Good morning. It's Thursday, August 9, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.
Netflix makes its Just for Kids, which features programming content for kids 12 and younger, available to its subscribers on Xbox 360 beginning this week. Those that are members of Netflix on Xbox 360 can now go to the kid-targeted and family friendly Just for Kids area, or let their kids go there, and browse through a selection of popular titles (TV series and movies) and then click and instantly watch them commercial free. Just for Kids, which launched in August 2011, offers both a character-based section and rows of TV shows and movies organized by genres such as superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs and girl power, and that feature simple program descriptions. In addition to Xbox 360, Netflix Just for Kids is available on PCs and Macs, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Apple TV and certain Smart TVs, Blu-ray players and streaming media players. Other devices including tablets are scheduled to follow later this year.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Another day, another cast member for Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Joining the movie is Bruno Gunn (Bad Teacher), who will take on the role of Brutus, a former Career victor from District 2. Gunn has had featured starring roles on TV series including The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sons of Anarchy, Oz and Prison Break. Based on Catching Fire, the second book in Suzanne Collins' trilogy, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be directed by Francis Lawrence and is set for release on November 22, 2013.
Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Bend it Like Beckham, August Rush, The Tudors, the upcoming TV series Dracula) is reportedly joining the cast of the movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, based on the first title in Cassandra Clare's six-book young adult fantasy series from Constantin Film and Unique Pictures, per THR. Rhys Meyers will take on the role of Valentine Morgenstern. Directed by Herald Zwart (Karate Kid-2010, The Pink Panther 2), from a script by Jessica Postigo and I Marlene King, the movie will also star Lily Collins (The Blindside, Mirror Mirror), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Jared Harris (Mad Men) and Kevin Zegers.
Relativity Music Group will release the soundtrack to Focus Features and Laika's (Coraline) upcoming stop-motion animated 3D movie ParaNorman (www.paranorman.com) on August 14, 2012, just three days before the August 17 wide release of the movie. The ParaNorman soundtrack features music by noted composer/record producer/singer-songwriter Jon Brion.
Puppy In My Pocket video games will head to multiple platforms under a new deal between video game publisher 505 Games and toymakers M.E.G. and Giochi Preziosi. The new animated TV series Puppy In My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville (Cuccioli Cerca Amici in Italy), which airs worldwide on Cartoon Network, is produced by the Italian and US toy companies along with Mondo TV. The partners will all work closely to produce Puppy In My Pocket games for handheld platforms and mobile games for iOS and Android. The first games are slated to debut in 2013. Licensing Works! brokered the deal for M.E.G. and Giochi Preziosi, with 505 Games' licensing agent Creative Minx Marketing handling the deal for them.
9 Story Entertainment enters into new home entertainment licensing deals around the world for its animated comedy series Almost Naked Animals. Launching this fall, DVD sales of Almost Naked Animals will be handled by NCircle Entertainment (US), eOne (Canada), Abbey Home Video (UK) and Just4Kids (Holland and Belgium). As previously announced, Village Roadshow handles DVD sales in Australia. Currently in its third season, Almost Naked Animals (52 x 22 min) is produced and distributed by 9 Story.
Mill Creek Entertainment, a home entertainment distribution company, inks a home video distribution deal with BabyFirst for the US and Canadian territories. Under the agreement Mill Creek Entertainment will distribute an assortment of DVDs based on BabyFirst's content, including Harry the Bunny and Shushybye Baby, to traditional and non-traditional retail partners.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Walt Disney World announces that its New Fantasyland expansion in Orlando, Florida will officially open on just in time for holiday 2012 on December 6, with previews beginning November 19. New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park (http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/magic-kingdom/) includes attractions, restaurants and retail sites: Under the Sea Journey of The Little Mermaid; Be our Guest Restaurant; Enchanted Tales with Belle; Ariel's Grotto; Gaston's Tavern; and Bonjour! Village Gifts. The New Fantasyland expansion has been opening in phases, with the storybook Circus, which features Barnstormer - Starring the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, opening last month. Moving forward, the expansion will include the new Princess Fairytale Hall, opening in 2013, followed by the new Disney "mountain" in the way of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.
MORE KIDS STUFF
NBA star Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic) and Tony Reali, host of ESPN's Around The Horn, will guest star in an episode of the animated series Kick Buttowski Suburban Daredevil, Saturday, August 11, at 11a on Disney XD. In the episode, Rock Callahan (voiced by Howard) portrays Kick Buttowski in an action-movie in which he must defeat the evil villain, The Dark One (voiced by Reali).
Sprout, the 24-hour preschool channel, launches the second year of its multi-platform pro-social initiative Kindness Counts. The initiative was created to bolster social development of preschoolers, specifically the concept of empathy, by promoting small acts of kindness. The network continues on its mission to log one million acts of kindness via a special area at www.sproutonline.com/kindnesscounts. The site also features content designed to help parents, as well as various family activities and free, personalized thank you messages for their preschoolers from popular characters including Big Bird, Barney the Dinosaur and Chica and Kelly from Sprout's The Sunny Side Up Show. The newest Kindness Counts PSAs (:30 second), featuring characters from the network's series Pajanimals and Good Night Show hosts Nina and Star, and real families, will debut this fall across all platforms (linear, on demand and online). Since its launch in August 2011, the Sprout's Kindness Counts campaign has received some 200,000 acts of kindness, and entered into partnerships with national organizations including The Learning care Group, Wildlife Conservation Society and Whole Foods, as well as its recent work with First Lady Michelle Obama and the preschool series LazyTown star, Sportacus, to support Let's Move!
SMC Entertainment Group, an entertainment brand owner and integrated brand management company, expands its executive team:
- Sharon Eisen Leviton is appointed SVP/Business Development and Marketing. In her new position, Eisen Leviton will be responsible for the SMC's new business development initiatives and will oversee all marketing, PR, social media and brand strategy programs. She will work to develop new campaigns for SMC's key brands, including Ladybug Girl, H20 Just Add Water and Dance Academy, and the new 3D CGI animated TV series The Jungle Book, which airs on Disney XD. A 20-year industry veteran, Eisen Leviton previously held executive positions with companies including Disney, Where's Waldo? and Kidthing Digital Platform.
- Pamela Harris is upped to Executive Director/Licensing. Harris will have expanded responsibilities as she continues to develop and manage key licensing relationships across all SMC's brands. Harris, who joined SMC in January 2012 as Director/Licensing and will continue seeking new licensing partners for The Jungle Book as well as SMC's other properties.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1254; K6-11 886; TWEENS 9-14 674
NICKELODEON° : K2-11 988; K6-11 673; TWEENS 9-14 505
CARTOON NETWORK** : K2-11 799; K6-11 529; TWEENS 9-14 414
DISNEY XD: K2-11 271; K6-11 231; TWEENS 9-14 194
NICKTOONS: K2-11 108; K6-11 71; TWEENS 9-14 69
°Nickelodeon Total Day: Mon-Thurs 7a-8p; Fri 7a-9p; Sat 6a-10p; Sun 6a-8p
**Cartoon Network & Adult Swim share channel space ADSM airs Sat.-Thurs. 9p-6a
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What were the first three cartoons to appear on Nicktoons? Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren & Stimpy Show. Kudos to: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NYC; Emily Schwartz-Turner Young Adults/NYC; Richard Quan-BSSP/San Francisco; Jeph Loeb-Marvel Television/Glendale.
Today's Trivia Question: Who is the Headmaster of Monster School in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters? (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
Gwen Billings for Cynopsis Kids!
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