04/10/18: Radio Disney Music Awards switch up venue, date this year with June event at the Dolby Theatre

Good morning. It’s Tuesday April 10, 2018, and this is your your first early morning Kids briefing!

YouTube is under fire from 20-plus consumer watchdog groups, who are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the service’s parent Google for alleged violations to the children’s privacy laws. The complaint from groups including Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Center for Digital Democracy and the Parents Television Council alleges Google is violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and has made “substantial profits” corralling information about tens of millions of kids and targeting advertising toward them. YouTube yesterday issued a statement saying it’s reviewing the complaint, and pointing out its terms of service state the service is not for kids younger than 13. “Protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us,” a YouTube spokesperson said. “Because YouTube is not for children, we’ve invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children.” Child advocates maintain Google ad technologies enable brands to target children on YouTube, among other means, through the use of keywords.
The 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards are making a move. The event, which has taken place in April for the past five years, this year will be Friday, June 22 in a new location – the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. A telecast of the sixth annual show will be presented on Saturday, June 23 on Disney Channel, as well as Radio Disney, the Radio Disney app, the DisneyNOW app and Disney.com/RDMA. Voting opens April 27 for the show, produced for the fourth year by Den of Thieves (MTV Video Music Awards, iHeartRadio Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards). Sponsors include: Aquabeads, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Goldfish crackers, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Shapes, Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze video game on the Nintendo Switch, and The Walt Disney Studios. “The RDMAs continue to be a significant partnership driver for us,” Rita Ferro, Disney-ABC ad sales president, tells CynKids.
Jack’s back: Litton Entertainment and Jack Hanna extended their Saturday morning series Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown for two additional seasons. Hosted by animal authority and director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, series will continue to lead Litton’s Weekend Adventure programming block that airs on ABC stations. Wild Countdown includes a weekly countdown of facts and personal experiences about rare animals.
9 Story Distribution International acquired worldwide distribution rights to the new stop-motion animated children’s series The Diary of Bita & Cora from Spain’s TV ON Producciones. The program is TV ON’s first kids series; it has a targeted completion date of September 2018. Aimed at K4-6, series about two friends who traverse the universe in a spaceship was produced by Paloma Mora (Brava, Tierra Quemada) and directed by Vicente Mallols Tomas (The Cryptozoologist).
New research from Common Sense Media finds 62 percent of parents believe VR will provide educational experiences for their kids, while 60 percent worry children will experience negative health effects while using VR. Among other key findings from Virtual Reality 101: What You Need to Know About Kids and VR:
* One in five US parents today reports living in a household with VR, though many parents (65 percent) say they are not planning to buy a VR device.
* Characters in VR may be especially influential on young children, even more so than characters on TV or computers.
* Some parents report kids already are experiencing VR-related health issues, including 13 percent who have bumped into something; 11 percent who have experienced dizziness; 10 percent who have had headaches; and 8 percent who have had eyestrain.
* Thirty-eight percent of parents think VR will help children empathize with different people. This number increases to 56 percent for parents of VR-using 8- to 17-year olds.
Toei Animation is shopping four new series and a feature film. Based on the children’s book series, Butt Detective is a comedy aimed at K3-12 and follows the adventures of a gentleman detective who solves mysteries alongside his cast of colorful allies. It debuts May 3 on NHK in Japan. The company also is shopping Bakutsuri Bar Hunter, which takes place in a world where barcodes on belongings harbor secret life forms; a new season of anime series Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro, set to debut on April 1 in Japan; and a new season of Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho, with a strong cast of female heroines.
Federation Kids & Family and sister production company Cottonwood Media licensed their animated preschool series The Ollie & Moon Show, which celebrates unusual friendships and curiosity, to Universal Kids, and to Netflix in the US and Canada.
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Alexa & Katie, Netflix’s first tween sitcom, will be returning for a second season. Season 1 of the series, about about two best friends eagerly anticipating the start of their freshman year of high school, launched March 23 and stars Paris Berelc (Mighty Med, Lab Rats: Elite Force), newcomer Isabel May and Tiffani Thiessen (White Collar, Saved By The Bell). It was created and exec produced by Heather Wordham (Hannah Montana, Reba). Season 1 launched on Netflix March 23.
NYT bestselling children’s author Julian Lennon inked a deal with Gaumont to produce an animated series based on his children’s book series Touch the Earth and its sequel, Heal The Earth, out this month. Series will have themes of environmentalism and social issues running through the episodes in a fun, organic, and compelling way. Lennon and his children’s book collaborator Bart Davis are onboard as exec producers, working with Gaumont president of animation Nicolas Atlan and Terry Kalagian, SVP, creative development for animation & family. Kimberly Dennison will be the executive in charge of development.
Silvergate Media is at work on its most extensive lineup yet. New content in the pipeline includes Fashion Ally (working title), created by Silvergate EVP of creative content Paula Rosenthal (Sunny Day, Peter Rabbit) and about a young NYer with a passion for fashion. Series will premiere on Nickelodeon. Also upcoming is Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt, a construction comedy for preschool boys, exec produced by Silvergate  EVP of creative content Kurt Mueller (Octonauts, Hilda), and in production for a 2020 debut on Netflix. Also, the sixth season of Octonauts is in production with a global rollout is planned for 2020; Hilda is slated to premiere on Netflix this fall, and Sunny Day, a preschool girls animation that premiered on Nick Jr. in 2017, is in production on season 2.
PBS Kids is going gangbusters for Earth Day. Thirteen’s Emmy-winning math series Cyberchase continues its 11th season with five new Earth Day-focused episodes premiering daily Monday, April 16-Friday, April 20. Among eps are “Housewarming Party,” exploring green roofs, temperature measurement and estimation; “Invasion of the Funky Flower,” covering invasive species and linear measurement with non-standard units; and “The Migration Situation,” probing citizen science, data representation and interpretation… Also, new eps of nature-themed programming including Splash and Bubbles, Wild Kratts and Nature Cat will air Monday, April 23-Friday, April 27. Families also will be able to dive into nature themes with PBS Kids “Explore the Outdoors” activities and materials.
Boomerang will shower viewers with a binge opportunity of all 26 eps of season 1 of Captain Planet and the Planeeters on Thursday, April 19-Sunday, April 22. Voice appearances this season include Whoopi Goldberg, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen and Sting.
Because… science: Bill Nye Saves the World will return globally for third season on Netflix on Friday, May 11. In the six-ep third season, Nye brings leading experts and stars to his lab to explore scientific issues including how climate change will impact foods of the future, and what our pets can teach us about being human. Guests include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Karlie Kloss, and Paul F. Tomkins. Michael Ian Black also returns with his comically angry “Mad Scientist” segment.
Just like magic. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set a Broadway record as the top-grossing play, in previews with a $2.12 million gross for the week ended April 8. The figure is even more notable given 300 seats at every performance sell for $40 or less.
Boxcar Children – Surprise Island, a new feature film based on the second book from the series by Gertrude Chandler, will premiere in more than 650 US theaters for a one-day-only event on Tuesday, May 8 at 4p local time. Voice cast includes Martin Sheen, J.K. Simmons, Griffin Gluck, Joey King and Dane DeHaan. In addition to the feature content, audiences will be treated to an exclusive introduction from actor Gluck, and following the feature, producer/director Dan Chuba will explain the process of adapting the book to film and the animation methods.
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Federation Kids & Family and sister production company Cottonwood Media signed another raft of broadcast and licensing deals across Europe for their animated preschool series The Ollie & Moon Show. Among new channels are K2 (Italy), RTP (Portugal), Discovery Latin America), France Televisions, Uyoung (China), Discovery (Middle East) and VRT (Belgium). On the licensing front, Planeta Junior will represent rights to the show in France, where it launched on France Televisions in 2017.
Toei Animation continues to add more broadcast partners for its flagship global series Dragon Ball Super, with new deals arranged across EMEA. Confirmed broadcasters for 2018 include Cartoon Network (Italy); Toonami (Africa); LNK and TV1 (Lithuania); Viasat 6 (Hungary); AXN (Moldavia); and AXN Black (Romania). ). The company also announced an animated feature film serving as a sequel to the series after its finale; the film is in production with its Japanese release planned for December 14.
Silvergate Media is producing two new 60-minute kids films for theatrical release in China.
Super RTL in Germany will launch Rainbow’s 44 Cats beginning in 2019.
Entertainment One appointed Alpha Group as the master toy partner for animated TV property Peppa Pig. The deal extends the partnership with Alpha One, which is also master toy partner for PJ Masks in China.

Answer to Last Week’s Trivia Question: What is the real name of “The Brain” on PBS Kids series Arthur (1996-)? Alan Powers. Kudos to: Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
Today’s Trivia Question: Who voiced the Great Gazoo on The Flintstones? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com 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.).
Kids Series Anagram: Her Creek Coat Gif (Email trivia@cynopsis.com; first three respondents with the correct answer who aren’t in trivia will be posted in tomorrow’s newsletter.)
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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT/KCRA TV/Sacramento CA: Develop new non-news local programming. Idea generator w/strong visualization/conceptual skills. Writing skills, comprehensive production expertise & know-how to craft/manage a compelling first class project from conception to final distribution. Large market producing experience req. Full info/apply HERE (4/13)

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