Good morning. It’s Monday, March 4, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.
Should I stay or should I go? The Walt Disney Co. is mulling that very question regarding its co-ownership of online video site Hulu. Disney and News Corp., which each owns about one-third of Hulu, are at odds over the future direction of the company; their differences have become more pronounced since early January when Hulu CEO Jason Kilar announced he’ll be leaving the company. Reportedly on the table is a scenario where one would buy out the other’s shares, or both potentially could sell to a third party. Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal owns the majority of the other third of Hulu but is precluded from voting its stake in company decisions due to requirements set as part of the Comcast-NBCU merger a few years ago.
What’s the Beef? Disney supports a free, advertiser-supported model similar to YouTube, while News Corp. backs a subscription-based service. Currently Hulu offers both–a free service and its Hulu subscription service, which has more than 3 million subscribers. Hulu, which launched in 2007, reported revenue of $700 million last year.
The Hub will air the third and final season of CG-animated series Transformers Prime Beast Hunters, from Hasbro Studios, on March 22. The new season debut will be preceded by a four-hour marathon of back-to-back episodes from the series’ second season.
Vancouver, Canada-based Slap Happy Cartoons will start producing animated shorts to air on British Columbia’s Knowledge Network. The shorts will feature quirky Slap Happy characters Luna, Chip and Inkie, who learn primarily through play.
In the you-can’t-make-these-things-up department, Disney this weekend wrapped its monthlong Phineas and Ferb-erated celebration in honor of National Platypus Day, March 2. To honor of the show’s resident platypus Perry, Disney enlisted the Good Morning America on-air team to sing a Perry cult-favorite song, premiered the song on Radio Disney and aired a complementary music video on Disney Channel, plus showed the series’ flagship episode and hosted P&F marathons on both Disney Channel and Disney XD.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
REGISTER Leveraging the Second Screen in the New Kids Market
March 14 ~ 1:30-3:00pm ET ~ $295/site
Elie Dekel President [Saban Brands] & Co-President [Vortexx]
Stacy Isenhower SVP, Programming & Scheduling [Cartoon Network]
Anne Richards Creative Director [No Crusts Interactive]
Inside the Beltway
The White House’s current focus on gun control does not go far enough to address the country’s gun violence, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), said late last week during hearings in the House. Urging President Obama to involve the media more in the solution, Wolf did not limit his comments to gaming. “I’m not naive enough to think that video game violence is the only issue here,” he said. “We need to have an honest discussion about media violence–TV, movies and video games.” Wolf chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the National Science Foundation, which compiled a report on the effects of violence and the media in the wake of the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Mass.
His comments came the day after television and film trade organizations launched a campaign aimed at helping parents manage media viewing. Wolf called the current ratings systems “confusing.”
Meanwhile in the Senate, Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-N.Y.) committed to studying the impact of indecent media on children as one of his top priorities in the new Congress. The Senator already reintroduced his Violent Content Research Act in January.
More Kids News
Got a great idea for teen programming? As part of its Tell-A-Vision exhibit at the SXSW Interactive Festival March 10-11 in Austin, Texas, Warner Bros. is offering attendees the chance to pitch original ideas for a digital series to its CW Network’s digital studio, CWD. Attendees can make an original on-camera pitch; execs will select one winner to travel to L.A. to pitch their idea in person.
The Parents Television Council was less than amused by Seth MacFarlane’s Oscar antics. In an online petition launched Friday that calls out MacFarlane for making demeaning comments about women and minorities, anti-Semitic remarks and more, the PTC is seeking to ensure the actor/comedian is never invited to host again. The organization also posted several Oscar-night MacFarlane clips on its web, labeling them with descriptors including “sexist” and “orgy.” We don’t think they need to lose much sleep–Macfarlane tweeted the morning after the show he would never host again.
By The Numbers
CORRECTION: Cartoon Network ranked No. 3 in the Monthly Preliminary Basic Cable Network Rankings for February 2013 (1/28/2013 – 2/24/2013) in Total Day for both K2-11 and K6-11. Cartoon scored a Total Day (000) of 506 for K2-11, and 330 for K6-11, according to Nielsen data. Cynopsis Kids! inadvertently left Cartoon off our grid in last Friday’s issue, and we regret the error.
Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for March 1-3, 2013:
Snitch (Lionsgate) PG-13 $7.7 million (weekend) $24.4 million (2-week cume)
Escape From Planet Earth (The Weinstein Co.) PG $6.73 million (weekend) $43.21 million (3-week cume)
Safe Haven (Relativity Media) PG-13 $6.3 million (weekend) $57.1 million (3-week cume)
Warm Bodies (Lionsgate) PG-13 $2.65 million (weekend) $62 million (5-week cume)
Life of Pi (20th Century Fox) PG $2.3 million (weekend) $116.94 million (16-week cume)
Lincoln (Disney) PG-13 $1 million (weekend) $180.1 million (17-week cume)
Beautiful Creatures (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $923,000 (weekend) $18.53 million (3-week cume)
Les Miserables (Universal) PG-13 $559,680 (weekend) $147.62 million (10-week cume)
Amour (Sony Pictures) PG-13 $522,283 (weekend) $5.92 million (11-week cume)
Jack Reacher (Disney) PG-13 $184,000 (weekend) $79.68 million (18-week cume)
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Deadline: March 8, 2013
Awards Ceremony: June 4, 2013 (Yale Club NY)
Answer to Last Week’s Trivia Question: Forsythe Pendleton Jones lll is better known as…? Jughead Jones form the Archies. Kudos to: Jeffrey Grant-Turner Research/Atlanta; Richard Oren-Getty Images/NY; Pat Brady-CESD/LA; Jimmy Huynh-Toon Goggles, Inc/LA; Anand Roy-The Walt Disney Company/Mumbai India.
Today’s Trivia Question: What cartoon, accompanied by a collectible card game, became a huge hit in Japan in 1998? (Email email@example.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)
Cheers — Cathy
Cathy@cynopsis.com for Cynopsis Kids!
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