Good morning. It’s Thursday, August 26, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
BBC Worldwide Sales & Distribution finalizes its first digital content deal in China with online video portal Sohu.com ( www.sohu.com ), which will see kids, educational programming, and drama licensed over two years. The deal was unveiled at BBC Showcase China in Beijing. For kids, the digital deal includes episodes of Teletubbies and Fimbles. On the drama side are adaptations of British literature titles including David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Vanity Fair, Great Expectations and Tale of Two Cities, while factual programming includes series such as Planet Earth, Wild Europe, The Human Body, Human Instinct and Space Odyssey Voyage to the Planets.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Mondo TV, an animation producer/distributor, signs a US$6.7 million production pact with Visual Picnic and Licensing Works to produce the 2D animated preschool series, Playtime Buddies (52×13). Produced in HD, Playtime Buddies will be showcased at MipJunior this October 2-3, 2010. Mondo TV will head production and worldwide TV and home video distribution, and has also been named licensing agent for the property in Italy. MEG Toys has been granted the master toy license worldwide and distribute toys based on the series following its debut in each territory. Visual Picnic owns the property, which was created by Erik DePrince. Licensing Works represents the worldwide licensing and merchandising rights for Playtime Buddies.
MORE KIDS STUFF
- Based on MAD magazine, the brand new animated series, MAD, debuts Monday, September 6 at 8:30p. From Warner Bros. Animation, MAD features many of the same great irreverence that many know from the magazine. The original series brings mash-up parodies to life including, CSiCarly, Avaturds and Toys4Brats, as well as classics from MAD magazine such as Spy vs. Spy, Alfred E. Neuman, and cartoons by Sergio Aragones and the late Don Martin.
- The new original animated series, Regular Show, features best pals Mordecai (a six-foot tall blue jay) and Rigby (a hyper raccoon), who together are groundskeepers at a park owned by Pops, a human-looking lollipop. Work is pretty boring for the friends and they do most anything to avoid it, which doesn’t please their boss Benson, who happens to be an anthropomorphized gumball machine. The series created by J.G. Quintel (who also voices Mordecai) and produced at Cartoon Network Studios.
Radio Disney will debut the third season of N.B.T. (Next Big Thing), a daily multiplatform feature that focuses on up and coming young recording artists, on Wednesday September 15. Over the course of 10 weeks (a new artist every two weeks), Radio Disney and Disney Channel will invite fans to look, listen and vote for their favorite artist via RadioDisney.com or text “NBT” to Disney. The winner will have their singled released by Disney Music Group and open for Allstar Weekend special holiday performance. Each artist will have their single on the Radio Disney playlist, ad be featured in interviews on the network, while Disney Channel will feature a preview of each artist and offer a sample of the music in interstitials hosted by Radio Disney talent Jake Whetter. Additionally, two songs, video, bios and photos of each artist will be featured on RadioDisney.com ( www.radiodisney.com ). Videos can also be found on Disney.com, the N.B.T. mobile website ( http://radiodisney.mobi/nbt), and Radio Disney’s YouTube Channel.
CBeebies (UK) acquires Uki (52×2), the first preschool animated series developed by record label Universal Music UK. The series will debut on CBeebies early next month as part of the channel’s Show Me Show Me program. Universal Music UK will handle licensing for the series. Created by Patrick Busschots and Peter Decraene of Universal Music’s Belgium office, the series revolves around the daily adventures of Uki ( www.ukiland.com ), a happy little yellow character with endless curiosity and sense of fun, and his friends. Already picked up in a number of countries, Uki is currently airing in Belgium on kid’s channels Ketnet and Club RTL, with books, DVDs, greeting cards and plush toys set to be available there from October. BBC Worldwide will offer Uki at MipJunior this year. Uki was the winning project in the Pitch It award at the 2008 Kidscreen Summit.
MarVista Entertainment acquires the worldwide distribution rights for the feature film Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure, which is based on Lois Leppard’s kid-targeted book of the same name, from Lost World Pictures. Under the original previously announced pact, MarVista picked up the global rights to license the first movie in the series, Mandie and the Secret Tunnel, with an option for the next four movies. MarVista will showcase Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure, as well as the first movie, at Mipcom this fall. Set in the early 1900s, there are 40+ titles in Leppard’s Mandie book series. Produced and directed by Lost World’s Owen Smith and Joy Chapman, also the rights owners, Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure stars TV/screen/stage actor Dean Jones (The Love Bug, That Darn Cat and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Company), Lexi Johnson (Sugar Creek Gang) and William Yelton (Hounddog, John Adams, One Tree Hill).
Aardman Rights, Aardman Animation’s distribution arm, completes an all rights exclusive rights deal with China’s U’young Media for its series Shaun the Sheep (seasons 1 and 2, 80×7) and Timmy Time (seasons 1,2 and 3, 78×10). Under the exclusive deal, U’young will manage DVD, toy and publishing rights for bother series, which are set to launch in spring 2011, beginning with a Shaun the Sheep merchandising program. Shaun the Sheep launched in primetime on China’s state broadcaster CCTV-Children earlier this month.
Thailand’s True Visions acquires two series, the tween-targeted Heads Up! (26×30) and kid-aimed Spellz (52×15), from Portfolio International, per WorldScreen.
My Family TV ( www.myfamilytv.tv ), a unit of ValCom, inks a programming/distribution deal with R&R TV ( www.rrtv.com ), a division of Next One Interactive. Under the pact, My Family TV will provide R&R TV with 40-hours per month of family-friendly TV programming, while My Family TV will offer a weekly block of travel and lifestyle programming from R&R TV. My Family TV is distributed via a network of 90 affiliated stations. R&R TV is available to 30 million homes via deals with DirecTV, Comcast, Cox and other broadcast TV stations.
MTV Networks International (MTVNi) inks new deals and renews existing deals in South America and Europe for Nickelodeon’s animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.
- The newest episodes of SpongeBob, which are part of block deals and programming renewals, have been signed with Teleamazonas (Ecuador), Teledoce (Uruguay), Teletica (Costa Rica), Antena Latina (Dominican Republic), and Artear (Argentina).
- SpongeBob SquarePants will also air in Honduras as part of the Nickelodeon programming block deal with TV Hondurena, and under a similar deal with Venevision (Venezuela).
- Signing on for SpongeBob in Europe are TVi (Portugal), RSI (Switzerland) and Mediaset (Italy), via Cattleya. Additionally, B92 (Serbia) signs on for more episodes of the series.
Kidz Bop and publisher Adams Media partner to launch a young adult book line based on the Kidz Bop music brand. Targeted to K5-12, the books will feature both fiction and nonfiction titles, including a fill-in-the-blanks story, junior novelization focusing on the Kidz Bop kids, and a guide to starting a band. Each Kidz Bop book will come with a special code that can be entered to redeem a free Kidz Bop mp3 music download. The first three book titles ($5-$9) are set to release in May 2011. The titles will release in paper and eBook form simultaneously. Additionally, online registered Kidz Bop users will be invited to vote on story lines, upload original videos for eBook inclusion, and access bonus promotional content.
The first fashion products from Nickelodeon Consumer Products EMEA‘s SpongeBob by SpongeBob brand are set to release at retail across Europe. Targeted to teens and adult, the line includes t-shirts, vests, hoodies, combats, nightwear and underwear and bags. SpongeBob by SpongeBob licensees and products include:
- In Italy, Fashion and Building debuts SpongeBob t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts and hoodies ($46-$89).
- France’s fashion and accessories company Corner and Alpa’s Paris-based supplier R-Town introduces a limited edition high-end luggage collection ($125-$315). The luggage will be available at retailers including Colette.
- In Germany, Giesswein Iberica signs on for a line of Wellington (rubber) boots and slippers the deal runs through 2012. The rubber boots will be available in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, France, Italy, the UK, and Benelux.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: Who am I? I drive a Mach 5 with buttons on the steering wheel to adjust road tracking, move obstacles out of my way, transform the car into something else completely. Who am I? SPEED RACER Kudos to: Ellen Wall-Disney FamilyFun/Northampton; Dan Werther-Sorbee Int’l/EDT; John Grossman-Cartoon Network/NY; Mike Doyle-Spot on Media Consultants/Madison; Rosemary Cunningham-MMT/Chicago; Kat Garcia-Davis Public Relations/PDT; Richard Quan-Butler Shine Stern Partners/San Francisco
Today’s Trivia Question: This modified 1955 Lincoln Futura with afterburner, cool lights and gadgets, and bubble-like windshield. Who owns this car? (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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