Good morning. It’s Friday, March 29, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.
The Hub is ready to rock’n’roll all night. The network just optioned the rights to produce the animated series KISS Hello Kitty (working title), based on the toy and accessory franchise that launched in 2010 and exec-produced by none other than Gene Simmons himself. The series, to be produced by KISS Catalogue and Sanrio, will feature the four KISS x Hello Kitty characters living their rock-star dreams and bringing pink anarchy to all situations they find themselves in. “We are incredibly excited about this opportunity and want to make all our millions of fans worldwide proud of a show they can watch with the whole family,” Simmons said.
Technicolor is taking the second screen seriously as it develops kids series The Deep, which it optioned in January and is due in fall 2014. It officially signed on Magic Ruby (which it owns) to create an, ahem, immersive, app that will sync to the show in real time via smart devices and provide games, educational facts, exclusive content and the ability for viewers to make commerce wish lists based on items from the television show. Magic Ruby VP, business development, Cedric Arnaud-Battandier, gave participants in CynKids’ recent Second Screens webinar a sneak peek at the app- Thanks Cedric!
Disney doings: Disney Channel has ordered up a third season of comedy series Jessie, which year-to-date has ranked as the top-rated show among K2-11, K6-11 and tweens. Production begins in July; the new season debuts in the fall… Disney XD is going for the gold with the April 1 season three premiere of martial arts comedy Kickin’ It. Gabby Douglas, all-around champ of last summer’s Olympics and a bonafide America’s sweetheart, guests on the James Bond-esque episode, titled “Spyfall.”
The Hub is declaring April 1 “April Ghoul’s Day,” and will feature a four-hour marathon of Goosebumps and R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour episodes.
Corus Entertainment’s Treehouse web destination is bringing back zany friends Toopy and Binoo in a new series that combines live-action characters and animated images. Toopy and Binoo Vroom Vroom Zoom debuts April 6, produced by Echo Media.
Gruppo Alcuni is in a new pay TV deal with Baltic Media Alliance for 156 episodes of its series Pet Pals. The first five seasons of the show will be broadcast in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Gruppo Alcuni will be presenting 52 new episodes, created in 3D, at MIPTV.
Twitter has gone hog-wild for Entertainment One’s Peppa Pig. A Twitter blast party this Tuesday (26) orchestrated by eOne and e-magazine UKMums.tv in collaboration with Character Options delivered nearly 8 million tweets to 872,000 unique users in just two hours. The social media event was staged around the new Peppa Pig Theme Park toy collection and theme park attraction Peppa Pig World in Hampshire, U.K.
Marathon Media is staging a second-screen blitz to generate buzz for new series Lolirock. The company will launch five animated videos from Lolirock on YouTube and other social media before the debut of the TV show, developed by Zodiak Kids in partnership with France Televisions and Disney Channel in France. Producer Yellow Shark is overseeing music for the series, and local Lolirock bands will be formed in key territories, creating a secondary platform for the series and a deeper connection with its core audience.
European production and distribution company Millimages is launching a new iPad and iPhone app for the series 64 Zoo Lane. Let’s Read Along with Alan, developed to help children learning to read, has the option to save up to three versions of the story at any one time, and is available in English, French, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
Bandai is making its Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. app available for iPhone and iPad this week. Since its release for Android devices in February, the app has been downloaded more than 600,000 times.
The COO of Electronic Arts said digital games downloaded from the Internet could make up half the company’s sales by 2015.
Trends & Research
Girls ages 14-17 were the most likely to access the Internet via a mobile device, according to a September 2012 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. According to Pew, 34% of girls said they were predominantly mobile Internet users, vs. 24% of boys in the same age group. Also of interest, 33% of black teens said they accessed the Internet primarily via mobile, vs. 24% of white teens.
Scholastic Media is previewing a bevy of new promos and products in anticipation of the Licensing Show in June in Las Vegas: The iSpy brand will be promoted at Wendy’s, Popeye’s and Sonic restaurants this year. Additionally Briarpatch will release new games this year and 2014 will see the release of I Spy Spooky Mansion for Leapster Explorer along with new apps for the LeapFrog App Center… A new Leapster app, The Magic School Bus: Dinosaurs, is due in the fall, as are two new themed Young Scientists Club kits… “Safe scary” franchise Goosebumps will see themed Halloween costumes and masks from Gemmy, plus new books in the ‘Most Wanted’ series from Scholastic and t-shirts from Local Celebrity. And Ralcorp will promote the brand with a Goosebumps book offer on 3 million boxes of cereal and crackers. Internationally, Wendy’s will feature Goosebumps branded premiums in their Kids Meals at 160 locations – including Mexico and New Zealand… Kids Station, Baby King and Tara Toys will both release branded Scholastic product including educational science kits, games and puzzles… And Scholastic’s Worldgirl will be promoted at all Buffets Inc. restaurants in 2013.
Walmart will release The Jungle Book DVDs from India-based distributor DQ Entertainment in all its stores in the U.S. and Canada, the icing on 12 new licensing and merch deals. The deal was brokered by DQE’s U.S. licensing agent, SMC Entertainment Group, in collaboration with the home-video distribution licensee Phase4 Films. Other new Jungle Book partners include Bendon Publishing, PlayWow International, Rotomolded, Norton anti-virus software provider; Magic Jump, Dynamic Displays and Cardinal Industries.
Walker Licensing signed five more licensees for the Tilly and Friends brand, based on the picture books by author/illustrator Polly Dunbar. New comers include Blues Clothing, Aykroyds & TDP, Watermelon, Woodmansterne and Daredevil.
Internet meme Domo will take Manhattan this spring. Big Tent Entertainment worked a deal to have Domo t-shirts, created in conjunction with apparel design firm Fifth Sun, featured in a special themed area of the Yellow Rat Bastard (YRB) store in SoHo.
Here’s one for the big kids. Iconic spinach-eating sailorman Popeye will be the face of a new line of shaving products starting Sunday (31) thanks to a collaboration between King Features Syndicate and Florida-based Razor MD. And don’t worry ladies–Razor MD already has products in the works featuring Olive Oyl.
The WotWots signed licensing agents in both Germany and Turkey, expanding the preschool brand’s presence in Europe.
The Big Screen
A midnight Wednesday (27) premiere for Paramount’s G.I Joe: Retaliation, rated PG-13, brought out an arsenal of fans and earned the studio an impressive $2.2 million. The numbers bode well for a strong opening weekend that’s unlikely to surpass the $54.7 million opener for 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra but could come close.
More Kids News
BabyTV is marking its 10-year anniversary with a new campaign that includes updated on-air channel graphics, a web and digital campaign and new viewer-engagement series, Happy to Be. Parents will be able to edit a video of their child on the BabyTV Facebook page and have the chance for the video to air on the BabyTV channel. Additionally, 30 different dance clips will rotate on-air featuring the network’s IP characters reproduced in 3D CGI animation. BabyTV is carried by 650 distributors globally and viewed in more than 55 million homes.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Cynopsis: Kids !magination Awards Luncheon
June 4, 2013 | 8:00 – 10:00a.m.
The Yale Club of NYC
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: Which author penned The Magic School Bus book series? Joanna Cole. Kudos to: Denise Mullen-Avanti Media/PA.
Today’s Trivia Question: What year did Peppa Pig debut in the U.S. and on what network? (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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