Good morning. It’s Monday, March 15, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Those meddling kids head back to Cartoon Network in the new Warner Premiere mixed live-action/CG animated TV movie Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster. Beginning principle photography today on location in Southern California, the movie will premiere on Cartoon Network in fall 2010, followed by its Blu-ray, DVD and OnDemand and download release from Warner Home Entertainment in early 2011. Produced by Atlas Entertainment, Curse of the Lake Monster is a follow-up to last year’s TV movie, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, and features the return of director Brian Levant, producer Brian Gilbert and writers by the Altiere brothers, as well as the live-action cast featuring Robbie Amell (True Jackson, VP), Kate Melton, Hayley Kiyoko and Nick Palatas. The CG animated Scooby is being produced Animation Picture Company. Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins became most watched telecast in Cartoon Network’s history. Additionally, a Scooby-Doo Mystery Movie Sweepstakes ( www.scoobydoosweeps.com ) has been launched.
Disney announces plans to shutter producer/director Robert Zemeckis‘ ImageMovers Digital (IMD) studio’s Marin County facility come 2011. The closer is slated to come following the completion of IMD’s current production Mars Needs Moms, which is slated for release in March 2011. Zemeckis and ImageMovers most recent feature film, A Christmas Carol, released November 2009. Plans for Zemeckis’ performance capture 3D adaptation of Yellow Submarine are still undecided, with Disney looking to ink a new production deal with Zemeckis and his producing partners, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey. Explaining the reasons behind the move, Alan Bergman, President/Walt Disney Studios said, “Bob and the entire IMD team successfully built a state of the art studio and produced an amazing film, A Christmas Carol, at a time when the dynamics of the industry are rapidly changing. But, given today’s economic realities, we need to find alternative ways to bring creative content to audiences and IMD no longer fits into our business model.” Zemeckis said, “I’m incredibly proud of the talented team that we assembled at IMD and the fantastic work they have accomplished.” Launched in 1997 as ImageMovers, the studio produced movies including the motion capture pictures The Polar Express and Beowulf, and was later renamed ImageMovers Digital when Disney acquired it in 2007.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Zagtoon, a unit of Univergroup, inks a co-production deal for its first series, Rosie (102×1) with French kid-targeted channel Gulli (Lagardere Active Group) and cable/satellite operator AB Group. The short-from series revolves around an outspoken, sassy and witty little pest, that teases everyone, particularly her neighbor Olive, and her imaginary best friend Blackie the sheep. The Rosie series was created by Raymond author Romain Gadiou. Jean-Michel Spiner’s 2Minutes animation studios will handle the production. Bahia Studios will oversee post-production. Rosie was initially introduced at Mipcom/MIPJunior 2009.
MORE KIDS STUFF
Disney XD US acquires the second season of the live0action comedy/drama Lockie Leonard from distributor The Australian Children’s Television Foundation. Produced by Goalpost Pictures, Disney XD plans to premiere Lockie Leonard in June 2010. The series is set in Western Australia and follows Lockie Leonard as he makes his way through love, caring for his quirky family, and working to make his way to surfing success as well as being a teenager. The TV series is based on the Lockie Leonard books by author Tim Winton.
CBBC premieres its very first in-house produced long-form 2D digitally animated series, Muddle Earth (13×11), which is based on author Paul Stewart and illustrator Chris Riddell’s eponymous kid’s novel, today at 3:50p on BBC One. Targeted to K6-9, Muddle Earth is considered a tongue in cheek nod to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The story revolves around a wizard named Randalf and his human apprentice, Newt, as they work to thwart the efforts of the evil Dr. Cuddles, an evil blue teddy bear. Directed by Vincent James and Tim Harper, the comedy/fantasy features the voice of esteemed actor Sir David Jason (Randalf), and music performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Muddle Earth is produced by Phil Chalk, with Rob Sprackling and John Smith serving as head writers. A second season (13×11) is currently in production for broadcast in September 2010.
In other CBBC news, Blue Peter‘s Mabel, the series’ Boarder Collie Cross dog, retires from the show after 14 long loyal years on the show as of Tuesday, March 30, 2010. The episode will feature a tribute to beautiful dog. Mabel was Blue Peter’s first rescue dog, initially featured on the show in January 1996, and officially joining the series a month later. The popular Mabel is the second longest-serving dog on the CBBC show after Petra, who appeared on the series for 15 years from 1962-77. Mabel will spend her retirement living at home with a former member of the production team.
National Wildlife Federation‘s (NWF) first preschool TV series, Wild Animals Baby Explorers (26×30 or 52×13), is set to premiere on Public TV stations in fall 2010 (check local listings), presented by WETA, Washington DC. NWF will officially introduce the series at MIPTV in Cannes next month. Based on NWF’s preschool magazine, Wild Animal Baby, and DVD series, the series features a mix of 3D animated characters and HD live-action footage and is produced by NWF and Xing Xing Digital Corp. NWF is a US-based conversation organization that focuses on educating kids about wildlife and their habitats and publishes other magazines including Ranger Rick and your Big Backyard. ( www.nwf.org/kids ).
PGS Entertainment is tapped to represent Studio Hari‘s (The Owl) CGI animated short-form series The Gees for worldwide distribution in TV, home video, licensing and merchandising, per World Screen. Co-produced by Gulli (France), The Gees follows a group of friendly and endless inquisitive extraterrestrials that make a visit to Earth to experience everything the planet has to offer. PGS Entertainment will introduce The Gees next month at MIPTV.
Program Call: Cynopsis Media will be producing our annual MIPTV Shopping Guide sent to all Cynopsis subscribers on Thursday, April 8, the week before MIPTV 2010 in Cannes. If your company is exhibiting and you’d like to have your programming included, please send us only the following info for your top 5 shows: title, availability date, number of episodes, length, type (i.e., movie, series, special, etc.), genre and your terms (barter, cash, etc.) as well as your company’s stand/booth location. To be included in this free and highly-viewed special edition, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Thursday, April 1, 2010. A confirmation email will be sent following each submission (if you don’t get the confirmation, please resubmit).
Emily the Strange served as a Gold Level sponsor for the AllyKatzz Tween Town Hall Meeting over this last weekend. Targeted to tween girls 8-14, the daylong event was held at UCLA’s Hall of Fame and designed as place for tween girls to learn about taking action and make a difference in the world. The deal was set by the Gator Group.
Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; March 12-14, 2010:
Alice in Wonderland (2010) (Buena Vista) PG 2 $62.0m-wk total $208.6m
Remember Me (Summit Entertainment) PG-13 Opening Weekend $8.3m
Our Family Wedding (Fox Searchlight) PG-13 Opening Weekend $7.6m
Avatar (Fox) PG-13 $6.6m-13 wk total $730.3m
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Fox) PG $3.1m-5 wk total $82.3m
The Blind Side (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $1.6m-17 wk total $252.7m
Valentine’s Day (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $1.5m-5 wk total $108.9m
The Ghost Writer (Summit Entertainment) PG-13 $1.2m-4 wk total $4.3m
Dear John (Sony/Screen Gems) PG-13 $1.0m-6 wk total $78.5m
Tooth Fairy (Fox) PG $700,000-8 wk total $57.3m
Source: Rentrak ( www.rentrak.com )
Jacqueline Tordjman and Jeremy Zag creators/directors of Zagtoon (Rosie) is launching a licensing division. Zagtoon is partnering with Sylver Amouyal, founder/CEO of French merchandising company SPEL and Amouyal’s long-term business partner Roland Belility, to serve as c0-directors of the new international licensing division and brand management operations from Paris. Zagtoon ( www.sagtoon.com ) is a kid/edutainment-centric subsidiary of media holding company Univergroup.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Beginning March 24, a 5-part, 8-week Cyn opsis Media Special Series
Publishing to the entire Cyn opsis Media Audience, Upfront 2010 will provide an in-depth look at the 2010 Upfront selling season, by category, from both the Buyer and Seller perspectives.
Upfront 2010 Special Edition Schedule is:
Kids! - March 24, Cable - April 7,
Syndication - April 21, Spanish Language – May 5, Broadcast - May 19
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: Who is Farfel and what were the TWO products he hawked? FARFEL THE DOG PUPPET FOR NESTLE’S CHOOOOOOOCOLATE AND TEXACO Kudos to: Brett Ashy-The Ashy Agency/LA
Today’s Trivia Question: This character’s main target was a black male cat with a white stripe, mistaken for a skunk. Who is the cat’s pursuer? (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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