06.25.14 Good morning. It’s Wednesday, July 9, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.
MarVista Entertainment is expanding distribution with the launch of MarVista Digital Entertainment to license original and acquired content to digital platforms across cable, satellite, telco, broadband and consoles. The new division kicks off Aug. 1 with the release of Zapped, which debuted on Disney Channel on June 27. The company’s August slate of digital releases will also include the family comedy If I Had Wings, starring Craig Bierko and Jill Hennessy. MVDE will be helmed by EVP of distribution Vanessa Shapiro; Scott Kirkpatrick, who joined the company in 2012, will transition into the new role of director of distribution for MVDE. The company’s original productions include 150 movies that have been licensed to networks including Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Hallmark Channel.
Oh yes they did. Comedy series I Didn’t Do It will get a second season on Disney Channel. The series, created by Tod Himmel ("90210," "The Starter Wife") and Josh Silverstein ("So Random!"), premiered in January and season to date is Disney Channel’s No. 1 series among Tweens 9-14 (a tie) and ranks among the network’s top 5 series with both K2-11 and K6-11. Each episode begins with the close-knit group of five teenagers in the midst of a wild occurrence they recount through flashbacks.
Season two of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood kicks off on PBS Kids with a one-hour special on Monday, Aug. 18, with the arrival of a special new resident – Daniel’s little sister Margaret. The new season of the animated series, from The Fred Rogers Company, begins with a week full of new episodes that follow many of the important issues young children face with a new sibling.
They grow up so fast. Dora sets off on her next big adventure in Dora and Friends: Into the City!, a music-filled spinoff preschool series that premieres Monday, Aug. 18, at 8p on Nickelodeon. The adventurous Latina is now living in the city, attending school among a peer group that works together to give back to the community -having both real-life and magical adventures along the way (using cool more grownup tools like the backpack app). Series was created by Chris Gifford and Valerie Walsh Valdes, and will air weekdays during the Nick preschool block. Fisher-Price is expanding its Dora franchise with interactive dolls, playsets and accessories that will hit the market beginning in August. Additionally, Nickelodeon has signed more than 130 new licensees across apparel, publishing, home goods, electronics and specialty categories, with products set to launch this fall into early 2015.
Just how many Disney Channel Original Movies are in development these days? Recording artist China Anne McClain and Kelli Berglund (Lab Rats) will star in How To Build A Better Boy, premiering Friday, Aug. 15, at 8p. The two play tech brainiacs who computer-program the perfect boy and in the process trigger a national incident. Two songs will be released from the movie – Something Real, performed by McClain and Berglund, and Stand Out, performed by fellow Disney multitasker Sabrina Carpenter… “Buddy adventure” Bad Hair Day will star Laura Marano (Austin & Ally) and Leigh-Allyn Baker (Good Luck Charlie); Baker is making her foray as producer and exec producer on the film. Slated to debut in 2015, Bad Hair Day is about a high school tech whiz determined to be crowned prom queen.
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CYNOPSIS MEDIA is thrilled to announce several high-profile networking and educational events for the rest of the year. Click the events to learn more. Digital Summit: August 6th | San Fran, CA
Sports Women of Action: August 19th | NYAC, NYC
Sports Business Summit: August 20th | NYAC, NYC
Kids Business Summit: September 8th | Yale Club, NYC
Future TV Summit: October 16th | Grand Hyatt, NYC
Model D Awards Luncheon: November 13th | Grand Hyatt, NYC
Because one day just isn’t enough… Nickelodeon is staging three Road to Worldwide Day of Play events in San Diego (June 30- July 2); Detroit (July 30-Aug. 1); and a third city (Sept. 3-5) chosen by kids via an online contest. Festivities will culminate with Nick’s 11th annual Worldwide Day of Play Saturday, Sept. 20, when the network goes dark and its partners host grassroots activities to celebrate play. United States Tennis Assn. is a presenting sponsor of the event.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is hosting a Rio 2 Summer Party Tour packed with activities for all ages including portable viewing stations to watch soccer games live from Rio; movie screenings; Samba performances and lessons; customizable Carnival masks, and soccer challenges. The tour kicked off in NY and includes stops on Philly, Atlanta, Chicago and LA.
Nickelodeon named 17-year-old Zachary Certner of Morristown, N.J., its July HALO Effect award recipient. Selected for his commitment to helping children with special needs, Certner will be featured in a short on-air profile airing on TeenNick and highlighted on TeenNick.com throughout the month. In addition, HALO Effect will award a $5,000 grant to SNAP Inc. (Special Needs Athletic Programs), a nonprofit co-founded by Certner that conducts free or low-cost sports clinics, five days a week, for over 150 families with special needs children. As president of the foundation for the past seven years, Certner has helped SNAP raise more than $150,000 and train nearly 3,500 middle and high school students as volunteer mentors. Way to go!
Capitalizing on families spending more time on the road in the summer, Cartoon Network launched a marketing campaign featuring catchy phrases from characters of hit series such as Adventure Time, Regular Show and The Amazing World of Gumball. The campaign is already garnering attention on social media with over 7.2 million users on Facebook and Twitter checking-out posts associated with the campaign.
Amazon Studios’ second original kids series, Creative Galaxy, hit last week with the first six episodes available for unlimited streaming on Prime Instant Video at no additional cost to Prime members. Created by Angela Santomero, the series emphasizes problem-solving problems through art, music and dance. Each episode consists of two 11-minute stories; the remaining six eps will become available in September. In December, Prime Instant Video will debut a holiday-themed bonus episode.
The new Disney XD Grand Prix app features characters from the network including Phineas, Agent P, Wander, Lord Hater, Steve the Llama and more competing in a variety of high-octane racing game modes.
Oceanhouse Media’s newest Smithsonian app, Alphabet of Space, lets children practice their ABCs while exploring outer space through rhymes and colorful illustrations, from Astronaut to Zenith.
Pete Yoder, VP, Consumer Products at Cartoon Network, was voted to the Executive Committee of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Assn. The LIMA membership also elected four new members to its Board: Tim Kilpin, EVP International, Mattel Brands; Cindy Levitt, VP/GMM, Hot Topic; John Parham, President, Parham Santana; and Henry Stupp, CEO, The Cherokee Group.
Disney XD in the UK on July 5 launched animated comedy series Boyster, about the adventures of a mutant oyster who was born in a toxic spill and adopted by human parents, together with his shell brother. Boyster was created by Frederic Azemar, Fabien Limousin and Emmanuelle Fleury, and is produced by Franck Ekinci and Camille Serceau at Je Suis Bien Content in Paris. A co-production between Disney Channels EMEA and France Televisions, it will premiere on Disney XD in EMEA, the US and Japan beginning this fall.
Nick Jr. UK commissioned an additional 52 seven-minute eps of Sixteen South’s preschool show Lily’s Driftwood Bay. This follows a licensing deal between Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer products (NVCP) and Sixteen South, which will see NVCP exclusively represent all licensing rights for the property within the UK and Ireland. The mixed-media series premiered on Nick Jr. UK in May 2014 and has been watched by 1.5 million Nick Jr. viewers to date.
Disney EMEA is producing a second season of short-form Nina Needs to Go. Developed by Disney in the UK and produced by Bristol-based animation studio ArthurCox, the show, about a 4-year-old who needs to, ya know, “go” at the most inopportune times, will premiere in EMEA on Disney Junior early next year and will air in more than 150 countries worldwide.
Two recently completed deals with EasyCard and Yichi International offer broadened exposure to the AG Properties’ Care Bears across Taiwan. The deals were brokered through local agent Medialink.
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Saban Brands hired former Hub Network exec Kendall Doty as VP of Digital. While at Hub, Doty launched and managed all of the network’s digital initiatives, including the recent rebuild of their responsive website and first iOS app.
Netflix is making a big move into original kids and family programming. Brian Wright, former Nickelodeon live-action exec, will lead the charge, reporting to Cindy Holland, the streaming service’s VP, Content Acquisition/Original Series.
Michael Carrington has been named CEO for UK production company The Foundation, part of Zodiak Kids. Carrington joins The Foundation from HIT Entertainment, where he held the position of Vice President of Global Content & Executive Producer.
In related news, HIT appointed Christopher Keenan as VP, Creative/Executive Producer. Keenan brings more than 25 years experience in the animation, kids and family entertainment industries. He most recently served as SVP of Creative Affairs for the Animation Division of Warner Bros., where he launched Kids’ WB! and oversaw the development and production of original and franchise television series and made-for-DVD features.
Editor’s Note: Due to the Fourth of July holiday, weekly Nielsen ratings were not available at press time. They will return next week.
Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for July 4-6, 2014:
Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount) PG-13 $36.4 million $174.75 million (weekend) (2-week cume)
How To Train Your Dragon 2 (DreamWorks Animation) PG $8.75 million (weekend) $140 million (4-week cume)
Earth To Echo (Relativity Media) PG $8.25 million (weekend) $13.5 million (1-week cume)
Maleficent (Disney) PG $6.13 million (weekend) $213.89 million (6-week cume)
Think Like A Man Too (Sony) PG-13 $4.9 million (weekend) $57.19 million (3-week cume)
Edge of Tomorrow (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $3.64 million (weekend) $90.87 million (5-week cume)
The Fault in Our Stars (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $82.45 million (weekend) $115.85 million (5-week cume)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $1.84 million (weekend) $227.07 million (7-week cume)
Godzilla (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $418,000 (weekend) $197.9 million (8-week cume)
Rio 2 (20th Century Fox) PG $354,000 (weekend) $128.86 million (13-week cume)
Answer to last week’s Trivia Question: In 2004 Cookie Monster revealed that before he tried his first cookie he went by a different name. What was it? Sid Kudos to: Monica Karloczy, NY; David Stern, BARD Entertainment, NY.
Today’s Trivia Question: Who voices Angelina’s ballet teacher in the series Angelina Ballerina? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)
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Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
Cathy@cynopsis.com for Cynopsis Kids!
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