04/15/15: More Doc, Sofia coming to Disney Junior; Calling all !magination Awards entries; PBS Kids launches online world


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Good morning. It’s Wednesday April 15, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.


More new Thomas adventures are chugging to PBS Kids, beginning with the movie Thomas & Friends: The Adventure Begins on May 11, followed by four new eps during that week. For mobile fans, the Thomas & Friends Watch and Play app is launching on Amazon and Google Play, and new games are headed to the Thomas and Friends website.


Got Horsepower? We do!

Anypony who’s anypony tuned-in for the Season 5 premiere of
My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic
 on Discovery Family.

*Best MLP season debut ever for K2-11!
**We’re on top for co-viewing among K2-11 watching with A18-49!

To have your brand saddle up with Discovery Family contact Nicole Cleary, VP Ad Sales, nicole_cleary@discovery.com
Source: http://www.discoveryfamilychannel.com/source/.


Disney Junior will keep the fires burning under two of its most popular franchises. The network ordered fourth seasons of hits Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins. The series “have resonated with viewers on many levels, but what’s especially gratifying is to hear a parent talking about how their child did something nice for someone or tried something new because that’s what Sofia or Doc would have done. We are looking forward to bringing more stories with those types of aspirational messages to kids and families,” says Nancy Kanter, EVP, original programming/GM, Disney Junior Worldwide.

What are you waiting for? If you’re reading this edition, there’s a good chance you and your team create groundbreaking kids series, addictive games and apps, or infectious children’s entertainment campaigns. Get recognized for your bar-raising work this year. Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards honor the best in youth and family programming and marketing. The 2015 deadline is quickly approaching (May 1) so enter today: http://cynopsis.com/event/kids-awards-2015


Not ready to let it go yet? You’re in luck. Disney will premiere Frozen, the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, across Disney|ABC Television Group networks  Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ABC and ABC Family, beginning in February 2016.


PBS Kids is in production on Ready Jet Go!, designed for kids 3-8 with a focus on astronomy and Earth science concepts. The new television series is scheduled to premiere in winter 2016 and will also include interactive content online and on mobile. The story follows two neighborhood pals who befriend a new kid on their street, Jet Propulsion. Jet’s family members also happen to be aliens from the planet Bortron 7. Together they explore the solar system while learning about friendship and teamwork. Ready Jet Go! was created by Craig Bartlett, who developed PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train, and produced by Wind Dancer Films.

Disney’s favorite rodent is returning for another round. Production is under way on animated series Mickey and the Roadster Racers, a car-racing adventure for preschoolers featuring Mickey and pals Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy and Donald. Slated to debut in 2017 on Disney Junior, the series takes the “Sensational Six” and their uniquely personalized vehicles on humorous high-spirited races around the globe plus hometown capers in Hot Dog Hills. The stories are designed to impart lessons about friendship, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Rob LaDuca is exec producer, Mark Seidenberg is co-exec producer and supervising story editor, and Thomas Hart is story editor. 


Kart Kingdom (pbskids.org/kartkingdom) is the first-ever online world from PBS Kids. Featuring fun, educational games from multiple developers, the site includes the first junior version of popular game-design program Gamestar Mechanic plus the opportunity for kids to interact via avatars with stars from series including Wild Kratts and The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That! PBS stations will bring Kart Kingdom into the community with live game events across the U.S. starting this spring.

Kids SVOD service Hopster will launch globally into more than 100 countries worldwide through content deals with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, Millimages, CAKE and EarthTree Media. Hopster is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and connected TV devices.

Netflix released a teaser to its upcoming original series from DreamWorks Animation, DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge, slated to debut June 26. The new series complements existing titles in DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon films. Actors Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera, who voice the two young Vikings in the movie, are onboard for the Netflix ride, along with Christopher Mintz-Plasse and TJ Miller. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HRjTzKZ_uA

Splash Entertainment and Lionsgate are partnering for three new 45-minute films in the animated franchise Alpha And Omega, to be distributed via digital platforms and DVD. The first movie under the new agreement will be released in early 2016. Lionsgate will have distribution rights in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.; Splash Entertainment will handle other territories. Lionsgate launched Alpha and Omega in 2010, and the film grossed $50 million at the worldwide box office. The company later expanded the franchise to include multiple sequels on DVD and digital platforms. Executive producers overseeing the new trio of films are Ken Katsumoto, EVP of Lionsgate Family Entertainment, and Liz Young, president of Splash Entertainment.

Hoho Entertainment is joining up with new digital platform TotallyTween (www.totallytween.co.uk) to release original animated series Mimi & Bibi. The show, about twin sisters who are totally different, targets 8­10-year-olds and each episode will be the result of tween input and interaction from the TotallyTween audience.


2015 Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards

Are you part of a team that works on a groundbreaking kids series, an addictive game or app, an infectious children’s entertainment campaign? Enter your mobile app, series, marketing campaign or leading executive in this year’s competition.

Entry deadline: Friday, May 1, 2015 – Enter Now!

[ View past winners and honorable mentions: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 ]


Technicolor will acquire French production and post production company Mikros Image via an exclusive agreement with Mediacontech. The acquisition complements Technicolor’s animation services, which recently grew with the purchase of Ouido Productions. Mikros’ feature animation division, based in Montreal, has a portfolio including Asterix: le Domaine des Dieux and le Petit Prince. The transaction is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2015.

Angry Birds are taking to the sky–literally. Global Eagle Entertainment, a media and connectivity provider to the travel industry, is partnering with Rovio Entertainment to provide the Angry Birds franchise to airlines as inflight entertainment content. Angry Birds is the most downloaded mobile game of all time, with 2.8 billion downloads across platforms. GEE will provide customized Angry Birds content specifically for seat-back entertainment systems.


Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific is bringing its Cartoon Network Watch and Play app to Australia, allowing Foxtel subscribers to live stream the network within the app via a new authenticated service. Aside from live streaming, new features also include access to recent episodes of popular shows including Adventure Time, Clarence, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball and Ben 10: Omniverse, as well as additional native arcade-style games.

More Minions? You got it. Universal Partnerships & Licensing and Illumination Entertainment are in a new multi-title partnership with gamer Electronic Arts. First title, the free to download Minions Paradise, stars “Phil,” a never-before-seen Minion created by Illumination. In the new game, players join Phil and his Minion buddies as they design and build the ultimate Minion playground every step of the way.

Breakthrough Entertainment is producing interactive content to complement Science Max: Experiments at Large, the live-action series premiering this fall on TVOKids. Science Max Interactive, geared to kids 7-11, is a digital hub where young scientists, inventors, and fans can take a hands-on approach to the science concepts seen in the series. Set to launch in September, the site also features a host of science trivia and downloadable content including interactive quizzes and instructions on how to do home-based science experiments. It will be available at tvokids.com as well as via an app for iOS and Android.


Turner’s Cartoon Network and Boomerang channels are airing more than 800 minutes of new Mattel content in Latin America beginning this spring. The programming features Mattel brands Barbie, Hot Wheels, Monster High and Max Steel and content will be available via broadcast and online.

Nelvana’s CGI animated preschool series Trucktown will be heading to Super RTL (Germany) later this year. Trucktown follows the playful adventures of a group of rough and tumble young trucks; it’s based on the book series of books by author Jon Scieszka (The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales, The Time Warp Trio, Spaceheadz).


Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of April 6-12, 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

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

Home (20th Century Fox) PG $18.53 million (weekend) $129.08 million (3-week cume)
The Longest Ride (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $13.02 million (weekend) $13.02 million (1-week cume)
Cinderella (Disney) PG $7.14 million (weekend) $180.69 million (4-week cume)
Divergent Series: The Insurgent (Lionsgate) PG-13 $6.71 million (weekend) $114.71 million (4-week cume)
Woman In Gold (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $5.49 million (weekend) $8.93 million (2-week cume)
Do You Believe? (Pure Flix) PG-13 $931,305 (weekend) $11.51 million (4-week cume)


Nabi tablet maker Fuhu hired industry veteran Keith Neva as VP of Sales. Neva, who joins from Griffin International Companies, will oversee Fuhu’s development of a comprehensive sales strategy to both maximize brand impact with current retail partners and expand its product lines into new sales channels. 

Studio Toca Boca created a new video division to focus on TV and video for kids, and appointed J Milligan to head up its New York City office. Previously, Milligan ran the content innovation lab and digital media group at Sesame Workshop.


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Answer to last week’s Trivia: What eccentric rock drummer is said to be the inspiration for Animal on The Muppet Show? Keith Moon. Congrats to: Hank Bordowitz, Bordowitz Media Werx, Ridgewood NJ; Rori Caffrey, eOne Entertainment, Toronto; Amy Cloud, Simon & Schuster, NY; Ellery J. Locklear, Scollon Productions, White Rock, SC; Matthew Perreault, Nickelodeon, NY; Robert Twilley, Jupiter Entertainment, Knoxville, TN; Richard Quan, BSSP, San Francisco.

Today’s Trivia Question: What frequent Twitter-inciting funny man stopped by Doc McStuffins to guest as Count Clarence the Magnificent last winter? 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
Cynopsis Kids!

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