Good morning. It’s Tuesday, February 7, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.
Arc Productions (Gnomeo and Juliet, 9), Toronto-based visual effects and animation studio, hops on board as the animation studios for HIT Entertainment‘s CG-animated Thomas & Friends series. Arc will provide animation for the new 11-minute episodes of Thomas & Friends for the 17th season of the series and a one-hour Thomas & Friends special. The deal marks the first time Arc will produce a global TV series, with the new episodes set to rollout from fall 2013. HIT Entertainment is now a division of Mattel’s Fisher-Price.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Treason Media, a new Canadian independent production company founded by Aron Dunn, teams with another Canadian indie, Hop To It Productions, to develop the new kid/tween live-action comedy Lucas Rocks! The series revolves around Lucas, a shy 12-year-old that would rather collect rocks then hang out with friends, whose life changes when he discovers an impish spirit hiding in a chunk of quartz he found while visiting the Australian Outback. As they are like to do, the mischievous spirit creates a bit of havoc in Lucas’ life, ultimately forcing him out of his shell and into some interesting situations. Dunn and Hop To It prexy, Susan Nation, will both attend Kidscreen Summit this week where they will showcase the property.
American Greetings Properties (AGP) and international licensing agent Starbright announce the appointment of Edebe Audiovisual Licensing as the new Holly Hobbie subagent for Portugal and Spain. Edebe has already signed Distribuidora Dos as a new licensee in the region for back-to-school products (backpacks, bags, pencil cases, binders, notebooks, labels, folders, cosmetics bags, wallets, coin purses, waste paper baskets, pencil holders, invitations, memo pads, pens, and diaries), which will debut March 2012 through 2013.
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences welcomes Canada’s Shaw Rocket Fund, a not-for-profit corporation that aims to inspire excellence in the Canadian kid’s production industry, as a presenting partner for the new International Emmy Kids Awards. The inaugural awards ceremony is scheduled for February 2013 in New York City.
Nickelodeon inks a global broadcast acquisition deal with Classic Media and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana for the tween-targeted series Life With Boys (22×30). Life With Boys was created by Michael Poryes (Hannah Montana, That’s So Raven) and is produced by Nelvana and Helion Pictures. Under the deal, Nickelodeon picks up the exclusive TV rights in the US and Pay TV rights for regional Nickelodeon channels, across Europe, including Germany, Benelux, the Nordics, as well as Latin America and Asia. Nickelodeon previously acquired the UK broadcast rights for the series in a deal with Helion Pictures. Life with Boys revolves around 14-year-old Tess Foster, as she tries to navigate the ups and towns teen-life, school and life living at home with her single overprotective dad and three brothers.
In other Minnie Mouse news, Disney Junior will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a marathon of Minnie’s Bow-Toons and Minnie Mouse-themed episodes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Tuesday, February 14, 9:30a-2p. The marathon will feature one new Minnie’s Bow-Toons episode at 9:55a. A Valentine’s Day greeting card maker debuts this week at DisneyJunior.com/Valentine (www.disneyjunior.com/valentine), which will also feature holiday themed crafts. In addition, fans can also send and receive online cards from their popular Disney Junior characters.
Nicktoons is set to launch the new action adventure series Monsuno (52×30) with back-to-back episodes on Thursday, February 23, at 8p. Following the series premiere, Monsuno will air on the channel in its regular timeslot, Thursdays at 8:30p. Additionally, Monsuno will also air on Nickelodeon channels around the world, beginning summer 2012. Monsuno follows Chase, the teen son of a missing scientist, and his friends as they seek the secrets of the re-awakened alien Monsuno DNA and save the world. Monsuno is co-produced by Pacific Animation Partners, a joint venture between Jakks Pacific and Dentsu Entertainment USA, with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and The Topps Company. FME is handling the global distribution of the TV series, except in Asia, and is the master licensing agent for the Monsuno brand outside of Asia. Jakks Pacific, the creator of the Monsuno property, is the master toymaker for the toy line. The Topps Company will produce Monsuno trading card games, confectioneries and related products.
The Hub will premiere the new mixed live-action/animated series The Aquabats! Super Show! on Saturday, March 3, at 1p. Produced by FremantleMedia Enterprises and The Magic Store, The Aquabats! Super Show! stars the Aquabats, a real alternative rock band rock band, as they set out on their unending quest to right wrongs, obliterate boredom and, of course, seek justice. Executive Producer Christian Jacobs (co-creator, writer, and director of Yo Gabba Gabba!) is the band’s lead vocalist and plays the team’s leader, The MC Bat Commander. The Hub’s website, Hubworld.com (ww.hubworld.com) will feature a range of interactive The Aquabats! Super Show! themed activities surrounding the series premiere, including a series show page and game, Aqua-Battle!, debuting on February 23. Additionally, increased promotional support for the series will begin on Monday, February 27 featuring a home page takeover that includes a mix of video and animation.
National Geographic Kids hosts the US online debut of the reality series Are We There Yet? World Adventure on its website littlekids.nationalgeographic.com (www.littlekids.nationalgeographic.com) website. Targeted to K3-7, each seven-minute episode of the series features pairs of sibling kids who journey around the world learning about all sorts of cultures and things, such as rain forests in Costa Rica, llamas in Peru, pyramids in Mexico and medieval Europe at a festival in France. Are We There Yet? World Adventure is produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Treehouse TV and National Geographic Kids, the US and international distributor for the series. Additionally, new episodes of the environment-centric series Iggy Arbuckle, produced by Blueprint Entertainment, can be seen on kids.nationalgeographic.com (www.kids.nationalgeographic.com), where kids can also find series-themed games.
US-based Televix Entertainment acquires the free TV distribution rights throughout Latin America for two K6-11 aimed animated series, Rated A for Awesome (26×22) and Slugterra (39×22), from Canada’s Nerd Corps Entertainment.
eOne Family completes new international broadcast deals for several kid-targeted series, including Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Raymond and The Secret World of Benjamin Bear. RAI‘s (Italy) preschool channel Yo Yo acquires seasons 3 and 4 of Peppa Pig, as well as renewing the first two seasons of the series, which will air the series daily from this month. Nickelodeon picks up Peppa Pig for Benelux and Scandinavia, also debuting in those territories this month. RTE (Ireland) has re-licensed both Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig seasons 1 and 4. KIKA (Germany) acquires The Secret World of Benjamin Bear, while ZDF (Germany) takes Raymond. Cartoon Network in Japan picks up seasons 2 and 3 of Raymond, which it will air in early 2012. In Eastern Europe, Estonia TV picks up Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and Ceska Televise takes Pat and Stan.
Echo Bridge Entertainment will showcase the animated musical series Teen Days (26×30) this week at the Kidscreen Summit in New York. Co-produced by Cartoon One and Rai Fiction, Teen Days follows the lives of six freshmen (three boys, three girls) at a performing arts high school. Although they are each very different from each other, they all share the same dream of winning Music One, the International Tournament of Music High Schools, and to have a career in the music industry. Inspired by Japanese anime, Teen Days has already aired in Italy on both Rai Due and Rai Gulp as well as Disney Channel in France. The 2011 Kidscreen Awards nominee for Best Tweens/Teens Animated Series has aired on Italy’s Rai Due and Rai Gulp as well as on the Disney Channel in France, where it became the most watched French cartoon for teens in 2010.
Sesame Workshop promotes Dr. Rosemarie Truglio to SVP/Education and Research. Dr. Truglio will continue to develop the interdisciplinary curriculum that is the basis for Sesame Street, as well as overseeing research responsible for enhancing the entertaining and educational components of the series. She will also continue to develop and review Sesame Street content across all media platforms and products, as well as continue to oversee the educational content and research for The Electric Company. Dr. Truglio reports to Dr. Lewis Bernstein, EVP/Education, Research and Outreach. Prior to joining the Workshop 15 years ago, Dr. Truglio was an Assistant Professor of Communications and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Friday, February 3, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1107; K6-11 613; TWEENS 9-14 431
NICKELODEON: K2-11 817; K6-11 328; TWEENS 9-14 237
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 411; K6-11 292; TWEENS 9-14 230
DISNEY XD: K2-11 166; K6-11 130; TWEENS 9-14 99
NICKTOONS: K2-11 91; K6-11 53; TWEENS 9-14 48
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What was the name of the robot on Buck Rogers? Twiki. Kudos to: Brad Stern/Floral Park, NY; Bob Friedland-Toys “R” Us, Inc/NYC; Marc Morrell-ToonBarn.com/Quakertown, PA; Robert Twilley-Jupiter Entertainment; David Pearlman-Disney ABC Television Group/Burbank; Rob Chatlin-FX Network/LA; Brett Ashy-The Ashy Agency/LA.
Today’s Trivia Question: What show was Sprout’s first original series? (Email John@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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