09/03/14: Nickelodeon proving itself a good sport; Cynopsis Kids Business Summit just 5 days away; Cottonwood Media debuts with two kids properties


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, September 3, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Nickelodeon is ratcheting up its sports commitment when NickSports, a two-hour weekly primetime programming block on Nicktoons, debuts today. The block will highlight the network’s expanded programming relationships with the NFL, MLS and NASCAR, and include a mix of original and acquired, long- and short-form content in a rotating lineup of sports-themed content including series, specials and documentaries from leagues and key athletes, as well as acquired theatrical movies.

On the content team will be new episodes of Nicktoons’ animated series Wild Grinders from Rob Dyrdek, NFL Rush Zone, documentary programming including the world TV premiere of two-hour documentary Little Ballers, plus movies including Bend it Like Beckham, Space Jam, Cool Runnings and Speed Racer.  NickSports will air on Nicktoons Wednesdays from 911p.

“More than 70 percent of kids ages 7-14 in the U.S. play two-to-three organized sports a year, so the interest and enthusiasm is already there,” said Keith Dawkins, SVP/General Manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr. The block will launch with original short-form content ranging from humorous man-on-the-street style interview to parodies and sketches featuring the likes of NBA player Charlie Villanueva, NFL players Jason and Devin McCourty, and Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen. Kids’ Choice Sports, hosted by Michael Strahan, garnered 2.7 million total viewers (L+7) when it aired in July.


Next week is the…
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.


Joanna Page is returning to the screen as the voice of Poppy Cat in the second season of the preschool series, which launches Sept. 8 on Nick Jr. in the UK. Produced by Coolabi’s television production arm, Coolabi Productions and King Rollo Films, the series was commissioned by Nick Jr. in the UK. Season one airs in more than 140 territories worldwide and is a top-rated show on Sprout in the US, Nick Jr. in the UK, among others.


Just FIVE MORE DAYS until 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

Former Marathon Media general manager David Michel is launching a new production company, Cottonwood Media, focused on creating international scripted kids programming, with offices in LA and Paris. The new venture will debut its first two properties at MIP Jr., both based on books from Random House Children’s Books. Ollie & Moon, featuring stories of serendipity and unlikely friendships; Squish follows an amoeba “looking to survive life in the cutthroat world of single-cell organisms.”

Discovery Education has completed its absorption of Espresso Education, a provider of primary school digital education content, after Discovery purchased the UK-based Espresso Group Ltd. last year. Beginning this week, Espresso Education will assume the Discovery Education name, and the Espresso Primary service will become Discovery Education Espresso, with an expanded range of tools and resources for K-12 teachers. Additionally, Espresso CPD offerings are now part of the Discovery Education Professional Development suite. In addition, Discovery Education will offer a spectrum of no-cost resources and professional learning opportunities to schools, teachers and pupils.

Virginia Beach will be the third and final stop in Nickelodeon’s “Road to Worldwide Day of Play,” a series of visits to grassroots organizations which host active-play and sports programs for youth. The network will spend three days in Virginia Beach (Sept. 10-12), encouraging kids to get active by bringing Nickelodeon-themed games, costumed characters and live-action stars to local events in the area. This summertime celebration of play culminates with Nickelodeon’s 11th Annual Worldwide Day of Play on Saturday, Sept. 20, when the network goes dark on air and online from noon-3p, and its partners host local grassroots activities for kids in recreation centers, parks, schools and clubs worldwide.


The Hub Network’s R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour returns for its fourth season on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 4p ET/1p PT, just in time for the countdown to another Halloween.

ABC Family is bringing back its “13 Nights of Halloween” scare-fest next month. Now in its 16th year, the programming promotion starts Sunday, Oct. 19 and concludes on Friday, Oct. 31 and features Halloween-themed episodes of Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy, a new Pretty Little Liars fan appreciation special, plus the hilariously scary prank specials “Freak Out.”

Lifetime took a nostalgic look back at Saturday mornings in the ‘90s with the Sept. 1 airing of The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. The docu delved into the experiences of six then-unknown young actors placed into the Hollywood spotlight, exposing the challenges of growing up under public scrutiny while trying to maintain the squeaky-clean image of their popular characters both on and off-screen.

Missed your Cynopsis news last week? Go to In Case You Missed It for a curated roundup.


In support of Sesame Street’s newest vocabulary resource Words are Here, There and Everywhere, Sesame Workshop is teaming with Mashable to encourage families to explore the words around them. In this special “W-ORD” news report, Cookie Monster, John Oliver from Last Week Tonight, and a few surprise on-the-scene reporters inspire children and their families to find new words and vocabulary anywhere, from a “chair” in your kitchen, to a “mustache” under your nose.

In defense of kids and screen time: Check out a very fresh take at Cynsiders on the unexpected role media can play in a child’s development, courtesy of David Kleeman, playvangelist for PlayCollective.


StoryToys released a new app, Poppy Cat and the Bubble Volcano, based on the book series and TV show. Available in the App Store, the new title finds Poppy Cat and her friends exploring a magical underwater world accompanied by eight fun-packed games and activities.

Digital games company Miniclip and AG Properties partnered to co-create the latest mobile game based on the Strawberry Shortcake brand, called Berry Rush. Miniclip has more than 70 million monthly players across mobile, social and online platforms and will release Berry Rush simultaneously on iOS and Android devices this summer.


Call for Entries
Cablefax’s Over-Under List: Overachievers Under 30
Final Entry Deadline: September 3

Who are the young cable professionals that have stood out to you this year?  Enter cable’s rising stars into Cablefax’s Over-Under List: Overachievers Under 30 by Wednesday, September 3 at midnight ET.
Enter Online Now

Questions: Contact Diana Rojas at drojas@accessintel.com


Following the success of the first season of The Jungle Bunch to the Rescue!, PGS scored its first presale of the second season, to Germany’s Super RTL. The new season was commissioned by France Televisions and is currently in production.  Produced by TAT Productions and Master Films, the first season has been sold in 180 territories, including to such broadcast partners as France 3, Rai, TVE, ABC Australia and Super RTL.


Editor’s Note: Due to the Labor Day holiday, weekly ratings were not available at press time. They’ll return next week.

Weekend box office estimates for the 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  $16.3 million (weekend) $274.6 million (5-week cume)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Paramount) PG-13 $11.75 million (weekend) $162.41 million (4-week cume)
If I Stay (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $9.26 million (weekend) $29.82 million (2-week cume)
When the Game Stands Tall (Sony Pictures) PG $5.65 million (weekend) $16.32 million (2-week cume)
The Giver (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $5.25 million (weekend) $31.53 million (xX-week cume)
The Hundred-Foot Journey (Disney) PG $4.6 million (weekend) $39.4 million (4-week cume)
The Expendables 3 (Lionsgate) PG-13 $3.5 million (weekend) $33.14 million (3-week cume)
Into The Storm (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $2.5million (weekend) $41.94 million (4-week cume)
How To Train Your Dragon (DreamWorks Animation) PG $1.14 million (weekend) $173.47 million (11-week cume)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Fox) PG-13 $1.1 million (weekend) $203.96 million (7-week cume)


Answer to last week’s Trivia Question: What was Paw’s (played by Michael Landon) nickname for Laura (played by Melissa Gilbert) on Little House on the Prairie? Half Pint Kudos to: Mara Anastas, Simon & Schuster, NY; John May, Cartoon Network, Atlanta; Joe Swaney, Cartoon Network, Atlanta; Sasha M. Wolff, Discovery Communications, NY; Sue Brake, Sinclair Broadcast Group, St. Paul, MN; Leigh Ann Schwarzkopf, Lookout Marketing, Minneapolis; Julie Syers, Briggs & Caldwell, Houston; Peter Steckelman, The Tennis Channel, Santa Monica, CA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who was the only original Saved By the Bell cast member still in high school during the series’ final season? 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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JOB OPENING: SR DESIGNER, KEYART/Crown Media Family Networks/LA: Conceptualize key art concepts. Gallery shoot exp. Project mgmt. BS req and Min 5 yrs exp. Apply HERE (9/6)

JOB OPENING: SHOOTER/EDITOR/Broadway.com/NYC: Contribute as shooter/editor for events, press lines, music videos, talk shows, and more. 2+ yrs experience Apply online HERE (9/5)

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE PA/Viacom/NYC: 1 yr exp. digi content, prod & CMS. Resp. incl. track schedules, gather assets, CMS content entries & publishing updates across mult responsive sites. Note: not a video prod role. RESUMES HERE (9/4)

JOB OPENING DIGITAL RSCH MGR/NYC: Support digital research for Bravo & Oxygen. Provide data analysis, insights & recommendations for all digital platforms. 3+ yrs relevant exp. Omniture a must. Full info/apply HERE (9/4)

JOB OPENING: DIR/SENIOR DIRECTOR OF SALES/JIM HENSON CO/LA: Sales of Company’s TV series in intl. territories to media platforms, including TV, home entertainment and digital. Must have proven sales track record with major kids’ TV brands. Email to jobpostings@henson.com (9/4)

JOB OPENING: DESIGN DIRECTOR/IFC/NYC: responsible for overall look & feel of IFC brand across all platforms, must be highly creative, hands-on, design guru. 7+ yrs. exp, knowledge of current software, print prod, post prod & photo retouching. Full info/Apply HERE (9/4) 

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