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Contact your Disney Media rep for opportunities to reach moms and kids.
03.26.14 Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 26, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.
The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of Maker Studios for $500 million Monday could prove a big boon for youth-geared content: Maker has 55,000 channels, 380 million subscribers and 5.5 billion views per month, and has a young-skewing audience in Cartoonium. But while experts trumpet the way the purchase legitimizes YouTube as a content platform, Variety editor Andrew Wallenstein noted that other youth sites which have been purchased by Disney haven’t always monetized well – like virtual world Club Penguin (acquired in 2007) and social gaming company Playdom.
Nickelodeon’s new animated preschool series Zack & Quack will launch on April 5 on Nick Jr. Following the adventures of a 7-year-old boy named Zack and his best fowl friend, a duck named Quack, the show is produced by The Foundation and distributed by Zodiak Media.
Content producers Twofour Rights will move into children’s TV program distribution with several shows to launch at MIPTV. The three are Our School, a fly-on-the-wall documentary series about schoolchildren; Toot the Tiny Tugboat, an animated series with a nautical theme; and Ludus, a live action fantasy space adventure. Twofour will be seeking worldwide distribution for the shows, and licensing plans are expected to be announced soon.
Aardash Pvt. Ltd., an India-based IP development company, will showcase the pilot of its anchor program Purple Turtle at MIPTV. Purple Turtle is a preschool animated program based on the books by the same name, about a cute turtle who thinks a little differently from others. The books have over 1 million copies published around the world to date.
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Cinedigm has acquired U.S. distribution for Antboy, a live action Danish family film that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 and is based on Kenneth Bogh Anderson’s comic book series about a boy who becomes a superhero after a nip from an ant. Antboy is set to open in select theaters on April 16.
Nickelodeon has launched its 2014 Preschool Animated Shorts Program, and is actively soliciting "silly, whacky, loony and hilariously funny" short videos geared to an audience of 2 to 5 year olds. The deadline for submissions is April 28; specifications and requirements can be found at signup.viacom.com/Nickpreschool/ShortSubmission.aspx.
House of Cards actor Corey Stoll is reportedly in negotiations to join the cast of Marvel‘s Ant-Man. The superhero film, which stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, has a release date of July 2014.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tweeted a few more details about his DC Comics/Warner Bros. movie collaboration, writing that he will play a "well known (but never played)" character in the series. Fans had expected him to be cast as the Green Lantern, but a follow-up tweet from Johnson indicated that wasn’t happening. "GL’s already been made and stamped," he wrote. MTV.com speculated he might in fact be playing Aquaman.
Gabba gabba hey! Cupcake Digital, Inc. and DHX Media are unveiling Yo Gabba Gabba! Babies, an interactive app for preschoolers aged 5 and under. Children will be able to feed, dress, bathe and care for the characters featured on the Nick Jr. TV series. For a limited time the app will be available for $.99, then retail for $2.99.
A new iPad app tied in with Canadian show Planet ECHO has been released in the Apple iTunes store. Dr. Greenie’s Magnotronic was created by Winnipeg-based Media RendezVous Inc. and Toronto-based Positive Productions Inc., and is the second interactive mobile application that connects with the series, which aims to find fun, innovative ways to share science education with kids. The app is free, and includes a 12-minute "appisode" with a game connected to that narrative.
Winx Club fans will have a chance to win a special Winx-themed trip to Italy, thanks to collaboration between Rainbow and the French CitizenKid website. The competition is part of a month-long promotion, and the winner will receive a "fairytale" weekend with his or her family at the Riviera Romagnola in Italy. Contestants just have to answer questions about Winx Club (which airs on Nickelodeon in the U.S.) to enter, though having a working knowledge of French likely helps.
UK broadcaster CBBC has commissioned three new programs, including family dramedy The Millie Show, seaside drama All at Sea and a sci-fi action adventure drama series, The Sparticle Mystery. All feature and are aimed at families or young/tween viewers.
Debbie Ries has left Texas-based NCircle Entertainment, the distribution company she created in 2006. The company has become a top independent distributor of children’s home entertainment, including The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Sid the Science Kid and Room on the Broom. Alexandra Ries, VP of sales and business development, is also leaving the company.
Toronto-based Portfolio Entertainment has hired a new COO: Trent Locke, who will also serve as the company’s VP of finance. Portfolio is the production company behind Doki and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Locke was formerly VP of business operations at Teletoon.
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Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: What were SpongeBob SquarePants’ first words on the show? "May I take your order?" Kudos to: Emilea Johnston, VMN-Nickelodeon, Chicago; Ellery J. Locklear, Scollon Productions, NC; Chris Devine Dailey, Simply Devine Marketing Group, NY.
Apologies: Due to an email glitch we did not receive any Gilligan-related trivia answers until after our deadline had passed. Thanks to all who wrote in, and all of our respects to our ‘lil buddy.Today’s Trivia Question: What dynamic super-do were played by Spike Jones’ niece and a future soap opera star on a short-lived, live action 1970s children’s TV show? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)
Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of March 17-March 23, 2014
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 17-23, 2104
3/22/14/Sanjay & Craig/NICK/10:30-11a/1450
K6-11 Top 10 Programs for the week of March 17-23, 2104
3/21/14/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/8:30-9p/971
3/22/14/Disney Mickey Mouse Short/DSNY/9:50-10p/947
3/22/14/Sam & Cat/NICK/8-8:30p/920
3/22/14/Sanjay & Craig/NICK/10:30-11a/865
Source: Turner Research based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800,000 homes.
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Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
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