Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 28, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing. 

Michael Carrington is to leave his current post as Controller of BBC’s preschool channel CBeebies to join Turner Broadcasting as Chief Content Officer, Cartoon Network and its related channels in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).  Carrington takes over for Finn Arnesen who exited Cartoon Network at the end of last year.  Carrington will step down from his current role next month and take up his new position at Cartoon Network, where he’ll be responsible for original program development and production, co-productions and acquisitions, in April.  Carrington is credited with BBC Children’s programming successes such as Charlie and Lola and In the Night Garden among others.

S4C, the Welsh-language broadcaster, will launch new kid/teen aimed TV services and expanding its preschool service.  S4C will launch a new digital service targeted to kids/tweens this April 26, which will include programming on the weekends and weekday afternoon, and is also developing another new service aimed at teens 13+.  The broadcaster is also expanding its preschool service, Cyw (launched June 2008), to be available seven days a week for the first time.  Cyw currently airs just on weekdays.

Hong Kong-based Imagi International Holdings Limited, the parent company of Imagi Animation Studios (TMNT, Kung Fu Panda, Astro Boy, Gatchaman, among others), officially closed its US office in LA this week as part of its ongoing restructuring.  There were 30 staffers in the LA office, a few key members of which, along with some consultants, have been retained.  The company says, “certain work previously undertaken by the United States office will now be sourced through subcontracting arrangements.”  The company continues discussions with potential investors.  Imagi Animation let upwards of 100 animators go at the end of last year.


BBC Scotland begins production on Mission:2110 (13 episodes), a new sci-fi game show for CBBC, which plans to debut the show this spring.  Set in a post-apocalyptic setting, each episode a team of four contestants travels through time to Earth to restore stability.  The contestants go up against the Roboidz, intelligent towering cybernetic beings that rule the Earth.  The series is being shot on-location on container ships on Loch Striven in Argyll.  Mission:2110 features a back story created by writer Phil Ford (Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Adventures), and the voice of Lindsay Duncan (Doctor Who, Rome) as two characters.  Prosthetic/costume experts Millenium FX (Doctor Who, The Day Of The Triffids) are creating the Roboidz and Shades (humanoid slaves to the robots).


A new Groundhog Day-themed episode of math/science preschool series Peep and the Big Wide World will premiere on public television this Groundhog Day, February 2 (check local listings).  The full episode will be available on the Peep and the Big Wide World website, which also offers a range of interactive games, from February 1-8, 2010.  Narrated by Joan Cusack, the series is produced by WGBH Boston and 9 Story Entertainment.

NYC-based Little Airplane Productions has partnered with the YMCA of Greater New York to produce a series of four family-centric public service announcements (PSA).  Featuring actress Marcia Gay Harden, the goal of the PSAs is to support parents and their efforts of raising healthy families and encourage family togetherness.  The spots are set to air in NYC in February 2010.  Harden has served as a spokesperson for the YMCA of Great New York since 2006.

E1 Entertainment inks pay TV rights deals in Latin America for several of its youth-targeted titles:  Cartoon Network acquires the tween comedy Majority Rules (26×30); HBO Ole picks up the sci-fi series Stormworld (26×30), which is set to premiere on March 10, 2010; while Discovery takes two non-kid/tween targeted lifestyle series Remedy Me (13×30) and Skin Deep (52×30).

Technicolor (f/k/a Thomson) acquires DreamWorks Animation‘s share of the India-based animation studio Paprikaas to become its sole owner, per Variety.  Paprikaas has produced CG animated TV specials including The Penguins of Madagascar and Merry Madagascar, as well as the upcoming direct-to-DVD Scared Shrekless.  Technicolor and DreamWorks partnered to develop animated content in India back in December 2007.  At a meeting yesterday, shareholders voted to officially change the name of Thomson to Technicolor, as well as approving a restructuring plan.


United Media has partnered with Ed Emberley LLC, to broaden Emberley’s well-known How to Draw kid’s book series beyond publishing and with Changes Apparel to extend it’s art-inspired Pet Project apparel brand to other key categories.

BBC Worldwide signs five new licensing deals for its new preschool series ZingZillas (52×22), a CBeebies commission.  These agreements follow the recent appointment of Vivid Imaginations as the master toy licensee for the music filled series, which it plans to launch in fall/winter 2010.  BBC Worldwide holds global distribution rights for TV, merchandise, DVD and publishing.

  • Aykroyds and TDP Licensing sign on to produce a range of nightwear and underwear.  The initial products will be available from fall/winter 2010, with the full rollout set for spring/summer 2011.
  • Smith and Brooks will develop kid’s outerwear for the ZingZillas brand
  • Christy’s will produce a range of dress-up items, based on the show’s primate characters.
  • H&A picks up the license to produce toiletries (e.g. bath toys, soaps and bathroom accessories).
  • Pyramid will produce posters based on the series.


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1061; K6-11 438; TWEENS 9-14 289
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11   949; K6-11 530; TWEENS 9-14 414
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   549; K6-11 319; TWEENS 9-14 222
DISNEY XD:               K2-11   147; K6-11   94; TWEENS 9-14   77
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia:   The Tipton Hotel is home to whom?  THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACH AND CODY  Kudos to: Mark Jeffers-MAR$AR Sports & Entertainment/Bedford Hills; Jacki Zix-Macy’s/NY; Cheryl Delaney-ABC Kids Networks/NY; Christine Ferrara-WSBK WBZ/Boston; Meredith Wayne-CoxReps/NY; Heather Floore-KDAF/Dallas; Rosemary Cunningham-Cox Reps/Chicago; Barb Throm-SmartMedia/St. Louis; Squirrel Rippley-Dark Horse Media/Tucson; Cecilia Nguyen-Disney Channels Worldwide/Burbank; Katharine Heintz, PhD/Los Gatos; Patrick Rieger/Burbank; Pat Brady-CESD/LA; Lori Heiss-News International/London

Today’s Trivia Question:  Cherie was what title character’s best friend?   (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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SITUATION WANTED: SUPERVISING PRODUCER/SHOW RUNNER (LA/NYC) 7 years of network TV incl. live daytime, entertainment news, docudrama, competition reality & travel/food. Extensive exp. w/ camera, field, studio & post. (1/30)

SITUATION WANTED: Dedicated & Experienced ADV. SALES PLANNER. Sales proposals, resolving client discrepancies, quarterly post analysis, special sales service projects, expert computer skills. Contact-  (1/29)

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