05/15/18: 9 Story launches dedicated consumer products division, refreshes logo

CynopsisKIDS
Good morning. It’s Tuesday May 15, 2018, and this is your your first early morning Kids briefing!
 
IN THE NEWS
 
9 Story Media Group is launching a new dedicated consumer products division, 9 Story Brands, and redesigned its corporate logo. Following its recent acquisition of Out of the Blue Enterprises, 9 Story Brands brings Out of the Blue’s and 9 Story’s licensing endeavors together under the new division. Properties represented include Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why!, Peg + Cat, Luo Bao Bei, Wild Kratts, Nature Cat and Colorforms. 9 Story Brands will be co-managed by 9 Story’s Kristin Lecour, VP of consumer products, and Out of the Blue’s Kyra Halperin, VP, consumer products. The new division will focus on building global kids brands both on and off-screen.
 
A dog’s life: DHX Media and Sony Music Entertainment Japan entered a definitive agreement whereby SMEJ will indirectly purchase 49 percent of DHX’s 80 percent interest in Peanuts for $185 million in cash, subject to customary working capital adjustments. Pro forma for the transaction, DHX Media will own 41 percent of Peanuts, SMEJ will own 39 percent, and the members of the family of Charles M. Schulz will continue to own 20 percent. DHX Media and SMEJ also have agreed to extend the duration of the current licensing and syndication agency agreement with SMEJ’s consumer products division, Sony Creative Products in Japan.
 
Chris Paul, Houston Rockets’ point guard and former NBA All-Star MVP, will step center court as host of Nickeldeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports 2018. Awards show will air Sunday, July 22, at 8p after taping live on Thursday, July 19. “I grew up on Nickelodeon and now love watching it with my kids, and I can’t wait to share this experience with them,” Paul said. “I am honored that Nickelodeon asked me to host this year’s Kids’ Choice Sports awards. I promise to bring the fun, the slime and the most epic stunts in Kids’ Choice Sports history.”
 
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) pinged Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to inquire how his company protects the privacy of kids who use its voice-activated Amazon Echo Dot speaker, which is explicitly marketed to children. The device comes with a year’s free access to ad-free radio stations and playlists, Audible books for kids, content from Disney and Nickelodeon, and more. Markey and Barton want details about whether Amazon records and saves kids’ interactions with the device, whether these conversations are stored and if so, whether parents can review and delete these recordings, and which if any third parties have access to the device. Amazon acknowledged receipt of the letter from Capitol Hill, and in a statement said it will work with the legislators to respond to their questions while reassuring the Echo Dot Kids Edition complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
 
A new study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center, “Parental Desensitization to Gun Violence in PG-13 Movies,” published online this week in the journal Pediatrics, reveals that parents surveyed say onscreen gun violence is more suitable for teens 15 and older. Researchers found parents are more willing to let their children see PG-13 movies with intense gun violence when the violence appears to be “justified,” but even so, they feel those movies are better suited to audiences15 and up.
 
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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
 
Child and young adult classical music enthusiasts, resin your bows. Opera singer Placido Domingo is working with Fulwell 73, co-producer of The Late Late Show With James Corden, to reboot Hungarian classical music format Virtuosos in the US and UK. Airing on Hungary channel MTVA since 2014, series sees kids and young adults judged for playing classical pieces and movie themes. Show is produced by Mariann Peller; Domingo has become a shareholder in Virtuosos Holdings. “The Virtuosos talent show and activities that surround it are a wonderful addition to the world of classical music, the encouragement of young musical talent and broadening the appeal of classical music,” he said.
 
PBS Kids announced two new animated series at its annual meeting. Social studies series Let’s Go Luna! will premiere Wednesday, November 21, and action-adventure comedy Molly of Denali will debut in summer 2019. Luna follows the adventures of three friends as they traverse the globe with their parents’ traveling performance troupe. At each stop, Luna the Moon, voiced by Judy Greer, guides them as they get to know the local region and its people. It’s exec produced by 9 Story’s Vince Commisso and by series creator and showrunner Joe Murray. Molly follows the adventures of a feisty 10-year-old Alaska Native girl and is the first nationally distributed children’s series in the US to feature an Alaska Native lead character.
 
The second season of animated Sunny Bunnies is headed to Disney in the US, thanks to a deal between London-based Media I.M. for the hit Belarus preschool series. The Sunny Bunnies are five beaming balls that can appear anywhere there is a source of light, from sunshine to moonlight. They’ll also be appearing in the UK; Sky Kids picked up season 2 rights for the Sky Kids app in the UK and Ireland, among other new deals.
 
Hulu picked up supernatural series Light as a Feather from AwesomenessTV and Wattpad Studios in a straight-to-series deal. Zoe Aarsen’s like-titled thriller novel is a Wattpad favorite with more than 2.9 million reads. The story follows five teen girls as they deal with the supernatural fallout stemming from what they thought was an innocent game of “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.” The first Wattpad story to be picked up by Hulu, the 10-ep series will start production in June.
 
 
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
 
Raven’s Home will remain at home on Disney Channel. Season 2 of the Raven-Symone-starring sequel will premiere with a week of four new episodes, Monday, June 25-Thursday, June 28 at 9:30a. Following debut week, new eps will premiere throughout the summer on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:30a. Among season two top lines: A musical ep with original songs and dance numbers choreographed by Will “Willdabeast” Adams and directed by Paul Hoen (Zombies, Camp Rock 2, Let It Shine).
  
 
COMING UP
 
Nick will air a 30-minute PAW Patrol special, Ultimate Rescue: Pups Save the Royal Kitties, on Friday, July 6, at noon. Action picks up after the Royal Kitties are kidnapped on their way to Adventure Bay, and Ryder needs all the pups to help Chase investigate this case.
 
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DIGITAL DATA
 
Craftsy this week debuts of the first-ever Masterchef Junior cooking course, “Jasmine’s Delightful Desserts,” featuring season 5 winner of the Fox reality series, Jasmine Stewart, who shares the secrets behind creating her favorite desserts. The course will be available exclusively for members of Craftsy Unlimited, Craftsy’s video subscription service.
 
May is Month of Making at YouTube Kids. Through May 31, kids and tweens can learn how to piece together a robot, learn about coding, create arts and crafts, and much more via in-app tutorials. The app also features new playlists, including one from Kari Byron (Mythbusters) and GoldieBlox showing kids how to make stuff, and a Peppa Pig playlist celebrating Month of Making… Additionally, Jimmy Fallon compiled a playlist of videos he enjoys watching with his family for YT Kids.
 
 
AROUND THE INDUSTRY
 
Oscar winner Sam Rockwell and Grammy winner Chance the Rapper joined the cast of DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls 2. The first Trolls animated film brought in $346.8 million worldwide. They’ll lend voice talents along with the original cast, and record songs for the sequel’s soundtrack.
 
A Jurassic switch-up is in store at Universal Studios Hollywood. The park’s original Jurassic Park ride will close Sept. 2 after a 22-year run, and be replaced by the updated Jurassic World Ride.
 
Sarah Silverman is the newest reader for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Emmy-nominated children’s literacy program Storyline Online (storylineonline.net). Silverman reads A Tale of Two Beasts, written and illustrated by Fiona Roberton and published by Kane Miller Books. The story is told in two parts, first from the point of view of a little girl and then from the POV of a little beast who meet each other in the deep, dark woods.
 
AT&T and Reese Witherspoon’s studio Hello Sunshine are collaborating with Fresh Films, a nonprofit that helps teach teens filmmaking, on an offering for select teen girls. Applicants chosen will get the chance to come to the AT&T Hello Sunshine Filmmaker Lab in LA this summer and rotate through key filmmaking positions from camera and editing to sound and costume, while being mentored by professionals from Fresh Films, AT&T and Hello Sunshine.
 


Answer to Last Week’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)? Tiger. Kudos to: Brad Stern-OPERR Technologies/Flushing, NY; Julie Stowell-Gracenote, A Nielsen Company/Queensbury, NY; Rick Wiener-Allebach Communications; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX; Tom Boyd-WGN-TV/Chicago; Heather Floore-KUSA/KTVD/Denver; Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/Santa Monica; David Westberg-SAG/AFTRA Federal Credit Union; Burbank
 
Today’s Trivia Question: Name two of the three teams featured on Scooby’s Laff-A-Lympics (1977-79)? (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.).?
 
Kids Show Anagram: Nah Huge Hint Tour (Email trivia@cynopsis.com; first respondents with the correct answer who aren’t in trivia will be posted in tomorrow’s newsletter.)
 
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JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXEC/Pluto TV/NYC: Mng/grow/maintain the nat’l advertising revenue derived from a specified group of ad agencies & assigned regional territories. 5+ yrs of Nat’l TV advertising sales exp as well as 2 yrs dig exp req’d. Proven track rec of outstanding sales results req’d. Full info/apply HERE (5/22)

 

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/Turner Broadcasting/NYC: Work w/cross-functional portfolio team (sales, publicity, mktg) to dvlp optimal portfolio positioning. Well-rounded cross-platform rsrch/analytics exp a must. BA deg & 3+ yrs of exp, incl linear, digital &/or direct-to-consumer rsrch exp. Full info/apply HERE (5/22)

 

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JOB OPENING: MARKETING COORDINATOR/Spotlight Cinema Networks/NYC or LA: Provide strategic sales support, dvlp/execute mktg collateral & prgrms. Serve as a key liaison between mktg & sales. Help identify/execute daily needs of sales & our clients. 3+yrs mktg exp in media sales org. Resume to: info@spotlightcinemanetworks.com (5/19)

 

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JOB OPENING: SALES MGR/FilmRise/Brooklyn: Asst in various administration of client accts. Handle TV, Film & Dig. Content Sales to Non-theatrical, Inflight & others as designated. Exc writing/comm  skills a must. 2-3 yrs of sales/bus. exp, pref in media industry req’d as well as ability to travel int’l. Full info/apply HERE (5/18)

 

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