Good morning.It’s Friday, March 28, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.
The gritty reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie released its official teaser trailer on Monday, and it’s a far cry from the animated series that first moved from comics to an animated TV series in 1987. Dark and action-packed, the Michael Bay-produced film still features human-sized turtle/men wearing masks and brandishing swords, but there’s a lot more slamming into cars and sliding down snowy mountains than humor – and not one mention of pizza. The movie will be in theaters on August 8.
Scriptwriter Brooke Eikmeier, whose pilot drama Alice of Arabia at ABC Family was scrapped March 21, defended herself in a Hollywood Reporter editorial Thursday against charges leveled by advocacy groups that her script perpetuated negative stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims. She said the series summary that went public created the “exact opposite of the cultural tone I was trying to achieve,” and called an article written about the script on Buzzfeed a “hit job.”
Webheads, Nickelodeon‘s new child competition game show, now has a host: Carlos PenaVega, formerly of Big Time Rush. The 40-episode, half-hour summer game show, produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions, features kids competing in challenges based on viral videos.
Tom and Jerry, the original animated cat-and-mouse antagonists, return with an all-new series on Cartoon Network on April 9. The Tom and Jerry Show will feature two 11-minute elements, with the pair naturally plotting against one another, but also expanding beyond their usual home and backyard battlegrounds into more fantastic settings. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation with producers from Renegade Animation.
Sprout is moving its headquarters to the home of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, in New York City from Philadelphia. In a press announcement, a representative said the move would allow for better synergy between Sprout and NBCUniversal’s portfolio of resources, assets, talents and networks. Sprout daily morning show Sunny Side Up will also now have a studio in the building. NBCUniversal took full ownership of Sprout in November 2013.
To mark the 75th anniversary of DC Comics’ Batman, Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Entertainment outlined plans for a year-long celebration that will include a commemorative 75th anniversary Batman logo, a “Cape/Cowl/Create” art exhibit in which artists will interpret the Dark Knight’s headpiece and cape from the forthcoming Batman: Arkham Knight videogame, two animated Batman shorts, the new Gotham drama series for Fox, and an expansion of already-available consumer products. Additionally, anniversary-related activities will thread throughout WB Entertainment properties throughout the year. Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939.
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Van Partible (Johnny Bravo), Scott Eaton (Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Lost Planet 3) and Depeche Mode founder Vince Clarke have banded together to create Dancers of War, a new video game for Mac and PC. The third-person action video game involves mashing up the world of dance and music and features Sgt. Jack Dancer, a marine in a world where dance has been weaponized. The trio will launch a Kickstarter fundraiser on March 31 to try and raise $750,000 to create the game.
Disney Interactive and LucasArts have launched a mobile game that gives Star Wars fans a new look into the history of their favorite characters, in Star Wars: Assault Team. The game is available for iOS, Android and Windows devices, and is set in the time period between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.
Dinosaurs are extinct, but kids love them, and Oceanhouse Media has released another educational app to fuel children’s imaginations by mixing information with storytelling. Smithsonian‘s Is Apatosaurus Okay? puts one particular dino in danger, and follows the story of what happens to him. The app will be available for iOS and Android on March 27.
Jake and the Never Land Pirates are now part of two all-new appisodes that will tie in with the popular Disney Junior series. Developed by Disney/ABC Television Group, the appisodes are geared at fans aged 2-7, and allows them to play along while Jake and Captain Flynn delve into a mystery. The appisodes can be viewed on the Disney Junior Appisode App for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
Scholastic USA and Italian-based company Atlantyca Entertainment have released the first Geronimo Stilton app, based on the book series of the same name, for iOS. The app’s brand experience gives readers access to games, activities and “treat” rewards similar to the ones found on the Geronimo Stilton website, and can be found on iTunes.
Peppa Pig’s Mummy Pig is getting her own range of seasonal garments thanks to Entertainment One Licensing‘s brand extension with UK grocery and department store Asda. George Pig and Daddy pig already have spin-off merchandise lines, and this new iteration will see Mummy Pig products including pajamas and socks, all in limited edition to tie in with Mother’s Day.
Paul Robinson, who founded and ran NBCUniversal’s international children’s channel KidsCo has signed on with German group Your Family Entertainment and will be in charge of taking the kids brand worldwide. Robinson left KidsCo in 2011.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has promoted Kristin Dulaney from Associate Director, Subsidiary Rights to Subsidiary Rights Director.
Disney UK has given the green light to a fourth season of Goalmouth, which airs on Disney XD. The soccer (known as football in the UK) show encourages young players to train like their favorite players. New features in the show a Ten Minute Training presented by former Premiere league star Fabrice Muamba, tips from the pros, the science behind tricks and skills, and the history of the game. The new season will launch on April 24.
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