05/13/14: Awesomeness debuts iOS app; Disney Junior hopes to get Lucky with first original movie; Hub reups Twilgiht Sparkle and friends


Disney Channel Original Movies: #1 Cable movie for 6 of last 7 years in Total Viewers!

DESCENDANTS (coming Summer ’15)
From the Director of the High School Musical movies, comes the next big DC Original Movie!
Descendants is a contemporary live-action adventure-comedy featuring the teenage
children of classic Disney villains and heroes.

Cross-company support! A-list talent! Family appeal!
Add some Disney magic into your Upfront plan.
SOURCE: Nielsen. Click here for source


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, May 13, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


AwesomenessTV today will launch its first mobile app for iOS. The DreamWorks-owned, teen-centric MCN is also releasing a second season of the musical drama Side Effects. Fans will be able to binge view the entire second season via the app, beginning today. Alternatively, new episodes will be released weekly on Thursdays beginning with the first of four episodes on Thursday at AwesomenessTV.com. Side Effects, co-produced by AwesomenessTV and Universal Cable Productions, generated more than 2 million views its first week when it debuted October 2013 as a long-form special. Inspired by the phenomenon of millions of people covering songs on YouTube, Side Effects is told from the perspective of 16-year-old Whitney Connolly, who is prescribed a medication that comes with an interesting side effect–musical hallucinations–as she struggles with the death of her mother and the disappearance of her father. "Our audience wants to consume their content whenever and wherever they like, so we are excited to provide new ways for them to engage with AwesomenessTV talent, series and channels through our new mobile app," said Brian Robbins, Founder and CEO AwesomenssTV. Side Effects is exec-produced by Robbins, Joe Davola, Shauna Phelan, Chester See and Allison Schroeder (Mean Girls 2 and 90210), who also wrote the series. Side Effects is directed by Grammy nominee Matt Stawski (Cee Lo Green’s Forget You).

Christian Borle, Megan Hilty and Tom Cavanaugh lead the musical theater-heavy voice cast of the animated Lucky Duck, the first Disney Junior Original Movie, premiering on Disney Junior Friday, June 20, at 7p, and on Disney Channel Saturday, June 21 at 9a. Targeting kids 2-7, the high-seas adventure follows a trio of misfit tub toys in search of the kids who will love them just the way they are. Lucky Duck features six original songs. It’s Produced by Nelvana Studio in association with Disney Junior, the movie will be available via the WATCH Disney Junior app beginning Friday, June 6. directed by Don Kim and written by WGA Award winner Michael G. Stern, and exec-produced by are Nelvana’s Irene Weibel and Colin Bohm.

How can you use licensing extensions to maximize tune-in and engagement for your television and digital programming? Join CynKids at the webinar "The New Lessons of Licensing: How to Maximize Tune In, Brand Engagement & Revenue" on Thursday, May 29, 1:30-3 ET, and find out. Speakers include Marty Brochstein, SVP, Industry Relations & Information, International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Assn. (LIMA); Kirk Bloomgarden, SVP, Global Consumer Products, Saban Brands; Gregory G. Economos, SVP, Global Consumer Products at Sony; and Erin Dippold, VP, Consumer Products, DHX Media. Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/webinar/the-new-lessons-of-licensing-how-to-maximize-tune-in-brand-engagement-revenue/


A second season of Breadwinners is in the oven at Nickelodeon. The animated series-which immerses viewers in the high-octane, music-infused world of two ducks on a mission to deliver bread in their rocket van–ranks No. 1 in its Saturday 11a time slot with K2-11, K6-11 and Boys 2-11 and 6-11. Season one of Breadwinners will debut on the Nick’s international channels this fall. The series is created by Steve Borst (Teen Titans Go!, MAD) and Gary "Doodles" Di Raffaele (MAD, Metalocalypse). The team of Animation Innovators will be at the CynKids !magination Awards, June 11 in NY.

Does Zendaya sleep? We can’t imagine when. The busy actress (Dancing with the Stars, Shake It Up) and singer is set to headline and co-produce a new live-action spy comedy K.C. Undercover for Disney Channel. The comedy focuses on a high school math whiz who’s training to be an undercover super spy just like her parents. Each episode finds the family balancing typical issues while performing undercover missions to protect the country. Exec-produced by Rob Lotterstein (Shake it Up) and was written by Corinne Marshall, production begins this summer in LA for an early-2015 premiere. Zendaya next stars in the Disney Channel Original Movie Zapped, premiering June 27.


Twilight Sparkle and her pony pals will return to Hub Network for a fifth season of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. Created by Hasbro Studios, the new season will bow in 2015 and continue to follow the magical pony princess, her trusted assistant Spike and the residents of Equestria. My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is exec-produced by Chris Bartleman, Kirsten Newlands and Stephen Davis and was developed for television by Lauren Faust. Season five will continue to include co-exec producers Meghan McCarthy and Jayson Thiessen, who is also the supervising director, and composer Daniel Ingram.


Cartoon Network will launch the fifth incarnation of its Move It Movement Tour May 23-25 at the Atlanta Jazz Festival. The annual summertime traveling event targets kids 6-14 and their parents and is presented in partnership with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. The 19-market tour will hit locales including NY, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Denver and LA, and is co-sponsored by Cartoon’s local cable affiliates in each market. Activities include the NBA/WNBA Fit & NBA Hoop Troop, the PGA of America Driving Range, NFL Play 60 and Soccer Shootout Challenge. The tour will wind down at Legoland Florida. A national on-air spot featuring the star of Cartoon Network’s Clarence will premiere Monday, May 19, across multiple media platforms including Cartoon Network, Boomerang, CartoonNetwork.com, tour partner websites and Cartoon Network’s Facebook page.


Nickelodeon and Lima Sky are launching Doodle Jump SpongeBob SquarePants, inspired by the popular Doodle Jump app. In this 2D level-based jumper game, players take the role of SpongeBob, jumping up and through Bikini Bottom locales while trying to avoid infamous villains including Man Ray and Dirty Bubble, swirling whirlpools and diabolical jellyfish. Sounds good to us. The app is available now on iOS; Android is coming soon. Doodle Jump SpongeBob marks Lima Sky’s first co-brand with an animated series for its Doodle Jump game, which has drawn more than 100 million fans.

The Poptropica App is now available for free download for iPhone and iPod touch-extending the app’s reach beyond the iPad for Poptropica adventures, including the new Mission Atlantis Island. Kids can create their own Poptropican and explore a welcoming scene where they can collect gold shards and first experience Poptropica on a touch screen. Up to three Poptropican characters can be customized to play.


The relaunch of its website this week is the first step in Nat Geo Kids’ plans to stake its claim in nonfiction video programming for kids and tweens. The site, which is now mobile-responsive, will be adding 40%-60% more content during the summer, with a heavy emphasis on short-form video based on Nat Geo book series. In development are series based on Weird But True, Real Or Fake and Mission: Animal Rescue, and Michelle Sullivan, VP, digital, kids & family for National Geographic Global Media, says the cross-platform possibilities are endless.
"The website will serve as a tent pole for Mission: Animal Rescue. We know kids are really excited about saving animals and we’re giving them the tools to help in the books series and then online we’ll have even more resources–business card templates, a whole kit full of tools they can use to empower them to be advocates."
What Sullivan calls the organization’s next "really big idea" is a fiction series based on the legacy Nat Geo Mysteries In Our National Parks books series. "This could be our Night at the Museum," she says. Actor Benj Thall (The Incredible Journey), who had a hand in Nat Geo’s popular Amazing Animal Shorts series, wrote a script they’re now shopping it around for funding. As more content becomes available, the site will adopt a pay component. "There will always be a free site. You may be able to get a couple episodes of a new show, but to get the whole season you would need to upgrade to premiere status." Parents in test groups are particularly keen on bundling premium web content and NGK print products, she says.


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Bulldog Licensing signed on to represent Talking Tom and Friends in the US and Canada. Created by Outfit7, Talking Tom is a digital phemon with more than 1.7 billion downloads of the app since its launch in 2010. The site also gets 230 million monthly active users. Additionally, a series of web shorts have been produced in conjunction with Disney Interactive and development of a 3D animated television series, scheduled for release in 2015, is in the works.


Disney Junior and the Imagination Movers are headed to Canada this fall with a concert tour that’ll touch down in 16 cities. The Imagination Movers Live In Concert tour kicks off Saturday, Sept. 13 in Victoria, BC, and concludes Wednesday, Oct. 1 in Halifax, NS. Fans can expect favorite songs culled from the Emmy-winning live-action series, plus a special appearance by the Movers’ little buddy, Warehouse Mouse.

Thomas & Friends is moving full steam ahead into Brazil thanks to a new deal between HIT Entertainment and TV Cultura, Brazil’s top free broadcaster for children. The series bows this week on the "Quintal da Cultura" (Culture in the Backyard) kids block.

9 Story Entertainment licensed Slap Happy Cartoons’ animated comedy Nerds and Monsters to UK kids channel CITV. The series, previously licensed to ABC TV in Australia and YTV in Canada, is part of the CITV weekday afternoon lineup.


Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for May 9-11, 2014:

Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony) PG-13 $37.2 million (weekend) $147.9 million (2-week cume)
The Other Woman (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $9.25 million (weekend) $61.73 million (3-week cume)
Heaven Is For Real (TriStar Pictures) PG $7.0 million (weekend) $75.22 million (4-week cume)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Disney) PG-13 $5.62 million (weekend) $244.99 million (6-week cume)
Rio 2 (20th Century Fox) PG $5.13 million (weekend) $113.17 million (5-week cume)
Mom’s Night Out (Sony) PG $4.2 million (weekend) $4.2 million (1-week cume)
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (Freestyle Releasing) PG $3.71 million (weekend) $3.71 million (1-week cume)
Divergent (Lionsgate) PG-13 $1.7 million (weekend) $145.02 million (8-week cume)
Brick Mansions (Relativity Media) PG-13 $1.48 million (weekend) $18.33 million (3-week cume)
God’s Not Dead (Freestyle Releasing) PG-13 $1.26 million (weekend) $57.53 million (6-week cume)


Cynopsis Digital BIG Monetization Summit
June 19 | 10 on the Park, NYC| Sponsors: FreeWheel & Hiro Media
A sampling of the powerful line-up of speakers:
Amy Dickerson, VP, Digital Director [Spark]
Vamshi Sriperumbudur
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Gavin Bridge
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Steve Bradbury
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Jessica Anderson
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Carolyn Johnson
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Michael Bayle
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Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: What are the names of Sigmund the Sea Monster’s brothers? Burp and Slurp. Kudos to: John May, Cartoon Network, Atlanta; Pat Brady, CESD, LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who presented Walt Disney with his special Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? (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!

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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