Good morning. It’s Tuesday, October 25, 2011, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Mattel has officially entered into an agreement to acquire UK-based HIT Entertainment and its assets, with the exception of its interest in the cable network Sprout, for US$680 million in cash from a consortium led by Apax Partners funds, which purchased HIT in 2005 for about $890 million. With $180 million in revenues, HIT is one of the largest indie owners of preschool intellectual properties including Thomas & Friends, Barney, Fireman Sam and Angelina Ballerina. Mattel currently markets many Thomas & Friends toy products under an existing license deal with HIT, which extends through 2014. Mattel reports that its global sales for Thomas & Friends die-cast and plastic toys are $150+ million, and predicts the acquisition will allow the company to expand these product lines further. Mattel also create a line of Thomas & Friends wood-based toys when the current wood license expires at the end of 2012. The new wood toys line is expected to launch in 2013. The deal will be financed with a combination of cash and debt and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. Sprout is co-owned by HIT, Comcast, PBS and Sesame Workshop.
Nickelodeon‘s Nick at Nite picks up the original scripted live-action pilot, Daddy’s Home, which will star actor/director/writer/producer Scott Baio (Happy Days, Joni Loves Chachi, Charles In Charge, and Scott Baio is 45 and Single, among others) , Nick at Nite’s first since the early 1990s (Hi Honey I’m Home). The multi-camera, half-hour comedy resolves around David Hobbs (Baio) an actor who becomes a stay at home dad after playing a popular TV dad for ten years, thus holding up his end of the bargain he made with his soap star wife so that she can now return work. Daddy’s Home comes from creators/executive producers Tina Albanese (a producer on JAG, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and Patrick Labyorteaux (Andrew Garvey on Little House on the Prairie, and Bud Roberts on JAG) and is executive producers Eric Bischoff (also an author) and Jason Hervey (Wayne Arnold on The Wonder Years) via their Bischoff Hervey Entertainment (BHE), along with Baio. BHE previously worked on Scott Baio is 45 and Single, Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant, and Confessions of a Teen Idol. Before partnering Bischoff and Hervey produced numerous live events and other productions. Nick at Nite’s current programming lineup includes family series such as Home Improvement, Everybody Hates Chris, Friends, George Lopez, and Family Matters, as well as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Roseanne.
Wayans Girl Productions partners with Juliette Brindak, teen co-founder of the tween girl-targeted Miss O & Friends ( www.missoandfriends.com ) brand for a new TV series. Currently in development, the series will star Brandee Wayans, the 16-year-old niece of Keenan Ivory and Damon Wayans, with Brindak servings as guest host and mentor. The series aims to be an FCC Educational/Informational (E/I) qualifying series. Miss O & Friends is designed to help build esteem in girls who have outgrown dolls but are not ready for the activities and interests of older teen girls.
Nickelodeon and publisher Wiley Hardcover team for the new SpongeBob’s Kitchen Mission Cookbook ($16.99), releasing this week. In the books SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Plankton, Mr. Krabs, and Sandy go head-to-head in a competition to make the best treats and meals, while teaching kids to cook. SpongeBob’s Kitchen Mission Cookbook features 50+ recipes, including nutritious ones, along with illustrations and humor while providing kids with information about how to measure, stir, shape and decorate their creations. But will Plankton finally get the secret Krabby Patty recipe? I don’t know.
StinkyKids has appointed Tracey Beeker, owner of Be More Consultants, as licensing agent and publicist for the StinkyKids ( www.stinkykids.com ) brand and characters. Beeker will work to promote StinkyKids author/creator Britt Menzies. Current licensees include: Raven Tree Press (storybooks); Madame Alexander (soft-bodied dolls); Cycle Force Group (bikes, skates, skateboards, scooters, safety gear and accessories); and Kiddo Tags (collectible labels and tags). Additionally, Vital Theatre Company is producing StinkyKids, The Musical, which I set to debut in spring 2012.
Sprout ( www.sproutonline.com ) will debut the new animated preschool series Poppy Cat on Monday, November 7 at 7, during the season premiere of the network’s bedtime bloc, The Good Night Show (6-9p). Produced by Coolabi Productions, Poppy Cat is airing exclusive in the US on Sprout. The series is based on the Poppy Cat books by British illustrator/author Lara Jones.
Disney Channel will premiere its new original TV movie Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas!, on Friday, December 2 at 8p, with simulcasts on Sprint TV and MobiTV. Based on the network’s series Good Luck Charlie, the new movie follows the Duncans as they wind up separated on their way to spend the holidays in Palm Springs with Amy’s parents. Immediately following the premiere of the movie, Disney Channel will feature a preview of its new series Austin & Alley, about the partnership between polar opposites, at 9:30p.To support Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas!:
- Beginning Sunday, November 6, the cast of the movie will offer a behind the scenes look at the making of the movie and other information from the set in wrap-around segments during Good Luck Charlie (8p), and then each Sunday during the series up until the movie’s premiere.
- From Friday, November 4, fans can go to DisneyChannel.com and play new games based on the movie, including Christmas Fix It! and Vacation Vehicles.
- Friday, November 25, an exclusive preview of the movie will be available via Disney Channel On Demand, which is available to customers of affiliates including AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner and Verizon.
- Friday, December 6 the TV movie will be available on iTunes, Sony and Xbox Live.
A second season of Pukeko Pictures‘ preschool series the WotWots is set to premiere on TVNZ‘s (New Zealand) TVNZ Kidzone24 on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 2:50p. TVNZ Kidzone 24 (SKY channel 046) will air the WotWots daily at 2:50p with encores at 8:50a.
Heads up! Coming to you on December 1st the first every Cynopsis Media Holiday Programming Guide, listing all the great network holiday programming coming up during the month of December 2011. We’ll include one-time-only specials as well as special holiday episodes of regular series. We don’t want to leave anyone out, so help us help you and send us your network holiday listings, to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And thanks!
BBC Worldwide Channels appoints Nina Laricheva as VP/Commercial Development EMEA. She will be responsible for driving revenue growth and strategic development, working with local teams, of CBeebies, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Entertainment and BBC HD, as well as BBC World News across EMEA. Laricheva will report to Ian McDonough, SVP & GM/EMEA< BBC Worldwide Channels. Most recently, Laricheva was Global Affiliate Sales Director for Universal Networks International. She was previously a consultant for BBC Worldwide Channels, after having served as Commercial Director, Discovery Networks Europe.
Insight Research Group names Dawn Henry to the newly created position of SVP/Insights and Strategy. Henry will develop creative solutions for managing key accounts and client relationships, oversee daily project management, and will also be part of further developing the Insight team. Additionally, she will also serve as part of Insight’s new Management Team, which will set the company’s goals and long-term strategy. Henry joins Insight from Diageo where she most recently served as VP/Consumer Planning. She previously toiled for Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Friday, October 21, 2011, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 931; K6-11 559; TWEENS 9-14 440
NICKELODEON: K2-11 927; K6-11 471; TWEENS 9-14 346
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 409; K6-11 254; TWEENS 9-14 240
DISNEY XD: K2-11 204; K6-11 145; TWEENS 9-14 117
NICKTOONS: K2-11 69; K6-11 54; TWEENS 9-14 48
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
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Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: Who is the offspring of Hortense and Quackmore? Donald Duck. Kudos to: Brett Ashy-The Ashy Agency/NYC; Michael Hawkins-PromoDoctors/Irving
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