Good morning. It’s Thursday, October 28, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Bin Weevils, the new kid/tween-targeted hybrid social gaming and VOD entertainment service, enters into a multi-year deal to include Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon programming content on its new social video on-demand service. The pay service offers a monthly or yearly membership. Additionally, Bin Weevils names Rod Henwood, formerly Channel 4 director and former Project Kangaroo CEO, as a non-executive director of the company. Currently Bin Weevils’ Bin Tycoon subscription service will provide subscribers with 200+ hours of on-demand TV content, as well as communicating with their avatar friends on the website. Specific Cartoon Network content includes Ben 10, Chowder, The Secret Saturdays and Nickelodeon programming includes shows like iCarly and SpongeBob SquarePants. Other programming to be featured on Bin Weevils includes content from distributors including Target Entertainment, Decode, Millimages and Cake Entertainment. The site features advertising, described as like in the online Moshi Monsters game. There is currently no advertising on the video player, but post launch such advertising is possibility. Bin Weevils was co-founded by Mike Crosby and Amelia Johnson, who are also co-founders of the indie kid’s TV production outlet Prism Entertainment.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Angela Lansbury joins the cast of Fox‘s feature film adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s classic kid’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins, per Variety. Lansbury will co-star opposite Jim Carrey, he as Mr. Popper and she as the owner of the local pub that Mr. Popper wants to buy. Directed by Mark Waters and produced by John Davis via his Davis Entertainment banner, the script is being penned by Sean Anders, John Morris and Jared Stern. The cast already includes Carla Gugino, Ophelia Lovibond and Philip Baker Hall.
Jamie Foxx will serve as executive producer on the new TV horror anthology series, Night Tales (26×30), which will be hosted by Denise Richards and Stacey Dash, per Variety. From No Brainer Films, the banner co-founded by Foxx and co-executive producer Deon Taylor, the PG series is described as a cross between Tales From The Crypt and The Twilight Zone. Fox and Taylor are co-writing and co-directing the pilot as well as additional episodes of the series, with Tom Arnold, Method Man and Jason Mewes set to appear in different episodes. Also serving as executive producers on Night Tales are Roxanne Avent, Robert Smith and Mitch Richmond (former NBA player). The Night Tales series is inspired by the 2008 Nite Tales: The Movie, which aired on BET.
Director Christopher Nolan revealed the title for the third Batman movie from Warner Bros. is The Dark Knight Rises, during an interview with Hero Complex. While he won’t say who the villain in the movie will be, Nolan says it won’t be the Riddler. Nolan also added that he and Warner Bros. agree will the movie will not be shot in 3D, but that he plans to experiment with Imax in unique unprecedented ways. Scheduled for release on July 20, 2012, Nolan believes that this movie, the third, will be the last movie in the Batman series.
MORE KIDS STUFF
The Flaming Lips will guest star on a new episode of Nickelodeon‘s preschool series Yo Gabba Gabba!, set to premiere on Friday, November 5 at 11:30a. The new episode is part of the day’s special fairytale-themed block (9a-2p), which also includes new episodes of Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go! and The Backyardigans.
DQ Entertainment (DQE) enters into a three-year home video distribution rights pact for the 3D animated series The Jungle Book (52×11) with Israel’s Play Records Marketing & Distribution. Under the deal Play Records holds the home video distribution rights for the series in Israel. DQE will receive a minimum guarantee as upfront payment for the license and will also be entitled to a royalty on future sales during the license term. DQE already has a broadcast deal in place with Noga Communications for The Jungle Book in Israel.
Canada’s CCI Entertainment inks a TV deal for its CGI series Artzooka! (26 episodes) with Noga Communications in Israel for its kid-targeted Logi Channel. Episodes of Artzooka!, which is being dubbed into Hebrew, will also be introduced by Israeli personalities.
Correction: Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants special, Mystery with a Twistery, will debut on November 11 at 8p.
Saban Brands adds two to its executive team with the appointment of Mary Rafferty as VP/Toy & Hard Lines and Rob Hughes as Marketing Director. Rafferty will oversee toy licensing, product development and retail for Saban Brands properties, which include the new Power Rangers series (2011) and Paul Frank. Rafferty was most recently with Spin Master. She previously owned her own licensing company, and prior to that toiled for Mattel, Disney and The Disney Store. Hughes will manage marketing campaigns for the company, initially focusing his efforts on Power Rangers and Paul Frank. Hughes joins Saban Brands from Disney Channel where he was Marketing Manager. Prior to that he spent five years at Disney ABC Cable Networks Group.
A Squared Entertainment builds its worldwide licensing efforts with the addition of two executives Sandi Isaacs and Laurie Windrow from Allied Red. Industry veterans, Isaacs and Windrow will head up consumer products for A Squared’s brands and will be responsible developing the company’s original properties into a range of consumer product categories, including toys, games, apparel, and digital platforms. Isaacs, President, Allied Red, previously served as SVP/Paramount Digital Entertainment, managed merchandising programs for Viacom Consumer Products, and also held management positions at Activision and Disney Interactive. Windrow, VP/Licensing, Allied Red, was formerly Director/Global Licensing, Mega Brands. Previously, she was SVP/Marketing and Licensing, 4Kids Entertainment, and prior to that was VP/International Marketing and Licensing, Discovery Channel
Big Idea Entertainment restructures its studio in an effort to continue growing its VeggieTales brand. As part of the re-org, Big Idea appoints Mike Nawrocki as EVP/Big Idea Entertainment Studios. Nawrocki, VeggieTales co-creator and formerly VP/Development, will oversee and head up all Big Idea productions. The faith-based company has also retained the services of Mark Steele, President and Executive Creative, Steelehouse Productions, to serve in the newly created role of Chief of Creative Affairs, Big Idea Entertainment.
Sesame Workshop promotes Maura Regan to SVP and GM/Global Consumer Products. Reporting to Sherrie Westin, EVP and CMO, Regan will oversee worldwide retail business across all major categories of licensed goods (e.g. toys, packaged goods, apparel, home furnishings, stationery and gifts). Additionally, Jessica Giat is named VP/Licensing, Partner Relations. Reporting to Regan, Giat will be responsible for managing Sesame Workshop’s master toy licensee around the world and will work closely with the Education and Research teams. Most recently Regan, who has been with Sesame Workshop since 1999, was VP and GM/Global Consumer Products, and prior to that was VP/International Licensing and New Business Development. She has also worked in licensing for Scholastic and MTV Networks. Giat toiled in licensing and brand management for You, Me and the Lamppost, and consumer products and licensing at Penguin Putnam Division for Young Readers, as well as holding positions at Nickelodeon/MTV Networks among other places.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: Who can “see the future, but she can’t quite see what’s coming next.”? RAVEN BAXTER on THAT’S SO RAVEN Kudos to: Amy Chrzanowski-Uproar!/NY; Ellen Donahue-Fisher Price/NY; Eunita Simmons-Amtrak/Washington DC; Rich Thomas-Disney Publishing Worldwide/NY
Today’s Trivia Question: Who am I? I was key character on television’s first made-for-television cartoon. I wear knight’s armor and ride a horse. Who am I? (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.)
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