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 Panther… Avengers: 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.