03/31/14: Mark Wahlberg took a real sliming as host of Nickelodeon’s 27th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards


Good morning. It’s Monday, March 31, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Downey Jr., One Direction, Kevin Hart and Selena Gomez were among the winners at Nickelodeon’s 27th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards, which was hosted by Mark Wahlberg on March 29. The KCAs were bigger than ever this year, featuring a 360-degree mosh pit and dual stages. Kids and families were able to "influence multiple slimings" during the live show, thanks to both a slime fountain and a slime river. Dan Schneider, creator of such series as iCarly, Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Votes were cast in 22 categories, and fans could vote on a variety of Nickelodeon’s digital outlets, including on mobile devices and on Nick’s Twitter feed.

Over the weekend, Disney‘s Frozen became the highest-grossing animated film ever, earning $1.072 billion as it opened in its final market, Japan. It beat out Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, which grossed $1.063 billion in 2010. For more on the weekend’s box office successes, see By the Numbers below.

Creator of the campy Batman TV series from the 1960s Lorenzo Semple Jr. died on March 28, one day past his 91st birthday, his daughter Maria Semple told The Hollywood Reporter. Semple also held writing credits on 1980’s Flash Gordon movie, 1976’s King Kong and 1973’s Papillion. He developed Batman for TV with signature comic-book touches, including the Pow! and Zap! graphics that exploded on the screen during fight sequences.


PBS Kids and Thirteen are cutting to the chase with The Cyberchase Movie, which will air on PBS stations in April. The special adventure for the Emmy Award-winning series Cyberchase is tied in with Earth Month, and features a storyline in which the kids are left to restore Ecotopia after animal habitats are destroyed and overcrowding threatens to make things worse. Voice stars include Christopher Lloyd and Gilbert Gottfried.

Also from PBS Kids, Martha Speaks returns with new episodes starting March 31 on local PBS stations. There’s even a special April Fool’s Day episode, which mixes educational research for kids with tips on how to pull pranks.


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Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood will roar more loudly at Toys ‘R’ Us later this year with an expanded toy line, and will also have product launches at Target, Kmart and Barnes & Noble. JAKKS Pacific first launched toys from the PBS Kids show for the 2013 holiday season, but that will now expand to include costumes, books and other items. The series from The Fred Rogers Company, Out of the Blue Enterprises and 9 Story Entertainment airs daily and is the No. 1 PBS program streamed online, with over 40 million streams per month to mobile devices.


In an interview with the New York Times, new Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara said that a DC Comics film series would be announced in the "near future." The paper also mentioned that a Justice League movie is in the works.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has cast a new villain. Patrick Brennan was added to the series as Marcus Daniels, aka Blackout, a bad guy who can "suck the energy out of anything around him," according to the Marvel site. The show returns to ABC on April 1.

ABC has canceled Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and is advertising Thursday’s episode as the "series finale." The Once spinoff lived in what is a traditionally difficult-to-program slot for the network (Thursdays at 8 p.m.). It was initially envisioned as a miniseries that would fill the space between seasons of the mothership show, but was instead slotted in as a regular series.

Dayo Okeniyi, who played Thresh in The Hunger Games, has been tapped for the next installment in the Terminator franchise, Terminator: Genesis. He will play Miles Dyson’s (Joe Morton) son, the scientist who created the computer system that started the human/machine war. Morton’s Dyson died in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but his son was seen briefly.


A brand new Doc McStuffins app is now available at the Apple App store, called Doc McStuffins Paint and Play. The digital magical coloring book lets children explore and paint Doc’s check-up room and pals like Lambie and Marvin the Duck. The app is the sequel to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Paint and Play, and can be downloaded to iOS for iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPod Touch 5, iPad and iPhones.

Dynamite Entertainment is launching Doodle Jump Comics, based on the mobile game, in June. The comics, written by Meredith Gran with art by Steve Uy, will explore the world created in Doodle Jump, which was released in 2009 and has been downloaded across multiple platforms over 15 million times. It is the No. 3 paid app for the iPad and won an Apple Design Award. The comics will be in stores and available digitally on June 18.

Marvel celebrated 2 million downloads of its Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign with a present to players: a savings on in-game currency. It also introduced new characters and said that episode 4.5 would launch soon with new features. The game is available as a free download at the App Store, Google Play and on Steam.


Answer to Friday’s Trivia Question: What was Clarabell the Clown’s only line ever on The Howdy Doody Show? "Goodbye, kids." Kudos to: Jeff Grant, Turner Research, GA; Jerry A. Kapner, Kapner Group, NJ; Brad Stern, Bellavia Blatt, NY; Michael Ritz, BucStar Consulting, NY; George Evelyn, Wildbrain/DHX Media, CA; Hank Bordowitz, The Bordowitz Media Werx, NJ.

Today’s Trivia Question: What small creature appeared three times in every episode of Blue’s Clues? (Email cathy@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)


Saturday Morning Ratings by Block AverageMarch 22, 2014




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

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for March 28-30, 2014:
(Paramount) PG-13 $44 million (weekend)
Divergent (Lionsgate) PG-13 $26.5 million (weekend) $95.26 million (2-week cume)
Muppets Most Wanted (Disney) PG $11.37 million (weekend) $33.21 million (2 week cume)
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (20th Century Fox) PG $9.5 million (weekend) $94.9 million (4-week cume)
God’s Not Dead (Freestyle Releasing) PG $9.07 million (weekend) $22.02 million (2-week cume)
Need For Speed (Disney) PG-13 $4.33 million (weekend) $37.75 million (3-week cume)
LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $3.1 million (weekend) $248.3 million (8-week cume)
Son of God (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $1.07 million (weekend) $57.86 million (5-week cume)
Frozen (Disney) PG $348,000 (weekend) $398.40 million (19-week cume)
Ride Along (Universal) PG-13 $334,800 million (weekend) $133.67 million (11-week cume)


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