Good morning. It’s Monday, February 8, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Becoming the first international broadcaster to provide officially sanctioned online content in China, MTV Networks China and CCTV.com partner to launch Nick.CCTV.com. The new online destination offers Chinese viewers the opportunity to access a range of Nickelodeon-branded streaming video content. The advertiser-supported site launches with a selection of Nickelodeon’s original content including episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, online games and wallpapers. Later this year the co-branded site will launch episodes of Dora the Explorer and content based on its other properties, such as CatDog. Additionally, nick.cctv.com will be promoted on CCTV, which boasts an audience of 300+ million households on CCTV1 and 250 million households on kid’s channel CCTV14.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Taylor Lautner (The Twilight Saga) signs on star in two Universal features based on Hasbro brands, Stretch Armstrong. The studio also announced it has shifted the release date for the action-adventure movie Battleship to May 25, Memorial Day weekend, 2012, from its original July 2011 date. Lautner will take on the role of the superhero Stretch in the movie adaptation of Stretch Armstrong, which will now be shot in 3D with new release set for 2012. The Stretch production schedule was moved to accommodate both the 3D aspects of the project and Lautner’s other movie commitments, including more Twilight movies as well as the studio’s Max Steel. Stretch Armstrong features a screenplay by Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty)
Sardine Productions, a Montreal-based animation and production studio, enters into a deal with Teletoon Canada to develop the new animated series TIM (working title, 52×11). The series revolves around an average boy who inexplicably winds up as a cartoon character in an animated world, where he discovers that life isn’t as easy as a toon as one might think. Sardine’s popular animated series include My Goldfish is Evil, Leon and Manon.
The rumor mill continues to do double time about whether or not Logan Lerman will play Peter Parker in the new Spider-Man movie, a reboot that will follow Peter in his teen years. Lerman who is the star Fox’s new feature Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which opens this Friday, February 12. The Spider-Man casting question came about when in an interview with Access Hollywood, Lerman (18) said, “There have been a few discussions, it’s definitely something I’m looking into.” A source at Sony told the WSJ that, “no one has been offered the role [of Peter Parker] and we are not in negotiations with any actor.” In a later interview with MTV, Lerman said, “To be honest, it’s a role that any young actor is dying to play and I’m just hoping to be considered. I’m just a huge fan.” He continued, “That’s all I can say. ‘Spider-Man’ is just an awesome comic book series. There’s millions of actors out there who want to play the role. I’m just one of them.”
MORE KIDS STUFF
PBSKidsGo.org has launched the new music video Give Your Heart a Valentine, from Freezer Burn, the band for its new healthy eating-centric online property Fizzy’s Lunch Lab. The song and video encourages kids to explore how the heart supports the body and how it benefits from making healthy eating choices. Additionally, beginning this Friday, February 12, both PBS Kids and PBS Kids Go! will air Valentine’s Day-themed episodes of favorite shows including Clifford, Curious George, Cyberchase and Arthur (check local listings).
Season two of the skateboarding comedy Zeke and Luther kicks off Monday, March 15 at 7:30p on Disney XD and DisneyXD.com. The series will also be showcased via Disney XD on Demand, DisneyXD.com, Disney XD Mobile, Xbox Live and iTunes on Tuesday, March 16. Beginning March 1, the first season (21 episodes) of Zeke and Luther will be available on DisneyXD.com, and on Tuesday, March 9 the game, Turbo Shred, debuts on DisneyXD.com.
Jon Cryer will guest star as Lilly’s dad, on a new episode of Hannah Montana, which premieres Sunday, February 21 at 8p on Disney Channel.
Nelvana Enterprises inks further international broadcast deals for the new 3D animated series Babar And The Adventures of Badou. Picking up the first 26 episodes (comprised of 52×11) are: Disney Channels in Italy and Spain; Sveriges Televisions AB (Barnkanalen, in Sweden); TV2 (Norway); YLE 2 (Finland); Danish Broadcasting Corporations (Denmark) for DR1 and Digital DR; Societe Radio-Canada (SRC, French Canada); M-Net (South Africa); and KM Productions (The Middle East). Babar And The Adventures of Badou is a Canada-France co-production between Nelvana Studio and TeamTO, in association with The Clifford Ross Company. Nelvana Enterprises, a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment, and The Clifford Ross Company will oversee the merchandise licensing for the property and have appointed TF1 Licences as the licensing agent in France and other European territories, including Belgium and The Netherlands.
The newly launched Tales2Go has partnered with audio publishers including Recorded Books, Audio Bookshelf, Audio Holdings and August House to create a new iPhone/iPod Touch app at http://bit.ly/as4Gpt that offers access to 800+ kid 3-11 targeted audio stories, many read by the authors. The subscription-based app ($24.99/year) also allows kids to stream their own audio stories through the platform. Tales2Go has also signed deals with a range of storytellers, including Bill Harley, Connie Reagan-Blake, Lyn Ford, Syd Lieberman, Bil Lepp, Dovie Thomason, Odds Bodkin and Jim Weiss. Tales2Go plans to roll out Blackberry, Palm Pre and Android versions of the app in the coming months. Tales2Go was co-founded by William Weil and Tracey Weil.
Barnes & Noble partners with non-profit/non-partisan Common Sense Media, to assist its customers identify age-appropriate books, movies, games and music for their kids. Under the partnership, Barnes & Noble.com adds a “For Parents” area at the top of the page of their online kid’s section that will provide Common Sense Media’s Decider Slider, which offers age-appropriateness ratings for products, as well as further specific information for parents. The bottom of the page will feature a more complete breakdown of Common Sense Media’s review including a range of positive and negative content information.
Studio100 inks several new licensees in Spain for its CGI animated preschool property Bumba, which airs on Canal Super3. Barcelona-based Medialive picks up the publishing rights for a new Bumba coloring book and sticker book, which will launch in spring 2010, followed by the first board book in Spin in summer 2010. MIO acquires the ice cream license for the property and will debut with vanilla and strawberry flavors of ‘ice-cream on a stick’ that also works as a musical flute. Additionally, SAICA takes the rights for swim and beach inflatables, sand and outdoors toys, arts and crafts and back-to-school products.
Marvel Entertainment enters into a multi-year licensing deal with Maisto International for die cast toy vehicles (e.g. cars, off-road trucks, motorcycles, planes, trains, and playsets) featuring Marvel’s Super Heroes. Pursuant to the new agreement, Maisto has been awarded the rights to produce and market a range of die-cast vehicles and playsets based on several Marvel characters and brands including Super Hero Squad, classic Marvel properties, and Marvel Studios’ upcoming feature films, Iron Man 2, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America, and The Avengers.
Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; February 5-7, 2010:
Dear John (Sony/Screen Gems) PG-13 Opening Weekend $32.4m
Avatar (Fox) PG-13 $23.6m-8 wk total $630.1m
Tooth Fairy (Fox) PG $6.5m-3 wk total $34.3m
When in Rome (Disney/Buena Vista) PG-13 $5.5m-2 wk total $20.9m
Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $2.6m-7 wk total $201.6m
The Blind Side (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $2.6m-12 wk total $241.6m
The Lovely Bones (Paramount (DreamWorks)) PG-13 $2.3m-9 wk total $41.5m
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Fox) PG $2.2m-7 wk total $212.2m
The Spy Next Door (Lionsgate) PG $860,000-4 wk total $22.8m
The Princess and the Frog (Disney/Buena Vista) $452,000-11 wk total n/a
Source: Rentrak ( www.rentrak.com )
Casting Call: DreamWorks Studios is on the hunt for tween boy 10-14 to star as Max in its upcoming movie Real Steel. The movie stars Hugh Jackman and will be directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum). A strong-willed and resourceful kid, Max is also street-smart, tough and charming with a hard, untrusting outer shell, which protects his warm enthusiastic spirit. Two casting calls will be held this month, the first in Chicago on Sunday, February 14 (11a-4p) at the Chicago Academy of the Arts and the second in New York City on Saturday, February 20 (11a-4p) at Shetler Studios. Further information about the open call auditions as well as information about submitting videotaped auditions can be found through www.realsteelcasting.com. Real Steel is being produced by Don Murphy, Susan Montford and Shawn Levy. Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey, Josh McLaglen, and Mary McLaglen are all executive producing. John Gatins wrote the script.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: The 1963 film Spencer’s Mountain starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara was based on a novel written by the same man who penned what long running TV series? WALTONS MOUNTAIN Kudos to: Julie Stowell-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury; Kathryn Horsman-Basic Fun/Southampton; Joe Swaney-Cartoon Network/Atlanta; Jimmy Cuomo-Artboy Inc/Hollywood; Brett Ashy-The Ashy Agency/LA; Claire Wilmut-Boomstone Animation/Ottawa; Andrew Makarewicz-CineGroup/Montreal; Sara Plaw-Astral Television Networks/Toronto;
Today’s Trivia Question: Who used the Super Talk-O-Scope? (Email Cynthia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)
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