08/27/14: Sprout enters the tablet business; Ultimate Spider-Man season 3 preview from Marvel; Register for the CynKids Business Summit


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 27, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


BREAKING: Sprout’s getting into the tablet business. The NBCU net this morning will announce the launch of the Sprout Channel Cubby Android tablet, preloaded with 40 full episodes of Sprout programming-including The Chica Show, Barney and the premiere ep of Astroblast–28 apps, 28 music videos and six Sprout original songs. The $99 tablet will be sold exclusively at Walmart in October and is available for preorder today at walmart.com (http://walmart.com/Sprout). It also packs preloaded “Sprout recommended” apps, a daily weather report, color and print pages, crafts and recipes, plus a child-safe web browser. The Cubby is produced by Ematic and will include credits for Vudu.com, allowing customers to download more content to the tablet. “Just as parents and caregivers trust Sprout in their homes and on the go every day, they can feel secure with the Sprout Channel Cubby’s safe play environment where children can interact with their favorite characters and shows,” said Sandy Wax, President of Sprout.


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The Aug. 31 return of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD doesn’t just mark season 3, it heralds a new era in story-arcing, designed for diverging viewing patterns. Marvel VP of Animation Development & Partnerships Cort Lane talks shop:

A different story this time around
We know a lot of kids are viewing the show on the network, but we’ve learned we have pretty decent Netflix viewership, too. In the past there’s been one arc for the season, but for this season, rather than focus on standalone episodes, we developed multiple arcs throughout of four to seven episodes each. That allows us to deliver the experience for everyone, including Netflix [binge] viewers, too.

The many designs of the Spider-Verse arc
This has been a tremendous production undertaking. Within the confines of the series we have the opportunity to explore different animation styles as we travel to other universes. We go to an alternate future and meet Spider-Man 2099; that’s animated in CG. We visit a Spider-Man that’s animated in a noir style, and we go to a Spider Ham universe where he’s Peter Porker, which is animated in a toon-y fashion. Then there’s an arc where all the male characters are female and we meet Spider-Girl and Petra Parker, which is animated more traditionally. Each of the first three episodes has two half-hour universes each, and then they all come together in the final one.

New promotional avenues for network TV
The shorter story arcs are not just about SVOD. They afford a great opportunity for XD in that they can promote the bigger arc rather than just one episode. Also, it creates really natural places for networks to air reruns and take a break from premiering new episodes.

The dawning of a new Marvel TV story model?
We are very optimistic it will work, so yes, we are looking to do variations of this approach in other shows. Each show would have a different take on it; we are very open.


Time flies… The first season of Little House on the Prairie premiered on NBC in September 1974. To celebrate the 40th anniversary, every episode of the classic show will be available on digital HD on Sept. 9, from Lionsgate Entertainment. "I am overjoyed that the series that I grew up performing on is available for new generations to enjoy," said Melissa Gilbert. "The stories are still relevant and have resonated for decades with audiences around the world.”

We’re counting down to the Cynopsis Kids Business Summit, Sept. 8 in NY. If you’re involved in any aspect of children’s and teen media programming, digital, distribution, advertising, app development–you don’t want to miss this event featuring keynotes from environmental advocate and media personality Philippe Cousteau and DreamWorks Animation Television head Margie Cohn. We’ll also be playing our own CynKids version of Apples to Apples throughout the day, with the chance to win a two-night stay at Atlantis Paradise Island, graciously donated by Atlantis. Don’t miss out: http://www.cynopsiskidssummit.com

Amazon Studios is digging deeper in the sandbox. The studio greenlit three additional animated kids pilots The Stinky & Dirty Show, Buddy: Tech Detective, Niko and the Sword of Light and two live-action kids pilots Table 58 and Just Add Magic. They’ll debut during Amazon’s third kids pilot season in early 2015 for Amazon Instant Video customers. The studio will launch its first kids titles this fall. Tumble Leaf will bow Sept. 5, Creative Galaxy on Oct. 3, and Annedroids on Oct. 30. Check ‘em out:

* Buddy: Tech Detective (preschool)
A viewer-engagement whodunit featuring super-sleuth Buddy, his best friend Trudy and funny furry ferret Ferdo was written by Jennifer Hamburg (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why, Henry Hugglemonster), produced by The Foundation and animated by Jellyfish Animation Ltd.

* The Stinky & Dirty Show (preschool)
Based on the I Stink! book series by Jim and Kate McMullan, the series is written by Guy Toubes (The Adventures of Chuck & Friends, Littlest Pet Shop) and animated by Brown Bag Films (Peter Rabbit, Octonauts, Doc McStuffins). It follows the adventures of best friends Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty the backhoe loader.

* Niko and the Sword of Light (K6-11)
Series is based on the motion graphic comic by Imaginism Studios and Studio NX. Written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, League of Super Evil, Storm Hawks, Teen Titans) and animated by Titmouse (Motorcity, Metalocalpyse, Turbo FAST), it follows 10-year-old Niko, the last of his kind in a fantastical world who must embark on an epic quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back.

* Table 58 (K6-11)
Written by May Chan (Phineas & Ferb, Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures), Table 58 is a single-camera live-action pilot directed by Gil Junger (10 Things I Hate About You, Greek). In Table 58, they’re not a part of the popular crowd, not a part of the geek crowd. They’re the odd table in the lunchroom, made up of kids from different cliques who have been ousted from the tables where they seemingly belong. When new kid Logan moves to town, he rallies the group to form a partnership in order to help each other get back to their rightful place in the cafeteria.

* Just Add Magic (K6-11)
Based on Cindy Callaghan’s young adult book and adapted by Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son, Fairly Odd Parents, My Little Pony) and Nancy Cohen (Sabrina, The Thundermans), the single-camera live-action pilot is directed by Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas in Love, Awkward) and centers on Kelly Quinn and her two BFF’s, Darbie and Hannah, who stumble upon her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover it has some interesting recipes  like The Shut’em Up Shortcake, which actually silences Kelly’s pesky little brother.


Disney Television Animation’s Phineas and Ferb will pay homage to ABC series Lost with a special ep featuring a story by Lost co-creator and writer Damon Lindelof and guest starring Lost’s Terry O’Quinn (John Locke). The episode, “Lost In Danville,” premieres Monday, Sept. 29 at 7:30p on Disney XD and also guest stars Jane Kaczmarek and Rob Morrow. The action spins when a mysterious locked capsule falls into Phineas and Ferb’s backyard, and Perry learns that Dr. Doofenshmirtz has been abducted. He tracks him to Seattle where another evil scientist is hatching a sinister plan.


Genius Brands International launched a streaming JukeBox on BabyGenius.com, which provides access to the Baby Genius catalog of hundreds of kids’ songs. The new service, developed in collaboration with FreeStreams, allows unlimited streaming of the Baby Genius music catalog on all Apple, Android and desktop devices. The ad-supported service is free to consumers and can be found by going to www.babygenius.com using any major browser.

Scholastic Parent & Child magazine launched a free app called KidQ that’s aimed at facilitating multigenerational conversations via Q&As about things kids are curious about. The app delivers a daily question such as: Why is the sky blue? Why do we say “ears” of corn?, along with the answer and fun facts. Parents can share their children’s answers via Facebook and Twitter. The app is available for iPhone and Android phones. Church & Dwight Co., maker of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent, is app launch sponsor, part of a larger partnership with the magazine that includes integrated executions in print, digital and mobile. “With Scholastic Parent & Child’s focus on family, they were a natural fit to help launch our Arm & Hammer Clean Scentsations Detergent line,” said Kevin Kuchinski, VP of Arm & Hammer.

Cupcake Digital and AG Properties are sweetening their collaboration with tomorrow’s (Thursday) launch of the Strawberry Shortcake Berry Beauty Salon app, exclusively in the Apple App Store. It’s the fourth app in a series that includes Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends, Strawberry Shortcake Berryfest Princess, Strawberry Shortcake Jumbo Coloring Book and Strawberry Shortcake Summer Fun.


Cynopsis Kids Business Summit
Monday, September, 8th 2014 | Yale Club NY

At the Crossroads of Traditional, Digital & Social Tools, You Will Learn How to Maximize Revenue & ROI in the Kids & Teen Space

For more information & to register, visit our website:

Questions? Please contact pete@cynopsis.com at 203-899-8483.


Football season is here, and Big Tent Entertainment teamed with NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the NFL Players Assn., for a co-branding effort that brings Domo and all active NFL players to a series of products. The line includes plush novelty items, apparel, hats, bags, drinkware, and collectibles, along with stickers and embeds for digital games and mobile apps. It launches this fall.


PGS Entertainment is announcing a raft of global sales for the Method Animation and DQ Entertainment series Robin Hood: Mischief in Sherwood, including RTBF (French-speaking Belgium), NRK (Norway), RTS (Switzerland) and RTL Telekids (Netherlands & Luxembourg). The series features the adventures of a 10-year-old Robin of Locksley.


Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of Aug. 18-24, 2014

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 Aug. 18-24 , 2104
8/23/14/Secret of the Wings/DSNY/9-10:20a/1424
8/22/14/Gravity Falls/DSNY/9-9:25p/1193
8/22/14/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/8:30-9p/1172
8/23/14/Sofia the First/DSNY/8:30-8:55a/1146
8/24/14/Austin & Ally/DSNY/8-8:30p/1133

K6-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of Aug. 18-24, 2014
8/22/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/8:30-9p/1038
8/22/14/Gravity Falls/DSNY/9-9:25p/1005
8/24/14/Austin & Ally/DSNY/8-8:30p/948
8/23/14/How To Build A Better Boy/DSNY/8-9:45p/909
8/23/14/Lab Rats/DSNY/10:10-10:35p/883
8/22/14/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/12-12:30a/857
8/23/14/Secret of the Wings/DSNY/9-10:20a/855

Source: Turner Research based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800,000 homes.

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Aug. 22-24, 2014:

Guardians of the Galaxy (Disney) PG-13  $17.63 million (weekend) $251.88 million (4-week cume)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Paramount) PG-13 $16.8 million (weekend) $145.61 million (3-week cume)
If I Stay (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $16.36 million (weekend) $16.36 million (1-week cume)
When the Game Stands Tall (Sony Pictures) PG $9.1 million (weekend) $9.1 million (1-week cume)
The Expendables 3 (Lionsgate) PG-13 $6.6 million (weekend) $27.52 million (2-week cume)
The Hundred-Foot Journey (Disney) PG $5.56 million (weekend) $32.75 million (3-week cume)
Into The Storm (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $3.8 million (weekend) $38.3 (3-week cume)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Fox) PG-13 $1.1 million (weekend) $203.96 million (6-week cume)
Hercules (Paramount) PG-13 $830,000 (weekend) $69.92 million (5-week cume)
How To Train Your Dragon (DreamWorks Animation) PG $510,000 (weekend) $172.12 million (10-week cume)


Answer to last week’s Trivia Question: What are the names of the Rugrats twins? Philip and Lilian Deville, aka Phil and Lil Kudos to: Molly Austin, Insight Strategy Group, NY; Alison Hill, Cartoon Network, Atlanta; Scott Jenkins, Gracenote, Queensbury, N.Y Ellery J Locklear, Scollon Productions; Julie Stowell, Metadata, Queensbury, NY; David Stern, BARD Entertainment, NY; Daniel Barnes, Hasbro Studios, Burbank, CA; Pat Brady, CESD, LA.


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Today’s Trivia Question: What was Michael Landon’s (Paw) nickname for Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls Wilder) on Little House on the Prairie? Email cathy@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)

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