Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, January 16, 2012, and this is your first early morning briefing.

First in show: The Jan. 11 premiere of Disney Junior’s preschool series Sofia the First ranks as the No. 1 preschool series launch in cable history among girls 2-5 (8.6 rating), viewers 18-49 (0.8) and Women 18-49 (1.1), according to Nielsen data. With 2.7 million viewers, the princess-peppered show also claims the No. 2 weekday preschool cable bow since 2000’s Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Club, at 2.8 million.


February 9, 10, 11

Little Airplane Productions is accepting applications for a unique workshop taught by accomplished preschool TV veterans on each step of creating a high-quality preschool series. Topics include Writing, Pitching, Legal, Design, Music, Directing, Producing, Distribution and more. A panel of noteworthy Children’s TV broadcasters will be on hand to discuss pitching to a network. 

Limited to 30 participants. Contact Tone Thyne:


Disney Interactive is launching game platform Disney Infinity. The platform – which lets players build worlds and create stories featuring Disney-Pixar characters – will have a phased rollout beginning in June across consoles, mobile devices and online devices through 2013.

Complete past seasons of Cartoon Network series including Adventure Time, Ben 10 and Johnny Bravo, and Warner Bros. Animation’s Green Lantern will be available on NetFlix beginning March 30. Netflix also gets Adult Swim shows including Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force on the same date.

PBS Kids gave TCA’ers an early preview of its newest animated preschool series, PEG+ CAT, which cleverly wraps math concepts and skills into the adventures of a feisty girl and her feline sidekick. The series, created by the Fred Rogers Co., is slated to debut this fall.

ABC Family will produce an episode of popular tween series Switched at Birth entirely in American Sign Language. The episode, the first for scripted mainstream TV, airs March 4.

The Hub scored basketball great Shaquille O’Neal for an appearance in the Jan. 20 episode of its Warren Buffett-inspired animated series Secret Millionaires Club.

No more seconds on 3D for the Walt Disney Co. The studio canned plans for a 3D rerelease of its 1989 animated classic “The Little Mermaid” after 3D versions of “Monsters, Inc.” and “Beauty and the Beast” fell below expectations. The studio’s Marvel titles “Captain American: The Winter Soldier” and “The Guardian of the Galaxy,” both due next year, will be released in the format. 

Kids Apps: Disney Publishing created the iOS storybook app for new preschool series Sofia the First, premiering this month on Disney Junior… Also new from Disney is UP: My Name is Dug, an iPad app based on the conversing canine from the Disney-Pixar film Up… Toon Boom Animation created a new Andriod app, Boom Goggles and is working on apps for iPad, Windows 8 and RT.

Talk about going beyond infinity. A pair of amateur filmmakers scored more than 1.5 million YouTube views in the first day when they released their live-action, shot-for-shot remake of Pixar’s 1995 movie “Toy Story.” The new recasting was Pixar-approved, perhaps because the filmmakers used Disney-licensed toys for the project. 


Cynopsis: Digital Webinar
Thursday * January 24, 2013 * 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Hosted by
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor, Cynopsis Digital
JoAnna Foyle Abel
– VP, Marketing, FreeWheel
Charlie Echeverry
– EVPSales for Univision Interactive, Univision Communications
Marcus Startzel
– General Manager, North America, Millennial Media

More Kids Stuff

The number of children 6-17 who’ve read an e-book has nearly doubled since 2010, according to a report released this week by Scholastic Inc. But the “Kids and Family Reading Report” also notes during the same period the percentage of girls who reported being frequent readers slid from 42% to 36% –a factor the study attributes in part to the rise of reading on multi-use tablets like the iPad vs. dedicated e-readers.

Random House Children’s Books is relaunching its site with easier navigation and the addition of two sections: Books and For Parents. The publisher is also beefing up its Facebook and Twitter presence.

Are pay TV’s best days behind it? New research from TDG says the model peaked in 2011 at nearly 101 million subscribers in 2011 and has begun a slow decline – expected to settle at 95 million by 2017.

Game On: Android-powered smart TVs will soon be able to access Agawi’s CloudPlay streaming gaming service as part of a new deal with Marvell, which is among the companies that makes the hardware that powers Google TV in sets manufactured by LG, Sony and Vizio.

Bedtime Blues: The more TV children watch before bed, the less they sleep, concludes a study to be published in the February issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Researchers in New Zealand tracked activities of 2,000 children and adolescents ages 5-24 in the 90 minutes before bedtime. For all, TV-watching dominated the presleep period with screen time accounting for roughly 30 minutes. Those with a later sleep onset reported up to 13 more minutes of screen time in the presleep period than those with an earlier sleep onset.

Word is Univision’s “Planeta U” Saturday morning children’s programming block is in the mix for the company’s newly formed Univision Agency. The in-house advertising entity will oversee all cross-channel promotions, research and creative services. Jodi Fernandez, formerly Galavision head of promotions, has been promoted to SVP, Univision Agency, reporting to Jessica Rodriguez, EVP scheduling and promotions.

Grammy-nominated music act and former PBS Kids interstitial stalwarts Milkshake are releasing their fifth studio album, “Got A Minute?,” on March 26.

Disney XD is teaming with Marvel Entertainment and First Book to champion children’s literacy through the just-launched “Reading With Marvel Comics Close-Up” initiative. The campaign, which kicked off with the donation of 210,000 books to several communities across the country, will feature Disney XD interstitials.

Cynopsis Kids! is thrilled to launch the call for submissions for our second annual !magination Awards, honoring the best in kids content and marketing. Winners will be saluted at an awards ceremony in June in NYC. Click here for details!


Lionsgate is extending its relationship with American Greetings Properties for the Care Bears franchise with a new deal that gives it packaged and digital rights in the U.S. and U.K. to the Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot series that debuted last year on The Hub.

Toronto-based 9 Story Entertainment and Scholastic signed a publishing deal for the animated comedy series Almost Naked Animals, seen on Cartoon Network in the U.S. Under the deal, brokered by The Licensing Shop, Scholastic will publish comic readers, joke books, chapter books, e-books and digital interactive storybooks for the U.S., Canada and Mexico in English and Spanish.

By the Numbers

The week in ratings, according to Nielsen: Disney Channel and Nickelodeon were neck-in-neck the week of Jan. 7-13, ranking as the top two basic cable networks in Total Day (each grabbed a 0.7 rating). Disney came out on top for Kids 2-11 and 6-11, and Tweens 9-14… Cartoon Network claimed sixth place for Total Day (0.6 rating), and was basic cable’s top destination for Total Day delivery of Boys 9-14, and No. 1 in Early Prime (7-9 p.m.) delivery of Boys 6-11 and 9-14. All demos scored double-digit delivery gains vs. the same week last year. Kids 2-11 grew by 32%, Kids 6-11 by 56% and Kids 9-14 by 87%… ABC Family earned a Total Day rating of 0.2… Disney XD, Sprout, Nicktoons and The Hub each scored a 0.1 Total Day rating.
ABC Family’s winter season launch Jan. 8 of who-done-it-style Pretty Little Liars ranked as the night’s  top telecast for target Millennials and continued its social media blitz with more than 767,000 tweets at a peak rate of 39,000 per minute and accounting for 52% of all the night’s Twitter traffic.

Weekend box office estimates for the top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Jan. 11-13:
Les Miserables (Universal) PG-13  $10.1M
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.) PG-13  $9.1M
Lincoln (Disney) PG-13 $6.3M
Parental Guidance (20th Century Fox) – $6.1M
Jack Reacher (Paramount) PG-13 $5.0M

Executive Moves

The Jim Henson Co. is expanding its international business with the promotion of Andrew Thomas to director, global distribution, sales & marketing. Additionally, Karen Lee Arbeeny joins the company in the new position of executive director, distribution; Casie Shapiro comes aboard as director of global distribution & sales; and Adam Lucas joins as distribution coordinator.

Jennifer Hansen has been promoted to VP ad sales for the Radio Disney Stations Group.

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products tapped industry veteran Bettina Koeckler to lead European operations as SVP, EMEA.

Answer to Last Week’s Trivia Question: Unscramble to solve: “Rich Owl Abner.” Charlie Brown.  Kudos to: Dean Stefan-freelance animation writer/The Hub/Moonscoop/Disney; Marge Kennedy-BlingoLINGO/NYC; Alison HillCartoon Network/Atlanta.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who was Underdog’s love? (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.)

Cheers — Cathy for Cynopsis Kids!

Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Media Entertainment
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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