Monday, April 8th, 2013

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Monday, April 8, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Today’s Top Headlines
We’ve got kids news covered for you daily during Upfront season…

Talk about a cat fight! Animal Planet’s Super Bowl standard The Puppy Bowl will face fierce feline competition for most adorable animals next year when Crown Media’s Hallmark Channel answers with Kitten Bowl at noon on game day–Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. The three-hour Hallmark Channel Original Special feature will tout “the world’s most adorable – and adoptable – kittens in the mother lode of cat agility competition,”according to the network, and will become an annual tradition. Supported by Hallmark Channel partner the American Humane Assn., Kitten Bowl is a natural tie-in with the net’s evergreen Pet Project initiative. Hallmark Channel’s production team and the AHA are scouring rescue associations and shelters searching for kitty competitors whose enduring prize will be a forever home. Kitten bowl competitions will include obstacle courses, and viewers will be able to vote via social media for the Most Valuable Kitten. Whether dog or cat people, the big winners are families who now have even more reason to gather round the small screen on Super Bowl Sunday.


Global network BabyFirst is adding animated series The Color Crew to its daily lineup beginning April 7. The series, already a hit on Netflix, teaches little ones about color as group of nine bright and engaging crayon friends visit different black and white scenarios and fill in the objects with different hues. Launched in 2006, BabyFirst currently reaches 35 million U.S. homes via DirecTV, Dish and Comcast.

9 Story Entertainment is purchasing the entire CCI Entertainment kids, tween and family catalog. The agreement brings more than 1,000 half-hours of CCI Kids content to 9 Story, plus gives 9 Story first-look rights at future CCI produced or acquired kids and family programming. Among the titles headed to 9 Story are Artzooka, Harry and His Bucketful of Dinosaurs, Turbo Dogs, Extreme Babysitting, Erky Perky and GeoFreakZ, plus classics such as Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Elephant Show and Shining Time Station. The agreement also will see CCI’s distribution staff, including EVP of distribution Jill Keenleyside, working with 9 Story on children’s content as well other genres.


A little bird told us… ABC Family reached all-time Twitter-activity highs during the first quarter, including nearly 2.6 million social unique users (up from 1.5 million in Q1 2012), 11.7 million Tweets and 4.5 average Tweets per user. Fueling all the chatter is the net’s Pretty Little Liars, the current top tweeted TV series, and its social announcement of PLL spinoff Ravenswood across all Pretty Little Liars social media platforms. During the quarter, Pretty Little Liars remained the top-Tweeted series across all TV with 8.28 million Tweets, accounting for four of the top five most-Tweeted episodes and besting shows including AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fox’s American Idol, and trailing only the Super Bowl and Grammy Awards show.


Cynopsis Webinar:
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:


Universal Pictures is introducing a new generation to dino-adventure Jurassic Park with the April 5 20th anniversary theatrical release of the movie in 3D. And Hasbro is feeding the pipeline with a new themed toy line available at Toys R Us. Included in the new Hasbro collection are human and dinosaur action figures, and two variations of the Jurassic Park Dino Showdown Set, in which each dino figure has a specialized attack and each human figure carries an array of weapons accessories to defend against such attacks.


Another strong signal that the live event is plenty robust when it comes to brand franchises: Feld Entertainment is partnering with Marvel to launch a traveling arena show featuring Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor and the Fantastic Four. Feld is the producer of Disney on Ice, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and several monster truck shows. The Marvel show is slated to debut in summer 2014; production expenses reportedly will exceed $10 million.


Production is under way in Burbank for the new ABC Family original series The Fosters. The one-hour drama is about a multi-ethnic family mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms (Teri Polo and Sherri Saum). Tim Busfield, who also directed the pilot, is directing the premiere episode, set for 9 p.m. Monday, June 3. Jennifer Lopez is exec-producing.

Actor Yannick Bisson of international hit Murdoch Mysteries has been cast to star in the new CBC preschool series The Adventures of Napkin Man. The series, which combines live-action and animation in stories aimed at helping children manage their feelings, begins production this month and is slated to premiere on CBC in September 2013.


Production is under way in Toronto for Shaftesbury’s one-hour Glee-esque docu Unsung (working title) for TVO, Ontario, Canada’s public educational media organization. The documentary, slated for a fall premiere, charts the journey of two Toronto high school show choirs as they create an award-winning routine for the Show Choir Canada Nationals… Mondo TV secures rights to distribute Home Plate Entertainment Distribution Alliance’s animated programming in key markets across the Middle East and North Africa. The new deal includes both exclusive free and pay TV broadcast rights, and non-exclusive on-demand rights. Content includes HPEDA’s half-hour comedy Wild Grinders, which Home Plate is producing for Nicktoons in the U.S. based on pro-skateboarder-turned MTV personality Rob Dyrdek’s younger years as a skateboarder.


Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for April 6-8, 2013:

GI Joe: Retaliation (Paramount) PG-13  $21.1 million (weekend) $86.66 (2-week cume)
The Croods (20th Century Fox) PG $21.1 million (weekend)  $125.8 million (3-week cume)
Jurassic Park (Universal) PG-13  $18.25 million (weekend)  $18.25 million (1-week cume)
Oz the Great and Powerful (Disney) PG $8.17 million (weekend)  $212.77 million (5-week cume)
The Host (Open Road) PG-13  $5.24 million (weekend)  $19.66 million (2-week cume)
Life of Pi (20th Century Fox) PG  $360,000 (weekend)  $123.93 million (20-week cume)
Snitch (Lionsgate) PG-13 $263,000 (weekend)  $41.82 million (7-week cume)
Hansel and Gretel (Paramount)  PG-13  $131,000 (weekend)  $55.43 million (11-week cume)
The Impossible (Lionsgate)  PG-13  $41,600 (weekend)  $18.89 million (16-week cume)
Rise of the Guardians (Paramount) PG $39,999 (weekend)  $103.4 million (20-week cume)

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:
How much did MGM pay author L Frank Baum for rights to his book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? $75,000. Kudos to: Cristen Miller-Comcast/Philadelphia.

Today’s Trivia Question: Which Disney character made her theme park debut in December 2012? (Email with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)

Cheers — Cathy for Cynopsis Kids!

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Cynopsis Media
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