Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Thursday, August 30, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.

Nickelodeon appoints Russell Hicks to the newly created position of President/Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon Group. A 14-year Nickelodeon veteran, Hicks, who had served as Chief Creative Officer for the last four years, will be based at Nickelodeon’s Burbank and Santa Monica officers and will continue to report to Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Group. In his new role, Hicks will head up all live-action, animation development and production teams for all of Nickelodeon’s content platforms. Also taking on new titles are Margie Cohn will now serve as President/Content Development, Nickelodeon, working across live-action, animation and digital and Paula Kaplan, who takes on the position of EVP/Current Series, both will report directly to Hicks. Also reporting into Hicks are Teri Weiss, EVP/Nickelodeon Preschool Development and Production, Alison Dexter, EVP/Nickelodeon Productions, Rich Magallanes, SVP/Animation, Current Series, and Keith Dawkins, SVP and GM for the Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick channels. Brown Johnson, who was President of Animation since 2008, will exit the company to pursue her own creative projects. In addition to overseeing Nickelodeon’s relationships with DreamWorks Animation and the new CG animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle series, Johnson was the driving force behind the network’s game changing preschool programming including Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer. Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Hicks was VP/Marketing, Cartoon Network/Turner brands for Warner Bros., where he led marketing and creative for Scooby Doo and the Powerpuff Girls.


The Jim Henson Company extends its licensing partnership with Tomy International (f/k/a RC2/Learning Curve Brands), as it appoints Tomy as the global master toy licensee for its Pajanimals brand. Tomy International has been serving as The Jim Henson Company’s US master toy licensing partner in October 2011. Under the new multi-year pact, Tomy International will develop a range of Pajanimals toys and juvenile products for the global marketplace, some of which will replicate its US product line. Tomy is currently developing Pajanimals products and merchandise for the international market including 9-inch and 15-inch plush toys based on each of the series’ four main characters, nighttime projectors, monitors, nightlights and a Snuggle Up Story Mat to help kids transition to nap time. Tomy plans to debut the first Pajanimals products, the plush and Snuggle Up Story Mat, in the US in October 2012 — the product lines will also debut in fall 2012 in Australia. The broader line will roll out in both the US and in Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Canada in 2013. Produced in Northern Ireland, Pajanimals is as a co-production between The Jim Henson Company, Sprout and Northern Ireland’s Sixteen South Television. The series has received funding assistance from Northern Ireland Screen.

The Collective announces new license deals have been sliced up for Annoying Orange, which became popular on YouTube and now has a series on Cartoon Network. Signing on as new Annoying Orange licensees are Calendar Holdings (calendars) and Scorpio Posters (posters). The new deals were brokered on behalf of The Collective by The Joester Loria Group (TJLG), the licensing agent for the Annoying Orange brand. Specifically, Scorpio Posters is creating and releasing a line of Annoying Orange posters in various sizes and print formats, including flocked and black light, which will be available at Toys “R” Us, Spencers and, among other retailers (brick and mortar and online) for fall 2012. Calendar Holdings will create Annoying Orange calendars, beginning with a 2013 monthly calendar debuting fall 2012. The calendars will be available at Go! Calendars mall stores and other specialty and indie retailers as well as on their web site,

Battle Ant, a plush licensee, signs on to produce a new line of plushes based on the popular Hungry Shark app in the UK. Battle Ant will work with Hungry Shark licensor Future Games of London (FGOL) to develop and produce the new plush line based on the game app. Available for iOS and Android devices, FGOL regularly releases new Hungry Shark content, including Parts 1, 2 and 3, as well as a trio of all three games for iPad that can be connected to HDTV. Founded by Steve Manley, who worked on the initial short run solutions for the Crazy Frog, specifically focuses on games and gaming market.

ZeptoLab, UK-based parent company of the game app Cut the Rope, in partnership with Studio Licensing and Established Brands Licensing have inked new licensing deals for Cut the Rope in North America and specifically for Canada.

– New Cut the Rope licensees for North America include: AllStar Distributing (vending accessories); Color-a-Cookie (cookie decoration sets and pre-decorated cookies); Decopac, Inc. (cake decorations and kits); Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (amusement redemption games and merchandisers); Simply Natural Foods (fruit snacks, gummies and hard candy); Trends International (stationery  including bookmarks, calendars and posters)
– New Cut the Rope licensees for Canada: Leese Enterprises Int. (novelty candy and chocolate)


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AWARDS GALA: Spring 2013

Nomination Questions: Jenn Sredzinski | Ad/Sponsorship Info: Mike Farina.


Fans of the Alden kids, stars of The Boxcar Children Mysteries, penned by author Gertrude Chandler Warner, will be excited to know there is an animated DVD movie in the works in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the property. With 100+ titles in the series, and 50+ million copies in print, the classic story is being developed by animation studio Hammerhead Productions. The Boxcar book publisher Albert Whitman & Company along with Hammerhead Productions are also hosting a nationwide contest for K5-14 to win a chance for a small voice-over part in the animated DVD movie. Contest submissions are being accepted now through October 31st, 2012 at 12:59a, with one winner to be selected at random from all complete entries. To learning about entering the contest, which includes providing a brief answer to the question “What is your favorite scene from The Boxcar Children?”, fans can go to, where they can also check out the rules.


In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), Oh Noah! (, the K6-8 targeted web series that introduces kids to Spanish, will make its TV premiere in interstitials at the end of episodes of PBS Kids‘ popular math-centric K8-11 aimed series Cyberchase beginning Monday, September 17, 2012 on PBS Kids (check local listings). Produced by Thirteen in association with WNET (parent company of Thirteen and WLIW21 – both NY public TV stations, and operators of NJTV), the broadcast debut of Oh Noah! also coincides with the launch of the year-long 50th anniversary celebration of Thirteen, NY’s public media provider. In addition, new interactive and online content for both properties will launch this fall, including Oh Noah! introducing new videos and interactive games, with Cyberchase debuting its new content for slightly younger kids.

The Hub will premiere season three of its family-targeted game show Family Game Night, Sunday, September 23, at 7p. To support the new season debut, the network will host a seven-hour Best of Family Game Night Marathon, Friday, September 21, from 8p, which will feature episodes from the second season of the show. Family Game Night is produced by Hasbro Studios and Zoo Productions.

9 Story Entertainment completes sales of the kid-targeted animated comedy Wild Kratts, which features zoologist brothers, Chris and Martin Kratt, in their animated form as they travel the world on adventure and meet up with various animals. Chello Media acquires season 1 of Wild Kratts (40×22) for Eastern Europe (Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Moldova, Slovakia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia). Picking up the second season (26×22) of the animated series are MediaCorp PTE Ltd. (Singapore), TV3 Catalunya (Spain), Discovery Kids Latin America, Discovery Kids Asia, Noga (Israel) and Primetime (Columbia). Wild Kratts is a co-production between The Kratt Brothers Company and 9 Story Entertainment. The series is distributed internationally by 9 Story Entertainment and by Kratt Brothers Company in the US and Canada.


Bestseller Children’s Frontlist Fiction (top 10), Week of August 19, 2012: Title; Author (Publisher)
Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen; Richard Paul Evans (Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink)
Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries; Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books)
Nevermore; James Patterson (Little Brown and Company)
Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: An Origami Yoda Book; Tom Angleberger, Cece Bell-Illustrator (Amulet Books)
Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess; Rachel Renee Russell-author/illustrator (Aladdin Paperbacks)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever; Jeff Kinney (Abrams/Amulet)
Kill Order; James Dashner (Delacorte Press Books for Young readers)
Divergent; Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)
The Hunger Games; Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
Serpent’s Shadow; Rick Riordan (Hyperion)
Source: Publishers Weekly from information supplied by Nielsen BookScan


FremantleMedia appoints Thom Beers as CEO, FremantleMedia North America (FMNA). Currently CEO, Executive Producer and founder of FremantleMedia’s Original Productions, will be based in LA and report directly to Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia. He takes over the reins from Frot-Coutaz, who served as CEO FMNA until her recent promotion. In his new position, Beers will be responsible for management of the company, as well as overseeing the development, production and business operations of 600+ hours of TV programming. Beer’s executive team includes Donna Redier Linsk, FMNA’s COO, and Trish Kinane, President/Entertainment Programming – American Idol, The X Factor and America’s Got Talent. Beers and Original Productions are credited with the creation and production of series including Deadliest Catch, Black Gold, Ax Men, Monster Garage, 1,000 Ways to Die, Storage Wars, Ice Road Truckers, and Bering Sea Gold. FremantleMedia acquired a 75% stake in Original Productions in February 2009. Prior to Original Productions, Beers toiled for Turner Broadcasting for 11 years, as a production executive and series and specials producer, later serving in a similar position at Paramount syndicated TV in LA. Beers was also one of the creators and supervising producer of Turner’s animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers.


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL:          K2-11 877; K6-11 616; TWEENS 9-14 569
NICKELODEON° :            K2-11 705; K6-11 372; TWEENS 9-14 270
CARTOON NETWORK** : K2-11 570; K6-11 379; TWEENS 9-14 372
DISNEY XD:                  K2-11 206; K6-11 159; TWEENS 9-14 147
NICKTOONS:                 K2-11   78; K6-11   50; TWEENS 9-14 47
°Nickelodeon Total Day: Mon-Thurs 7a-8p; Fri 7a-9p; Sat 6a-10p; Sun 6a-8p
**Cartoon Network & Adult Swim share channel space ADSM airs Sat.-Thurs. 9p-6a
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data



Cynopsis Digital Video Measurement Summit
Monetizing Cross-Platform Video | November 14 | NYC

Content Is King, But Revenue Rules
Beyond Eyeballs: The Best Measures of Online Video
Content, Content Everywhere – Key Solutions to Audience Fragmentation
Building Brand Revenue With Strategic Metrics
Measuring Monetization: New Views on Original Content
Future Predictions and How to Measure Tomorrow’s Viewers


Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What character says, “Mission Completion!” in Little Einsteins? Leo. Kudos to: Squirrel Rippley-Dark Horse Media/Tucson.

Today’s Trivia Question: What title character works for The United Network for the Investigation of Quite Unusual Events? (Email 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.)

Later — Gwen
Gwen Billings for Cynopsis Kids!

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JOB OPENING: SALES ASST/Univision Network Sales/NY: Entry-level assist 2 sr mgrs w/admin & project-based wrk. Strong comm skills & strength w/numbers are a MUST. Eng/Span bilingual a +, Resume/cover letter: (9/12)

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JOB OPENING:  PROJECT MANAGER/Scholastic Digital/NYC: 3 years exp plan, develop and execute national digital programs including online advertising, web site strategy, and social media, mobile. Apply to NY8516 (9/7)

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JOB OPENING: MGR MARKETING/FX Network/LA: Develops & executes marketing campaigns across media formats. 3-5 yrs. exp marketing for TV. Social media & digital content exp req. (9/6)

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JOB OPENING: AD SALES MRKTG COORD’S/TRAVEL CHANNEL & FOOD NETWORK/NYC: 1-3 yrs exp; Detail oriented, creative thinking, knowledge of media/cable/creative process. – Req 3270 Travel / 3281 Food (9/1)

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JOB OPENING: DIR RESPONSE ACCT EXEC/ROVI/NYC: Leverage relationships with Direct Response (DR) clients & agencies to create new accts. 3-5 years of Media (TV, Cable, Digital, etc) More info/resume to: click here (8/31)

JOB OPENING: VP DEVELOPMENT & CURRENT PROGRAMMING/NBC UNIVERSAL/LA: Develop new series for Universal Cable Productions and oversee day-to-day on current series. Min. 4 yrs in TV development. Apply: (6772BR) (8/31)

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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Crown Media needs interns in our CORPORATE COMMUNICATION department in NY. Interns will get exposure in media outreach/placement, press kits & marketing. To apply send resumes to (9/7)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Crown Media needs interns in our PUBLICITY department in Studio City. Interns will get exposure in drafting press materials, media outreach, & event planning. To apply send resumes to (9/7)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Crown Media needs interns in our MARKETING department in Studio City. Interns will get exposure in network branding, script reading, media campaigns & promotions. To apply send resumes to (9/7)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Castle Pictures (NYC): seeks motivated, creative interns to assist with DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH and PRODUCTION on a new non-fiction series. Strong writing and people skills a +. Submit resume/cover letter to: (9/7)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Boston Productions, Inc. looking for interns to help with production, post-production, research, logging, and testing interactives. Must have car or reliable transportation. Email: (9/6)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: NY Multimedia co. seeks intern to assist in network post-production, programming and misc. projects. Min of 2 days/wk. Computer proficiency & sports interest a +. Email (9/6)

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