04/30/15: Maker Studios grows kids content; Disney Junior clocks more Miles; DC Comics, Mattel bring girl power; Hasbro transforming Vimeo


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Good morning. It’s Thursday April 30, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Maker Studios is peppering its slate of new original programming with plenty of picks for young viewers. The studio, owned by the Walt Disney Company, is also working with Disney sibling Marvel to develop original digital content. Among the new programming unveiled at this week’s Maker Newfront:
Maker Tales: Classic kids stories including Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood are reimagined as music videos by Maker talent including Tessa Violet, Iman Crosson, Dodger and Timothy DeLaGhett.
Nursery Rhyme Mashups: A sing-along series that combines classic nursery rhymes with modern musical genres.
Polaris Animated Universe: Big names in online gaming and animation collide in this anthology series bringing mash-ups, parodies and fan-favorite moments to life from popular “Let’s Play” series and podcasts.
Toddler Tonight: From the creators of “Convos with my 2-year-old,” this new comedy gives Entertainment Tonight, TMZ and Fashion Police the toddler treatment by putting a paparazzi lens on kids just doing their thing while adults provide comedic, color commentary along the way.
Toy Detective: Live-action mystery adventure follows unboxing star EvanTube as he solves mysteries for toys with the help of sister Jillian and other YouTube friends. The EvanTubeHD Detective Agency quickly gets in over its head, falling victim to hijinks on their quest to solve crimes.


2015 Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards
Honoring the Best in Kids Programming & Marketing

Entry Deadline: TOMORROW

Visit our webpage for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Contact Information & FAQs.


Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will step up to the frontline to host Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports 2015. The event returns for its second year airing live from UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion on Thursday, July 16, 8-9:30p. “What an honor to be the king of slime for one crazy night! I’m just a big kid at heart, so let the fun begin,” Wilson said. Verizon is onboard as presenting sponsor; associate sponsors include Nationwide and Popsicle. Kids’ Choice Sports 2015 is produced by Done and Dusted, in association with Nickelodeon Productions. Jay Schmalholz and Shelly Sumpter Gillyard are executive producers. 

Tick tock. The deadline to enter this year’s Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards is tomorrow. Don’t miss your chance to be recognized for your work creating a groundbreaking kids series, addictive app or infectious children’s entertainment campaign. !magination Awards honor the best in youth and family programming and marketing. Enter before it’s too late: http://cynopsis.com/event/kids-awards-2015

Nickelodeon acquired a library of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen content, including four series, seven TV movies and two music video specials starring the actress/fashion designer twins. The first title, So Little Time, debuted Monday, April 27, with eps airing every weekday.


Disney Junior ordered a second season of Miles from Tomorrowland. The series charts the outer space missions of young adventurer Miles Callisto and his family as they help connect the galaxy on behalf of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, incorporating science facts into each storyline. Emmy-nominated Sascha Paladino (Henry Hugglemonster, Ni Hao, Kai-lan) is creator and executive producer, and Emmy-nominated Paul Demeyer (Duckman, Rugrats in Paris) is supervising director.

Sinking Ship Entertainment and DHX Television started principal photography on new preschool series Playdate. The show mixes live-action and puppeteering of Dina and Frank Meschkuleit, showcasing the unexpected adventures a young boy and his friends’ stuffed animals encounter when they leave them alone. Playdate’s first season will see 13 half-hour eps and is slated to premiere on DHX Television’s Canadian preschool channel, which will be rebranded to Family Junior in the fall.   
Disney XD ordered a second season of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero. The
Disney Television Animation take on an ordinary boy who inherits the job of part-time hero was created and exec-produced by Jared Bush (All of Us, Zootopia) and Sam Levine (Tarzan, Bolt).

Saving Mr. Banks star Melanie Paxson joined the cast of Disney Channel live-action movie Descendants, playing the role of Fairy Godmother. The movie will air next year.


Vimeo is offering digital collections of classic animation series from the Hasbro Classic Collection, including Transformers: Generation 1 and Jem, both available now on Vimeo On Demand. Viewers can buy individual episodes for $2.99, rent for 24-hours for $.99, or purchase the entire series for $40. Additionally, the collaboration will bring hundreds of episodes across 13 Hasbro Studios franchises to Vimeo On Demand through 2015. For the first time, fans of popular animation series like Jem, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony and Transformers can own every episode in one organized collection on Vimeo to watch anytime across any device. Eventually, hundreds of episodes from 13 franchises will be available this year on Vimeo. Other series include My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, G.I. Joe, Transformers: Rescue Bots, Transformers: Prime, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, G.I. Joe: Renegades, Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters, Littlest Pet Shop, Pound Puppies, The Adventures of Chuck & Friends and B-Daman Crossfire.

The power of three. Mattel, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are collaborating to launch “DC Super Hero Girls” digital programming, plus toys and books. The girl-centric brand will feature female superheroes including Wonder Women, Supergirl and Batgirl, who will be unleashed this fall across multiple platforms. Initial content will comprise interactive digital titles; beginning in 2016, the companies will debut TV programs, videos, action figures and apparel. Licensing partners include Lego and Random House.

Channel Frederator Network added TomoNews (averaging 160 million monthly views), plus 83 other new channels this March. Other new additions include CoyoteMation, Mellaveli, and Morph, the latter from children’s animator Aardman Animations. TomoNews, created by Next Media Animation, presents headlines stories from around the world in animated form combined with real video footage and photos. The videos are available on YouTube in 12 languages including English, Japanese, French and Russian.

The march of kids apps to the Apple Watch continues. This week SVOD service Toon Goggles launched its app for the device, enabling parents to remotely control their children’s entertainment intake. Parents can use the Apple Watch to browse, monitor content, set parental controls, and use the Jump! feature to discover new shows. The app supports Glances to see current daily usage as well as Notifications.  

Genius Brands International licensed North American home entertainment rights, including VOD, SVOD and other digital rights, and DVD, for its series Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab to NCircle Entertainment. NCircle will distribute Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab digitally starting in December 2015. The series will also debut on Netflix in July and on PBS stations and the Kid Genius Cartoon Channel on Comcast in September.


The Beacon Media Group, an ad agency specializing in the kids market and youth-focused digital ad platform Superawesome entered a definitive partnership agreement to enhance their advertising buying strategies. As well as having access to Superawesome’s 200 million monthly kids audience, Beacon Media also will use Superawesome’s COPPA-compliant ad server AwesomeAds to provide digital services to its customers.

How better to say farewell to Disney Channel’s long-running Austin & Ally than with a Paley Center sendoff. Paley will host a family-friendly event May 4 at 7p its Beverly Hills location featuring an exclusive screening and panel conversation with the cast and creative of the show, which will end after its current fourth season. Series stars Ross Lynch, Laura Marano, Calum Worthy, Raini Rodriguez and co-creators and exec producers Heath Seifert and Kevin Kopelow are scheduled to appear.

Children’s recording artist and Nick Jr. alum Laurie Berkner will release six remastered, "themed," digital albums on June 16 via digital retailers including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify. The titles are: Laurie Berkner’s Animal Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Classroom Favorites, Laurie Berkner’s Food Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Movement Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Nature Songs, and Laurie Berkner’s Transportation Songs.


Disney Channel U.K. & Ireland greenlit production of new live-action cooking series First Class Chefs. The show will see Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr. invite schools from across the U.K. to battle it out for the chance to transform a school cafeteria into a fully operational pop-up restaurant catering to their peers, plus the chance to win 10,000 British pounds to fund a healthy living related project for their school.

Japanese distributor Tohokushinsha Film Corp. acquired the Japanese television and licensing rights for Thunderbirds Are Go, produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures in association with Weta Workshop.


Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of April 20-26, 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 April 7-13, 2105

4/7/15/PAW Patrol/NICK/1-1:30p/1860
4/9/15/PAW Patrol/Nick/1-1:30p/1655
4/9/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/1499
4/11/15/Henry Danger/NICK/8-8:30p/1441
4/12/15/Liv and Maddie/DSNY/8-8:30p/1334
4/11/15/Bella and the Bulldogs/NICK/8:30-9p/1323
4/9/15/Regular Show/TOON/7:30-8p/1253
4/12/15/K.C. Undercover/DSNY/8:30-9p/1187

K6-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of April 7-13, 2015

4/11/15/Henry Danger/NICK/8-8:30p/1160
4/9/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/1125
4/12/15/Liv and Maddie/DSNY/8-8:30p/1118
4/11/15/Bella and the Bulldogs/NICK/8:30-9p/1067
4/9/15/Regular Show/TOON/7:30-9p/991
4/12/15/K.C. Undercover/DSNY/8:30-9p/985
4/8/15/Jessie /DSNY/8-8:30p/903
4/12/15/Austin & Ally/DSNY/9-9:30p/879
4/12/15/I Didn’t Do It/DSNY/9:30-10p/854

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 April 24-26, 2015:

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (Sony) PG $14.78 million (weekend) $43.22 million (2-week cume)
The Age of Adeline (Lionsgate) PG-13 $13.2 million (weekend) $13.2 million (1-week cume)
Home (20th Century Fox) PG $8.01 million (weekend) $152.49 million (5-week cume)
The Longest Ride (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $4.26 million (weekend) $30.29 million (3-week cume)
Monkey Kingdom (Disney) G $3.44 million (weekend) $10.15 million (2-week cume)
Woman in Gold (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $3.36 million (weekend) $21.5 million (4-week cume)
Divergent Series: The Insurgent (Lionsgate) PG-13 $2.97 million (weekend) $124.78 million (6-week cume)
Cinderella (Disney) PG $2.77 million (weekend) $190.56 million (6-week cume)


Cynopsis Webinars Presents…

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Answer to last week’s Trivia: For which non-kids TV show did Rita Moreno win an Emmy? The Rockford Files. Congrats to: David Stern, BARD Entertainment, NY; Deedra L. Roberts, Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta.

Today’s Trivia Question: What was the name of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s production company? 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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