03/30/16: DXD walks the Prank; Nick gets Loud; Sprout goes Kapow


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 30, 2016, and this is your weekly issue of Cynopsis: Kids!


Disney XD will premiere Walk the Prank on Wednesday, April 6 at 8:30p. Blending scripted comedy with real hidden-camera pranks the series follows a team of practical jokesters who create over-the-top pranks.

Ten sisters and one brother? Welcome to The Loud House, Nickelodeon’s newest animated comedy, which debuts Monday, May 2 at 5p. Inspired by creator Chris Savino’s life growing up in family of 10 kids, the 26-ep series follows 11-year-old Lincoln Loud and his 10 sisters as he gives an inside look at what it takes to survive the chaos of a huge family. A first-look at full-length episodes from the series will be available Friday, April 1, and Friday, April 15, on Nick.com, the Nick App, and Nick On Demand. The Loud House is produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studios and is based on an animated short of the same name from Nick’s annual Animated Shorts Program. It’s the first series to be greenlit out of the global program.

Kody Kapow, the newest addition to Sprout’s increasing portfolio of original series, will debut on the network in early 2017. From Zodiak Kids Studios, the series is about an aspiring martial artsstyle superhero who spends the summer with his extended family in a small village in China. The series is created by Alexander Bar and developed for television by Robin Stein and Dan Franklin. In addition, Sprout announced the renewal of original series Ruff-Ruff, Tweet and Dave for a second season, slated for a fall 2016 premiere. The network will air a Ruff-Ruff, Tweet and Dave Christmas special that will debut this fall, as well as a Hanukkah special based on Nina’s World, Sprout’s original animated series that stars Rita Moreno. Rounding out the holiday specials will be a Terrific Trucks Christmas movie based on the new original live-action series set to premiere on Sprout in July.

The US animation business is getting more competitive with news that European production company Gaumont, based in France, is expanding activities in the States. The company, which plans to ramp up both animated series and animated features development, has hired industry veteran Nicolas Atlan to the new position of president of animation, and Terry Kalagian to the new position of VP, creative, for animation. Both execs will be based in LA and report to Sidonie Dumas and Christopher Riandee, Gaumont co-CEOs. Atlan most recently was co-CEO at Splash Entertainment, where he produced Kulipari: An Army of Frogs for Netflix. Gaumont Television produces and distributes programming for the US and international markets including the series Narcos, Hannibal and Hemlock Grove, and the upcoming Viva La Madness and Spy City. The move to pump up its youth-market business comes on the successes with F is for Family and Calimero, among others.

James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club are renewing their Patterson Partnership grant program to help save more US school libraries. Patterson will be donating $1.75 million of personal funds and Scholastic Reading Club will match each dollar with “Bonus Points,” which teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms. In 2015, Patterson, an author and Emmy winner, initially pledged $1.75 million in grants to school libraries and Scholastic Reading Club provided 1.75 million bonus points for teachers. More than 28,000 applications were submitted and 467 schools awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.




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More music acts are onboard for the Radio Disney Music Awards, airing Sunday, May 1 on Disney Channel. Flo Rida and singer/actress Laura Marano have joined the lineup.


Actor Kirk Fogg joined the cast of Nickelodeon’s upcoming TV movie Legends of the Hidden Temple, inspired by the network’s iconic ‘90s game show of the same name. Fogg served as the original show’s host and guide; he’ll play a key figure in the new movie in a role that pays homage to his duties in the classic Nick series. He joins previously announced cast members Isabela Moner, Colin Critchley and Jet Jurgensmeyer. The Legends of the Hidden Temple TV movie is slated to debut on Nickelodeon in fall 2016. Legends of the Hidden Temple is exec-produced by Scott McAboy and Jessica Rhoades, and produced by Amy Sydorick. Joe Menendez (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series) is director, and Jonny Umansky & Zach Hyatt, and Alex Reid are writers.

Cottonwood Media, ZDF and ZDF Enterprises are collaborating on production for the weekly live-action teen drama series Paris Opera, Cottonwood’s first live-action series. The show is about a time-traveling ballet dancer from 1905 Russia trying to navigate her way through the perils of adolescence in 2015 Paris. It will be produced with the collaboration of the Paris Opera and shot in English with international actors. Creative team includes showrunners Jill Girling and Lori Matter Welch (creator of Nickelodeon series Ride), and producers Pascal Breton, Zoe Carrera, Cecile Lauritano and David Michel. The series is slated to premiere on ZDF in 2017.


Sony Corp. wants to extend its video game dominance by pushing into smartphones with titles derived from its top-selling PlayStation consoles. According to a Bloomberg report, the company is creating a new unit called ForwardWorks Corp. to develop and sell applications and content for smartphone users in Japan and Asia. It’s a hot market. Last week, Nintendo unveiled a new mobile app called Miitomo that will bring Super Mario Bros. and other popular games to smartphones. “The mobile market has grown in size to rival that for traditional game machines,” said Masaki Tsukakoshi, a spokesman at Sony’s games unit. “We are looking to create an opportunity for more users to easily try fully-fledged game titles that emphasize playability.”

Contrary to some published reports, a Nintendo exec told ITMedia it has no immediate plans to halt Wii U production, according to Engadget, noting, “We plan to continue production through the rest of the year.” Despite its steady stream of new hits, the console has not caught on as did the original Wii, and falls a distant third behind the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the console wars.


Centauro Communications and ZN Animation this spring will launch a new digital platform for kids and teens, Zoland.TV, and have appointed Diana Puentes as director of the platform. Zoland.TV will be available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese in both a free and subscription model. Puentes, to be based in Miami, will be in charge of the channel’s strategy and development, and will handle program distribution through out the Americas. She reports to Gustavo Nieto Roa, president of Centauro. Zoland.TV will launch with the most popular titles in the ZN catalog: Rubi, Abu The Little Dinosaur, Dream Town and Magic Wonderland. Puentes previously worked in programming and content acquisitions at Fox Latin America.

Video-sharing site Vimeo rolled out an update to its Roku app that enables users to rent or purchase videos from its Vimeo On Demand program directly on their TV. The program now packs 30,000-plus indie films and documentaries.


Scholastic and game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment are collaborating on a new book series for K8-12 based on Blizzard’s popular World of Warcraft game franchise. World of Warcraft: Traveler will launch simultaneously in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, with the first hardcover book scheduled for release in November 2016, followed by the second title in November 2017.

Sesame Workshop is releasing the book The Sesame Effect: The Global Impact of the Longest Street in the World, the first comprehensive look at the educational outcomes of Sesame Street in low- and middle-income countries. The book will be sold on Amazon ($49.95). From HIV/AIDS education in South Africa to respect across cultural divides in the Middle East, Sesame Workshop tackles issues in challenging regions of the world under the mission to help all children grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Readers gain insight into Sesame’s research and production process, and learn about how children’s needs are addressed within each culture.

Also for your coffee table: Hermes Press is working with Paws Inc. to produce a big fat hairy art book called The Art of Jim Davis’ Garfield. Featuring an original essay by historian R. C. Harvey, the book delves into the history of Jim Davis and Garfield, featuring original production art from the comic strip, original cels from the television show, rare production and publishing art, and more.

The Kidz Bop tour is expanding its summer tour, teaming with Live Nation to add amphitheater dates. The tour will kick off on July 16 at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Connecticut and travel to 50-plus cities. Additional stops include Brooklyn, Charlotte, NC, and Chicago.


Nickelodeon launched new toy lines from Playmates Toys and Mega Bloks inspired by upcoming Paramount Pictures movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. A full range of toys from figures, vehicles and playsets based on the sequel to the 2014 hit will be available starting in April at retailers including Walmart, Target, Toys ‘R Us and Amazon, as well as specialty, grocery, drug and value channels. The movie hits screens June 3.

Cartoon Network appointed TLC as its licensing representative across France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Benelux. Under the agreement, TLC will be responsible for building and managing the official licensing programs for CN’s portfolio of original animated properties in these markets.

Entertainment One selected Planeta Junior as licensing agent for the film The BFG in Spain, ahead of Steven Spielberg’s big screen adaption of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book which will premiere in cinemas in Spain in July. eOne has pan-European licensing rights to the movie and will be working in close collaboration with Planeta Junior to strengthen the consumer products program in Spain.


MIPTV News: European animated content producer/distributor Mondo TV is bringing new content to Cannes April 4-7. Just arrived on the roster are Adventures in Duckport, featuring characters from the popular Suzy’s Zoo; Bug Rangers (52×11’), about the adventures of a trio of bug friends; and Cat Leopold (13×13’), the story of a gentlemanly cat and his mischievous mouse friends…

Spacetoon, the free-to-air kids channel that broadcasts in Arabic to 22 countries, added the series Power Rangers Dino Charge and launched a promo campaign for the show with Bandai ME and Toy Triangle. Spacetoon also secured TV rights for new Japanese series of Doraemon, and it will begin broadcasting preschool series Little Charmers, from Nelvana, in April… Spacetoon licensing arm Arabian Licensing Company has been building on the success of a number of properties now seen on Spacetoon, notably the first Arabic language version of Sesame Street for 25 years – Iftah Ya Simsim – which premiered on nine stations in September. Merch deals are in the works for the Bidaya Media-owned property. In addition, 12 Iftah Ya Simsim coloring books are planned for EMEA target markets.


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During Q1 2016, Disney Channel ranked as TV’s top Total Day network for the 20th consecutive quarter in K6-11 and for the 28th straight quarter in Tweens 9-14. During the same period, the 24-hour Disney Junior channel ranked as the top preschooler net for the 12th-consecutive quarter in Total Viewers (536,000), across all key target preschoolers 2-5  and W18-49.

Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of March 21-27, 2016
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 7-13, 2106

3/12/16 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards/NICK/8-9:30p/1861
3/12/16 SppngeBob SquarePants/NICK JR/7:30-8p/1661
3/12/16 School of Rock/NICK/9:30-10p/1401
3/12/16 SpongeBob Squarepants/NICK/7-7:30/1195
3/13/16 KC Undercover/DSNY/8-8:30p/1165
3/12/16 SpongeBob SquarePants/NICK JR/10-10:30a/1110
3/10/16 Alvinnnn!!! and the Chipmunks/NICK/5-5:30p/1096
3/13/16 Liv and Maddie/DSNY/8:30-9p/1089
3/12/16 SpongeBob Squarepants/NICK/10:30a-12p/1054
3/7/16 Alvinnnn!!! and the Chipmunks/NICK/5-5:15p/1044

K6-11 Top 10 Programs for the week of March 7-13 2016

3/12/16 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards/NICK/8-9:30p/1371
3/12/16 SpongeBob SquarePants/NICK/7:30-8p/1140
3/12/16 School of Rock/NICK/9:30-10p/1086
3/13/16 KC Undercover/DSNY/8-8:30p/970
3/13/16 Liv and Maddie/DSNY/8:30-9p/926
3/11/16 Stuck in the Middle/DSNY/9-9:30p/796
3/12/16 SpongeBob SquarePants/NICK/7-7:30/773
3/13/16 Stuck in the Middle/DSNY/9-9:30p/743
3/11/16 Bunk’d/DSNY/8-8:30p/686
3/11/16 Girl Meets World/DSNY/8:30-9p/653
Source: Turner Research based on Total US Television Universe of 116,400,000 homes, Final Live+7.

Top Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates for the top-grossing movies rated G, PG or PG-13: March 25-27, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $166.01 million (opening weekend)
Zootopia (Buena Vista) PG $24.02 million (week 4) cume revenue $241.43 million
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Universal) PG-13 $17.87 million (opening weekend)
Miracles From Heaven (TriStar) PG $9.69 million (week 2) cume revenue $34.30
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Lionsgate/Sony) PG-13 $9.44 million (week 2), cume revenue $46.54 million
10 Cloverfield Lane (Paramount) PG-13
$5.94 million (week 3), cume revenue $55.95 million
Risen (Sony) PG-13 $935,025 (week 6), cume revenue $36.01 million
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Buena Vista) PG-13 $816, 484 (week 15) cume revenue $933.67 million
Kung Fu Panda (Fox) PG $9561,768 (week 9), cume revenue $139.42 million
The Young Messiah (Focus) PG-13 $274,236 (week 3), cume revenue $6.26 million
Source: Rentrak Corporation


Genius Brands International named Debra Pierson as GM of its Kid Genius entertainment channel on Xfinity On Demand. Pierson formerly was VP of sales and marketing at Kabillion and brings more than 25 years of kids entertainment experience to her new position.

Kristen Campolattaro has been named VP of brand marketing for Sprout. Formerly the founder of brand strategy and marketing consulting firm Brandavore in 2013, she is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University in the Masters Program in Strategic Communications.

Corus Entertainment appointed Deirdre Brennan as VP of content for Corus Kids. Brennan, who most recently was at ABC TV as head of children’s overseeing ABC KIDS, ABC3, ABC Children’s iview and online, will oversee all content aspects of the Corus Kids portfolio.

A bunch of exec moves at Splash Entertainment, where three execs have been promoted. Mike Young, most recently co-CEO, has added chairman to his title; Steve Rosen, formerly CFO/COO, is now co-CEO; and David Di Lorenzo is now president of Splash-owned Kabillion. He previously was VP of sales and digital distribution. Liz Young will continue to serve as president of Splash Entertainment, with Mevelyn Noriega as president of distribution. Additionally, Nicolas Atlan has left the company for his new role of president of animation at Gaumont.

Popsugar named Geoff Schiller as its chief revenue officer. Schiller most recently held the same role at Evolve Media, and prior to that was chief sales officer at Hearst Magazines Digital Media.


Last Week’s Trivia: What was the first animated cartoon to combine sound and color? Fiddlesticks. Kudos to: David Stern, BARD Entertainment, NY; David Garber, LMU-SFTV, LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: What action star voiced the title character in Brad Bird’s 1999 animated film The Iron Giant? Email cathy@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)

Cathy Applefeld Olson

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