03/21/14: Sprout plans August debut for newly acquired animated Earth to Luna! series


Good morning. It’s Friday, March 21, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Sprout will debut its newest animated acquisition, Earth to Luna!, on Aug. 16. The series, from Brazil’s TV PinGuim, follows the adventures of a 6-year-old girl who’s "completely, undeniably and passionately" into science. "Sprout is committed to creating and acquiring the best content for preschoolers and their families," said Andrew Beecham, Sprout’s SVP, programming. "Each episode of Earth to Luna! explores the impact that science has on our world, and Luna, in her curious way, pursues answers to scientific questions that viewers will relate to and enjoy."


marblemedia has begun production on its latest preschool project, Hi Opie! The live-action series, which centers around the social, emotional and intellectual escapades of 5-year-old Opie, is being developed in partnership with TVO and features a puppet designed and built by The Jim Henson Co. Each story marks a new chapter in Opie’s personal growth as he participates in, struggles with and inevitably succeeds in kindergarten activities. Exec producers are Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg, along with creator and co-exec producer Barbara Slade (Angelina Ballerina and Rugrats).



Honoring the best in kids programming and marketing

Like the market it serves, the kids content business emanates creativity. From the most outstanding achievements in programming to the marketing and promotion that supports it, Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards honor the best in kids & tweens media.



Shout out to Laurie Berkner, one of CynKids’ 2013 !magination Awards Luminaries, on the impending release of her first-ever lullaby album. Laurie Berkner Lullabies hits retail April 8 on Two Tomatoes/Razor & Tie filled with traditional lullabies and soothing new originals.

Don’t Miss Out… You have until end of TODAY to enter your programming, marketing campaign and executives for the Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards, June 11 in NYC. Hosted by Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander, The Awards honor the best children’s and family multiplatform programming and marketing, plus the outstanding execs in kids entertainment. This year, we will also be honoring an elite group of Animation Innovators. Enter here.


Halloween in April: The producers of Hub Network series Spooksville–Jane Startz Productions and Front Street Pictures are trying to scare up some social media action by staging a Monster Dress-up Photo Giveaway for parents and kids 13-plus who follow the show on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Participants can submit a dress-up monster photo through April 4 for a chance to win a Spooksville-themed goodie basket.

Comcast family member Sprout is among the 18 live channels the distributor added to its outside-the-home streaming Xfinity TV Go app and site. The additions mean a total of 53 live channels are now offered to subscribers at xfinity.com/TV and its app for Android and iOS devices.


Animal Planet is getting all creepy and crawly with its latest app, Real Scary Spiders. Kids – and daring grownups – can "interact" with a pet spider through a unique augmented reality experience. As users advance through the game, they will be allowed to virtually handle their spiders in the real world by directing their device at a trigger object to bring the spider to life. 

One of Disney Junior’s most popular iOS apps, Jake’s Never Land Pirate School, is now live for Android devices. App features include a Sailing obstacle game, Pirate Band musical activity, and the ability to capture or import a photo to create a personalized pirate face.

Pearson’s kid-centric online destination Poptropica is providing members early access this week to the site’s first episodic quest, Survival. The adventure game, which strands participants in the woods with a series of challenges to face in order to make it out safely, will launch to the public on April 17. The first episode of the app is also slated to debut on the recently launched free Poptropica App.

Oceanhouse Media is releasing a pair of apps this week: Cat in the Hat-themed title A Great Day for Pup!: All About Wild Babies, and Just A Day at the Pond, about a summertime visit to a farm.


Penguin is waddling into a new global distribution deal for new animated series Clangers, a co-production between Coolabi, Smallfilms, CBeebies and Sprout that reimagines the British animated preschool show 45 years after it debuted. The publisher will create new books in formats including storybooks, board books, audiobooks and ebooks beginning next fall, and has worldwide distribution rights across all languages. Clangers is set to debut on Sprout in the US next year; BBC Worldwide is serving as the international distributor for the show and Character Options is Master Toy Partner for the property in the UK.


The Jim Henson Co. is licensing the entire Farscape series to the U.K.’s BSKYB for broadcast on PICK, beginning Monday, April 21. The not-for-little-kids astronaut-vs-aliens series, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, combines live-action, puppetry, prosthetics and CGI animation, and has achieved a cult audience around the globe. The series airs in the States on Pivot.

Maybe it should be renamed The Very Healthy Caterpillar. To celebrate the Eric Carle classic turning 45 this week, The World of Eric Carle commissioned a poll asking 2,000 UK parents and kids what 10 foods they would choose for the hungry caterpillar to eat if the book were written today. Some results from the poll include:
– Bananas came top of the list and were voted the most popular food choice by over 67.2% of children aged up to 16 years.
– Mediterranean snacks are more popular with kids than may have been anticipated. 1 in 5 children chose olives for the hungry caterpillar to munch on.
– A third of UK dads voted for Hungry Caterpillar to eat sushi, which didn’t make the top ten lists of either moms or children.
– Unsurprisingly, parents’ overall top three choices were the healthy food options: bananas (73.4%), carrot sticks (66.5%) and broccoli (65.7%).


Saturday Morning Ratings by Block Average  March 15, 2014



Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research. Based on Saturday morning viewing blocks from 7a-1p


Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: What is the only show to date where characters from Hanna-Barbera franchises Scooby-Doo, The Yogi Bear Show, The Huckleberry Hound Show and The Flintstones interact with each other? LAFF A LYMPICS Kudos to: Stefanie Bravata, AMC Networks, NY; Jason Dobbins, Disney Corporate Alliances, Lake Buena Vista, FL; Ellery J. Locklear, Scollon Productions; Mark Serrano, Viacom International Media Networks, NY; Sasha M. Wolff, Discovery Communications, NY; William "Chip" Beaman, Formosa Interactive, West Hollywood, CA; Pat Brady, CESD, LA; Hillary Harmon Powell, Spinning Plates, Burbank;

Today’s Trivia Question: What color is the planet the Clangers live on? (Email cathy@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)


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