03/06/18: Stars of all stripes pay tribute to Fred Rogers in tribute special bowing tonight on PBS

CynopsisKIDS
Good morning. It’s Tuesday March 6, 2018, and this is your your first early morning Kids briefing!

UPFRONT AT THE UPFRONTS
 
Nickelodeon will woo advertisers tonight at its Upfront, but CynKids readers don’t have to wait until then to get some of the top-lines because Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon and Viacom Media Networks Kids & Family Group, gave us a preview.
 
“We always start with the audience, and the idea that this is an entire generation of kids who are just trying to be themselves is a through line that will appear throughout our content,” she says. “Also, ‘more is more’ is one of the things you’ll hear us say; we’ll be offering many more episodes than we did last year.”
 
Reinvention is also a big 2018 theme for the network, Zarghami says, as are activations involving emerging technology including AR and VR, direct-to-consumer and esports.
 
Is TV content still the mecca for brands? “If you look at the data, what it will tell you is that television still has by far the greatest reach and the greatest mass-consumption viewing, so it’s an incredible centerpiece for us,” she says, noting Nick reaches 20 million of the world’s 50 million kids under 11 in the US.  
 
Zarghami says integrations between Nickelodeon and its Viacom siblings are going well. “We’ve been really working hard on amusement parks, though we’re not going to show that [tonight],” she adds. New SpongeBob, Dora the Explorer and Are You Afraid of the Dark movies are in the works.
 
In advance of its Upfront, Nick yesterday announced the US debut of music and immersive experience SlimeFest. Liam Payne, Flo Rida, Zedd and JoJo Siwa will headline, slated for June 9-10 in Chicago. “We know how to throw a great party, but we have yet to throw a great party for the general public,” Zarghami says. “Lots of our [advertiser] partners are looking for different ways to reach the consumer, and on the ground is a really viable way.” For more info on this year’s  Upfronts, check out the new Cynopsis Upfront Portal here.
 
 
IN THE NEWS
 
Seventy percent of 9 to 11-year-olds say it would help kids their age be kinder if adults in charge of our country set a better example of how to treat others. This according to a new national survey of 1,000-plus kids commissioned by Cartoon Network, which is expanding its Stop Bullying: Speak Up initiative with a focus on promoting kindness, caring and empathy among young people. Expanded elements include PSAs and short-form content.
Among other findings from the survey, designed by VJR Consulting in consultation with the Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education:
*  77 percent said they have witnessed bullying and 62 percent said they’ve experienced bullying.
*  More than half (58 percent) who have seen someone getting picked on said one of the reasons they sometimes don’t help is they don’t know what to do or say.
*  96 percent said the adults in their family set a good example for how to treat others with kindness, 93 percent said the adults in their school do, 46 percent say the adults in our government do.
* 77 percent place a higher priority on personal happiness, getting good grades, or having good friends than on caring about others (23 percent).
 
HITN TV programming and acquisitions director Erika Vogt, a veteran in the Hispanic media world, discusses the challenges Hispanic families face in the children’s entertainment market, and shares what HITN TV is doing about it, here.
 
Pixar’s Coco had a big night on Sunday, picking up Oscars for best animated feature and best original song “Remember Me.”
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
The Cynopsis Top Women in Digital Breakfast | March 14th | Espace, NYC
Sponsored by Horizon Media
“I’m thrilled to have been selected a Cynopsis Top Women in Digital. What an honor it is to be among this company of women!”Jennifer H| CI&T
 “So excited to be part of this amazing group.”Laura H| NBCUniversal
“I’m really honored and excited. Looking forward to the event.” Virginia J | Cobblecord
“I’m honored to be among such amazing women.” Laura R | SONY
 

PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
 
Disney Channel gave the green light to two original animated series, Amphibia, from director Matty Braly (Gravity Falls), and The Owl House, from Dana Terrace (DuckTales). Both are slated to premiere in 2019.
 
More original kids content is headed to Netflix. Thunderbird Entertainment’s animation studio Atomic Cartoons started production on The Last Kids on Earth. The serialized adventure-comedy is based on Max Brailler’s NYT best-selling book about a 13-year-old and his suburban middle school cohorts who live in a decked-out treehouse, play videogames, eat junk food and battle zombies in the aftermath of a monster apocalypse. It’ll be available globally on Netflix in 2019.
 
Kim Kardashian is in a family way, in the content world that is. Lionsgate and Facebook are teaming to bring You Kiddin’ Me, exec-produced by Kardashian West, among others, to Facebook Watch. The 10-ep comedic prank series flips the dynamic and puts kids in charge of their celeb parents, who have to do what their offspring asks of them.
 
Disney Junior began production on new animated adventure series The Rocketeer, slated to debut in 2019. Inspired by Dave Stevens’ popular comic book series, TV adaptation follows Kit, a young girl who receives a surprise package on her birthday revealing she’s next in line to become the Rocketeer, a legendary superhero who has the ability to fly with the help of a rocket-powered jet pack.
 
 
COMING UP
 
Iconic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood turned 50 on February 19. Tonight (March 6) PBS will premiere tribute Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like at 8p. Special features all new interviews and commentary from the likes of Judd Apatow, Michael Keaton, John Lithgow, Sarah Silverman, Esperanza Spalding and many more.
 
“Fifty years have passed, and we really see how Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was unique for the time and how now it stands the test of time,” Ellen Doherty, executive in charge of production at the Fred Rogers Co. and exec producer of the special, tells CynKids. “Pretty much everyone” is how Doherty describes the audience for the special. “People who remember watching as kids, or as parents and grandparents with the children in their lives. Even for those who don’t remember the show that well, there’s a curiosity. He’s such an iconic figure. Mr. Rogers’ quotes and ideas show up all the time in pop culture.”
 
Discovery Family will celebrate National Pet Month in April with “Super Cute Sundays” featuring eps of Too Cute!, Dogs 101 and Cats 101 every Sunday beginning at 7p.
 
 
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
 
Season 5 of DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender is up on Netflix

Discovery Family will launch Littlest Pet Shop: A World of Our Own on Saturday, April 14 at noon. The 52-episode animated series is inspired by the net’s 2012 series Littlest Pet Shop, and features an overhauled pet-centric world with amenities including ski slopes operated by St. Bernards, “Pet-Ultimate” apartments with pet-appropriate accommodations such as the “Shake ’n’ Dry” beauty salon. Series will premiere with back-to-back eps.
 
Nickelodeon welcomes Thomas & Friends to the fam with hourlong throwback special The Adventure Begins, debuting Monday, March 12, at 10a on both Nick and the Nick Jr. Then new Thomas & Friends episodes from season 21 will air regularly weekdays at 5p on Nick Jr. channel. Nickelodeon recently announced a new US TV and consumer products partnership with Mattel for Thomas & Friends.
 
Eight new episodes of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That are rolling out on PBS Kids this month.
 
 
DIGITAL DATA
 
Fingerprint, a provider of kids’ digital learning and play content, debuted Kidomi, an app that corrals learning entertainment content including puzzles, books, crafts and science projects. The app, which launched on Google Play, features content from Crayola, Toca Boca, Sago Sago, Tinybop, Highlights and more.
 
Story Party: The Complete Collection, a curated collection of storytelling for kids, debuted exclusively on Audible. Each chapter has a unique theme, such as Animal Adventures, Water Water Everywhere, and Folktales.
 
YouTube’s new publisher certification program, SuperAwesome’s SafeFam initiative went live, and more than 30 YouTubers and five agencies announced participation. SafeFam allows YouTubers to showcase that they are sharing appropriate content and protecting their under-13 audiences.
 
 
AROUND THE INDUSTRY
 
Radio Disney launched American Idol Insider, a weekly hourlong show hosted by former AI winners and contestants. Season 10 champ Scotty McCreery hosted the premiere show February 27; new shows air every Tuesday, with encore airings throughout the week and across multiple platforms. Video series American Idol Insider Direct Message, in which American Idol alums pose questions to each other, will be presented on Radio Disney’s digital platforms, including in the DisneyNOW app.
 
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library launched a monthly reading program for young readers at the Library of Congress in DC. From March through August, the Library’s Young Readers Center will host story time on the last Friday of each month at 10:30a
 
Animated feature film Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, based on the true story of a stray dog and a young Soldier during WWI, will open April 13 on approximately 3,000 screens. Film stars Logan Lerman (Fury, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Percy Jackson & The Olympians), Helena Bonham Carter (the upcoming Ocean’s 8, the Harry Potter films) and Gerard Depardieu (Life of Pi, Cyrano De Bergerac).
 
Scholastic opened the call for applications for its Kids Press Corps for the 2018-2019 school year, for student journalists age 10-14.
 
 
RATINGS
 
Against competition from the 2018 Winter Olympics, Disney Channel’s original movie Zombies reached 10.3 million Total Viewers, including 3.3 million K6-11, during President’s Day weekend with a whopping eight telecasts beginning Friday, February 16 through Monday, February 19.
 
 
LICENSING & PARTNERSHIPS
 
Hasbro is in as master global toy licensee for the Uglydoll franchise in a new collaboration with STX Entertainment. An Uglydolls feature film is slated for a 2019 release via STXfilms with additional projects in the works across STXtelevision, STXdigital and STXsurreal.
 
Nickelodeon series Sunny Day is inspiring a new DIY activity line of products from toy company Make It Real.
 
Care Bears is partnering with ice cream sandwich franchise CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) for two exclusive ice cream sandwiches launching this week; they’re available through the end of the month at select CREAM locations.
 
Sesame Street is adding or expanding branded collections from a host of partners this year including Bioworld, Mad Engine, Zara, Lauren Moshi, Drake General Store, Globe Brand and The Land of Nod.
 
Nelvana Enterprises, the global licensing and merchandising arm of Corus Entertainment, is in a new partnership with toy company ORBTM for the worldwide licensing rights to the Soft’n Slo Squishies brand.
 
Firefly Brand Management teamed with Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt to create a campaign for Arctic Justice, the animated film from Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s Ambi Media Group, coming in August 2018. The movie features the voices of Jeremy Renner, Heidi Klum, James Franco and John Cleese.
 
 
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
 
Feline-focused series Unikitty! premieres this week on Cartoon Network in the UK and will air weekdays at 6:30p.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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EXECUTIVE MOVES
 
DreamWorks Animation has elevated Kelly Betz to the role of CFO. A 13-year DreamWorks veteran who has worked in a variety of roles at DreamWorks Animation, Betz most recently served as CFO for DreamWorks Animation Television for the past two years.
 
Development, production and distribution company CAKE appointed Rob Doherty as VP of production. Doherty has worked for companies including Aardman Animations, Disney and ITV. Upcoming CAKE projects include Space Chickens in Space and Take it Easy Mike.
 
Mark Shoeman is the new director of distribution at Genius Brands International. He joins from DHX Media, where he’d served as territory manager for the US since 2012.



Today’s Trivia Question: Which actor had his small screen debut on Romper Room at age 5? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: A limit of four correct answers from each time zone will be selected.)
 
Classic Kids Series Anagram: I Both Coal Gum Chess (Email [email protected]; first three respondents with the correct answer who aren’t in trivia will be posted in tomorrow’s newsletter.)
 
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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, MARKETING/GSTV/NYC: Responsible for helping to define/mng execution of GSTV’s industry mktg strategy, incl: optimizing reach/engagement. 4-yr deg in PR, comm, mktg or journalism from an accredited college/university. 5-7 ys of progressively resp mktg comm/PR work exp. Resume/cvr: [email protected] (3/14)

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