NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Original MythBuster Adam Savage returns to his roots as host and executive producer of MythBusters Jr., a new Science Channel series that will give six kids a chance to show off their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) skills. The 10-ep series will debut in Q4 2018. MythBusters made its TV debut on Discovery Channel in 2003 and ended its 14-year run on the net in 2016. MythBusters Jr. will be produced by Beyond Productions, with John Luscombe executive producing for Beyond and Wyatt Channell executive producing for Science Channel.
Lifelong DuckTales aficionado Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his debut as Gizmoduck in a new DuckTales ep premiering Friday, May 11 at 8p on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW, as part of the inaugural “Duck Week.” Miranda voices Duckburg’s preeminent hero who has Latin roots, a reimagining of the character by executive producer Matt Youngberg and co-producer and story editor Francisco Angones.
The inaugural Duck Week takes flight Sunday, May 6 with activities in conjunction with ESPN, Disney Studios, Disney Parks and Resorts, Snapchat and more. The stunt is in collaboration with Unity Technologies and includes a PSA celebrating diverse families as part of Disney-ABC Television’s annual Foster Care Awareness campaign with FosterMore; new shorts featuring Webby and interstitials featuring baby ducks in reimagined scenes from favorite Disney Channel shows including Andi Quack, Raven’s Pond and Duck in the Middle.
AR getting real at Nick: Nickelodeon unveiled a new augmented reality update for its No. 1 mobile game app Sky Whale. The AR-enhanced Sky Whale app allows users to bring the Sky Whale realm into their surrounding physical space through a device in a 360-degree immersive experience. With nearly 30 million global downloads since launch, Sky Whale averages 2 million active monthly users… Additionally, the “Do Not Touch” button featured in the Nick App, is available now as a standalone Do Not Touch AR app featuring interactive surprises and mini games.
AROUND THE INDUSTRY
The British Kidz Bop Kids will be the opening performers for four Harlem Globetrotters shows this spring, including at London’s O2, on the UK leg of their tour in May. Five new music videos – including for Havana, New Rules and Anywhere – have been produced and will be released on the UK Kidz Bop YouTube Channel, adding to the 9.7 million UK YouTube views to date.
Broadway’s Frozen will be eligible for the Tony for best original score, according to a determination by the Tony Awards Administration Committee. This despite a portion of the score coming from the Disney movie.
The Jim Henson Co. acquired the rights to Stacey O’Brien’s memoir Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl. Dolphin Tale co-writer Karen Janszen (A Dolphin Tale, A Walk to Remember, Mars) is attached to write the film/TV adaptation. It’s based on the true story of a Caltech biologist whose mentor asks her to raise a baby barn owl with a wing injury. What starts as an objective study of owl behavior blossoms into an incredible story of love spanning 19 years. Henson CEO/president Lisa Henson (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) is producing with Halle Stanford and Sarah Maizes for Henson Co. Andrew Trapani (Winchester, American Werewolf in London) and Mark Hantoot also are co-producing with Larry Hummel and Tera Kurtz.
Nickelodeon International greenlit live-action kids series The Covurts (working title). It’s the first original co-production for Nickelodeon with Nutz Productions, the producing arm of Israel’s Ananey Communications. Nick parent Viacom last year acquired a minority stake in Ananey. Forty half-hours have been ordered, to be distributed to Nick’s global audience in 170 countries via the brand’s 100+ channels and blocks. The series is in preproduction and will film in Israel for a 2019 debut. Story, from creators Tom Riles, David Guest and Patrick Quinn, is about highly trained secret agents tasked with fighting an evil international organization. Little do they know that it’s actually their three kids.
On Friday, April 6, the spring break event eps of Disney Channel’s Stuck in the Middle and Bizaardvark ranked as last Friday’s top two TV telecasts among K6-11 and K6-14, respectively, in Live + 3 day national ratings from Nielsen. Stuck in the Middle posted double-digit gains week to week in Total Viewers (+18%, 1.41 million), K6-11 (+34%, 591,000/2.5 rating vs. 440,000/1.8 rating) and Ki6-14 (+32% – 760,000/2.1 rating vs. 576,000/1.6 rating). Bizaardvark grew over the prior week by 11% in Total Viewers (1.25 million vs. 1.13 million) to its most-watched telecast since December’s holiday broadcast.