Good morning. It’s Monday, March 1, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
CBBC orders a second season of its series Tracy Beaker Returns, starring Dani Harmer as a teen living in foster care, which will be produced in Newcastle for air in 2011. Additionally, Harmer will team with CBBC’s Newsround for a special, The Real Tracy Beaker, also for 2011. The Newsround Special will follow Harmer across the country as she investigates what life is like for real kids living in foster homes. Tracy Beaker Returns launched on CBBC in January 2010, the series is also available for download on BBC iPlayer. Created by kid’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson and CBBC, the series is a CBBC Production.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Director RJ Cutler, best known for his documentaries The September Issue and The War Room, is set to direct The Au Pairs for Warner Bros, per Deadline Hollywood. Based on the first book in Melissa de la Cruz’s young adult four-book series, The Au Pairs, the movie is being produced by Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen of Flower Films and Les Morgenstein and Bob Levy from Alloy Entertainment. The Au Pairs is set in the Hamptons and revolves around three teen girls from very different backgrounds that are hired by a wealthy family to look after their kids for the summer. In addition to their baby-sitting responsibilities, the three girls are also dealing with a whole new kind of social life. The other titles in The Au Pairs series are Skinny Dipping, Sun-Kissed and Crazy Hot.
Taylor Lautner (The Twilight Saga) has backed out of starring in Paramount‘s movie adaptation of Mattel‘s Max Steel, per Vulture. The report says Lautner is dropping out of Mattel’s Steel movie to focus his energies on his role in Universal‘s movie version of Hasbro‘s Stretch Armstrong. Stretch is set for release in 2012.
Disney signs writers David Posamentier and Geoffe Moore to adapt Clete Barrett Smith’s soon-to-be published Grandma’s Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast young adult book series for the big screen, according to Variety. The studio acquired the rights to the planned three-book series last year. David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce the movie under their Mandeville Films and Television banner, which is based at Disney. While summering with his grandma, a boy discovers that her bed and breakfast is a vacation spot for aliens visiting Earth. There is no publishing deal in place as of yet for the Grandma’s Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast books.
MORE KIDS STUFF
Turner Entertainment Networks Asia acquires the rights to Japan’s animated fantasy/adventure series Deltora Quest (52×30) for Cartoon Network in Australia and New Zealand in a deal with DCI Los Angeles, the US-based production unit of Dentsu. Cartoon Network will debut the series in Australia and New Zealand beginning this April, which coincides with Scholastic‘s re-launch of Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest book series in both countries. Under the agreement Cartoon Network will also handle the free-to-air and broadband distribution, as well as DVD and merchandising rights for the property in both territories.
Judobaby Inc. to develop family-targeted games for Nintendo Wii and other gaming platforms. Judobaby’s first game will be released this year, with discussions underway for a live-action movie tie-in. The recently launched privately funded company was formed by video game veterans including Dan Mueller as President and CEO, Richard Anderson serving as CTO, and Ben Harrison as Art Director. Mueller previously toiled for 15-years each for Sony Computer Entertainment. A, programming veteran Anderson also worked for Sony Computer Entertainment as well as SEGA and other game developers. Harrison has worked on a range of games including the Tomb Raider series.
Chapman Entertainment‘s Fifi and the Flowertots enters into a partnership with the British Science Association to support National Science and Engineering Week in the UK, March 12-21 2010. Chapman has created preschool-targeted materials featuring Fifi as the ambassador for the special week’s campaign called ‘What on Earth‘, which encourages young kids to get outside and discover their natural surroundings by taking photos of wildlife they don’t recognize and upload it to www.whatonearth.org.uk . Downloadable ‘What on Earth’ materials will be available via www.britishscienceassociation.org and www.fifiandtheflowertots.com leading up to National Science and Engineering Week.
Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; February 26-28, 2010:
Avatar (Fox) PG-13 $14.0m-11 wk total $706.9m
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Fox) PG $9.8m-3 wk total $71.2m
Valentine’s Day (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $9.5m-3 wk total $100.4m
Dear John (Sony/Screen Gems) PG-13 $5.0m-4 wk total $72.6m
Tooth Fairy (Fox) PG $3.5m-6 wk total $53.9m
The Blind Side (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $1.3m-15 wk total $248.8m
When in Rome (Buena Vista) PG-13 $1.0m-5 wk total $30.9m
My Name Is Khan (Fox Searchlight) PG-13 $254,319 3 wk total $3.6m
The Young Victoria (Apparition) PG $220,712-11 wk total 10.1m
The Lovely Bones (Paramount (DreamWorks)) PG-13 $146,000-12 wk total $43.6m
Source: Rentrak ( www.rentrak.com )
Essay Call: In an ongoing effort to support and protect our national parks, Merrell, the outdoor footwear company, and National Park Foundation launch the third annual Junior Ranger Essay Contest. Kids 9-12 are invited to write a 500-word essay answering the questions, If you were a National park Ranger for a day, how would you describe the national parks to someone who’s never been there before? The deadline for entries is March 31, 2010. Further information can be found at www.nationalparks.org/connect/essay-contest/ .
Public relations veteran Rob Antonette sets up his own company, R. Antonette Communications, which focuses on family and parenting brands as well as green marketing and corporate social responsibility campaigns. He previously worked at GolinHarris and held director roles at Mattel and ConAgra Foods. He has worked on PR accounts for a range of kid and family centric companies and projects including for Disney, Nestle, Playmates Toys, Cold Stone Creamery and Magellan GPS.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: He was the 1970s mascot of the US Forest Service encouraging children to Give a Hoot! Don’t Pollute! What was his name? WOODSY THE OWL Kudos to: Jennifer Liang-Handmade Kids/NY; Julie Stowell-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury; Danielle Larson-Hasbro/Pawtucket; Ellen Wall-Disney FamilyFun/Northampton; John Burshtan-Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin/Denver; Rosemary Cunningham-Cox Reps/Chicago; Katrina Cicala-Prairie Home Prods/St. Paul; Robert Ramirez-Oddbot Inc/LA; Dawn Hershey-Dawn Hershey Casting/Burbank; Frederick Levy-Management 101/LA; Anthony Dente-Dream Pictures/Studio City; Lee Williams-Boomstone Ent/Ottawa
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