Good morning. It’s Friday, April 5, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.
Disney XD greenlights fan-boy comedy Mighty Med for a fall 2013 premiere. The live-action series, inspired by the world of superheroes and comic books, follows best friends who discover a secret hospital wing that caters to superheroes and comic book characters. Starring are Bradley Steven Perry (Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie) and Jake Short (Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm). The pilot was created and written by Jim Bernstein (Disney’s Phineas and Ferb) and Andy Schwartz (Scrubs), and directed by Eric Dean Seaton (Kickin’ It)… Additionally, Disney XD picked up rights to Camp Lakebottom, an animated comedy produced by 9 Story Entertainment for Teletoon. The series, which follows the antics of 12-year-old prankster McGee after his camp bus accidentally drops him at a spooky summer getaway, will premiere this summer in the U.S. and international Disney Channel markets including the UK, Ireland and Benelux.
Disney Junior today (Friday) begins airing Bejuba’s short-form series Fuzzy Tales. The series, which features live animals re-enacting beloved fairy tales in the CGI-blended world of Fuzzy Phil’s Pet Shop, and narrated by Gertie the Guinea Pig, is produced by Canada’s Brain Power Studios in association with CBC. It also airs on Fuzzy Disney Australia.
Online entertainment site YTV is acquiring two live-action digital comedy series for tween audiences from Shartesbury’s digital media division Smokebomb Entertainment. Totally Amp’d, which rolls out on YTV.com this week, features mini (six minutes) musical comedy sketches starring Christine Prosperi (Degrassi). Unlikely Heroes comprises five-minute episodes that follow a ragtag group of teens who take on cryptic puzzles and traps in search of a medieval treasure and is slated to launch on the site in June.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Cynopsis: Kids !magination Awards Luncheon
June 4, 2013 | 8:00 – 10:00a.m.
The Yale Club of NYC
Online social gaming phenom Stardoll will get an ongoing series of books via a new deal with graphic novel publisher Papercutz. The books, about five best friends trying to make it in the fashion world, will closely tie in with the online site, which draws more than 200 million members worldwide. First graphic novel, Stardoll #1: Secrets & Dreams, will hit retail Sept. 17, followed by the second incarnation, The Secret of the Star Jewel, on Dec. 17
AAA and the Automobile Club of Southern California are fast-tracking a new safe driving PSA campaign tied to DreamWorks Animation’s racing comedy Turbo. The campaign includes a PSA featuring the AAA IndyCar and AAA tow truck from the film, out July 17, plus sweepstakes whose prizes include a DreamWorks Experience cruise for four aboard Royal Caribbean International. The sweepstakes runs July 1-Aug. 31. “The AAA brand has a natural connection to our film, especially when considering that the summer release date is ideal timing for family road trips and vacations,” said Anne Globe, DreamWorks Animation’s chief marketing officer.
GAMES & APPS
Cupcake Digital is expanding its line of apps based on the Wow! Wow! Wubbzy franchise again. New app Wubbzy’s Magic School lets little hands pull virtual rabbits out of hats, find hidden words, and learn the importance of always trying their hardest. The app is available for $1.99 on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Barnes & Noble.
Oceanhouse Media is releasing Berenstain Bears’ Really Big Pet Show on iOS and Android for an introductory price of $2.99. The action centers around the Bear family loving and caring for their pets as they prepare for the Bear Town Festival pet show.
Finnish games developer Rovio Entertainment, creator of the mega-franchise Angry Birds, saw revenues soar 101% in 2012 to reach $195.6 million, compared with $97 million the prior year. Profits rose 57% over 2011, to $71.3 million. But a top executive said maintaining momentum hinges on how well it pivots from a hot Nordic game developer into a global entertainment powerhouse.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Production is now under way on new ABC Family original series Twisted. The series, starring Avan Jogia, Maddie Hasson, Kylie Bunbury, Kimberly Quinn, Sam Robards, Ashton Moio and Denise Richards, is a one-hour whodunit drama about a 16-year-old with a troubled past who becomes the prime suspect when one of his friends is found dead in her home. Twisted is exec-produced by Gavin Polone, who’s directing the premiere episode. It premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 11.
RESEARCH & TRENDS
Listen up iHeartRadio, Radio Disney and friends: Internet radio and streaming services accounted for almost four out of every 10 minutes heard by listeners ages 13-35 during Q4 2012, according to research from the NPD Group. Listeners over 35 are (of course) having an entirely different experience–41% of their listening time was tuned to AM/FM radio. For the younger set, Internet radio services including iHeartRadio and Pandora accounted for 23% of listening time, up from 17% a year earlier. A full 15% of listening time went to digital files, and on-demand services like Spotify accounted for 14%. Specifically, NPD reports Pandora is used by 39% of 13-35-year-old listeners, with iHeartRadio at a distant second with 11%. The free version of Spotify was third with 9%.
Toon Goggles has picked up the first two seasons of Australian Children’s Television Foundation’s Dukes of Broxstonia, a success when it launched on Cartoon Network Asia and Australia’s ABC3, along with ACTF’s Horace in Slow Motion… One Family Entertainment’s Peppa Pig is headed to Latin America via a new deal with Discovery Kids that will bring the show three times daily to audiences in the region.
MORE KIDS NEWS
The 2013 MTV Movie Awards, April 14, is drawing a cache of musical talent sure to wow tweens and teen fans. Host Rebel Wilson will reunite with her Pitch Perfect co-stars for their first live stage performance, a new mash-up created by the film’s director Jason Moore. Selena Gomez, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are also slated to perform.
Just in time for Earth Day, Scholastic will release a new Magic School Bus DVD, All About the Earth, on April 16. The disc features three all-new episodes of the long-running science adventure series, in both English and Spanish-language options and a special bonus episode, “The Magic School Bus All Dried Up”.
Film critic Roger Ebert lost his long battle with cancer yesterday at the age of 70. Ebert in 1975 became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, for his reviews in the Chicago Sun-Times. His thumbs up/thumbs down sparring with fellow critic Gene Siskel catapulted him to fame, and he used the platform to share with fans his unique perspective on movie and movie-making. Ebert continued to review films after first being diagnosed in 2002, despite cancer robbing him of the ability to eat, drink and speak. He announced just Wednesday in his Sun-Times blog he would be taking a “leave of presence” from his writing. His final written words: “Thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”
Kudos to Karen K. Miller, who’s been elevated to VP, programming strategy, acquisitions and co-productions at Disney Channels Worldwide. Miller, who’s been with Disney since 2011, previously held the post of executive director, worldwide programming strategy, acquisitions and co-productions. She will continue to direct the development of scheduling strategies and will oversee global acquisitions and steer co-production opportunities.
FremantleMedia North America appoints Alex Demyanenko to the newly created post of SVP, nonfiction development and programming. Demyanenko, who joins from Shed Media, will oversee development and production for cable networks.
Nice move, Vevo, calling Carly Rae Jepsen to headline your NewFront presentation May 2. The tween sensation, whose why-won’t it-get-out-of-my-head song “Call Me Maybe” was the No. 1 video on the music video web site in 2012, could be just the hypnotic appeal to encourage advertisers to lay down some bucks. Jepsen will be joined onstage by other youth-culture hot tickets rapper Kendrick Lamar and Scottish crooner Jessie Ware.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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