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05.13.15 Good morning. It’s Wednesday 13, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.
New York Times best-selling series Otis the Tractor is headed to television. 9 Story Media Group entered into an agreement with Penguin Young Readers for the option to produce an animated series based on books, written and illustrated by Loren Long, which has sold 1.5 million copies since it debuted in 2009. 9 Story also optioned merchandising and licensing rights for the property.
Live from New York… It’s a Saturday Night Live love fest if voice talent for PBS Kids’ upcoming animated series Nature Cat. The new comedy stars SNL talent Taran Killam voicing the title character, plus Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan and Kenan Thompson. Kate Micucci (Scrubs, The Big Bang Theory) lends her voice talents, too. Series encourages children to develop connections with the natural world.
The final episode of Disney XD’s Phineas and Ferb airs Friday, June 12, at 9p–after a 73-hour marathon that kicks off Tuesday, June 9, at 8p. But fear not… P&F creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh are developing a new animated comedy for the network called Mikey Murphy’s Law.
Tricon Kids & Family and Wildseed Studios are coproducing animated comedy Counterfeit Cat, targeted to 6-12 year-olds and commissioned by Disney XD EMEA and Teletoon. Action revolves around Gark, a naive 9-year-old alien with uncontrollable superpowers, destined to save the universe, and Max, an anxious but vain housecat who’d prefer to save himself. Production is underway at Wildseed’s newly launched Bristol studio; Tricon International will handle global distribution across all platforms.
Doc McStuffins is not just one of the most successful shows on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Its compassionate ethos, in the persona of African-American female protagonist Doc, have garnered numerous accolades, including the recently-won Peabody Award. Creator Chris Nee made a house call to talk about how the series she created to demystify her sons’ doctor visits is evolving, and the importance of elevating women both on screen and behind the scenes.
The show’s secret sauce
For kids, it’s a show that touches on their greatest fantasies and also acknowledges that the world for them is hilariously funny but also has great pathos and drama. For parents, it’s a show that’s aspirational, and that they can really get behind having their kids watch.
I have way more fun writing Chilly than I should. There may be a little hypochondriac something going on [laughs].
The evolution of the McStuffins universe
For me, it has been a continuation of something I know I love to write to, which is a sense of community and what it is to have a group of characters that all love each other with all of their rough edges exposed. That’s the kind of world we could use; a world where people are willing to look past the differences of their neighbors.
That’s Madame Doctor, please
The numbers are really unfortunate still, in terms of representation of women and girls on TV and in film. One of the things the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media have shown is that the numbers you think are going to be way better in kids TV actually aren’t. When I was first thinking that animation was something I wanted to do, I watched the credits on shows and saw how few women there were. After I first started having credits of my own, I tried to change my name to Christine, because with my name you can’t tell the gender, but it never felt like me. I’m excited that this year Annecy [the international animated film festival] has “Women in Animation” as its theme; I’ve been meeting quite a bit with women show runners and hoping we get more voices in the television landscape.
Importance of mentoring
It’s a huge part of my process. I have promoted two [female] coordinators to staff writers and I make sure I am finding people who are lacking [opportunity] and putting them into positions where they can learn. Even as a staff writer, there are a lot of pieces of the process you don’t have to see but I tell them that they should sit in on these [other] meetings so that when opportunities arise, they can take advantage of them.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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Nickelodeon’s much-touted new series about three best friends and their middle school bucket list debuts Saturday, June 6. The 26-episode live-action 100 Things to Do Before High School will air regularly on Saturdays at 8p; each ep also will be available on Nick.com, the Nick App and Nick On Demand one day following its linear TV premiere. Series was created by Scott Fellows, of Big Time Rush.
Disney Channel is hitting the beach again this summer. Original movie sequel Teen Beach 2 premieres Friday, June 26, at 8p. The movie, sponsored by Best Western International, Famous Footwear and Band-Aid Brand, will be available Friday, June 19, to verified users on the WATCH Disney Channel app and WATCHDisneyChannel.com. Teen Beach Movie alum Jeffrey Hornaday returns to direct and choreograph along with Christopher Scott. The sequel is exec-produced by Michelle Manning (producer of The Breakfast Club) and David Buelow (Teen Beach Movie). The July 2013 premiere of Teen Beach Movie ranks as the No. 2 movie in cable TV history in Total Viewers (13.5 million) and the No. 2 cable TV telecast of all time across major youth demographics, behind only Disney’s High School Musical 2.
The Teen Beach 2 premiere will usher in Disney Channel’s new comedy series Best Friends Whenever, premiering immediately following the movie. When a science experiment goes awry, besties Shelby and Cyd gain the power to travel back and forth in time, although they can’t quite control their powers just yet. Series stars Lauren Taylor (Richie Rich) and Landry Bender (Disney XD’s Crash & Bernstein).
Amazon Studios signed off on six new pilots for kids’ series – four animated and two live-action. The animated pilots are The Adventures of Knickerbock Teetertop, Lost in Oz, Lily the Unicorn and Bear in Underwear; live-action offerings include A History of Radness and The Kicks. The pilots will hit Amazon Prime Video for customers to view and rate for free this summer; best of the bunch could go to series.
Mighty Magiswords debuted exclusively on the Cartoon Network Anything app, the net’s micro-network extension that contains games, video and activities that each last 15 seconds max. Cartoon Network Studios’ first original digital series, about a brother and sister warriors-for-hire team whose silly swords with magical properties to complete their quests, is highly interactive; the launch is accompanied by five mini Magiswords games on Cartoon Network Anything. Series was created by Kyle Carrozza (The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water). Additional content is in production, including web-based games slated to debut this summer.
Nickelodeon is launching new Blaze and the Monster Machines content this month across multiple screens including episode Dragon Island Duel, which debuts Monday, May 25; a companion NickJr.com game; and a Blaze app update. May also marks the launch of a toy line inspired by the preschool series in conjunction with Mattel.
The 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards increased in consumer engagement across digital, radio and social media in the event’s third year and second as an on-air telecast. Since its Sunday, April 26 premiere and pre-show on Disney Channel and continuing through 12 encore linear telecasts on Disney Channel and Disney XD, the special reached 11.9 million Total Viewers, 4.2 million K6-11, 4 million Tweens 9-14 and 3.2 million Adults 18-49. Consumer engagement was also strong throughout the award voting process with 101 million votes tallied, an increase of 75 percent over last year. On the Radio Disney app, the RDMAs delivered the highest day ever and a 43 percent increase in unique visitors, radio streams, video starts (75,000) and page views.
Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of May 4-10, 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 18-25, 2105
4/23/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/1407
4/26/15/2015 Radio Disney Music Awards/DSNY/8-9:30p/1231
4/23/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6:30-7p/1206
4/25/15/Miles From Tomorrowland/DSNY/8:30-8:55p/1102
4/26/15/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/NICK/11-11:30a/1091
4/25/15/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/11-11:30a/1055
K6-11 Top 10 Programs for the week of April 18-25, 2015
4/23/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/1065
4/26/15/2015 Radio Disney Music Awards/DSNY/8-9:30p/1055
4/24/15/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/8-8:30p/906
4/23/15/Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6:30-7p/868
4/25/15/I Didn’t Do It/DSNY/11:30a-12p/825
4/25/15/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/11-11:30a/821
4/21/15/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/8:30-9p/817
4/25/15/Bella and the Bulldogs/NICK/8:30-9p/799
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 May 8-10, 2015:
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Disney) PG-13 $77.75 million (weekend) $313.4 million (2-week cume)
Hot Pursuit (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $13.94 million (weekend) $13.94 million (1-week cume)
The Age of Adeline (Lionsgate) PG-13 $5.82 million (weekend) $31.75 million (3-week cume)
Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (Sony) PG $5.31 million (weekend) $58.2 million (4-week cume)
Home (20th Century Fox) PG $3.07 million (weekend) $162.19 million (7-week cume)
Woman in Gold (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $1.74 million (weekend) $27.07 million (6-week cume)
Cinderella (Disney) PG $1.69 million (weekend) $196.27 million (8-week cume)
The Longest Ride (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $1.36 million (weekend) $35.27 million (5-week cume)
Monkey Kingdom (Disney) G $1.25 million (weekend) $14.36 million (4-week cume)
Answer to last week’s Trivia: What were most of the characters in Chowder named after? Food. Congrats to: Erin Allen, Turner Entertainment Networks Atlanta; Deedra L. Roberts, Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta.
Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
Cathy@cynopsis.com for Cynopsis Kids!
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