney branded streaming services, the company’s stake in Hulu and its international media business, including the international Disney Channels. Among other moves, SVP Agnes Chu moves to the Direct-to-Consumer segment, worldwide ad sales for Disney’s media properties – including all Disney Channels – will move from Media Networks group to Mayer’s unit, and ad sales chief Rita Ferro and Edward Erhardt, president of ESPN sales and marketing, will now report to Mayer.
 
In a sign of solidarity with students staging a walkout to protest lack of sensible gun reform, Nickelodeon and all sister Viacom channels went dark for 17 minutes on March 14. The blackout occurred at 10a one month after 17 students and faculty were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Instead of regularly scheduled programming, onscreen messaging stated, “Viacom stands with all students as they participate in the national school walkout against gun violence.”
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
April 12 at the New York Athletic Club in NYC
Sponsored by Showtime

We’re ready to celebrate the work of the most talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives in the sports industry, saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans. Click here to view our phenomenal category finalists, as well as recipients of our annual Luminary Awards. See you in April!
 
 

PRODUCTION, DEVELOPMENT & DISTRIBUTION
 
Disney Junior ordered a third season of animated series Mickey and the Roadster Racers, the net’s top series among K2-5. Production will continue as season 2 debuts Friday, April 13 at 9:30a. Guillermo del Toro, Alice Cooper, Mario Andretti and Sabrina Carpenter are among season 2 guests.
 
The Winx Club franchise is headed to Netflix as a live-action young adult series. The streaming service is adapting the Italian franchise and for first time bringing the six fairies to life as real teenagers who hone their magic while living together in boarding school. “The famous fairies will grow up with their audience and will explore complex themes as real-life teenage super heroines in a live action show,” Erik Barmack, Netflix VP of international originals, said in a statement.
 
Gkids, distributor of 2018 Oscar contender The Breadwinner, acquired North American rights to sci-fi film Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom. The animated feature from directors Akiyuki Shinbo and Nobuyuki Takeuchi debuted last year in Japan. A summer release is planned.
 
Cake signed a deal with Glee exec producer Adam Anders to distribute teen musical series Kally’s MashUp in the UK and Eire, Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Oceania, Middle East and Africa. The show is exec produced by Anders and Powwow 360’s Daniel Gutman. Kally’s MashUp premiered pan-regionally on Nick Latam and became the top rated show on the network.
 
Kinomind Films and Meta Media Entertainment greenlit new holiday special Hopscotch and the Christmas Tree. The special, based on a book of the same name about a horse and her friends, is slated for broadcast in Q4 2018 and has been presold to the following broadcasters: V-Me (US Hispanic), RTV Slovakia, ERR Estonia, LTV Latvia, and LRT Lithuania. It has also been picked up by French distributor KMBO Films for theatrical, video, TV and VOD rights in French speaking Europe.
 
 
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
 
Season 2 of animated space-themed series Ready Jet Go! blasts off Monday, April 2 on PBS Kids with a week of girl-empowering episodes featuring the adventures of Boxwood Terrace’s own Mindy Melendez, starting with the half-hour special “Mindy Turns 5”. More new eps will roll out each Wednesday in June and July.
 
NBC and Litton Entertainment are bolstering NBC’s The More You Know programming block. Health + Happiness with Mayo Clinic, hosted by nutrition expert Joy Bauer and Mayo Clinic News Network’s Vivien Williams, debuts on the three-hour Saturday morning block April 7. New series is produced in partnership with Tremendous! Entertainment, aiming to help teen viewers form healthy habits as they reach an age when they begin to make more of their own lifestyle choices.
 
 
AROUND THE INDUSTRY
 
Signaling the end of an era, once-dominant toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us will close its doors after 70 years in business. The company, known for its mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe, will shutter or sell all of its 735 stores in the US, according to court documents filed last week. The move means layoffs for 31,000 workers. The company filed for bankruptcy in September but failed to turn around its financial woes.
 
Following the success of last year’s “Best Time Ever” tour, Kidz Bop is hitting the road again, beginning June 1 in Toronto. Dates include NY, LA, Boston, and Winterland, FL, where the tour will stage a three-day event at Legoland Florida on November 10-12. In 2016, Legoland Florida Resort named Kidz Bop its official music partner as part of a multi-year alliance.
 
Look out Black PantherAvengers: Infinity War broke the record for advance ticket sales records on Fandango late last week, making Disney-Marvel’s latest Avengers chapter the top-selling superhero movie ever – in only took six hours.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
CYNOPSIS UPFRONT/NEWFRONT PORTAL
Sponsored by: The Weather Channel Television Network
 
The ultimate guide & research tool for the media buying community looking for the who-what-where-when of the Upfronts and NewFronts. What you’ll find:
 
-digital (and printable) calendar of the Upfront schedule
-network resource guides detailing programs, demo info, and more
-regular updates from the presentations, road shows, and meetings
 
 
 
ADVERTISING & PARTNERSHIPS
 
Sony PlayStation was the sole sponsor of Sunday’s extended episode of Fox’s Family Guy, which ran commercial-free for the first time ever. Before and after the episode, the network aired a 60-second spot, called “Arrow,” to promote the newest installment of PlayStation’s mythology-focused franchise God of War.
 
Dog’s Day Out, a new series about finding rescue dogs their forever homes, sealed its first major sponsorships with iHeartDogs, a media and product company, and Michelson Found Animals, at SXSW. Created by and starring Rocky Kanaka, series offers an element of community involvement as it engages the viewer to help Kanaka on his mission.  
 
 
STATS
 
The 90-minute conclusion of Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels on Monday, March 5 at 8:30p soared over the prior week’s one-hour penultimate episode in Total Viewers (+46% – 673,000 vs. 460,000), Boys 2-11 (+47%)  Boys 6-11 (+47%), Tweens 9-14 (+44%), Boys 9-14 (+63%), K6-14 (+42%) and Boys 6-14 (+51%), according to Nielsen data.
 
 
LICENSING & PARTNERSHIPS
 
Entertainment One selected Alpha Group as master toy partner for its preschool property Peppa Pig in China. A new toy line will launch in in 2018.
 

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Scholastic appointed Stephanie Smirnov as EVP and head of global corporate communications. She’s held leadership roles on both the agency and corporate side, most recently as managing director, brand practice at Edelman New York.
 


Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What is Kratt brother Martin’s favorite color? Blue. Kudos to: Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
 
Today’s Trivia Question: Which TV and radio voice actor was featured in commercials for American Express? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: A limit of four correct answers from each time zone will be selected.).

Anagram – Film based on children’s book: A Tender Off Road Drag Sin (Email trivia@cynopsis.com; first three respondents with the correct answer who aren’t in trivia will be posted in tomorrow’s newsletter.)
 
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