Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Cynopsis: Kids!

05/05/11

Good morning. It’s Thursday, May 5, 2011, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing. 

This Friday, May 6, 2011, Playhouse Disney makes the transformation into Disney Junior in Canada.  The French-language network equivalent, Playhouse Disney Tele, will simultaneously change to Disney Junior on the same day, making the commercial free channel available in English and French to subscribers Canada.  Disney Junior will include the launch of new programs such as Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and will also feature iconic Disney characters in stories and its logo.  Other Disney Junior programming includes the short-form series A Poem Is…, as well as Special Agent: Oso: Three Healthy Steps, and Canadian original series Franny’s Fee, The Secret World of Benjamin Bear, and the new series Stella and Sam.  Disney Junior is also available via Disney Junior OnDemand and Disney Junior Online.  Disney Junior is part of the Astral Media family in Canada.

That galaxy that far, far away will be a little closer this fall when Star Wars: The Complete Saga releases on HD Blue-ray Disc from Lucasfilm and Fox Home Entertainment.  This is the first time the entire Saga has been available in one complete collection.  The nine-disc Saga will release on September 12, 2011 internationally, and on September 16 in North America in HD and 6.1 DTS Surround Sound, and including 40+ hours of special features, including never-before-seen content from the Lucasfilm archives.  The collection includes deleted, extended and alternative scenes, new documentaries and a selection of the myriad Star Wars spoofs.  Episodes I-III and IV-VI will also be available as distinct Blu-ray Trilogy collections.  Fans attending this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International will get a first look at some of the bonus features.

NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Focus Features and Laika, the animation company behind the feature film Coraline, are reteaming for a two-picture distribution deal.  Under the new pact the first of Laika’s next two animated feature films is ParaNorman, a stop-motion animated 3D comedy/thriller feature set for release August 17, 2012, and the second, yet-to-be-named, will release in 2014.  Similar to their previous deal for Coraline, Focus will hold worldwide distribution rights to the movies, and Universal Pictures International will release the pictures overseas.  Currently in production, ParaNorman is being directed by Sam Fell (The Tale of Despereaux, Flushed Away) and Chris Butler (storyboard supervisor on Coraline, storyboard artist on Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride), from Butler’s original screenplay.  The voice cast includes Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Tempestt Bledsoe (The Cosby Show), Jeff Garlin (Toy Story 3), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc.), Bernard Hill (Titanic), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Leslie Mann (Rio), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (How to Train Your Dragon), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), and Broadway legend Elaine Stritch (also known for her appearance on 30 Rock).  The story revolves around a small town that comes under siege by zombies and turns to a misunderstood local boy, Norman (McPhee), who has the ability to speak with the dead, to save them.  In addition to the zombies, Norman goes up against ghosts, witches and, of course, the dreaded moronic grown-ups, to save his town from an age-old curse.

MORE KIDS STUFF

WGBH Boston and DHX Media get the get go ahead on a fourth season of the PBS Kids animated preschool series Martha Speaks.  The two have begun production on the new season, bringing the total number of series episodes to 80×30.  The new season four episodes will premiere on PBS Kids in winter 2012.  The Martha Speaks animated TV series is based on the books by Susan Meddaugh.  DHX Media represents the worldwide TV and home entertainment rights outside the US.  A co-production of WGBH Boston and DHX Media, Martha Speaks is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through a cooperative agreement from the US Department of Education’s Ready to Learn Grant.  Corporate funding for the series is provided by Chuck E. Cheese’s, Kiddie Academy Child Care Learning Centers, and Chick-fil-A, with additional funding by public TV viewers.

MTV Networks International (MTVNI) has completed a wide range of new deals and renewal pacts for its animated programming:

  • TG4 (Ireland) signs on for SpongeBob SquarePants episodes 121-142
  • La 7D (Ital) picks up Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys
  • B92/Doda Media (Serbia) takes season 7 of SpongeBob SquarePants
  • In Bulgaria, TV7 cable, satellite and free-to-air terrestrial platforms, including Super 7 and the TV7 IPTV service, has signed a Nickelodeon branded programming block deal, which includes 20+ Nick animated and live-action titles.
  • Atlantic Pictures, an agent across French speaking Africa, takes Catdog and SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • Four (New Zealand) signs on for a Nickelodeon package including renewals on Rugrats (seasons 1-9, and specials); Rocko’s Modern Life (seasons 1 and 2); AAAHH!!! Real Monsters (seasons 1 and 2); Hey Arnold (seasons 1-5); Wild Thornberrys (seasons 1-6); As Told by Ginger (seasons 1-4); All Grown Up (seasons 1 and 2); My life as a Teenage Robot (seasons 1-6); and Kappa Mikey (seasons 1 and 2).
  • TV3 (Malaysia) picks up Fanboy and Chum Chum, and the country’s RTM has signed a package deal including Blue’s Clue’s Room, The Wild Thornberry’s and Rocket Power. BBTV 7 (Thailand) acquires SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • Ecuavisa (Ecuador) picks up Rugrats, while FETV (Panama) has signed for new episodes and renewals on SpongeBob SquarePants, The Mighty B!, Blue’s Clues; Hey Arnold and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron.
  • ATB (Bolivia) has signed various episodes from season 2 of Penguins of Madagascar.
  • Megavision (Chile) picks up episodes of Fairly Odd Parents (season 7); Fanboy and Chum Chum (season 1); episodes of Penguins of Madagascar to complete season 1 and episodes 201-216 from season 2.  Megavision has also inks renewals for Hey Arnold, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Also in Bolivia, UNITEL signed a deal including The Mighty B! (season 1) and Fanboy & Chum Chum (season 1).

Disney Channel will release a special version of its original TV movie Lemonade Mouth will release on DVD + Digital version and will host a an live online video chat with the cast this month.  The DVD + Digital Copy, Lemonade Mouth: Extended Edition, which includes an additional scene (that hints at the group’s future, and reveals news of the crush and dating status of a few characters) and an exclusive music performance of Livin’ on a High Wire, is set for release in Canada and the US on Tuesday, May 17 and 24 respectively.  Viewers can join a conversation with the stars of Lemonade Mouth in a live video chat on Saturday, May 7 (7p) at DisneyChannel.com/LiveChat ( www.disneychannel.com/livechat).  Hosted by Radio Disney’s Jake Whetter, the video chat features cast members Bridgit Mendler, Adam Hicks, Hayley Kiyoko and Blake Michael.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will release its new console and handheld video game, Sesame Street: Ready, Set, Grover!, for Wii and Nintendo DS this summer 2011.  The Sesame Street learning game gets kids up and moving and encourages living a healthy lifestyle and aims to set lifelong healthy habits.  In the game, Grover sets out to create a series of challenges designed to help his Sesame Street pals get up and go.  Through the course of the game, Elmo and Abby jump over obstacles, row a boat, and play “Grover Says,” as they learn life lessons on healthy habits to grow with. Through their adventures, the game promotes physical activity, good nutrition, personal hygiene, and even the importance of rest and relaxation.  Developed by Griptonite Games, the games also feature a parent page, where parents can review the games their kid has played, and review curriculum goals.  Additionally, parents can customize up to three profiles, set limits for number of games played and the like.  Further information will be available at www.SesameStreetVideogames.com.

MARKETING/LICENSING

Nickelodeon Consumer Products Germany and VTech will release new Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants software for Storio, the kid-targeted animated e-book reader.  Set to release this fall 2011, each of the titles for Storio feature educational activities for K5-8.

American Greetings Properties (AGP) is set to launch a special Care Bears figurine series, Share-A-Bear, with Play Imaginative.  The Share-A-Bear series is comprised of 34 collectible characters that can be customized and shared.  The gifts invite senders to write a brief message and include them as the start of someone’s collection.

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Lisa Arlen joins NCircle Entertainment as VP/Sales and Marketing.  Arlen will direct all facets of NCircle Entertainment’s Dallas, TX-based sales and marketing organization.  She will also play a strategic role in working with rights holders to help drive sales of products and build brand equity.  A toy and DVD industry veteran, Arlen worked for 14 years at HIT Entertainment (f/k/a Lyrick Studios), where she served in several executive roles, and more recently she toiled for five years at Mattel, where she was Director/Retail Development for Walmart.

RATINGS

Two Disney XD series, Pair of Kings and Zeke and Luther, hit series and time period highs on Monday, May 2, 2011.
Monday night’s episode of Pair of Kings (8p) reached a series high among K6-11 (478,000), Tweens 9-14 (505,000) and Boys 9-14 (301,000).  The episode also becomes Disney XD’s top original series telecast ever with Tweens 9-14 and Boys 9-14, and the top original live-action series telecast with K6-11.  Additionally, the episode earned the channel its best numbers ever in the 8p half-hour with Tweens 9-14 and Boys 9-14.
Zeke and Luther (8:30p) earned series and time period highs with K6-11 (433,000), Boy 6-11 (272,000) and Tweens 9-14 (414,000).

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 976; K6-11 355; TWEENS 9-14 255
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11 861; K6-11 504; TWEENS 9-14 384
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 462; K6-11 261; TWEENS 9-14 201
DISNEY XD:               K2-11 146; K6-11 106; TWEENS 9-14 104
NICKTOONS:              K2-11   74; K6-11   46; TWEENS 9-14   53
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data


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Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia:  Who am I?  I look something like a lion and I’m very strong and fast.  I even roar when I’m angry.  But I also have an empathetic ability, feeling the emotions of others. I live underground.  Who am I?    VINCENT on BEAUTY & THE BEAST  Kudos to: Julie Stowell-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury

Today’s Trivia Question:  Twist and Shout are band members on what show?  (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.)

Later —
Gwen Billings for Cynopsis Kids!
05.05.11

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