Good morning. It’s Thursday, September 23, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner lays out his current succession plan for Warner Bros. The newest plan will see Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO, will extend his contract by two years, the current one is up April 2011, which will take him through the end of December 2013. As planned Alan Horn, President and COO, will step down from his role in April 2011, when his deal is up, and move into a consultancy deal, which will also run through the end of 2013. Additionally, Bewkes announced the formation of an Office of the President, which will be comprised of Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Bruce Rosenblum, President, Warner Bros. Television Group, and Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, reporting to Meyer from April 1, 2011. Robinov, Rosenblum and Tsujihara will continue to serve in their current roles, while also “becoming more engaged in the operations of the overall company….” Meyer explained, “Stability and consistency are the hallmarks of Warner Bros., and this plan underscores our commitment to an orderly succession and to promoting from within.”
Zodiak Entertainment announces re-branding. Three months after acquiring RDF Media Group, Zodiak and RDF will now live under the new Zodiak Media Group (ZMG) banner with CEO David Frank heading the company. Moving forward RDF Media Group, Marathon Group, Magnolia Group and Zodiak Television Group will no longer exist. However, Marathon Media, Magnolia, RDF Television and Marathon Images will continue on as production companies. Furthermore, RDF USA has merged with Zodiak Entertainment US to become Zodiak USA, and the former rights divisions of RDF and Zodiak are merging to become Zodiak Rights, with operations continuing in London and Paris. Grant Mansfield becomes CEO Zodiak USA and Matthew Frank becomes CEO Zodiak Rights. Zodiak Rights will introduce properties across genres, including animation and kid’s, at Cannes next month.
The Federal Communications Commission said yesterday that it is looking into complaints that the new kid-targeted series Zevo-3, which is set to debut on Nicktoons next month and is based on characters initially designed to market Skechers kids shoes, might violate Children’s Television Act of 1990 and FCC rules on advertising in kid’s TV programming. The FCC is seeking public comment on the petition, which was issued last week by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Last week Skechers Entertainment responded to the petition saying it “is was very proud of our show, Zevo-3. We feel that it extols positive values of self-reliance, friendship, teamwork, and problem-solving.” They further stated that, “we’ve all worked hard to ensure that we are within the parameters of FCC requirements.” Also standing by the series, Nickelodeon said “As we previously stated, we do not believe that the show is a program length commercial, nor do we agree that its transmission would violate the Children’s Television Act or any of the Commission’s rules or policies.”
MORE KIDS STUFF
Endemol acquires the broadcast and worldwide ancillary rights to the kid-targeted 3D animated series Matt Hatter Chronicles from Platinum Films. Produced by Nigel Stone and Rebecca Lewis for Platinum Films, the comedy/adventure series revolves around Matt, an average kid until he discovers the Hatter family secret, which as it turns out is the defender of a gateway to a different dimension, the Multiverse. Matt has the ability to see in 3D Multivision, and thus so does the audience (no 3D glasses needed). Platinum teamed with Canadian studio Gallus Entertainment to create animation for the series. The series has been presold to Nickelodeon in Australia and the UK along with GMTV and ITV1, as well as Canada’s Teletoon and Ireland’s RTE. Topps Europe has been named as the worldwide distributor (excluding the US) of Matt Hatter Chronicles trading cards and stickers, and Penguin Books/Dorling Kindersley is the worldwide (excluding the US) publishing licensee, excluding comic books and annuals. Endemol Worldwide Brands controls all other ancillary rights.
Australia-based Galaxy Pop signs a deal with Australian terrestrial broadcast Network Ten for its new interactive animated kid series Get Ace (26 episodes). Scheduled to debut on Network Ten at the end of 2012, Get Ace is a comedy that follows the many adventures of Ace McDougal, a 12-year-old nerd who goes to get her braces and is accidentally fitted with a set of high-tech spy braces. Developed with the assistance of Screen Australia and Film Victoria, the Get Ace series is budgeted at US$9.5+ million, making it the most expensive kid’s animated series of its type produced in Australia.
Moonscoop completes TV deals across Asia for 170×30 of its animated series. In Korea, EBS acquires Chloe’s Closet and Geronimo Stilton, with Nickelodeon picking up A Town Called Panic. Taiwan’s public channel PTS picks up the second season of SamSam, it already acquired season one and the home video rights, and Good TV, a Christian channel, takes Toddworld. In Malaysia, Astro Chinese Channel acquires Ava Riko Teo, and Indonesia’s terrestrial channel PT Indosiar takes Pet Alien and Dive Olly Dive season two.
Paris-based distributor awol animation inks TV deals for Little Airplane Productions‘ preschool animated series Tobi (4×4) with SVT (Sweden) and YLE (Finland). The series has already been acquired by Nickelodeon for pan-Asian and Australian regions, Treehouse TV (Canada) and NRK (Norway).
Canada’s Guru Studio (The Backyardigans, Guess with Jess, The New Adventures of Badou) heads to MipJunior/Mipcom 2010 where they will feature their new animated series, Justin Time (26×11). Justin Time is currently in production now for Family Channel (Canada) and Playhouse Disney Canada. Justin Time features stories that inspire preschooler’s imagination and encourage curiosity, the series will also have interactive mobile apps and web-based games and activities developed by Guru with zinc Roe. Guru Studio’s development slate also includes two preschool series, one that is a mixed live-action and animated series, and the other a tween-targeted animated series called Spaceface.
Program Call: Cynopsis Media will be producing our annual MIPCOM Shopping Guide sent to all Cynopsis and Cynopsis Kids subscribers on Thursday, September 30, the week before MIPCOM 2010 in Cannes. If you would like to have your programming included, please send us only the following info for your top 5 shows: title, availability date, number of episodes, length, type (i.e., movie, series, special, etc.), genre and your terms (barter, cash, etc.) as well as your company’s stand/booth location and who will be attending from your company. To be included in this free and highly-viewed special edition, please send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, September 24, 2010. A confirmation email will be sent following each submission (if you don’t receive a the confirmation email, please resubmit).
Cartoon Network Enterprises partners Activision Publishing for the first interactive game title based on Cartoon Network’s original series Generator Rex. The currently untitled game is slated for release in North America for fall 2011 for the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, and PSP. Generator Rex is created by Man of Action (Ben 10 franchise) and produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, CA.
Big Tent Entertainment appoints Stella Projects as the new licensing agent for Domo. Under the deal Stella Projects will introduce Domo in Australia and New Zealand with a range of licensing, marketing, and promotional deals. Initially, the program will focus on consumer awareness as well as developing cross-promotional efforts with Nickelodeon Australia. Stella Projects work to ink Domo licensing partners for categories including apparel, bags, fashion accessories, gaming accessories, music and stationery/giftware. Additionally, a Domo viral campaign will launch to support the program.
twofour54 names Andrew Kerr as the licensing and merchandising agent for the preschool brand Driver Dan’s Story Train in the UK and Ireland. Kerr recently launched a kid-centric content development agency, Aoh!k Commerical. Kerr was previously with Entertainment Rights/Classic Media and prior to that toiled for Ragdoll. twofour54 and Aoh!k will showcase Driver Dan’s Story Train at Brand Licensing Europe next week, and then twofour54 will exhibit it at MipJunior. Driver Dan’s Story Train currently airs on CBeebies (UK) and ABC (Australia), twofour54 recently completed a deal with digital cable network Sprout to air the series in the US.
Parents magazine debuts a Parents Flash Card app for iPad, iPhone and iTouch. Developed by the editors of Parents, working with child development experts, the flash card app is designed to engage toddlers and preschoolers that play with their parent’s phone with early learning skills. The Parents Flash Cards are available in four packs: Colors, Shapes, which are free, and Letters and Numbers, available for $.99/each. Two additional packs, focusing on addition/subtraction and multiplication/division, will be available before the end of the year.
Oceanhouse Media teams up with Zondervan, a Christian publishing company, for a series of The Berenstain Bears eBooks for iPhone, iPad and iTouch. The first three eBooks, The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers, The Berenstain Bears Go To Sunday School and The Berenstain Bears and The Golden Rule, are now available at the app store initially for $2.99/each.
BabyTV teams up with Classic FM, a commercial ration station in the UK, to launch My Favourite Nursery Rhymes DVD this month. This title, the first of a planned larger series of music-centric DVDs, is a complication of popular kid’s songs and rhymes and features animation and arrangements form BabyTV’s First Songs. The DVD also comes with an activity sticker-booklet.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: If you are from the planet Zetox, who are you and what show are you on? THE GREAT GAZOO on THE FLINTSTONES Kudos to: John May-Cartoon Network/Atlanta; Laura Petro-Cartoon Network/NY; Pat Brady-CESD/LA; Max Burnett-The Troop/LA; Kyle MacDougall-Jam Filled Entertainment/Ottawa
Today’s Trivia Question: Fill in the blank: “Put your hand on the TV screen and repeat after me. I do hereby promise only to watch the ___________ show. To make underleg noises during the good scenes. To wear unwashed Lederhosen every single day of the rest of my life! That’s it, you’re in our secret club!” (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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JOB OPENING: SR BRDCAST DESIGNER/NY: Resp for on air design projects w/in the Mktg dept of USA Conceptualize, design, dvlp, execute & animate projs such as ID’s, show opens, animated banners & trailers www.nbcunicareers.com Req#1232656 (9/30)
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FALL INTERNS CREDIT ONLY: PRODUCTION&POST/NY: Small co w/feature doc commission seeks interns to work closely w/ prod. and dir. on final touches of prod, and all of post. You will be an integral part of the process.Send resume: MFowler@kpitv.com (9/29)
FALL INTERNS CREDIT ONLY: Corporate Product Rights Intern/CBS/LA:Should have knowledge of PHP Coding and MYSQL Database Development.For credit and must be a student.Apply: www.cbscareers.com and reference #6795BR (9/29)
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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: INTERNS /SnagFilms (PT & FT) : Help us as our bus. rapidly expands. If you love documentaries, this is a place for you to be. Visit website www.snagfilms.com for more info. Cvr letter/resume: firstname.lastname@example.org (9/25)
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SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCTION MGR 20+ yr NYC exp-live ent/news/sports/talk/mag/docs: studio/remote- hands-on- bld/guide team.Cap+op bdgt/rept/fcast. Fmr CAM/LD/TD/P-D. Contact: email@example.com 206-715-4273 (9/29)
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SITUATION WANTED: CASTING ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Indispensable researcher, interviewer. Fearless on phones. Comfortable on deadline. Wide array of contacts. NBC/ABC/NY1. News/ent/pop cult. Immed. avail. (NYC/LI) ROKSheena@gmail.com (9/28)
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SITUATION WANTED: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT position film/TV (NY) 10 years experience: Interned for a President, Executive Assistant to SVP/VP/film director/celebrity firstname.lastname@example.org (9/25)
SITUATION WANTED: PRIME TIME EMMY DOCUMETARY. PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, WRITER in L.A. Credits: National Geo, PBS, Discovery, History CH, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email: Nyehouse@sbcglobal.net (9/24)
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