Thursday, June 9th, 2011


Original live action series like
Pair of Kings and Zeke and Luther
are the driving force behind our huge success –
both achieved Series and Time Period highs in May.

Catch our newest live action series Kickin’ It
premiering on June 13, for the next sweeping hit!

Contact us to learn how you can be kickin’ it with kids!
SOURCE: Nielsen Media Research. Click here for the full source data.

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Thursday, June 9, 2011, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing. 

France Televisions and Marathon Media are partnering to develop Ethan’s Island (26×30), a new mixed live-action 3D animated series.  A youth-targeted series, Ethan’s Island will feature live actors in an animated world (including animated characters).  The story revolves around a humorous class between a human family and the island’s animal community, which has its own codes and way of life.  France Televisions is co-producing the pilot with Marathon Media, using a technique developed by the Paris-based animation studio and previously used on a TV series.  Marathon Media is part of the Zodiak Media Group.

Shane Acker  (the animated movie 9) is “all aboard” to direct the live-action family feature film based on the world of HIT Entertainment‘s Thomas the Tank Engine.  Set in the Island of Sodor, the home of Thomas, the fantasy/adventure movie will be driven by a creative team including Weta Workshop (The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, King Kong, the company also provided design and effects for Avatar, The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and District 9 to name a few) and Mattel’s entertainment properties design team.  Acker will direct the movie from a script by Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb (Alvin and the Chipmunks, among others), and Josh Klausner (Shrek the Third, Date Night). Julia Pistor (Charlotte’s Web, Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events) is producing the movie.  Cinetic Media and UTA’s Independent Film Group are working with HIT on the finance and distribution plan for the picture.

San Francisco-based The Juno Company enters into a deal with Toronto’s CCI Entertainment to help develop and to produce a new TV series based on the music education-centric Juno property.  Under the deal, CCI Entertainment will be responsible for financing the production and its worldwide distribution, which includes a broadcast strategy and rollout.   Founded by mom/composer Belinda Takahashi, Ph.D., The Juno Company’s mission is to inspire a lifelong love/appreciation for music in kids.  The company is known for its Juno Baby and Juno Jr. product lines, which feature DVDs, CDs, books, digital apps, toys and apparel.

Universal Pictures and Cepia, maker of ZhuZhu Pets, enter into a worldwide rights and home entertainment deal for two feature-length, 3D animated direct to DVD movies, Quest for Zhu and Power of Zhu, which will release in 2011 and 2012, respectively.  Cepia is teaming up with LA-based Moonscoop (Jakers, Clifford, The Big Red Dog, Chloe’s Closet) and writer Sean Catherine Derek (Smurfs, Spiderman and Mortal Combat) and 3D animation studio Prana Animation Studios (Tron: Legacy, Tinker Bell) to bring the “Zhu-niverse” to life in 3D stereoscopic animation.  Both movies will star the four original ZhuZhu Pets characters  for the uninitiated that would be Pipsqueak!, Mr Squiggles!, NumNums! and Chunk!


The Hub will celebrate Dads with the Freedom Fighters Father’s Day Marathon, Sunday, June 19, 1p-8p.  The marathon will feature episodes of GI Joe Real American Hero and GI Joe Renegades, during which military style file cards will pop-up on screen with little known facts and trivia about the series and franchise.  Additionally, kids and Dads can take part in polls online at .

First Lady Michelle Obama will make an appearance on an upcoming episode of Nickelodeon‘s live-action series iCarly, the network confirms.  Mrs. Obama’s appearance will support Joining Forces ( ), an effort designed to support for military families.  In the series Carly’s dad is a colonel currently serving overseas  and the episode has her friends working around the system so Carly can have a web chat with her dad on his birthday, per the AP.  After finding out about the chat the first lady “comes to have a chat with them in the most positive way possible,” explains Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon president, in the article.

Scholastic Media‘s WordGirl series will help beat the summer learning slump and the heat with a weeklong programming event, WordGirl’s Ludicrously Literate Library Week, July 11-15 on PBS Kids Go! (check local listings).  The programming event will see WordGirl go up against familiar vocabulary villains in episodes that focus on books and reading.  In support of this programming event, a new area will debut on ( that invites fans to answer a WordGirl trivia question and unlock her secret spaceship hideout to access exclusive content.  Scholastic, PBS Kids and iVillage recently launched an effort to keep kids reading over the summer months, which includes two summer reading challenges, the Scholastic Summer Challenge and the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge (both are available via

m4e completes new TV rights and licensing deals for the mixed live-action/CG animated series Mia and me.  From Lucky Punch, a joint venture between m4e and Gerd Hahn, Mia and me is a co-production with Rainbow and March Entertainment.  Picking up the series are Canal+/Teletoon (France), TVI (Portugal) and E-Vision (United Arab Emirates).  Egmont signs on for a broad publishing program for the property, by Panini (stickers and albums and a monthly print magazine, Panini Kids (DVDs), and Schmidt Spiele (board games and puzzles).  Production on the first season (26 episodes) of Mia and me will be completed by fall 2011, with a second season (26 episodes) already in production.  The series is slated to launch in spring 2012.  International distribution is being handled by m4e as well as via its subsidiary Telescreen and co-production partner Rainbow.

BabyTV enters into new licensing partnerships for home video and other consumer products categories in EMEA, Latin America and Australia and New Zealand.  Five new BabyTV home video licensee partnerships include My First Years Library DVD with Noviy Disk (Russia), Viva Entertainment (Middle East), Next Music Pty Limited (South Africa), and Marcom Projects (Australia and New Zealand).  Additionally BabyTV has entered into a partnership with Unlimited S.A. (Chile), which launched one DVD title per week over a twelve-week period through its La Tercera newspaper.  Additionally, BabyTV’s agent P&L Global enters into a new licensing deal in Latin America with party goods manufacturer Party Express Chile (birthday, party and paper products based on BabyTV’s characters and IP).  Also signing on as a licensee is Ansaldo, for a range of products (nursery toys and games, play gyms, mobiles, rattles, soft cubes, block and stacker toys, melamine products and sets, including bibs, teethers and night lights).

Dora and Diego’s Sticker Safari, an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app developed for Nickelodeon Australia by Australian-based Lycette Bros., was recently released worldwide.  An interactive sticker book, the app encourages kids to collect stickers from around the world, while traveling and learning with Dora and Diego, and place them into the correct position on interactive maps.  The first Sticker Set launched is Animals of the World.


BBC Worldwide appoints the UK master toy license for Charlie & Lola to Rainbow Designs.  The preschool animated series is produced by Tiger Aspect and based on the Charlie & Lola books by Lauren Child.  Rainbow Designs plans to launch a new Charlie & Lola toy line in spring 2012, with further lines set for spring 2013.

Marvel Entertainment enters into a licensing deal with Blip Toys, the company behind the Squinkies ( ) collectible figures, to create a line of Squinkies inspired by Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains.  Targeted to boys, the Squinkies Marvel Universe Capsule Pack Series 1 and Series 2, which each include 12 miniature figures, are currently available online ( and via retailers nationwide.  The squishy Squinkies Marvel line will feature Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine, Silver Surfer, Thing, Human Torch, Doctor Doom and Green Goblin. Each miniature figure comes encased in a toy plastic bubble that collectors pop open to get the super hero inside.

Zodiak Kids finalizes licensing deals for the preschool property Little PrincessAurora World UK acquires the rights to develop a Little Princess plush line that will launch in early 2012.  This summer Neon Play will debut the first Little Princess app for iPad, iPhone and Android platforms, featuring six games.  Zodiak Kids renews its compilation magazine publishing deal with Kennedy Publishing, which will continue to feature Little Princess pages within its Pink, Cute, Busy Time & Get Busy titles.  Zodiak Kids, the kid’s production and distribution arm of Zodiak Media Group, acquired the rights to Little Princess from The Illuminated Film Company in November 2010.  Zodiak Rights holds all international broadcast rights (excluding Japan and Korea) and all licensing and merchandising rights (excluding publishing) to Little Princess.

Discovery Communications and Big Tent Entertainment expand their partnership with UK-based Parragon Publishing for Discovery Kids.  Under the long-term renewal pact, Parragon will release a new line of Discovery Kids branded books, including the addition of e-books that will be available beginning this summer for the first time.  Meanwhile, Parragon will also continue to new Discovery Kids coloring books, activity kits and reference books.  Big Tent Entertainment, the North American licensing agent for the Discovery Kids brand, brokered the deal on behalf of Discovery Communications.

Lisa Marks Associates (LMA) is appointed as the North America licensing agency for super yummy American MoonPie brand.  LMA, which will showcase MoonPie next week at Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas (June 14-16), is planning a full consumer products program for the brand including apparel and accessories, gifts and collectibles, cosmetics, stationery and school supplies, domestics and room decor and food products.  Created in 1917 by Chattanooga Bakery under the Lookout trademark, MoonPies are available in three sizes (who knew?)  original, Double-Decker and mini, and come in six flavors chocolate, vanilla, banana, lemon, orange and strawberry (again, who knew?).  Chattanooga Bakery is a subsidiary of the Mountain City Flour Mill.

Coolabi secures a host of new licensing deals for Bagpuss, which it represents on behalf of Smallfilms and Peter Firmin.  New deals include:  Pigment Productions – photographic greeting cards debuting late fall 2011; Powerplay Textiles will debut a line of adult nightwear, underwear and socks in fall 2011, with initial products exclusively for Express Gift; Shreds will produce kid’s aprons and bags exclusively for Past Times stores; following success with a Bagpuss microwaveable plush, Intelex is developing more products (microwaveable slippers, slipper boots and neck warmers) for September 2011; Coolabi has also extended its greeting card deal with Museums & Galleries Marketing (MGML) to include new birthday designs and Christmas cards.

The Giochi Preziosi Group enters into a food promotion with Wimpy for the boy-targeted property Gormiti to be featured on Fun4Food Kid’s meals across South Africa from December 2011-January 2012.  The animated Gormiti (65×26) series is co-produced with Marathon Media.  In addition to being featured on the Fun4Food Kids packaging, the promotion will be split in two with each kid’s meal containing an inflatable Gormiti toy during the holiday season in December 2011 and free back to school products in January 2012.  Aimed at boys, the Gormiti deal runs in a joint promotion with girl-targeted brand Strawberry Shortcake.


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1197; K6-11 625; TWEENS 9-14 536
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11 1061; K6-11 674; TWEENS 9-14 472
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   664; K6-11 423; TWEENS 9-14 322
DISNEY XD:               K2-11   266; K6-11 210; TWEENS 9-14 170
NICKTOONS:              K2-11   107; K6-11   74; TWEENS 9-14   64
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data


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Before the Ballots: Comedy
Publishing Monday, June 13

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  If you and a couple of friends are having a latte at the Espresso Pump, what show are you on?  BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER  Kudos to: John May-Cartoon Network/Atlanta; Pat Brady-CESD/LA; Michael Ross-The Hub/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question:  Whose quote is this:  “Here are three ways for you to be very smart:  1. Stay in School; 2. Stay in School; 3. Follow Rules #1 and #2.”  (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 —
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