Good morning. It's Tuesday, July 10, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.
Mind Candy, creators of Moshi Monsters, acquires the Brighton-based games studio Origami Blue to launch its new Candy Labs. The Origami Blue team has officially joined Mind Candy as full time employees. Candy Labs will serve as a research and development studio to test out new kid-targeted entertainment. The ideas will be a mix of digital and non-digital entertainment content. Some of the new concepts will be acquired from third parties, but Mind Candy says most ideas will originate in-house. Origami Blue is a small studio that was founded by former Disney Blackrock studios creatives Edd Smith, Mark Knowles-Lee and James Ovnik. With a goal to create character animation and innovative experiences, Origami Blue has developed augmented reality gaming applications for noted clients and also worked closely with a team of educational psychologists to develop a state-of-the-art touch-typing system for kids.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Philip Seymour Hoffman will take on the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker for the 75th annual Hunger Games in the second movie in the Lionsgate series, The Hunger Games; Catching Fire, per THR. In the first movie the Head Gamemaker was Seneca Crane, who meets an untimely end, and was played by Wes Bentley. Catching Fire will be directed by Francis Lawrence and is set for a November 22, 2013 release.
Genius Brands International is partnering with Nokia Corporation to release the Baby Genius exclusive mobile apps that run on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone platform to the Nokia Lumia range of devices including the Lumia 900 on AT&T. Featuring Baby Genius characters, Sing 'n Play Pals use music to educate and entertainment preschoolers. The two apps in the Sing 'n Play Pals series are set to launch this summer 2012 as part of Nokia's recommended apps for Lumia phones. The try and buy Baby Genius apps will feature free and premium content, with parents given the option of unlocking the additional content. The next apps in the Ready, Play, Learn line of educational apps are scheduled for launch in the 4th quarter 2012. 42% of US kids 2-14 have access to apps on mobile devices, according to a survey conducted by the US-based NPD Group. The study also finds that parents would be more likely to let their kids use their tablet if more educational apps were available.
Cake, a family entertainment content distributor, inks a home entertainment deal in the UK and Ireland with Lionsgate for the preschool series Poppy Cat. Based on the popular eponymous book series by Lara Jones, the Poppy Cat series is produced by Coolabi. Poppy Cat can currently be seen on Nick Jr. UK and on Sprout (US), and has also begun airing on CITV (UK) as well. The series has also been picked up by Disney Junior (Spain and Latin America), Al Jazeera Children's Channel, e-vision (U.A.E), SVT (Sweden), S4C (Wales), EBS Korea, OKTO Singapore, Nickelodeon Australia, TVO (Canada), Knowledge Network (Canada), NRK (Norway), RTE (Ireland), and has recently launched on France 5.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Rastamouse, the star of the stop-motion animated, preschool series of the same name, heads to schools in the UK with Rocksteady Reggae School, a new music education curriculum program. The Rocksteady Reggae School program draws on the lyricism and musical elements featured in the TV series and was developed by Three Stones Media, The Rastamouse Company and primary school music specialists, with the support of EMI Music, EMI Publishing, Music and Arts Adviser from the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, St Mary's RC School and DHX Media. As part of a ten-week program incorporated into the timetable that includes National Curriculum Early Years and Key Stage One music, and with 70+ bespoke musical instruments plus additional percussion resources, the program also extends into literacy, social education and arts and crafts. Rastamouse airs on CBeebies (UK).
MORE KIDS STUFF
The Electric Company, the PBS Kids series from Sesame Workshop, premieres new episodes of its interactive animated Prankster Planet segments beginning this week on-air and online. The new segments, which support a STEM curriculum, emphasize math literacy and graphing skills. The eight new Prankster Planet animations feature on-air shout-outs to real Prankster Planet kid gamers and the segments will air at the end of the episodes, as well as on the Prankster Planet area of the Electric Company website at http://pbskids.org/electriccompany/pranksterplanet/game.html. The introduction of Prankster Planet to The Electric Company last year is credited with the website's increase of unique viewership of +432%. The site saw nearly 900,000 unique visitors, and total visits grew to 3.2 million, an increase of +633%. The Adventures of Electric Company on Prankster Planet is part of the Ready To Learn Initiative, an early learning effort led by PBS and CPB with funding from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Hub welcomes the wisecracking alien, ALF, back to TV with ALF Week, which will run Monday-Thursday, July 16-19. Featuring new material, ALF will serve as the host for The Hub's primetime programming lineup that week making comments about the lineup, which includes ALF at 7:30p as well as other classic series such as Mork & Mindy (7/16, 8-10p), Happy Days (7/17, 8-10p), The Facts of Life (7/18, 8-10p), and ALF (7/19, 8-10p). ALF was created by Tom Patchett (The Carol Burnett Show) and Paul Fusco (also the puppeteer for ALF), and is distributed by Alien Productions.
Sinking Ship Entertainment and marblemedia gets the greenlight for a third season of the preschool franchise This Is... (This is Daniel Cook, This is Emily Yeung), from Treehouse (Canada). The new season of This Is... (52x7) will feature two new hosts (TBA) and will launch in fall 2013 on Treehouse. Each installment of This Is..., features one of the preschool hosts exploring, having adventures, learning, and sharing newfound knowledge with other kids - with six minutes spent with one of the hosts learning about an activity, and one minute showing them teaching it to another kid. marblemedia's partner company Distribution360 will handle all international TV, interactive and format sales for the series.
FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) completes two new Canadian deals for Happy Films' mixed puppet/live-action/CGI animated preschool show Bookaboo. Under the first deal, Happy Films will co-produce a new Bookaboo series (28x11) with Canada's Cite Amerique in English for CITV and ITV in the UK and CBC in Canada. The second deal is a format agreement with Radio-Canada and TFO in Canada for episodes of Bookaboo (26x11) to be produced in French. The literacy-centric series was originally commissioned by CITV (UK) and features a story-loving, drum-playing puppy, Bookaboo, while encouraging families to have at home story time. Each episode showcases a celebrity guest who goes backstage to get Bookaboo to perform by sharing a picture book with him. The Canadian versions of the show will feature famous Canadians and include local authors and illustrators to inspire parents and kids alike to share books at home. Happy Films' Lucy Goodman created Bookaboo.
It's an Archie and Glee mashup. Archie Comics and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products team to unveil plans for Archie Meets Glee, a four-part comic book series storyline that brings the cast of Fox TV series Glee together with Archie and the gang. The story is slated to kick off in 2013. The storyline, which will run as part of the Archie title, will be written by Glee writer, comic book author and playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) and illustrated by artist Dan Parent, known for his work on Kevin Keller and Archie Meets Kiss. So, how will the two groups of teens come together? Well, when Dilton discovers a parallel universe that's strikingly similar to Riverdale, the Archie gang find themselves face to face with another, new group of teens who seem to frequently break out into song. The four-part story arc will be available worldwide in both print and digitally.
DDA Blueprint Public Relations expands with the appointment of Claire Douglas as Account Director. She will report to DDA Blueprint Public Relations' Co-Directors Janet Balmforth and Aimee Norman. Douglas will work across the company's roster of international accounts and will also spearhead its push into providing marketing services for its entertainment clients, extending the range of activity offered by DDA Blueprint and the wider group at DDA PR. Douglas previously served in senior international marketing and distribution positions at Warner Bros., ESPN and Disney.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 989; K6-11 706; TWEENS 9-14 570
NICKELODEON: K2-11 836; K6-11 525; TWEENS 9-14 380
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 518; K6-11 358; TWEENS 9-14 264
DISNEY XD: K2-11 194; K6-11 150; TWEENS 9-14 111
NICKTOONS: K2-11 75; K6-11 47; TWEENS 9-14 43
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, July 5, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1067; K6-11 737; TWEENS 9-14 615
NICKELODEON: K2-11 929; K6-11 606; TWEENS 9-14 476
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 744; K6-11 528; TWEENS 9-14 447
DISNEY XD: K2-11 259; K6-11 207; TWEENS 9-14 182
NICKTOONS: K2-11 101; K6-11 68; TWEENS 9-14 61
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Friday, July 6, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1200; K6-11 830; TWEENS 9-14 661
NICKELODEON: K2-11 954; K6-11 613; TWEENS 9-14 506
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 648; K6-11 446; TWEENS 9-14 400
DISNEY XD: K2-11 237; K6-11 197; TWEENS 9-14 184
NICKTOONS: K2-11 80; K6-11 52; TWEENS 9-14 46
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What was the name of the dog in Fraggle Rock? Sprocket. Kudos to: Bob Friedland-Toys"R"Us, Inc./NYC; Bonnie Rosen-Viacom Media Networks/NYC; Caitlin Kelley-Nickelodeon/NYC; Pat Brady-CESD/LA; Michelle Lintott-zincRoe Design/Toronto.
Today's Trivia Question: What was the name of He-Man's legless, wizard friend? (Email John@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you've been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can't be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Later -- Gwen
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