04/01/15: New kids channel to bow on Xfinity On Demand; Discovery Family accelerates original programming; RDMAs host revealed; Corus scores rights to all Nick content in Canada


Good morning. It’s Wednesday March 25, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Genius Brands International is teaming with Comcast for Kid Genius, a new channel on Xfinity On Demand in fall 2015. The launch builds on the success of GBI’s Baby Genius series on Xfinity. Kid Genius will offer a variety of programming for toddlers through age 12, including original GBI programming including Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club and Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, as well as shows from other program creators. Andy Berman, GBI’s SVP of global distribution sales, will head the Kid Genius operation. “In addition to our own unique original programming, the new Kid Genius channel will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase new independently produced programs and terrific acquired programming for kids,” he says.


As part of the Discovery Upfront, Discovery Family Channel yesterday announced 200 hours of new programming and more than 20 new series in the pipeline, including:
* From Wags to Riches With Bill Berloni: Series will follow Berloni in his work as a theatrical animal trainer, while also spotlighting his dedication to rescue work.
* American Finders (working title): Professional “finders” help people find those they want to thank and haven’t been able to.
* Beasts Behaving Badly: Series features the authentic stories behind the best clips of wild animals invading human spaces.
* Babies Behaving Badly: What do babies really do when we aren’t looking? This series shows how the littlest humans mimic their parents, argue with their siblings, and make their point as strongly as they cansometimes, at inopportune moments.
* Secret America: Whose face inspired Lady Liberty? What’s in the secret vault behind Mt. Rushmore? This series goes beyond the tour guide shtick.
* Who’s Been Sleeping In My House?: Series probes the history of houses made up of the stories of families who lived there before.

Since launching last October, the net has marked four consecutive months of month-to-month growth in Prime among household delivery. Discovery Family will air 60 family movies in 2015-16, plus a 12 Days of Christmas holiday programming event. Daytime will continue to air primarily Hasbro-produced fare like Littlest Pet Shop 4, My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic (season 6) and Transformers Rescue Bots (season 4).

If Julie Andrews is involved, it’s gotta be good. Nelvana Enterprises is partnering with Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton to develop an animated preschool TV series based on their bestselling book series, The Very Fairy Princess. The soon-to-be nine-title book franchise is part of The Julie Andrews Collection published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Launched in 2010, it chronicles the adventures of Geraldine, who knows deep down that she is a very fairy princess, despite all evidence to the contrary. The series is slated to debut in 2016 and will be jointly developed with Andrews and Walton Hamilton and produced at Nelvana Studio in Toronto. Says Andrews, “The books are all about celebrating individuality. We hope to encourage kids to rejoice in their own unique passions and talents–even if they’re different from that of their family or friends.”
The Jim Henson Co. and distribution company Cyber Group Studios are co-financing and co-producing two new series–Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters and Cyber Group Studio’s Boubouh! Based on the book series, Enchanted Sisters targets kids 58 with stories featuring the Sparkles: Spring, Winter, Summer and Autumn, four sisters who come together every three months to join their Mother Nature in a ceremony that changes the seasons in our world. Also based on a book, Boubouh! stars a monster who befriends a 6-year old.


RDMAs News: Zendaya, star of Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover and a recording artist, will host the 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards on Saturday, April 25, at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE. The show will air Sunday, April 27, on Disney Channel. Additionally, Jonas Brother Nick is slated to perform at the RDMAs. “On stage and off, Zendaya brings intelligence, thoughtfulness and honesty–and an effortless cool factor–to everything she does, all qualities that are appreciated by generations of kids and tweens, and especially their parents,” says Phil Guerini, VP, programming/GM at Radio Disney.

Uncle Grandpa travels to Steven’s Universe to help rid himself of the “belly blues” and get control of his powers in the first-ever Uncle Grandpa-Steven Universe crossover on Cartoon Network. The special episode airs Thursday, April 2, at 5:30p; new Steven Universe mobile game Attack of the Light, from Cartoon Network Games and Grumpyface Studios, is available Thursday, April 1 on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon.


***Now Open For Submissions***
The competition for best kids’ programming and marketing initiatives

Entry Deadline: May 1, 2015
Late Submissions: May 8, 2015
Awards Event: September 18, 2015 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.


Anne Sweeney’s next act includes sitting on the board of directors at Netflix. Sweeney, until January co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television, joins Brad Smith, EVP and general counsel, legal and corporate affairs at Microsoft Corp. on the nine-member board. “We look forward to benefiting from Brad and Anne’s perspective as we continue to build our global Internet TV network,” said CEO Reed Hastings.

It was a celebration of stars and slime at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards last Saturday. Angelina Jolie Pitt, Liam Hemsworth, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, One Direction, Selena Gomez, SpongeBob SquarePants, Fifth Harmony, The Voice, Modern Family, and Austin & Ally were among this year’s fan favorites, picking up an orange blimp and in some cases getting doused in the green stuff. CynKids was on the orange carpet to talk to some of the TV talent, including Modern Family’s Nolan Gould (Luke), who told reporter Jacqueline Olson what it’s been like growing up on camera: “It’s been a crazy six years of my life. Luke is growing up and changing from that sweet and stupid kid who he was to an older teenage guy, and I’ve also changed. Right now we’re both having that experience of being confused sometimes, having good times sometimes. We’re growing up together.”

Here’s the cast of new Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, talking to reporter Olivia Olson on being on the set of their new Nick series:
“Since we’re young, the show can run for longer. We’re not adults, we’ll just be preteens.” Aidan Gallagher (Nicky)  “It can be exhausting at times but we can make up for it by having food fights on set.” –Casey Simpson, (Ricky) “I forget sometimes that we’re all just actors because I really think they’re my brothers.” Lizzy Greene (Dawn) “There’s some pressure at run-through. It all comes down to that, and we have to deliver. But at the end of the day we’re happy.” Mace Coronel (Dicky).

The 1995 album Sesame Street: All-Time Platinum Favorites was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its National Recording Registry alongside works by Radiohead, the Doors and Lauryn Hill.


"In social streams, brands want to deliver an engaging experience that doesn’t feel forced. That’s why they really need to invest and be strategic with the content they put on social and the audience they want to reach.” So says Jarrod Dicker, Head of Commercial Product and Operations for RebelMouse. Hear more from Dicker on April 23rd at the Cynopsis Digital Measurement Summit. Register here.


Indie producer Novel Entertainment and P2 Entertainment (P2) are launching gaming app Horrid Henry’s Big Box of Pranks. Based on the preschool property, the app will be available on iOS and Android devices in July. The TV series is available on both Hulu and Netflix in the U.S., and several eps are available on iTunes.

Ilusis Interactive Graphics is bringing fantasy-based castle defense game Krinkle Krusher to PlayStation4, PlayStationVita and PlayStation3. Purchasers of the game will receive it for all three formats.

The BBC today unveiled its latest app for children, Escargot Escape Artistes, which was devised by a 12-year-old viewer following a competition on CBBC’s Appsolute Genius. Available for iOS and Android devices, the app follows the adventures of “Le Dude,” a snail who is on the, um, run after escaping the head chef of the Eiffel Tower restaurant who wants to serve him up to his VIP customers. The creator of the app won a competition that’s part of the BBC’s Make it Digital initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology.


Corus Entertainment snapped up exclusive rights to all of Nickelodeon’s English- and French-language content across existing and emerging digital platforms as well as linear services in Canada in a new long-term licensing deal. “This marks a new phase of our enhanced partnership with Nickelodeon and builds on Corus’ 10-year history as a trusted steward for the brand,” said Doug Murphy, Corus president/CEO. Nick content has been airing on Corus’ kids and family networks YTV and Treehouse since 2005, when Corus signed its first output deal with the network. In 2009, Corus launched Nickelodeon (Canada), offering Canadians a stand-alone channel dedicated to the Nickelodeon brand and its properties.

International brand manager PGS Entertainment announced licensing agreements for the series Iron Man: Armored Adventures with CSC Pop (UK & Ireland), Yep (Germany), TV2 (Norway), E-Junior (United Arab Emirates), TVA (Canada) and SABC (South Africa). The show is produced by Method Animation, DQ Entertainment, and Marvel Entertainment.


Disney XD delivered its most-watched ever quarter in primetime, Total Viewers (408,000), in Q1 2015. The quarter also topped out across target Boys 2-11, Boys 6-11 and Boys 6-14 demographics, bolstered by original animated series Star Wars Rebels and Gravity Falls and live-action original series Lab Rats.

Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of March 23-29, 2015

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 9-15, 2105

3/14/15/Despicable Me/DSNY/11a-12:45p/1514
3/12/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/1508
3/12/15/Blaze and the Monster Machines/NICK/1:30-2p/1342
3/13/15/Despicable Me/DSNY/8:15-10p/1333
3/14/15/Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn/NICK/8:30-9p/1288
3/12/15/Cars 2/DSNY/8-9:55a/1252
3/14/15/Bella and the Bulldogs/NICK/9-9:30p/1243
3/15/15/Monsters Inc./DSNY/9:30-11:10a/1238
3/10/15/Blaze and the Monster Machines/NICK/1:30-2p/1193
3/15/15/Henry Danger/NICK/8-8:30p/1163

K6-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of March 9-15, 2015

3/12/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/1112
3/14/15/Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn/NICK/8:30-9p/1097
3/14/15/Bella and the Bulldogs/NICK/9-9:30p/1089
3/14/15/Despicable Me/DSNY/11a-12:45p/960
3/14/15/Henry Danger/NICK/8-8:30p/959
3/14/15/The Thundermans/NICK/9:30-10p/925
3/9/15/Gravity Falls/DXD/8:30-9p/872
3/13/15/Despicable Me/DSNY/8:15-10p/853
3/12/15/Cars 2/DSNY/8-9:55p/806
3/15/15/Bad Hair Day/DSNY/7:15-9p/789

Source: Turner Research based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800,000 homes, Final Live+7.

Weekend box office estimates for the top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for March 27-29, 2015:

Home (20th Century Fox) PG $52.11 million (weekend) $52.11 million (1-week cume)
Divergent Series: The Insurgent (Lionsgate) PG-13 $21.53 million (weekend) $85.85 million (2-week cume)
Cinderella (Disney) PG $17.04 million (weekend) $149.55 million (2-week cume)
Do You Believe? (Pure Flix) PG-13 $2.31 million (weekend) $7.21 million (2-week cume)
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) PG $2.12 million (weekend) $28.07 million (4-week cume)
McFarland USA (Disney) PG $1.12 million (weekend) $40.56 million (6-week cume)


Nickelodeon named Jennifer Dodge to the newly created position of SVP, West Coast Development and Production, Nickelodeon Preschool. In this role, she will spearhead West Coast-based development of all original content for Nickelodeon Preschool’s programming block and the Nick Jr. channel, plus additional preschool platforms such as the Nick Jr. app. Dodge previously served as VP/Executive Producer for Spin Master Entertainment.

The Fred Rogers Co. tapped Suzanne Masri as Director, Marketing and Communications. She previously held a 20-year stint at WETA Washington, D.C.


You don’t have to be a bracketologist to enter our March Madness Contest. Which school will win it all? You could score a  $50 Foot Locker gift card by answering our reader poll. Winner announced Tuesday, April 7th.

||| DEADLINE: Monday, April 6 ||| CLICK HERE TO ENTER |||


Answer to last week’s Trivia: What was the name of the title character’s (played by Hilary Duff) best guy friend on The Lizzie McGuire Show? Gordo. Congrats to: Natalie Leff, Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta; Rich Thomas, Disney Publishing Worldwide, NY.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who was selected by the Walt Disney Co. to be the ambassador for "The Happiest Homecoming On Earth: Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary Celebration" in 2005? Email cathy@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.) 

Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
Cathy@cynopsis.com for
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