Good morning. It's Thursday, July 12, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.
Director Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Star Wars Clone Wars) inks an overall deal with Sony Pictures Animation. The deal expands Tartakovsky's relationship with Sony Pictures Animation beyond his upcoming feature film directorial debut of Hotel Transylvania, which releases September 28, 2012, and will include the development and direction of his own original projects, in addition to his take on a new big screen adaptation of the Hearst-owned King Features property Popeye. Avi and Ari Arad will produce the Popeye feature film, with Tartakovsky directing.
Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and DreamWorks Animation's other characters are headed to the New Jersey Meadowlands. The movie studio has inked a deal with developer Triple Five to create a new indoor family-targeted theme park and retail destination that will be called American Dream at Meadowlands, which will be the first North American amusement park to exclusively feature DreamWorks Animation's characters. American Dream at Meadowlands will house themed rides, attractions, with the retail and entertainment venue also feature a water park, ice skating rink, indoor ski park and theatres as well as nearly 1.7 million square feet of retail space and 150,000 square feet of dining and restaurants.
41 Entertainment (41e), Namco Bandai Games and Arad Productions appoints new licensing and merchandising agents in the UK and Ireland as well as Australia and New Zealand for the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures TV series (26x22), which is slated to begin broadcast in fall 2013. Lisle International will handle all licensing and merchandising activity in the UK and Ireland, while Gaffney Licensing will manage the same in Australia and New Zealand.
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We've announced the Cynopsis Sports Media Award finalists; now join us in saluting them at the Awards breakfast!
Date: August 9, 2012
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Nickelodeon Australia launches Slimefest, a new tween-targeted music festival set to launch in Sydney at the Hordern Pavilion on Saturday, September 15, 2012. Slimefest is designed to bring together the best elements of Nick's Kids' Choice Awards - music, celebrities, stunts, and, of course, slime. The inaugural Slimefest festival will feature appearances by artists including Jessica Mauboy (the movie The Sapphires), Reece Mastin (The X Factor), Justice Crew (Australia's Got Talent, toured with One Direction), singer Stan Walker and singer Johnny Ruffo (The X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, was on the Australian NKOTBSB tour).
National Geographic Kids' Weird But True app, based on popular section in National Geographic Kids magazine, is now available for iPod touch, iPhone and the iPad. The has been recently updated to include unique sound effects for all 300 facts, new Weird-O-Meter sounds, among other surprises. Users will be able to hear things such as the pronunciation of the official name of Bangkok, Thailand, which is 167 letters long. Additionally, now kids can share facts with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter via the app. As of this week the Weird But True app has been downloaded 100,000 times.
MORE KIDS STUFF
The McLaren Group, owner of high-tech companies and well known for its Formula 1 racing team, establishes a new media company, McLaren Animation. McLaren Animation's first production, titled Tooned, is a new CGI-animated series that features McLaren's two Formula 1 World Champions, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, who voiced their own characters, as well as the noted British actor/comedian Alexander Armstrong. The series debuted over the weekend on SKY Sports F1, to coincide with the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix (July 8). McLaren Animation is a joint venture launched in partnership with the visual effects and animation studio Framestore, and is structured under the corporate umbrella of the McLaren Group, alongside McLaren Marketing. Tooned will be broadcast as a series of 3-minute episodes coinciding with each Formula 1 Grand Prix, and will air in the UK on the SKY Sports F1 channel before each race. Every episode features the drivers' camaraderie and desire to race as the basis for humorous racing related adventures.
Noted author Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book, Coraline, Stardust) enters into a multi-book deal with HarperCollins, for the North American rights to three middle grade novels and two pictures books for HarperCollins Children's Books. Gaiman's new picture books will focus on his newly created character Chu, a small panda with an enormous sneeze. The first of the two Chu titles, Chu's Day, will feature illustrations by Adam Rex and is slated for a January 8, 2013 release. The novels include the humorous Fortunately, the Milk, which will include interior artwork by Skottie Young, as well as a sequel to Gaiman's Norse mythology book Odd and the Frost Giants (2009, HarperCollins).
Magellan, maker of GPS devices, and Canada-based producer/distributor CCI Entertainment partner to expand on CCI's multiplatform GeoFreakZ property. GeoFreakZ includes a series of TV minisodes, a MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Game) and series of live events that are based on the popular activity of geocaching. Magellan and CCI Entertainment, in partnership with Groundspeak (owners of Geocaching.com), have launched their first initiative, a Canadian geocaching program called GeoFreakZ GeoTrails. Future plans for Magellan and CCI Entertainment's GeoFreakZ include collaboration on consumer products, retail promotions, and expanded live event offerings in Canada as well as internationally. The GeoFreakZ GeoTrails program allows families visiting participating Parks Canada national parks and historic sites now through October 13, 2012 to use a Magellan eXplorist GC handheld CPS device, designed exclusively for geocaching, to find hidden geocache containers.
Kurio, InspirationWorks' new Android-based tablet targeted to kids/tweens/teens 4-15, adds kid's publisher Alligator Books apps as part of the publisher's digital expansion effort that is being managed by AT New Media. The Alligator apps have been pre-loaded onto the Kurio along with games such as Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump, to offer kids a content rich experience. The Kurio tablet will feature Alligator's generic Girls Colour! and Boys Colour! apps as well as offering the new Me to You app, which is based on the Carte Blanche property and allows kids to utilize digital fingertip crayons and stamps to create digital stickers. Fairplay New Media developed Alligator's apps under the publisher's Alligator Creative Play brand.
Bestseller Children's Series & Tie-Ins (top 10), Week of May 28, 2012: Title; Author (Publisher)
Hunger Games; Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
The Kane Chronicles; Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer; John Grisham (Dutton)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Jeff Kinney (Abrams/Amulet)
Big Nate; Lincoln Peirce illustrator (HarperCollins)
The Avengers; N/A (Disney/Marvel)
The Mortal Instruments; Cassandra Clare (S&S/McElderry)
The Mysterious Benedict Society; Trenton Lee Stewart (Little Brown/Tingley)
The 39 Clues; N/A various authors (Scholastic)
The Lorax; Dr. Seuss (Random House)
Compiled from data received from independent and chain bookstores.
Source: Publishers Weekly
Mind Candy, creators of Moshi Monsters, appoints Ken Ward to the newly created position of Director of Talent. Ward will be responsible for the direction and management of the internal recruitment team as well as focusing on building Mind Candy's employment brand and talent strategy. Most recently Ward served as People Operations Director at Playfish for more than two years, prior to its acquisition by Electronic Arts. He previously worked in the recruitment industry for companies including Skype and Barclay's Wealth Management among others. Mind Candy currently has a wide range of job opportunities open across various departments.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1186; K6-11 834; TWEENS 9-14 708
NICKELODEON: K2-11 934; K6-11 580; TWEENS 9-14 458
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 747; K6-11 478; TWEENS 9-14 425
DISNEY XD: K2-11 288; K6-11 222; TWEENS 9-14 180
NICKTOONS: K2-11 88; K6-11 63; TWEENS 9-14 68
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Britt, The Lone Ranger's grand-nephew later went on to become which crime fighter? The Green Hornet. Kudos to: Brad Stern-Mobileye, Inc./Jericho, NY; Tom Potter- Radio Disney/New York; Hank Bordowitz-The Bordowitz Media Werx/Ridgewood, NJ; Steve Behling-Disney Publishing Worldwide/White Plains, NY; Jeph Loeb-Marvel Television, Inc/Glendale, CA; Dan Matson-20th Television/LA; Derek Bartholomaus-Profiles Television/El Segundo; David Garber-Linzack Productions/Chastworth, CA; Rob ChatlinFX Network/LA.
Today's Trivia Question: What famous cartoon character got his start in the comic strip called Thimble Theater? (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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