11/05/14: Frederator, Sony Animation mine toon gold; PBS Kids tries different digital tact for new Thomas season; Cartoon Net’s not kissing and telling


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, November 5, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Frederator Studios is back on the prowl for cartoon greatness. Fred Seibert’s studio is partnering with Sony Pictures Animation for its sixth digital cartoon incubator, GO! Cartoons. Sony will fund 12 animated shorts, each five minutes long, which will debut every month beginning next fall on the Cartoon Hangover YouTube channel as part of Seibert’s Channel Frederator Network (1.3 million subs). Additionally, one of the shorts will become a series on the YT channel. To date, Frederator has produced more than 200 shorts, 14 of which have spun off to series for Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Channel Frederator and Cartoon Hangover. Success stories include Adventure Time, The Fairly OddParents, Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls.

Scandal-ous? Watchdog group The Parents TV Council on Monday unleashed an angry retort to ABC’s decision to follow up last Thursday’s ultra-G-rated It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown special with a quick transition to Scandal, which happened to open with a start with a graphic dream scene. “Shame on ABC for putting a peep show next to a playground,” PTC president Tim Winter said in a statement. “In less than 26 seconds we were taken from the Peanuts pumpkin patch to a steamy ‘Scandal’ sex scene… Such a transition is grossly irresponsible by the network and entirely unfair for parents. ABC owes families an apology.”


NASCAR zooms into kids’ living rooms with the new Nickelodeon docu-series Hammer Down, which premieres tonight at 10p during the NickSports programming block on Nicktoons. The original, four-ep series features four NASCAR rising starsKyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Kenzie Ruston.

Now in its sixth year, the Nickelodeon HALO Awards concert special will air Sunday, Nov. 30, at 7p across networks Nick, TeenNick and Nicktoons. For the first time, the special will stream live from Pier 36 in New York on Nov. 15 on Nick.com, the Nick App and Nick Radio. Nick Cannon is back to host, and featured performers include Echosmith, Fifth Harmony, Nick Jonas, the Roots, the Vamps and Zendaya. The awards salute five real-life kids doing extraordinary things in their communities and “Helping and Leading Others” (HALO).  In addition to being awarded a grant for their organization and scholarship funds, each HALO Award honoree is given the opportunity to meet and connect with celebrities who share their same passion for service.

PBS Kids is taking a different digital tact with Thomas the Tank: Tale of the Brave, a new hour-long movie that heralds the new season of HIT Entertainment’s Thomas & Friends. The movie launched Nov. 1-2 online at pbskids.org, on the PBS Kids Video App and on PBS Kids on Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire, preceding its broadcast premiere Nov. 3 on PBS stations. New half-hour Thomas & Friends episodes began airing yesterday. The series is sponsored by the Hard Rock All-Inclusive Experience in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Punta Cana. Two new holiday-themed eps will premiere Dec. 17 and Dec. 18.
Transformers Rescue Bots is back on Discovery Family Channel (formerly Hub) for a third season. The series, produced by Hasbro Studios for a younger generation of Transformers fans, returned last Saturday (Nov. 1) with two back-to-back episodes featuring Optimus Prime and other heroes embracing their primal side when they discover an island filled with dinosaurs.

Look out kids, here comes Tyler Perry. Perry makes his foray into family animation with Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Tough Love, which drops from Lionsgate on digital HD on Jan. 13, followed by the DVD release Jan. 20. Madea, Uncle Joe and Aunt Bam are all onboard.

A week of holiday cheer, Martha Speaks-style, kicks off with two new episodes beginning Nov. 17 on PBS Kids. Martha’s Woof-er-ific Winter Special week includes
Martha’s Thanksgiving episode, Martha’s Holiday Surprise and We’re Powerless, about what to do during a winter blackout.

Nickelodeon will offer a peak at its new live-action comedy series 100 Things To Do Before High School in a TV movie special airing Nov. 11 at 8p.  Created by Big Time Rush executive producer and creator Scott Fellows, the show will follow three friends as they navigate the highs and lows of middle school, with the help of a bucket list of adventures. It’s scheduled to debut in early 2015.


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Universal has teased out a cheeky two-minute trailer for Illumination’s Despicable Me theatrical spinoff Minions, slated to open July 10, 2015. The prequel details the lovable little guys’ travails to find their ultimate master, landing in NY in 1968 after being in the service of a motley crew including an Egyptian pharaoh, Dracula, Napoleon and a grumpy T-rex. As the trailer voiceover recounts: “Finding a master was easy. Keeping a master was tricky.” The Minions voice cast includes Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Allison Janney and Steve Coogan. Check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9-FCC6I7u0


Cartoon Network is not kissing and telling. We got a “no comment” from the network regarding its alleged censoring of a male-to-male mouth kiss originally written into the series Clarence. In case you missed the buzz last week, the episode of Clarence was to feature the network’s first gay kiss, but the smooch was replaced with a cheek peck. The show’s writer Stephen Rothbell took to Twitter (his account has since been set to private) to explain: "Originally the guy had flowers and they kissed on the mouth.” Later, he proclaimed on Tumblr, "Maybe one day the main character can be gay and it won’t be a big deal."

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is getting a Pokemon makeover with the debut of a new Pikachu balloon over the streets of New York City. Pikachu will march in the parade for the 15th consecutive year, this time with a new holiday look and Snowman Pikachu. Check out the official Macy¹s Thanksgiving Day Parade poster here: https://www.hightail.com/download/UlRTb3BDSWVGR0ZMWE1UQw


Ubisoft this week spilled details about its Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show Season Pass. The Pass will be available to download at the Nov. 18 launch on Kinect for Xbox One and Xbox 360, and PlayStation 4. It includes access to all 15 add-on episodeseach DLC pack includes three new epsthat will roll out through March 2015. Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show is being developed by Ubisoft Barcelona with support from Ubisoft Paris. The Rabbids have sold more than 14 million games.

AwesomenessTV’s half-hour comedy series based on a revival of the character Richie Rich will be exclusively available on Netflix starting in early 2015. The 21-episode series follows the wealthiest kid in the world after he hits the jackpot when he sells a new green technology. Richie Rich stars Jake Brennan (Dark Skies) and Kiff VandenHeuvel (Star Trek Into Darkness).

Lawless Entertainment concluded its deal with PBS Distribution to handle all digital rights and DVD distribution rights for the animated series Suzy’s Zoo, A Day with Witzy. PBS Distribution will distribute this animated series, which consists of 26 two minute episodes throughout the US and Canada.


Now kids have a new way to “please look after this bear.” The first-ever Paddington Bear game app is coming to Android devices from games developer Daredevil Development and Boiled Frog Gaming, and licensor The Copyrights Group. The partnership and new title, brokered by digital agency Peahen Games, is called Paddington Bear’s Adventures and joins the iOS version, which has also been updated.

A fourth Yo Gabba Gabba! app is headed exclusively to the Apple App Store on Thursday from Cupcake Digital and DHX Media. The Christmas-themed app contains five seasonal activities, coloring pages, and activities like dance along with DJ Lane Rock in the “Christmas is Upon Us" music video. 


Sega of America is revving up the licensing program for new brand Sonic Boom. The program will be anchored by new master toy partner TOMY. Additionally, Sonic’s iconic shade of blue will be making its way into a Sonic Boom branded version of the classic ICEE Blue Raspberry flavor. The promo flavor will be served in a custom ICEE and Sonic Boom cup, along with the opportunity to win prizes and unlock bonus game content from Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Wii U system. Sonic and friends will also be featured in a Del Taco multiplatform campaign with in-restaurant, social media, and radio promo components in markets including NY, LA and Miami.


PBS Kids’ line of educational and earth-friendly toys is set to debut exclusively in Whole Foods Markets for the holidays. The line debuts this week and includes classic wooden toys and plush animals. Whole Foods will donate 1 percent of total sales, up to $25,000, to Whole Kids Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving children’s nutrition and wellness.

Discovery Consumer Products, the licensing arm of Discovery Communications, is collaborating with Princess Cruises to launch Discovery at Sea, interactive onboard activities and shore excursions that include a Discovery Kids and Teen Program. The program features age-appropriate activities including science experiments made popular by Mythbusters; Animal Planet-themed activities; brain teasers, videos and puzzles; and the chance to see how popular foods and beverages go from farm to table on Science Channel How it’s Made tours. Discovery limited-time-only merchandise will also be available onboard.


Splash Entertainment finalized an agreement with Canal+’s preschool channel Piwi+ in France for animated series Chloe’s Closet, including both Season 1 and 2. Series follows the adventures of an imaginative little girl who discovers magical new worlds while playing dress-up.


Nickelodeon promoted Cathy Galeota to SVP of Preschool Current Series, Nickelodeon Group. An 18-year Nickelodeon veteran, Galeota in her new role will oversee production on all current Nick preschool series, maintain oversight of the preschool executives in charge, and will continue to serve as EIC for the newly launched Dora and Friends: Into the City!, as well as Dora the Explorer, PAW Patrol and the upcoming Shimmer and Shine.

Netflix hired Larry Tanz as the Vice President of Content Acquisition. He was formerly the CEO of Vuguru, the digital studio owned by former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner.


Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 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 Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2104
11/2/14/Doc McStuffins/DSNY/8:30-8:55a/1649
11/2/14/Doc McStuffins/DSNY/8-8:30a/1473
11/1/14/Sofia the First/DSNY/8:30-8:55a/1397
11/1/14/Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn/NICK/8:30-9p/1325
11/2/14/Lego Friends of Heartlake City/DSNY/9-9:30a/1309
11/1/14/The Thundermans/NICK/9-9:30p/1265
11/2/14/Doc McStuffins/DSNY/7:30-8a/1243
11/1/14/Henry Danger/NICK/8-8:30p/1213

K6-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014
11/1/14/Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn/NICK/8:30-9p/1081
11/1/14/The Thundermans/NICK/9-9:30p/1045
11/1/14/Henry Danger/NICK/8-8:30p/971
11/2/14/Doc McStuffins/DSNY/8:30-8:55a/840
11/2/14/Liv and Maddie/DSNY/8-8:30p/832
11/1/14/Haunted Hathaways/NICK/9:30-10p/814
11/2/14/I Didn’t Do It/DSNY/8:30-9p/806
11/2/14/Liv and Maddie/DSNY/12-12:30p/804

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

Weekend box office estimates for the top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2014:

The Book of Life (20th Century Fox) PG $8.21 million (weekend) $40.43 million (3-week cume)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (Disney) PG $6.59 million (weekend) $53.73 million (6-week cume)
Dracula Untold (Universal) PG-13 $2.98 million (weekend) (-week cume) $52.89 million (5-week cume)
The Best of Me (Relativity Media) PG-13 $2.74 million (weekend) $21.89 million (3-week cume)


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Answer to last week’s Trivia Question: Who voiced Scar in The Lion King film? Jeremy Irons Kudos to: Emily Brenner, Harpercollins, NY; Alan Dorfman, Super Impulse USA, Bristol, PA; RT Harris, WideOrbit, Detroit; Stephen Kelley, 9 Story Media Group, Toronto; John May, Cartoon Network, Atlanta; Jeremy St-Onge, DHX Television, Toronto; Joe Swaney, Cartoon Network, Atlanta; Pat Brady, CESD, LA; Richard Quan, BSSP, SF; Sabrina Sparlin, Network Talent Agency, Studio City, CA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Where was Paddington Bear born? 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
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