Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 26, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
HarperCollins Publishers’ HarperTeen imprint officially launches i nkpop, a teen-targeted interactive writing platform. Debuting this week, inkpop furthers HarperCollins’ teen strategy by offering users a combination community publishing, user-generated content and social networking features. Additionally, the publisher hopes to identify up and coming young writing talent by having some of its editors and authors review the site’s top five monthly selections, as voted on by users, and offering feedback to teen writers. Since its soft launch in Q4 2009, inkpop boasts 10,000+ members and upwards of 11,000 submissions, including novels, poems, essays, and short stories.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Weird Al Yankovic announced on his blog yesterday working a project with Cartoon Network. In his post Yankovic says that the network wants him to create content and that he is working on a live-action feature film for them, further noting he is on the third draft and that the project has not been given the green light. Other details offered by Yankovic include that the project is not a sequel to his movie UHF, nor is it a documentary about Winston Churchill, he hopes that it will be funny and that if it goes forward he will appear but not star in the movie, but does plan to direct the project. Cartoon Network confirms only that it is developing a project with Weird Al.
Production is up and rolling on the third season of Disney Channel‘s The Suite Life on Deck. Starring twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse, the series is a spin-off of the network’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. The Suite Life on Deck is produced by It’s A Laugh Productions, with executive producers Pamela Eells O’Connell (Family Matters) and Irene Dreayer (Sister, Sister, Smart Guy), and producer Walter Barnett.
James Marsden joins the cast of the mixed live-action and CG animated feature film I Hop from Illumination Entertainment and Universal, per THR. Directed by Tim Hill (Alvin and the Chipmunks), in the movie Marsden will play a slacker who accidentally hurts the Easter Bunny, who will be voiced by Russell Brand. The movie features a screenplay by Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch and is currently set for release on April 1, 2011. Paul and Daurio also penned the screenplay for Universal and Illumination’s animated feature Despicable Me, which opens July 9, 2010.
MORE KIDS STUFF
Do you like him? Does she like you? Viewers will find out during Nickelodeon‘s Secret Crush Weekend, featuring primetime premiere episodes of iCarly, True Jackson, VP, The Troop and Big Time Rush, February 5-6. The weekend will also go behind the scenes with the network’s stars, including Miranda Cosgrove, Keke Palmer, Victoria Justice, and the cast of Big Time Crush, to learn about their first crushes, what they are looking for in a guy/girl and embarrassing date moments. The episodes will encore in a marathon on Sunday, Feb. 7 from 6-8p.
In other Nickelodeon love-related matters, TeenNick will premiere a new hour-long special episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation, titled Love Games, on Friday, February 9 at 9p.
Litton Entertainment is offering what they are calling the Total E/I Solution, which is two separate three-hour blocks of educational/informational (E/I) programming for D1 an D2 broadcast signals. The blocks are designed to build on the strength of local channels and, of course, address content issues and commercial restrictions and fulfill FCC E/I programming guidelines. Litton will also provide stations with back-up materials supporting the E/I qualifications of each program including booklets for the public. Each program is offered on an even barter split. Programming will include:
- Earth: Chronicles of an Angry Planet (half-hour series) – the series that explores Earth’s evolution and extreme weather patterns and events. The show will be offered to stations on a split track so that a local anchor or meteorologist can provide the voiceover.
- Weather Trail (half-hour series) – features weather stories and the effects on wildlife and humans.
- Jack Hanna’s Blooper Planet – pretty much what it says – a collection of bloopers from animal expert Jack Hanna’s various experiences.
- Culture Click (half-hour series) – the series aims to bring the world together but asking questions such as How are the Chinese like us? Do you have a twin in Russia?
- Jarod Miller’s Animal Investigation – Miller, a scientist and animal advocate, takes a look the health of the animal world and the planet through reports from the rainforest. Litton will provide 1-minute news reports (for local news) as part of the series. The series also has a corresponding website.
- Ocean Mysteries – the series explores the mystery of the earth’s oceans and their importance.
Steve Rotfeld Productions, an indie production/syndication company, inks renewals of three kid-targeted E/I (educational/informational) series for fall 2010 at NAPTE.
- Twice-weekly series Wild About Animals, currently in its 16th season, and Awesome Adventures, in its 13th season, have both been cleared in 85% of the US (29 of the top 30 markets) including the FOX O&O Station Group and affiliates in other station groups: including Local TV, Tribune, Raycom Media, Cox and Media General.
- The fifth season of the weekly series Whaddyado has been cleared in 80% of the US (27 of the top 30 market) including CBS Television Stations group O&O stations, as well as stations from groups such as FOX, Tribune, Raycom Media, Sinclair, Cox and Barrington.
Moonscoop completes further European TV deals for its 2D HD animated preschool series Chloe’s Closet (52×11). Broadcasters picking up Chloe’s Closet include France Television, Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney Spain. Moonscoop has also named Bandai America as the global toy licensee for he property. Chloe’s Closet is produced by Moonscoop’s LA office, in association with Wales Creative IP Fund, KI.KA/ARD, Trickompany FilmProduktion, European Film Partners, and Telegael.
Bejuba Entertainment inks a deal with Galleon Entertainment to distribute the TV, online and DVD rights to the sci-fi soccer Sokator-422 franchise. Targeted to K6-12, Galleon’s Sokator-422 ( www.sokator422.com ) currently includes an animated movie (1×75), online interactive game and TV game show. PolyBona, Galleon’s co-production partner, will distribute the movie in China and South East Asia, where it will be released as a feature film. Bejuba! will introduce the animated movie to buyers at the Kidscreen Summit next month. The animated movie will be available for air by mid-May 2010 to coincide with the World Cup. The movie is being produced by London based Zoo Films with animation by China’s Sandman Animation Studios.
Toei Animation completes new broadcast and DVD deals in Latin America for several anime properties at NATPE 2010: Megavision TV (Chile) acquires Dragon Ball; Rede TV (Brazil) picks up Digimon Frontier; while Five Stars (Brazil) licenses the DVD rights for Digimon Adventures.
Marvel enters into a licensing deal with Turkey’s Turk Telekom and Paimotion Entertainment that for Marvel production, animated shorts and TV series, online and PC games, mobile applications, merchandising and a customized kids website, as well as products available at Marvel Mini-Stores at Turk Telekom’s stores and websites. The deal will see Marvel products and super heroes customized and translated into Turkish. Sobee, Turk Telekom’s gaming company, will translate the Marvel kids website into Turkish and will develop and release animated shorts featuring Marvel’s Super Heroes, as well as developing new flash games and introducing the Marvel characters into its existing games, such as I Can Football and Super Can Oyun. Additionally, Marvel characters will teamed with Turk Telekom’s mascot Can in a marketing plan to showcase Turkey and its culture.
FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) names Bob Higgins as SVP/Children’s & Family Entertainment, which launched in fall 2009. Higgins will be based in NY and will report to Sander Schwartz, EVP and Head/Children & Family Entertainment. Higgins will help oversee the creative direction for FME’s kid’s business, as well as manage content, including acquisitions, development and sales of TV and digital programming worldwide. Most recently Higgins was Chief Creative Officer/Wildbrain. He previously toiled for Cartoon Network, Classic Media, Sony Pictures Family Entertainment and Nelvana Communications.
Nikki Reed is named VP/Original Series, Disney Channel and Disney XD. Reed will oversee live-action program development for both networks, as well as working with casting to identify new talent. She will report to Adam Bonnett, SVP/Original Programming, Disney Channel. Reed most recently served as VP/Current and Development, Universal Cable Productions. She was previously held senior development positions with Bungalow 78 Productions and Junction Entertainment, and was an executive producer on the feature Invincible.
Ian Black joins Worldwide Biggies as VP/Corporate Development & Product Strategy. He will focus his energies on developing character-based brands via product innovation in online and mobile entertainment. Black has a diverse background including founding a hedge fund advisory firm, which focused on healthcare technology investments, as well as serving as a writer producer on video games (the MMO Pirates of the Caribbean, The Princess Bride).
Joi Podgorny joins Smart Bomb Interactive as Director/Community Engagement for National Geographic‘s Animal Jam, the K5-9 targeted virtual world set to launch in summer 2010. Most recently, Podgorny served as Head of Community for Mind Candy, where she oversaw the moshimonsters.com community.
Disney Channel‘s premiere of an hour-long episode of Wizards of Waverly Place on Friday, January 22 (8-9p) delivered series high among Total Viewers (6.2 million) and K6-11 (2.6 million).
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, January 21, 2010, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON: K2-11 1193; K6-11 471; TWEENS 9-14 299
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 800; K6-11 512; TWEENS 9-14 425
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 514; K6-11 310; TWEENS 9-14 201
DISNEY XD: K2-11 123; K6-11 76; TWEENS 9-14 46
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Friday, January 22, 2010, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON: K2-11 1232; K6-11 562; TWEENS 9-14 403
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1206; K6-11 828; TWEENS 9-14 678
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 591; K6-11 342; TWEENS 9-14 218
DISNEY XD: K2-11 120; K6-11 88; TWEENS 9-14 67
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: This Award is a left hand, index finger pointing with wings attached to the index finger. What is the name of this prestigious award? THE FLYING FICKLE FINGER OF FATE on ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN Kudos to: Kerry Milliron-Random House Children’s Books/NY; Ellen Donahue-Fisher Price/East Aurora; Jim Salicrup-Papercutz/NY; Kevin Weist/NY; Tom Boyd-WGN TV/Chicago; Hank Bordowitz-The Bordowitz Media Werx/Macomb; Lou Fazio-The Hub/LA; Sam Ewing-The Jim Henson Company/Hollywood; Jim Wyatt-Film Roman Starz Media/Burbank; Amy Weingartner-Disney Publishing Worldwide/Glendale;
Today’s Trivia Question: Mr. Laritate is the principal at Tribeca Prep School on Wizards of Waverly place. This character’s name however was taken from another character on a show from the 60’s. Name the character and show. (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.)
Later — Gwen
Gwen Billings for Cynopsis Kids!
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