Good morning. It’s Friday, April 12, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.
Who says superheroes are for boys only? Not Saban Brands, which will launch the new Gangnam Girls television series and brand later this year. Currently in development, the animated series will center on music and fashion, following five teenage girls chosen as magical superheroes to protect the earth and a fantastical land from classic fairytale villains. “Together, the Gangnam Girls prove that friendship, music, and girl power never go out of style” according to Saban.
Disney Junior is adding to its line of “Disney Junior Appisodes” that enable young viewers to interact with the characters in programming they are viewing the iPad, iPhone and iTouch. Developed by Disney/ABC Television Group’s digital media team, the new $4.99 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse–Mickey and Donald Have a Farm Appisode and Jake and the Never Land Pirates Appisode allow fans to touch, tap, swipe, tilt, shake and talk their way through activities embedded into episodes of Disney Junior shows. A free download of the company’s original Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally Appisode, released last year, is included with the new apps; popular episodes of the net’s Doc Mc Stuffins, Sofia the First and more Jake and the Never Land Pirates are due later this year as appisodes.
It’s freaky Friday all weekend long on Family Channel, which will air a bounty of new body-swapping of hit shows including Jessie, A.N.T. Farm, Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb, Dog With A Blog, Austin & Ally and Shake It Up.
Sony Pictures Consumer Products and Ubisoft have got the blues. To complement the July 31 release of The Smurfs 2 movie, the two companies are collaborating on a second video game. Developed by Ubisoft and WayForward, the game will be released for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U, as well as an interactive storytelling book and collection of mini-games on Nintendo DS. The game follows the successful The Smurfs Dance Party, which rolled out around the release of the first The Smurfs movie, which scored more than $560 million at the worldwide box office.
Corus Entertainment is relaunching TreehouseTV.com, the online complement to Canadian preschool channel Treehouse. The site features a refreshed design, more games and videos for kids–featuring characters like Dora, Franklin, Bubble Guppies and Peppa Pig–and a new parenting portal, Treehouse Parents. The network is making big moves to woo moms (and advertisers looking to reach moms) with blogs by on-air personalities including CMT’s Kortney Wilson (Meet The Wilsons ) and Pay Chen (Breakfast Television).
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Leveraging Social Media and TV Ads: Best Brand Strategies
Tuesday * April 30 * 1:30-3:00p.m. ET
Moderated by: Arthur Greenwald (President, Greenwald Media, Inc. + Contributing Editor, Cynopsis Media), along with:
Seth Shapiro, New Amsterdam Media
Karie Ford, Subway
Mike Freeman, Hallmark Channel & Crown Family Network
Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/webinars/best-brand-strategies.
American Greetings’ AG Properties is extending merchandising in Central and South America for Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears and Holly Hobbie & Friends via new agreements with Productos Panamenos and Campestre Confeccao e Comercio for products in Brazil and Panama, negotiated Exim Licensing Group.
3D animated series Jelly Jamm is getting some soft toy support in Mexico. Brand creator Vodka has signed an agreement with Famosa for the production and retailing of the merchandise, which will join Mexican licensees Fotorama and Tycom.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
ABC Family and WWE Studios start production this week on TV movie Christmas Bounty, which will premiere during ABC Fam’s annual 25 Days of Christmas programming event. Francia Raisa (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, Will Greenburg (Modern Family) and Chelan Simmons (The L.A. Complex) star in the actioner, about a former bounty hunter turned elementary school teacher.
INSIDE THE BELTWAY
Several watchdog groups are crying foul over the Federal Communications Commission’s move to consider easing up on its long-held decency standards. The FCC issued a request for public comment on a proposal that would shift complaint investigations toward “egregious” instances of broadcast indecency including profanity and nudity and away from “fleeting expletives” and indecency. FCC standards apply only to broadcast television and radio, not cable, satellite TV or Internet content. The American Family Assn., Morality in the Media and Parents Television Council have all weighed in against easing the standards, with AFA’s Randy Sharp stating, “It’s not in the best interests of families, especially with children, for the FCC to relax these standards and allow broadcast stations… to be able to broadcast indecency. They’re going just as far as they possibly can go and if the FCC relaxes its standards, the networks are going to go further. And that just leads to more decadence.”
Add Disney Junior to the trifecta of networks available in HD exclusively via Sky in the U.K. After seeing a big ratings boost with Sofia the First and new animated series Henry Hugglemonster, the preschool network follows the successful high-definition launches of sister channels Disney Channel and Disney XD.
MORE KIDS NEWS
Dolby Labs, Royal Philips Electronics and Cameron-Pace Group (that’s Cameron, as in director James Cameron) are teaming to create 3D content for the home that doesn’t require glasses to get the effects.
Are social networks for old people? According to a PiperJaffray survey of 5,000-plus teens, Facebook is “the most important” social media site for 10% fewer teenagers than it was one year ago. Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Flickr and Tumblr also have tumbled in teen interest during the past year. Of the major sites included in the survey, only Pinterest has grown. Notably, Instagram was not included in the spring 2012 survey so no results were tallied this year. What’s on the upswing, according to write-ins? Snapchat and Kik, which are more message-y and less profile-y than the “traditional” social sites.
Congrats to Sandro Corsaro, who joins NBCU’s movie-mania Fandango web site and mobile app as VP, content and creative. Corsaro is the former executive producer and creator of Disney XD’s Kick Buttowski: Suburban Dare Devil.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: What’s the final game in The Hub’s Family Game Night? Crazy Cash Machine. Kudos to: Sorry, no one.
Today’s Trivia Question: What city does PBS Kids’ Arthur live in? (Email John@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)
Cheers — Cathy
Cathy@cynopsis.com for Cynopsis Kids!
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