Good morning. It’s Thursday, September 30, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Toonz, part of the Toonz Group, unveils plans to produce two new live-action features (each 90 minutes) based on books by author R.L. Stine (Goosebumps). Toonz launched Mostly Ghostly 1 (Who let the Ghosts Out?) as a TV movie on Disney Channel and distributed globally by Universal. Toonz is bringing together the team that created that TV movie, including writer/director Rich Correll (co-creator Hannah Montana) and producer Steve Stabler (Dumb & Dumber), Yvonne Bernard and Arthur Cohen, to produce two new Mostly Ghostly special effects-filled movies, Have you met my Ghoulfriend and One night in the Doom House. Additionally, development has begun on a TV series based on the books, which is slated to debut in 2011. The movies are being filmed in Montreal, in partnership with Media Biz International.
In other news, Toonz partners with creator/animator Steve Lyons to produce the new animated project The Skinner Boys: Guardians of the Lost Secrets (26×30). Toonz has also teamed with animation veteran Bill Schultz to produce the series as well as distribute a new slate kid/family-targeted of programming. The Skinner Boys is an adventure series that follows three teen brothers who go into the dangerous family business, left to them by their grandfather and with the reluctant blessing of their mother, which requires them to protect ‘lost secrets’ from falling into the wrong hands.
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TeenNick premieres its newest live-action drama Gigantic (18×30) on Friday, October 8 at 10p. Following the premiere Gigantic will move to its regularly time on Fridays at 9:30p. Shot in LA, the scripted series takes a fictional look at ups and downs of teens growing up in Hollywood with famous parents. The ensemble cast features Grace Gummer (Meryl Streep’s daughter) and Gia Mantegna (Joe Mantegna’s daughter). A TeenNick collaboration with Reveille, their second, Gigantic is produced by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey’s Anatomy, Point Pleasant) and Dawn Parouse Olmstead (Prison Break, Point Pleasant, Tru Calling, and Carolyn Bernstein and Todd Cohen from Reveille.
Nickelodeon will premiere its new TV movie The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, a comedy/suspense/mystery, on Saturday, October 23 at 8p. The two-hour Halloween-themed movie stars Victoria Justice (Victorious) as a shy and unpopular teen that is accidentally transformed into a werewolf during her family’s visit to the Romanian castle they inherited. Brooke Shields also stars in the movie as a stern Romanian housekeeper who knows all the secrets of the castle. Ahead of the movie’s premiere viewers can find trailers, promos, photos and take the ‘Are you a Werewolf? quiz, as well as dress up their avatars based on the movie at Nick.com/werewolf ( www.nick.com/werewolf). Additionally, a sneak peek, behind-the-scenes look and further content from the movie will be available on Nickelodeon’s mobile VOD platform. The premiere will be simulcast on Nick Mobile, and post-premiere, the movie will be available for download via Nickelodeon’s download-to-own partners.
Welsh animation company, Dinamo Productions (Grandpa in My Pocket), inks a triple production and broadcast deal for its preschool series The Wordles (52×11), which has been acquired by CBeebies (UK), RTEjr (Ireland) and S4C (Wales). The Wordles, which will be co-produced in association with Dublin’s Kavaleer Productions for CBeebies, RTEjr and S4C, is an interactive word and sound association series set inside a pop-up book. Dinamo Productions recently opened its new studios and facilities in Treforest.
Classic Media finalizes a multi-territory broadcast deal with Nickelodeon for its new tween-targeted series Life with Boys (26×30). Nickelodeon acquires the rights for the series for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and exclusive pay TV rights in the Nordic territories. From Michael Poryes (co-creator and Executive Producer Hannah Montana and That’s So Raven), Life with Boys is produced Corus Entertainment, Nelvana Studio, and YTV (Canada). With casting underway the series is slated to debut in February 2011. Classic Media will handle the TV distribution in all territories worldwide excluding Canada, Latin America and Asia (excluding Japan), which will be handled by Nelvana Enterprises. Helion Pictures will handle distribution in Australia, France and the UK. Life with Boys is scheduled to premiere in YTV (Canada) in September 2011 and Helion has secured pre-sales across Canal J (France), Nickelodeon (UK) and ABC (Australia). Classic Media will present the series at Mipcom.
Elsewhere, Singapore’s Tiny Island Productions, a stereoscopic 3D CG animation studio, and Classic Media are partnering to launch Dream Defenders (26×30), a new K6-9-targeted CG animated action/comedy series, at Mipcom. Tiny Island will handle distribution of Dream Defenders in North America and Asia, with Classic Media managing distribution across all media, including consumer products, for the rest of the world. Based on an original idea by Tiny Island Productions, the production with Classic Media will be produced in Singapore and a writing team based in LA. The series follows Zane and Zoe, twins who are also rivals as the Dream Defenders, the last line of defense between the real world and the nightmare creatures of the Dreamworld, which come to life and threaten to take over. Slated for delivery in late 2011, Dream Defenders will be available in both non-stereo 3D and stereo 3D formats. The series is co-financed by Tiny Island Productions and Media Development Authority of Singapore, with a total production budget of US$5.2 million.
Cookie Jar Entertainment enters into a multi-territory TV deal for its animated series Johnny Test with Cartoon Network channels around the world. Turner Broadcasting acquires the new season of Johnny Test (26×30 new episodes) for Cartoon Network in markets including the US, UK, France, Latin America, Asia and Australia. The new Johnny Test episodes will begin delivering in 2011.
Toonz Entertainment USA, the distribution unit of Toonz Group, acquires the rights to Auckland-based animation studio Mukpuddy‘s Sparkle Friends (40×3). Initially produced by New Zealand’s long running kid’s series What Now, the short form multiplatform Sparkle Friends series features the What now hosts as kids, along with their pet gorilla and creature pal Gungi. Sparkle Friends, which was telecast on TV2 (New Zealand) and ABC (Australia), will now be available worldwide.
Shaftesbury Sales Company will be in Cannes offering 80+ hours of kid-targeted programming at MipJunior/Mipcom 2010. Shaftesbury programming slate includes: Connor Undercover (39×30) – a c-production between Shaftesbury and Heroic Film Company in association with Family Channel; Overruled! (39×30) produced by Shaftesbury in association with Family Channel Canada; Vacation with Derek (1×90) – a TV movie based on the series Life with Derek, which was commissioned by Family Channel and produced by Shaftesbury; Baxter (13×3) produced by Shaftesbury for Family Channel (Canada). Shaftesbury Sales is the distribution arm of Shaftesbury Films.
Donna Friedman Meir and her kid/family-centric Lemonade Creative Consulting will attend MipJunior/Mipcom with a roster of clients, including Dave Edwards Entertainment Media (DEEM), Pluckypea Industries and US-based research and strategic consultant Insight Kids. Among the properties Lemonade will at the market are:
Guru Distribution, a Canadian animation studio and creators of the preschool series Justin Time, inks a deal wit Hop To It Productions for the distribution rights for the second season of the K6-11 series Pop It! (26×5), with Hop To It picking up the distribution rights for Justin Time in select markets. Guru Distribution will represent Pop It! in the UK, France and the US, while Hop To It will rep Justin Time in Australia and New Zealand.
Ludorum enters into a worldwide deal with Canada’s Mega Brands to produce a line of Chuggington construction toys under the Mega Bloks brand. The initial line of Chuggington Mega Bloks playsets will launch in the UK in fall 2011, and then in the US and around the world from spring 2012.
Chorion introduced its new Noddy in Toyland line of merchandise, which includes a new toy line as well as apparel, accessories and publishing programs, at Brand Licensing Europe this week. The new Noddy in Toyland toys and new packaging launches fall 2011, beginning with which features an Airport playset and the Fix It & Go truck.
Nickelodeon Consumer Products International enters into an international deal with youth furniture specialist Lea Furniture (La-Z-boy Greensboro Inc/American Drew & LEA Industries Division) for a line of furniture featuring Nickelodeon properties. This new deal follows a partnership in the US, and will see the NickelodeonRooms furniture collection, including three lines targeting to different age groups, featured in international markets through the end of 2012. The three lines in the collection are available now available in 21 markets worldwide including Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Central and South America.
I Can Do That! Games ( www.icandothatgames.com ), a Seattle-based preschool game company, enters into a licensing deal to create new Angelina Ballerina games through a partnership with HIT Entertainment. The Angelina Ballerina games, which include a board game, matching game and puzzles, will debut at retail in fall 2011.
Marathon Media appoints Dominic Webber as Director/Current Series and Sr. Producer. Webber will oversee creative on all current productions and head a team of executive producers. HE will work alongside GM, David Michel. A 20-year veteran, Webber has worked as an Executive Producer for Corus’ YTV and Astral Media’s Teletoon, and prior to that as Artistic Director at Subsequence Entertainment and Vivatoon. He also worked as a scriptwriter and director.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Monday, September 27, 2010, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: What does D.O.R.C. stand for? DISEMBODIED OMNIPOTENT RULER OF CATS on SPACECATS Kudos to: Toshifumi Yoshida-The Pokemon Company Int’l/PDT
Today’s Trivia Question: What TV character wrote the children’s book The Amazing Tales of Tiny Tots? (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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