03/27/19: Nickeloden SlimeFest returns to Chicago with Pitbull, Bebe Rexha, T-Pain & JoJo Siwa

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Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 27, 2019 and this is your first early morning Kids briefing. 

IN CONVERSATION WITH… Paul DeBenedittis, Nickelodeon EVP, Programming and Content Strategy
Nickelodeon celebrates its 40th anniversary on April 1, and the network not coincidentally released an expansive lineup of new content for the coming year. CynKids caught up with content chief Paul DeBenedittis to survey the programming landscape.
What’s driving programming decisions these days?
Couple of different things. One is recognizing that kids are on very different platforms, and the audience is a little more sophisticated because of the access to content and platforms. It forces us to rethink the types of shows we are looking at and having a diverse slate. One of the things Brian [Robbins, Nick president] did early on was to look not at just scripted half-hour and sitcoms and animation and the way we would do those shows, but also to elevate the nonscripted area. As a result you’re seeing many of those shows now on our slate. The other key thing is consumer insights really informs a lot of how we’re thinking about our content and the types of stories we are trying to tell. We are here to entertain kids and we want to make sure we’re in sync with everything they’re doing in their lives.
There’s quite a bit of nonscripted coming up – the new Double Dare and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader among them. What feels Nickelodeon about these shows?
Kids have always been fans of nonscripted, and Nickelodeon has done nonscripted shows before with things like Double Dare. Now, it’s just elevating that. We recognize kids are watching broadcast and they do watch a lot of the nonscripted fare, so where is Nickelodeon in that mix? It has to be fun, it has to be relatable, it has to be repeatable.
Does it have to be funny?
I’d say yes, but funny can take many different paths. We’re a kids network and we believe we have to have fun in everything we’re doing. Are there other ways to do fun? For example we’re exploring Are You Afraid of the Dark? That’s not necessarily funny, but at the end of the day it will be a fun show that deviates from the laugh out loud funny of a sitcom or what we might see in some of our nonscripted.
Co-viewing is bigger than ever. How is Nickelodeon evolving content to entice kids and parents to view together?
Our nonscripted content is designed just for that. Things like Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader, ongoing Double Dare and some of the existing content we see already appeals to parents. We recognize we need to lean in here. It’s what families are looking for. They’re looking for more family time, and we want to be able to serve them with content to satisfy that need. Movies are also a part of this mix.
There are several feature films in the works centered on Nick IP at sister Paramount Pictures. Will we be seeing more TV movies?
Movies may take diff shapes and forms. It might be TV movies, it might be TV episodes that are designed in more a movie-like format, in addition to third-party films.
Linear television is on the decline. What’s Nickelodeon’s answer to engaging kids and driving brand affinity?
We recognize kids are everywhere and our goal is to be everywhere kids are. Whether that’s linear or digital distribution, we want to be everywhere as touch point in their lives. So we are programming around SVOD and VOD and AVOD, our app, YouTube, social, Noggin. They all play a mix in this, and we’re programing to all of those platforms – some of them with longform, some of them with our own created short form as well as broader social engagement, so it’s a two-way communication between kids and families across this platform. Some of our shows, such as Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader and when we launch our music-based family show, they’ll have extensions that are specifically created for those platforms.
Why did it make sense to partner with Netflix, which will see original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Loud House movies, among other content, that won’t be available via Nick’s own distribution streams?
We know kids are on these platforms so partnering and making the movies was a way for us to engage on these platforms with our brand and the possibility of bringing audiences to a deeper connection with these shows across our linear and digital footprint. It’s that basic, being where the kids and families are.
How do you decide which content to bring over to Netflix vs. keeping in the Nickelodeon fold?
Every discussion is different. For the ones you’ve seen, those are movies for key series that we hope will appeal to a broad audience and engage a new audience who might be so included to want a deeper connection from a series perspective, and that means coming over to Nickelodeon linear or our digital footprint where this content exists.
Let’s talk about reboots and spinoffs. You have SpongeBob spinoffs, and Blue’s Clues, Rugrats and All That reboots in the works. How much of this content will part of the mix going forward?
At 40 years, we’re now at this place in our life cycle where Nick appeals to many generations of consumers. We now have millennials that grew up with Nickelodeon, so part of it is this audience, and how they are able to experience the brand they grew up with, with their kids. We have a rich IP, and it’s time to bring some of that back to a new generation and re-engage with parents who now want to share the experience with their kids. Some of making the connections are with new content, and there’s also a mix of us going into our own library.
Nickelodeon SlimeFest is headed back to the States for a second year. Pitbull, Bebe Rexha, T-Pain and Nick-signed multimedia star JoJo Siwa headline this year’s music fest, which returns to Chicago June 8-9.
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September 9 – 10, 2019 | ThreeSixty, NYC
Join us for two days of learning, sharing, and networking at a one-of-a-kind gathering as senior brands, agency and programming executives dive into the critical challenges transforming the television industry.
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A new season of Odd Squad, the live-action series from Fred Rogers Productions and Sinking Ship Entertainment, is in production and will begin rolling out on PBS Kids in winter 2020. The series takes a turn with 21 new eps as new agents join the squad and travel to far-flung locations around the globe to tackle oddness as a Mobile Unit.
Helpsters is the debut project to arise from Sesame Workshop’s deal with Apple, announced last June. Big Bird and fellow Sesame Street muppet Cody revealed details about the series at Apple’s “It’s Showtime” event, including its focus on teaching kids how to code.
Netflix’s The Knight Before Christmas found its star and co-exec producer in Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Rent: Live). The film about a gallant knight who takes a shine to a high school teacher after a sorceress inadvertently sends him from medieval to modern times, is directed by Monika Mitchell and written by Cara Russell. Also starring is Josh Whitehouse (Game of Thrones prequel) also stars. Serving as exec producers on the Motion Picture Corporation of America film are Brad Krevoy, Amanda Phillips Atkins, Eric Jarboe, Jimmy Townsend and Lorenzo Nardini.
Israel Johnson (Schooled), Shelby Simmons (Andi Mack) and Scarlett Estevez (Daddy’s Home) joined the cast of Disney Channel’s Bunk’d for the live-action comedy’s fourth season, now in production. Returning cast members include Miranda May, Will Buie, Jr., Raphael Alejandro and Mallory James Mahoney. Bunk’d is exec produced by Phil Baker and Erin Dunlap, and was created by Pamela Eells O’Connell.
Kate Bosworth and director Michael Polish’s Make Pictures Productions are developing an untitled teen-focused docuseries with journalist Andrew Bevan and Wilshire Studios, with Polish, Bosworth and Bevan on board to co-exec produce. Series will feature young adults revealing their story through investigative journalism and offbeat storytelling.
Cyber Group Studio’s preschool series Gigantosaurus, which has been airing on Disney Channel, is also now airing on sister network Disney Junior weekdays at 10a and weekdays at 5:30p and 8:30p. Series follows the adventures of dinosaur pals Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu.
9 Story Distribution International entered an agreement with Vancouver-based Slap Happy Cartoons to acquire animated series The Hollow. Following its worldwide Netflix premiere, 9 Story Distribution retains all other distribution rights worldwide. Created by the team behind Nerds and MonstersVito Viscomi, Kathy Antonsen Rocchio, Josh Mepham and Greg Sullivan, the mystery adventure series focuses on three teen strangers who awaken in an underground bunker with no memory of themselves or each other and are forced to make sense of their connection in a mysterious realm. The first season of The Hollow premiered June 2018 on Netflix.
Nickelodeon will pull the ultimate April Fools’ Day prank when it bows unscripted series The Substitute on Monday, April 1, at 2p. From the producers of Undercover Boss, new hidden camera show features celebrities who are transformed by a team of special effects artists to go undercover as substitute teachers, surprising classes of unsuspecting students. Premiere ep guest stars Jace Norman (Henry Danger). The premiere is part of Nick’s April Fools’ Day marathon, with encore airings at 4p, 6p and 8p. The Substitute is produced by Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corp., Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman (Undercover Boss), with Mike Harney serving as showrunner.
The final season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic premieres Saturday, April 6 at 11:30a on Discovery Family. The series will also celebrate its 200th episode on Saturday, April 20.
Google and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media launched the first of several planned Carmen Sandiego capers on Google Earth, an homage to the original computer games from the ‘80s and ’90s. The companies are partnering to bring Carmen Sandiego games to a new generation, including first outing The Crown Jewels Caper and two additional capers to follow in May and June. The capers will be available in Google Earth for Chrome, Android, and iOS. In January, HMH relaunched the Carmen character with an original Netflix animated series starring Gina Rodriguez, a multiyear publishing program, consumer products and classroom resources. A live-action movie is in development.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue is expanding its multi-view feature, already available on PlayStation 4, to Apple TV subscribers of the streaming service. The Vue skinny bundle initially launched in 2015 and multi-view was added two years ago on the PS4 to enable viewers to simultaneously watch three programs at once. On Apple TV, it will allow four simultaneous live broadcasts.
News of the launch of a gaming platform on Snapchat as early as next week at parent Snap’s Partner Summit in LA on April 4 continues to swirl. First reported by Cheddar, the company reportedly is developing platform that would enable outside developers to create games to populate the Snapchat app. Snap reportedly purchased Australian game studio Prettygreat in January, which could bolster a move into gaming.
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WE Day 2019 is slated for Thursday, April 19 at the Forum in LA. The youth empowerment event combines a live concert with speakers sharing stories of leadership and social change, and will bring together tens of thousands of California students. Co-sponsors are the Allstate Foundation and Unilever. Talent will be announced in the coming weeks. Previous WE Day California attendees include Jennifer Aniston, Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen and Will Ferrell.
Miramax snagged film rights to I Won’t Be Home for Christmas, a holiday film about a 16-year-old girl who is given the golden ticket to forgo having to spend the holidays with her family and instead go skiing with her new boyfriend. When she gets dumped before the trip, Grace must return home with a broken heart to endure her embarrassing family and their ludicrous holiday traditions. Film is written by Lauren Iungerich (Awkward), who will also direct.
Paramount Pictures dropped the first trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold, the live-action film based on the Nickelodeon animated series and stars Eva Longoria, Michael Pena and Isabela Moner in the title role. Movie finds a now high school age Dora, accompanied by buddies her monkey Boots, Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg), and a motley crew of teens to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold. Film is slated to bow in theaters August 2.
Fans saw a glimpse during the Super Bowl, but the first full-length trailer for Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4 shows a deeper view of the gang’s new antics, and introduces a new character to the toy box – Forky, plastic spork turned plaything created by a young Bonnie (played by Madeleine McGraw) in art class, and voiced by Tony Hale. The sequel is directed by Josh Cooley.
As the Broadway production of Frozen marks its first anniversary, Disney Theatrical Productions announced versions of the show will be performed in Australia, London and Germany in 2020-21. The international rollout follows a North American tour, which begins this fall.
Tokyo-based Sony Creative Products, which manages licensing in the Japanese market for Tama and Friends, announced a new film based on the classic franchise called Cats Tail’s Tales and set for release May 10. To mark the occasion, limited-duration pop-up Tama and Friends shops will open in several Japanese cities.
Matthew A. Cherry, who exec produced BlacKkKlansman and is a director on ABC series Whiskey Cavalier, is teaming with Sony Pictures Animation on the short animated film Hair Love, for which he ran a Kickstarter campaign two years ago that’s raised $300,000 to date.
The Jim Henson Co. announced several additional broadcasters will be airing the latest eps of its preschool series. TV3 (Spain) and TG4 (Ireland) acquired season 5 of Dinosaur Train, which will begin rolling out in the US this in summer on PBS Kids.  TV3 has also acquired the rights to seasons 1-4. ABC (Australia), Piwi+, (France,) TV3 (Spain) and TG4 (Iceland) acquired season 2 of Dot. KIKA (Germany) landed season 2 of Doozers, and Viacom18 (India) acquired season 1 of the series.
Kidz Bop is expanding its relationship with AIC Hotel Group with the debut the Kidz Bop Experience at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Mexico this summer. The move follows the launch at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, and will give young fans opportunity to put together red carpet-worthy looks, create a custom band name with Instaband, learn new dance moves with Step It Up, write their own songs with Hit Maker, design an album cover and more.
Viacom will sell select Awesomeness content globally. Viacom International Studios finalized a deal to represent 18 series and eight films for the global market, including Zac & Mia, based on the novel by A.J. Betts and about two teens battling cancer in the same hospital; supernatural thriller Light as a Feather; and social media thriller You’ve Been Tagged.
A handful of promotions at Disney Junior and Disney Television Animation: Lori Mozilo, formerly director, current series, at Disney Junior, is now executive director, current series, at Disney Junior, while Michele Mazzano, most recently director, production, at Disney Television Animation, is now executive director, production, at Disney Television Animation. Lauren Martinez, most recently manager, development, at Disney Junior is now director, development, Disney Junior, and Kitty Walsh, formerly coordinator, development, at Disney Junior is upped to manager, development, at Disney Junior.
Michael Lachance joined Miramax as EVP of the company’s newly created Family & Animation division. Lachance most recently was SVP, creative development, at Sony Pictures Animation, where he developed titles including Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and the Smurfs franchise.
Thirty-year Disney exec Jean-Francois Camilleri will be departing the company. Camilleri, who most recently served as country manager, the Walt Disney Co., France, Benelux & French-Speaking Africa, announced the move in a social media post.
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Ad Council
San Francisco

Manage daily responsibilities with existing social & digital media partners. 5+ yrs digital & traditional media/cross-platform sales experience with a track record of developing and executing successful strategic partnerships.

Full info HERE

VIDEO PRODUCER/SYFY WIRE/NYC: Resp for the creative ideation & execution of longform & shortform video content across all platforms SYFY WIRE, SYFY’s genre news & lifestyle brand. Take projects from dvlpmnt thru post-prod. Support one-off creative needs as they arise. Own prod process, mng projects. 3+ yrs related exp. Full info HERE (4/10)

Ideal candidate will develop strategic sales positioning for ION Television’s unique value proposition. This position will help the sales organization drive revenue growth on existing accounts in new business categories. Min of 5yrs exp at a media co, expert in MS Office Suite and PPT. Full info HERE (4/5)

ACCT EXEC, SALES DEVELOPMENT (Consumer Tech)/ION MEDIA/NY: Seeking sales professional to generate new advrtg accts and revenue for ION’s linear television platform.  Dedicated category focus on companies which specialize in consumer technology, social media, e-commerce and OTT. Self-starter with 8-10yrs of TV selling or related adv sales exp. Full info HERE (4/5)

Ideal Candidate will work closely with sales managing client relationships and processing requests, inputting order and traffic.  Be able to create mktg sales decks and promotional materials. Manage internal process for credit applications, monthly billing and weekly budget reports. Full info HERE Send resume and salary requirements to [email protected] (4/5)

/Discovery Inc/NY:
Responsible for analyzing data and trends across media and developing key audience analysis across Discovery’s linear and non-linear platforms. Must have 5+ yrs exp in media research and knowledge of Nielsen data and systems. Ability to work in a fast-paced high-pressure environment without sacrificing accuracy to detail. Full info HERE (4/4)

/A+E Networks/NY:
Serve as ad sales partnerships resource and thought leader in the sales department, managing ideation and response to RFPs, creating product knowledge one sheets based on assigned network and disciplines, knowledgeable in digital/social marketing products & tools, effectively demonstrating how they can be leveraged in strategic 360 campaigns. Full Info/Apply:  http://www.aenetworks.com/careers (4/4)

SR. NEWS DESK ASSOC/E! Entertainment/NYC: Resp for newsgathering for all E! platforms, should be a multi-tasker, have proven editorial judgment, be a forward thinker with a strong work ethic. Passion for pop culture is a must. Self-starter who can work independently and quickly in a fast-pace news environment. Must have newsroom exp and able to handle breaking news while working under tight deadlines. Full Info/Apply HERE (4/4)

Endemol Shine North America/North Hollywood:
Ideal candidate must have a strong interest in TV ratings & research and comfortable working with numbers/large data sets with a strong focus on accuracy & attention to detail. Must have 1+ yrs as an assist, coord or analytical role at TV studio, broadcast or cable network. Excel and PowerPoint required. Job training provided. Full Info/Apply HERE (4/4)

ACCT EXECUTIVE/CNN Airport Network/NY: Resp include identifying prospects, generating leads and penetrating client companies/agencies at all levels. Primary function is to drive new business for the network. Req include 5+ yrs in media sales, ability to exceed targets and building sr level client/agency relationships. Team player who works well in a large multi-platform sales organization. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/31)

ACCT DIRECTOR, PARTNERSHIP SALES/GSTV/NY: Ideal candidate must be able to drive aggressive rev targets across multiple GSTV rev opps within WPP Holding Co. by creating solutions for customers. An understanding of nat advtg, digital video and data-driven aud targeting and attribution marketplace. Min of 3+ yrs media exp, including 1+ yrs in sales. Ability to manage multiple high-priority projects simultaneously. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/31)

AD SALES ASSISTANT/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Provide support to Ad Sales by working W/ Acct Execs to service clients. Including sales orders, move requests and media schedules. Detail oriented w/orgnzt’l skills to keep manage fast paced, time sensitive environment. BA/BS req. Full info/apply HERE (3/29)

DIRECTOR, LEGAL & BUSINESS AFFAIRS/TV One/NYC: As secondary mgr, you are responsible for providing business and legal support to all departments of TV On. Structure, negotiate and draft a variety of content acquisition agreements minimum of 7 years of television industry experience pref’d. Full info HERE (3/29)

PRODUCER, DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA/TV One/Silver Spring MD: Build promotional & original digital content to build the TV One digital brand.Dvlp/prod promotional content (incl articles, videos & any other media) to support our orig. 3+ yrs exp in building, managing, and growing a website for a medium/​large size org. Full info HERE (3/29)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, MEDIA BUYING & PLANNING/Spero Media/NYC: Organized, detail-oriented team player w/min 1yr of media buying/plan’g exp, interested in actively participating in media buying & plan’g/promotion for variety of sports/ent clients incl: US Open Tennis, NY Jets, Blue Man Group, NY Mets + Full info HERE (3/29)

/NBC/TELEMUNDO/PHILADELPHIA: Self-motivated well organized team player to identify, target, develop and secure new business for NBC10 and Telemundo62 through a variety of platforms including on-air, on-line, mobile and out-of-home. Min of 3 yrs exp in media sales. Full info HERE (3/28)

DIRECTOR of MEDIA, SOCIAL & EMERGING/Ad Council/San Francisco: Manage daily responsibilities with existing social & digital media partners. 5+ yrs digital & traditional media/cross-platform sales experience with a track record of developing and executing successful strategic partnerships. Full info HERE (3/28)

DIR, LEGAL AFF/GSN/Santa Monica: 5+ yrs. w/law firm or TV exp. Member of CA bar or eligible for registration. Structuring, negotiating & closing a heavy volume of production deals. Day-to-day legal support. Drafting & negotiating documents & agreements. Reviewing & approving advertising/marketing materials. Full info HERE (3/28)

DIGITAL ACCOUNT SPECIALIST /Discovery/NYC: Resp for all aspects of digital media plan’g & acts as key point of contact with ad agency and internal constituents Min 1+ yr professional exp/or equivalent internship exp preferably within the digital media, advertising sales/agency fields. Full info HERE (3/28)
DIGITAL PRODUCER /Spectrum News/NYC: Produce new & innovative content series for non-linear platforms. Proficiency at multi-tasking and must have the ability to prioritize, work independently and meet strict deadlines. 3+ yr TV new exp. Full info HERE (3/28)


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