Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, February 22, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.

BabyFirst Americas, a new infant/family-targeted bilingual (English/Spanish) channel, is set to launch first on Comcast beginning Sunday, April 1, 2012 as part of its Digital Basic Tier (D1) package. BabyFirst Americas ( is designed to introduce culturally relevant early education skills to babies and families in the Hispanic US community (e.g. vocabulary, numbers, animals, colors, music, and art), and help them integrate their kids into American society with connections to their Latino heritage and language. Programming on the channel will include shows like Harry the Bunny, PeekaBoo, I See You! and VocabuLarry. BabyFirst Americas is also working with Hispanic producers to create original shows such as SuperCarlos, currently in production, which revolves around a kid superhero and underlines everyday vocabulary and encourages healthy eating habits, and Little Museum, which aims to expose viewers to art and music in a developmentally appropriate way. BabyFirst Americas will also offer a color-coded programming guide to help provide parents with an easy way to identify the educational value of specific segments, interactive subtitles for parents, and Spanish and English language audio options. BabyFirst Americas is part of the parent channel BabyFirstTV, which launched in 2006.


Writer/actor/comedian David Walliams‘ (Little Britain, Rock Profile, Come Fly with Me) kid’s novel Mr. Stink is headed to BBC One as a one-hour live action special later this year. The family targeted Mr. Stink (1×60) special follows the unusual, humorous and touching friendship between a young girl, Chloe, and a local tramp, aptly named Mr. Stink because  he does. Adapted by Walliams, Mr. Stink will be executive produced by Mark Freeland, Head of BBC Comedy, and is being made by BBC In-House Comedy Productions in association with Walliams and his production company DEW Productions. Walliams’ other kid’s books include his debut title, The Boy In The Dress, and Billionaire Boy and Gangsta Granny.


Penguin Children’s Books in the UK inks a worldwide licensing partnership with Activision Publishing, a worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive products, for a series of books and apps based on the popular kid-targeted Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure ( video game. The new deal will see Penguin Children’s Books publish five titles under its Media & Entertainment imprint beginning spring 2012. The debut title is an eBook, The Doomsday Quest, and will release in April. The physical Doomsday Man title will release in October, along with Master Eon’s Official Guide, Magic & Tech Handbook and a sticker book.

Coolabi enters into a license deal with beauty company Japonesque for its girl-targeted Scarlett & Crimson property for the US and UK. Under the deal, Japonesque, which already covers US cosmetics for Scarlett & Crimson, extends to include a line of bath, body and hair care products for the US market. Coolabi has also signed a deal with Japonesque for a brand new cosmetics line for the UK. Specifically designed for tween/teen girls, the products are expected to launch for fall/winter 2012. The Scarlett & Crimson brand is co-owned by Coolabi and creator Ged Backland. Licensing and marketing agency Lisa Marks Associates represents Scarlett & Crimson in North America.

Italy’s Atlantyca Entertainment finalizes a license deal with Biembi for the preschool 3D HD CGI animated series Dive Olly Dive! Under the deal, Biembi will manufacture and distribute a line of Dive Olly Dive themed back-to-school products (e.g. stationery, backpacks, pencil cases) for release in Italy beginning June 2012. Dive Olly Dive! is an international co-production between Mike Young Productions, a subsidiary of Moonscoop, Atlantyca Entertainment (season 2), Australia’s Flying Bark Productions, KI.KA, ARD in Germany, Ireland’s Telegael Teo and China’s GDC Assets Management.

Lawless Entertainment completes a license deal for the artist Suzy Spafford’s Suzy’s Zoo with Joanna Sheen in Europe. Under the deal Joanna Sheen will develop a line of craft items, including decoupage and rubber stamps, based on the Little Suzy’s Zoo characters. Set for release in spring 2012, the items will be available via and other online retailers, Create and Craft TV, as well as specialty stores.


Cookie Jar Entertainment enters into a new streaming deal with pay-TV provider Dish Network to expand its offering of kid and family programming via its Blockbuster @Home TV package, which will include select Cookie Jar live-action and animated programs. Subscribers to Blockbuster @Home will be able to watch episodes of Cookie Jar Entertainment’s library of series such as Adventures of Paddington Bear, Busy World of Richard Scarry, Busytown Mysteries, Country Mouse, City Mouse, Heathcliff, Inspector Gadget, Madeline, Sonic the Hedgehog, Strawberry Shortcake, and Wimzie’s House.

Sesame Workshop releases hour-long episodes of Sesame Street, as well as other educational content via iTunes and the app store in Australia. Beginning this week, Australian fans can download a range of Sesame Street content on iTunes such as: hour-long Sesame Street episodes (seasons 35-41)  including previously unseen segments in Australia; Sesame Street podcasts; Sesame Street Classics: Volume 1; Pinky Dinky Doo: great Big Stories, Volume 1 and 2; The Electric Company (New: Volumes 1-3) and The Electric Company (Classic: Volumes 1-2); 100 digital albums of Sesame Street music; and 26 Sesame Street apps. Sesame Street airs in Australia on ABC.

Program Call:  Cynopsis Media will be producing our annual MIPTV Shopping Guide sent to all Cynopsis and Cynopsis Kids subscribers on Thursday, March 29, the week before MIPTV 2012 in Cannes. If your company is an official exhibitor at MIPTV this year and would like to have your programming included in our shopping guide, 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. To be included in this free and highly-viewed special edition, please send your submission to Lisa Ball at: no later than Thursday, March 22, 2012. A confirmation email will be sent following each submission from Lisa (if you do not receive a confirmation email, please resubmit).


Discovery Communications names Courtney Menzel SVP/Domestic Distribution. Menzel will head up national accounts and field sales and marketing efforts for Discovery’s Domestic Distribution team, responsible for the strategic oversight and distribution of Discovery’s 13 US networks, nine HD channels and all Discovery US Hispanic networks. She will report to Bill Goodwyn, President/Global Distribution and CEO/Discovery Education, Discovery Communications. Menzel is a 20-year affiliate sales and marketing executive, most recently with Current Media and prior to that with MTV Networks.

Australia’s ABC TV’s Children’s division unveils its restructuring plan that will come this spring with the planned departure of Carla de Jong, Head of Commissioning and Development. Following her four years with ABC Children’s, de Jong is relocating to Toronto where she will consult with local and international companies on the development, financing and co-production of kid’s content. During her time with ABC Children’s de Jong is credited with being key in the creation of ABC3 and the revitalization of ABC4Kids, and identifying and developing content and hosts for each. Moving forward ABC Children’s commissioning department will be divided into two areas, animation and live action as follows:

  • Chris Rose, currently VP/Programming and Development, HIT Entertainment in the UK, is named to head ABC TV’s new Animation for ABC3 and ABC4Kids, reporting directly to Tim Brooke-Hunt, Controller of ABC Children’s. Rose previously served as Acquisitions Executive for BBC Children’s, and Acquisitions Manager for CBeebies, and where he also was Executive Producer on animated properties.
  • Simon Hopkinson is tapped to lead the Live Action Children’s TV area. Hopkinson has, for the last three years, been responsible for commissioning drama and animation under de Jong for ABC TV’s kid-targeted channels. He too will report directly to Brooke-Hunt. Hopkinson will also continue to represent ABC Children’s TV in our on-going co-production relationship with CCTV (China) Children’s Channel. Beginning this April, Hopkinson will also supervise Thierry Bled, who will continue to focus on the commissioning of factual/reality genres for the kid channels.
  • Aaron Mulheron, Commissioning and Development Co-Coordinator, will continue to work across all genres and areas. He remains the first point of contact for independent producers.
  • The restructuring will not impact ABC Children’s TV’s Programming and Acquisition area, which is helmed by Barbara Uecker.

Big Tent Entertainment appoints Kirsten Fallon as VP/Global Business Development. Fallon will oversee international brand and retail development for development of Domo and PixFusion brands across all media formats, in Latin America, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Middle East and North Africa. Additionally, she will be responsible for select global retailers for all Big Tent Entertainment brands. Based in NYC, Fallon will report to Rich Collins, CEO, Big Tent Entertainment. A 20-year veteran of the licensing industry, Fallon most recently served as VP/Retail Marketing and Development in the US for Ludorum.  Previously Fallon worked in retail strategy and development for Peanuts Worldwide (f/k/a United Media) and before that at United Media.

Nickelodeon Australia and New Zealand appoints Tina McIntosh as Director/Marketing and Commercial Partnerships. McIntosh, who will take up her new position in late March, will be responsible for promoting Nickelodeon’s channels and its brands to consumers, carriers and advertisers. She will also serve as a member of Nick’s Global Marketing Council. McIntosh joined Viacom International Media Networks in April 2011 as the Director/Marketing and Communications for MTV and Comedy Central. She previously toiled in various roles for EMI Music, Movie Network Channels, and The Television Corporation International. PBL Media ad Emap advertising. Nickelodeon Australia is a joint venture between Viacom International Media Networks and XYZnetworks.


Disney Channel‘s premiere of its new original movie Radio Rebel on Friday, February 17 (8-9:40p) was the number one telecast of the night among K2-11 (2.4 million), K6-11 (2.0 million) and Tweens 9-14 (1.8 million), and the top scripted cable telecast in its time period for the night among Total Viewers (4.3 million). Radio Rebel was grew beginning to end during its premiere, up +29% with K6-11 (1.7 million to 2.2 million), +33% among Tweens 9-14 (1.5 million to 2.0 million), and up +26% with Total Viewers (3.8 million to 4.8 million).

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, February 16, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL:       K2-11 869; K6-11 483; TWEENS 9-14 387
NICKELODEON:            K2-11 823; K6-11 330; TWEENS 9-14 224
CARTOON NETWORK:   K2-11 387; K6-11 266; TWEENS 9-14 262
DISNEY XD:                K2-11 165; K6-11 131; TWEENS 9-14 130
NICKTOONS:               K2-11   98; K6-11   59; TWEENS 9-14 53
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Friday, February 17, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL:      K2-11 1014; K6-11 615; TWEENS 9-14 506
NICKELODEON:          K2-11   839; K6-11 380; TWEENS 9-14 257
CARTOON NETWORK:  K2-11   505; K6-11 362; TWEENS 9-14 299
DISNEY XD:              K2-11   262; K6-11 202; TWEENS 9-14 175
NICKTOONS:             K2-11   126; K6-11   58; TWEENS 9-14  47
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data


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Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What show was a spin-off of Transformers? Beast Wars and Gobots. Kudos to: Marc, PA; Michael Sala-Mattel Fisher-Price Friends/NYC; Brett Ashy-The Ashy Agency/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Despite its tiny size, this sidekick occasionally had impressive displays of strength handling little jobs that the rest of the crew could not and only spoke in unintelligible buzzes that few could understand. Name the sidekick and show.  ***Following our normal Trivia rules, the individuals that guess correctly will also receive $25 off their Kids eBook purchase. Visit our Facebook page for more opportunities to answer Kids trivia questions!

(Email 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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JOB OPENING: VP, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT SHOWTIME ANYTIME/SHOWTIME/NYC: Responsible for overseeing day-to-day ops, ongoing development & product maintenance of Showtime Anytime. 10+ yrs exp req’d. Apply at (2/29)

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INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at

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