05/08/18: Fred Rogers Co. takes on new name to reflect stronger emphasis on production

CynopsisKIDS
Good morning. It’s Tuesday May 8, 2018, and this is your your first early morning Kids briefing!


IN THE NEWS
 
Say hello to Fred Rogers Productions. The Fred Rogers Co. is rebranding as part of a corporate rebranding designed to better reflect the company’s expanding catalog including PBS Kids series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, and Odd Squad.
 
Jim Davis’ irreverent feline superstar Garfield celebrates his 40th birthday on June 19, and he’s got a new TV series, book and feature film in development. Later this year, a new animated series of 120 30-second shorts titled Garfield Originals will be released for digital and broadcast. An animated Garfield movie is in development with Alcon Entertainment, and Garfield’s footprint in the digital realm includes social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram plus the Garfield website and a free educational portal for students. An estimated 85 million people have downloaded Garfield apps and games, including his newest, Garfield Snacktime.
 
Thanks to a new partnership, Nelvana will exclusively broadcast Sesame Street and Sesame Studios’ content in Canada on Corus’ preschool net Treehouse and on nonlinear platforms. Nelvana will also represent Sesame Street within the Canadian licensed consumer products community. Sesame Workshop content will now have a dedicated block on Treehouse including new seasons of Sesame Street and more than 50 pieces of additional short-form broadcast content from Sesame Studios, the new YouTube destination for kids that includes Scribble Tales, Nursery Rhyme Remixes, and Tater & Tot.
 
Hasbro is getting more Power-ful. The company is acquiring Haim Saban’s Saban’s Power Rangers property along with other Saban brands including Luna Petunia, Julius Jr., My Pet Monster, Popples and Treehouse Detectives in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $522 million. The first wave of products will drop in spring 2019. Hasbro previously paid $22.25 million pursuant to a Power Rangers’ master toy license agreement that was to begin in 2019; that money will be credited against the purchase price. “Shortly after entering into our licensing arrangement, it became clear that now was the time to begin investing in unlocking Power Rangers’ full potential,” Brian Goldner, Hasbro chairman/CEO, said. “We see significant opportunity for Power Rangers across our entire brand blueprint, including toys and games, consumer products, digital gaming and entertainment, as well as geographically throughout our global retail footprint.”
 
Children’s content will be one of four key verticals in Univision’s new subscription streaming service, which provides on-demand access to its Spanish-language programming and content from BBC Studios, RTVE, Televisa, Viacom and others.
 
Disney Channel series Andi Mack is among the honorees at the Television Academy Honors, which celebrate programming that address complex challenges and social issues facing society in a compelling and impactful way.
 
 
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
 
Production is under way on Coop and Cami Ask the World, a Disney Channel live action series slated to debut this fall. Dakota Lotus and Ruby Rose Turner lead the cast of the story of two middle-school siblings who make nearly all of their decisions by crowdsourcing opinions from the millions of followers of Cooper’s online channel. Cast also includes Olivia Sanabia (Just Add Magic), Albert Tsai (Dr. Ken), Paxton Booth (The Toy Box) and Rebecca Metz (Better Things). Series was created by writers/producers Boyce Bugliari & Jamie McLaughlin (The Haunted Hathaways), who serve as exec producers and showrunners.
 
TBS ordered a second season of Olan Rogers’ primetime animated comedy Final Space, the network’s youngest-skewing original series ever. Produced by Conan O’Brien’s Conaco and New Form in association with Turner’s Studio T, Final Space reaches 20 million-plus viewers across linear, VOD and digital platforms, according to TBS, and season one featured fan interactions via digital realm.
 
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NEW & RETURNING SERIES
 
Universal Kids is serious about developing youth-centric series based on existing big brands. Latest is American Ninja Warrior Junior, slated to debut in October with hosts Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila. In the new series, boys and girls in three groups- 9 and 10 year olds, 11 and 12 year olds and 13-14 year olds – will compete together on the “Head to Head” courses as do their counterparts on American Ninja Warrior. The course will also feature iconic obstacles including Sonic Swing, Tic Toc, Spin Cycle, and the Warped Wall. “We know that American Ninja Warrior resonates with families – but we also know that kids want to see themselves reflected on screen,” says Deirdre Brennan, GM, Universal Kids. This season of American Ninja Warrior Junior will feature almost 200 competitors facing off.
 
 
COMING UP
 
Nick Jr. is getting caught up in Royal Wedding madness. To celebrate the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the net beginning May 18 will air a weekend of royal-themed encores from some of Nick’s popular preschool series including Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Bubble Guppies, Dora the Explorer, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, and Shimmer and Shine.
 
 
DIGITAL DATA
 
Hulu highlighted its kids content at its New Front. Among announcements, the streaming of an Animaniacs reboot, and new partnership with DreamWorks Animation to become the exclusive streaming home to new animated films starting with titles released in 2019. As part of the agreement, Hulu and DWA will co-produce new original series for the service.
 
In Disney Digital Network news, Disney is partnering with Tastemade on Disney-themed eps of series including Tiny Kitchen, in which artists will create miniature replicas of foods from beloved Disney films, and Kitchen Little, where kids will team up with celebrity chefs to recreate Disney-themed recipes. Additionally, the Oh My Disney App launches this summer, featuring the best Disney social content and short-form videos from Oh My Disney, Disney Digital Network and creators from the Disney-owned Maker Studios.
 
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s new direct-to-consumer digital venture DC Universe is an immersive experience including short form and fan interactive components around comics and TV series. The slate at launch includes a live-action Titans series and revival of animated series Young Justice from Warner Bros Animation titled Young Justice: Outsiders.
 
Among announcements from Ellen DeGeneres’ Ellen Digital Network NewFront, DeGeneres is teaming with 11-year-old Naomi Wadler, whom she invited to her show following the young Alexandria, VA-based activist’s speech at the March for Our Lives.
 
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AROUND THE INDUSTRY
 
Sony Pictures gave the green light to a sequel to its box office hit Peter Rabbit, which so far has brought in $115 million domestically. Peter Rabbit 2 is slated to hit theaters February 7, 2020, with writer/director Will Gluck returning in both roles.
 
The Trolls are taking Manhattan. Feld Entertainment and Universal Brand Development are collaborating on DreamWorks Trolls The Experience, a 90-minute live show based on DreamWorks Trolls. The live experience will debut this fall in NY; tickets will go on sale in July. The Trolls Experience is the first in a new partnership between Universal Brand Development and Feld Entertainment DreamWorks Trolls premiered in theaters in 2016.
 
The Kratt Brothers will hit the road beginning this September for theatrical production Wild Kratts LIVE 2.0–Activate Creature Power!, which also will feature Aviva and the rest of the Wild Kratts team.
 
Disney/Pixar’s Oscar-winning animated Coco hit the $800.5 million mark at the worldwide box office. It’s Pixar’s fifth film to cross the $800 million milestone.
 
 
IN MEMORIAM
 
Veteran Disney animator, story artist, and director Dave Michener died in February at age 85. Michener, who had a 31-year career at Disney before he retired in1987, contributed to classics including Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, The Aristocats, Robin Hood and The Rescuers.
 


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Today’s Trivia Question: What was the name of the Brady family’s dog, who was hit by a car in season 1 of The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: A limit of four correct answers from each time zone will be selected.).?
 
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