Good morning. It’s Thursday, November 11, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Every day there are new apps for mobile devices (iPhone/iPad/iTouch, smartphones, etc.), with more and more of them aimed at kids of all ages, including the very youngest. But are they educational, and are kids actually learning from them. According to Learning: Is there an app for that?, a new national survey of parents and observation of K3-7 learning and interacting with mobile media, released yesterday by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop ( http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/Reports.html ), in collaboration with PBS Kids Raising Readers and Hotspex, most parents let their young kids use their mobile devices even though they don’t think their kids are learning anything beneficial. The study also found that kids can and are learning things (including literacy skills) through age appropriate educational apps, and also offers some guidance for developers to produce better educational apps and make parents aware of their benefits. The report refers to the ‘pass-back effect’ – which is when a parent hands a mobile device to a kid to occupy them, say in car, restaurant or grocery cart, and the kid plays with it until the parent takes it back. A 2009 content analysis conducted by The Cooney Center showed that 60% of the 25 top-selling paid applications in the education section of the iTunes App Store target toddlers and preschoolers. In addition, a Kaiser Family Foundation study noted that kids spend an average of about one hour per day using mobile devices. Some findings from Learning: Is there an app for that? include:
The second annual TeenNick HALO Awards will premiere Friday, December 10, at 8-9p on TeenNick, which will be followed immediately by an encore on Nick at Nite at 9p. Created, hosted and Executive Produced by Nick Cannon, who also serves as TeenNick Chairman, the hour-long HALO Awards (Helping And Leading Others) special welcomes stars including Mariah Carey, Ashton Kutcher, Rosario Dawson and Wyclef Jean as they celebrate four teens for their philanthropic efforts. TeenNick teams with the Entertainment Industry Foundation ( www.eifoundation.org), a non-profit organization, to provide the grants and scholarships awarded to the four honorees.
Disney Channel‘s series Jonas L.A. (previously titled Jonas), staring Jonas Brothers, comes to a close after its second season on the network. In a statement confirming the end of the series, the network said: “The series JONAS L.A. has concluded as scheduled after two very successful seasons, and all original episodes of its second season have aired. The Jonas Brothers are currently busy wrapping up their 40+ city concert tour and will soon be back in the studio working on music projects for Disney’s Hollywood Records. We look forward to working with them on new projects in the future.”
A second season of Sesame Tree (20×14), a version of Sesame Street produced by Belfast-based Sixteen South Television and Sesame Workshop entirely in Northern Ireland, debuts November 22, 2010, at 10:40a, on CBeebies and will be seen across the UK. The TV series will be supported by educational outreach materials for the Foundation Stage and the website www.bbc.co.uk/sesametree, which is developed by BBC NI Learning. An early education series that features contemporary life in Northern Ireland through the eyes of kids that live there and Muppet characters, Sesame Tree is aligned with the Northern Ireland Statutory Curriculum. The series is funded by the International Fund for Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen. The first season of Sesame Tree ran on BBC Northern Ireland.
Zodiak Rights, formerly the rights division of RDF Media Group and Zodiak Entertainment, acquires the worldwide rights to the preschool property Little Princess from The Illuminated Film Company. The Little Princess TV series is based on the kid’s picture books by author/illustrator Tony Ross. The Illuminated Film Company has produced three seasons (104 episodes) of Little Princess at its London-based studio. Zodiak Rights holds all future international broadcast rights (excluding Japan and Korea) and all licensing and merchandising rights (excluding publishing) to Little Princess.
Tricon Films & Television completes sales of 200+ hours of its scripted, lifestyle, sport, documentary and kids’ programming to international broadcasters on the heels of MIPCOM last month. Tricon’s new deals for kid-targeted programming include: UK-based CSC Media Group picks up The Next Star (seasons 1-3) for its channel Pop Girl. CSC Media Group also acquires GRRtv, a motorsports show aimed at kids, for its Kix channel.
Ludorum inks new licensing deals for its preschool franchise Chuggington. New licensees include Worlds Apart (pop up play and ready beds), Abbey Home Media (audio books), Wesco (watches, gifts), and Ethos (personal Care). Additionally, BBS is appointed as licensee for party stationery throughout Continental Europe. Extending its licensing deal is Halsall for Chuggington bikes, scooters, trikes, bike accessories and protective clothing beyond the UK, to include France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Iberia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Israel. Ludorum already has other deals in place, including a worldwide agreement with Canada’s Mega Brands to produce Chuggington-themed Mega Blocs construction toys for release internationally beginning 2011 and available in the US from 2012. The UK licensing program for Chuggington launched this spring 2010 featuring toys from Learning Curve.
Disney Channel has created its first apps for preschoolers with the release of Handy Manny’s Workshop and Flicker’s Flashcard Fiesta for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The Handy Manny app features narrated animations from the hit series along with five different activity zones. The Flicker app showcases interactive flashcards and a word game that tests preschoolers’ English and Spanish language skills. Both applications retail for $2.99/each.
2K Play and Nickelodeon launch the new kid-targeted exercise Nickelodeon Fit for Wii. The title includes 30 games and features characters (including their voices) from Nickelodeon series including Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Ni Hao, Kai-lan, and The Backyardigans to help kids get active and living healthy lifestyles. Developed by Nickelodeon and High Voltage Software in collaboration with physical education and exercise science expert Dr. Jacqueline Goodway, PhD, the games focus on cardiovascular activity, core muscles, upper and lower body strength, balance, motor skill development, and coordination using the Wii remote or Balance Board accessories. Additionally, parents can monitor their kid’s exercise time/intensity, track their stats, and create custom workouts for them depending on their kid’s needs and interests.
Hanging out its brand new shingle is Heads Up Creative ( www.headsupcreative.com ), a new production company focusing on kid and family-aimed content and founded by Director/Executive Producer Michele L. Band and Producer Hilary Wolk. The two previously toiled for almost a decade each with Nickelodeon where they directed and produced scripted content. The new company’s first projects include a new live action multi-camera long-form web series for PBS, as well as a mixed live action/animated series, and a music video. Initial clients for Heads Up Creative include Out of the Blue Enterprises, Daryl Roth Productions, Jelly Jam Entertainment, and PBS.
Cartoon Network ups Michael Ouweleen to SVP and Group Creative Director for its new Creative Group. Ouweleen is now responsible for heading all Cartoon Network and Boomerang branding via on-air communication, promotion, packaging and sponsorships, as well as the creative development for off-channel promotions. He also will supervise print, special events, package design, sponsorship and promotions for Adult Swim. A 14-year veteran of the network, Ouweleen will continue to be based in Atlanta, and report to Brenda Freeman, CMO/Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media, Turner Broadcasting. Ouweleen most recently served as SVP/Creative Director, on-air. The newly established Creative Group was the product of a recent reorganization, which brings the network’s on-air and off-channel creative teams together under one division.
David Lebow is appointed as Acting CEO and to the Board of Directors, Oberon Media. The news coincides with a new investment round of $16 million into the multiplatform casual games company. Lebow will focus his efforts on current products and plans, and developing a long term strategy for B2B and direct to consumer game publishing segments. Most recently, Lebow had been CEO and President, Internet Broadcasting. Prior to that he served as EVP and GM, AOL Media Networks.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
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