04/13/16: Nick’s newest star takes CynKids to The Other Kingdom; Rainmaker expands content division; Freeform sets PLL season 7 debut


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Good morning. It’s Wednesday, April 13, 2016, and this is your weekly issue of Cynopsis: Kids!


Nickelodeon debuted its newest live-action series, The Other Kingdom, Sunday (April 10) at 7p. The show is about a fairy named Astral, who travels to the human world to decide whether she wants to remain a fairy and inherit the crown of her royal kingdom, or become human. CynKids stopped by Nick HQ to talk with its star, 20-year-old Esther Zynn, about the show and her experience filming in Toronto.

What qualities do you share with your character?
She’s a dreamer, she’s headstrong and she goes after what she wants. I think I share those qualities too. We share other similarities. She’s bubbly, and she wears her heart on her sleeve. We definitely have a lot of differences, too. She takes things at face value. I like to think I’m a little less naive and cooler  but maybe if you ask my friends they’d disagree.

How will viewers relate?
In the fairy world vs. in the human world, it’s really cool because in the fairy world especially she’s really just a regular girl. She looks different, but she’s not, and anyone can relate to her, not just as s human. And I think parents can always relate to their kids growing up and wanting to do different things. For me coming to Toronto, because I’m from New York, I felt like a fish out of water. You don’t have to be on a TV show to relate to that. Anyone starting high school and wanting to branch out and start something new can relate to what she’s doing.

How did you get into character?
I love to listen to music, so I had a playlist for Astral. Songs like New Soul, and Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson. A lot of her music inspired me. Also Regina Spektor.

How did you watch the premiere?
A fairy-themed party with my friends. Ten to 15 people, nothing that crazy, and everyone had to dress up. Even the boys were like, do we have to dress up as fairies? I said, you can dress up as a troll if you want, but you’ve got to dress up!


Animation studio Rainmaker Entertainment continues to step up its content development, and has appointed of Gregory R. Little to the newly created position of SVP of content. Little, who previously served as the company’s head of development and exec-produced its first 3D CG-animated theatrical release, Escape from Planet Earth, returns to Rainmaker as the company prepares for the April 29 theatrical release of Ratchet & Clank, based on the Playstation videogame franchise from Sony Computer Entertainment America. Rainmaker’s TV division, Mainframe, is completing production on the Bob the Builder animated preschool series for HIT Entertainment and preparing for the summer production start of ReBoot: The Guardian Code, the hybrid live-action/CG-animated series. Little will be based in LA and report to Rainmaker president/chief creative officer Michael Hefferon, who noted, “Greg returns to our Rainmaker family at a time of great expansion for the company as we continue to grow the development and production of new intellectual properties and further build our service business for leading entertainment companies.” From 2010-14 Little served as exec producer and head of the US operations of Dublin-based Brown Bag Films.

Sesame Workshop unveiled its first female Afghan Muppet, Zari, a curious 6-year-old girl who will make her debut in season 5 of Baghch-e-Simsim, the local co-production of the series in Afghanistan. Zari, whose name means “shimmering,” will be featured in new, locally produced segments that focus on curriculum topics like girls’ empowerment, national identity, physical health, and social and emotional well being. Season 5 will air on TOLO TV and LEMAR TV. Zari will be featured in three formats: speaking directly to viewers, interacting with children in person, and interviewing a variety of Afghan professionals.



Entries are open for the 2016 Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards. With new categories to choose from such as:

Best Guest Appearance on a Kids Show
Best Kids Sports-Related Series or Special
Best Kids Tech Activation
Best Use of Music in a K6-11, Preschool or Tween Show
and more!
What are you waiting for? Enter by 5/18.


Hollywood Records recording artist Sabrina Carpenter joined the roster of performers scheduled for the 2016 Radio Disney Music Awards, which will air Sunday, May 1 on Disney Channel at 7p. Best known for her role as Maya in Disney Channel series Girl Meets World, Carpenter will star in the upcoming Disney Channel original movie Adventures in Babysitting.


Production is under way on the seventh season of Freeform’s hit series Pretty Little Liars. In the upcoming season the Liars will band together to unearth answers to the last remaining secrets and take down “Uber A.” The new season will premiere on Tuesday, June 21 at 8p. Additionally series star Troian Bellisario will make her directorial debut this season, with episode 715. PLL is produced by Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television and exec-produced by I. Marlene King, Oliver Goldstick, Leslie Morgenstein, Joseph Dougherty and Charlie Craig.


Silvergate Media is in a new three-year, multi-territory deal with Netflix for seasons 1,2 and 3 of undersea preschool property Octonauts. Netflix is currently the exclusive SVOD partner for Octonauts in the US, and now the series will be available in France, Latin America (Spanish) and Canada (English and French). The number of series under license varies in each territory.

Ameba TV, a free on-demand entertainment destination for kids, added Big City Publishing as a content partner. The move adds animated digital series The Angels from the Attic to the streaming service’s lineup. The Angels from the Attic features a group of six friends who live in a Magical Attic where anything is possible. Earlier this year, Ameba announced the expansion of its streaming reach throughout North America by releasing its updated streaming app on Xbox 360.

Animated web series Shaboom!, from nonprofit org BimBam (formerly G-dcast), is up and running and ready to teach everyday values and life skills using wisdom from the Jewish tradition, magic, comedy and silly songs. First episode, available free at BimBam.com/shaboom, is on the theme of welcoming guests. The show also is free to access on YouTube. Shaboom! is written by kids’ TV veteran Robert Pincombe and produced by Sarah Lefton and staffer Jeremy Shuback.


Who says kids never get off the couch? A surge of teens at the box office led the film industry to a banner year of $11.1 billion in the States in 2015, according to a new report from the MPAA and National Association of Theater Owners. The 12-17 demo went to the movies more than any other last year, 7.3 times more in fact. “The more loyal moviegoers are those with technology. Younger people share more info,” said MPAA chair Chris Dodd. Teens currently account for 8 percent of all ticket buyers in the US.

Plans are under way at Disney to reunite the team behind upcoming theatrical The Jungle Book, which premieres this Friday (April 15) for a sequel. If all goes according to plan, director/producer Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Marks would reprise their roles, as would producer Brigham Taylor.

The SpongeBob Musical has completed casting for its Chicago engagement. The cast includes Ethan Slater as SpongeBob SquarePants, Gavin Lee as Squidward, Nick Blaemire as Plankton, Lilli Cooper as Sandy Cheeks, Carlos Lopez as Mr. Krabs and Danny Skinner as Patrick. Steppenwolf director Tina Landau and the designers behind Fun Home, Hedwig and Spring Awakening reimagined Bikini Bottom for the Broadway stage, and the show includes original musical contributions from Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and a song by David Bowie with additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton. The show opens Tuesday, June 7 at Broadway in Chicago’s Oriental Theatre.

Open Road Films has set May 19, 2017, as the U.S. release date for The Nut Job 2, the sequel to the sleeper animated family film that grossed $120.9 million worldwide and marked the biggest-ever box office opening for an indie animated film.


Nelvana has been appointed as licensing agent for the preschool animated series Super Wings in France. The show, co-produced by FunnyFlux Entertainment, Little Airplane Products, Qianqi Animation, EBS and CJ E&M, airs in France on Piwi+.

Indie licensing group Maurizio Distefano Licensing, which has been appointed as licensing agent in Italy and Switzerland for The Angry Birds movie, announced four more license agreements in the Italian market: BBS, Fratelli Fabbri Editori, Ravensburger and Walcor. The movie opens in Italy in June.

Firefly Brand Management signed with New York Times best-selling author, chef and TV personality Cristina Ferrare (Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family) to represent Ferrare’s new line and signature series, The CF Collection, in all key product categories.


Studio 100 Media concluded a deal with Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT.  The channel has secured the exclusive FTA rights for more than 100 half hours of programming including Tashi and The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill.


Off to a strong ratings start in 2016, Corus Kids Networks’ YTV, Treehouse, TELETOON and Disney Junior have secured the top four spots with K2-11.1 Corus Kids Networks have also emerged as No. 1 across all kid, tween and teen demos in Canada.

In its most recent Live+7 preferred viewing ratings, Disney Junior’s original animated series The Lion Guard roared to series highs in Total Viewers (2.6 million) and K2-11 (1.5 million/3.8 rating) and six-week highs in K2-5, Boys 2-5 and W18-49.

Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of April 4-10, 2016
K2-11 Total Programming Day

K2-11 Prime (Monday Sunday 8-11p.m.)

K2-11 (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)

K6-11 Total Programming Day

K6-11 Prime (Monday Sunday 8-11p.m.)

K6-11 (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)

K9-14 Total Programming Day

K9-14 Prime (Monday Sunday 8-11p.m.)

K9-14 (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research National MIT, ranked on coverage ratings
Viewing Type: Live + Same Day

K2-11 Top 10 Programs for the week of March 21-27, 2106
3/26/16 Henry Danger/NICK/8-8:30p/1546
3/25/16 The Lion /Guard/DSNY/9:30-9:55a/1486
3/24/16 PAW Patrol/NICK/11:30a-12p/1429
3/25/16 Sofia the First/DSNY/10-10:25a/1285
3/24/16 Hop/DSNY/8-9:40p/1195
3/22/16 PAW Partrol/NICK/11:30a-12p/1104
3/26/16 Toy Story 2/DSNY/8-9:40p/1094
3/25/16 PAW Patrol/NICK/11:30a-12p/1089
3/25/16 PAW Patrol/NICK/11-11:30a/1080
3/25/16 Doc McStuffins/DSNY/8-8:25a/1043

K6-11 Top 10 Programs for the week of March 14-20, 2016
3/26/16 Henry Danger/NICK/8-8:30p/1311
3/24/16 Hop/DSNY/8-9:40p/909
3/26/16 School of Rock/NICK/8:30-9p/832
3/25/16 Stuck In the Middle/DSNY/8:30-9p/823
3/25/16 Bunk’d/DSNY/8-8:30p/809
3/25/16 Teen Titans Go!/TOON/6-6:30p/704
3/23/16 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer/DSNY/8-9:40p/669
3/25/16 The Lion Guard/DSNY/9:30-9:55a/663
3/25/16 Sofia the First/DSNY/10-10:25a/653
3/27/16 The Incredibles/DSNY/7-9p/651
Source: Turner Research based on Total US Television Universe of 116,400,000 homes, Final Live+7.

Top Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates for the top-grossing movies rated G, PG or PG-13: April 8-10, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $23.36 million (week 3) cume revenue $296.61 million
Zootopia (Buena Vista) PG $14.35 million (week 6) cume revenue $296.00 million
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Universal) PG-13 $6.48 million (week 3) cume revenue $46.81 million
Miracles From Heaven (TriStar) PG $4.71 million (week 4) cume revenue $53.71 million
God’s Not Dead 2 (PFR) PG $4.05 million (week 2) cume revenue $14.02 million
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Lionsgate/Sony) PG-13 $3.52 million (week 4), cume revenue $61.75 million
10 Cloverfield Lane (Paramount) PG-13
$2.91 million (week 5), cume revenue $67.88 million
Kung Fu Panda (Fox) PG $443,571 (week 11), cume revenue $140.95 million
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Buena Vista) PG-13 $378.923 (week 17) cume revenue $935.53 million
Source: Rentrak Corporation


Disney Junior promoted Joe D’Ambrosia to SVP of Original Programming. In his newly expanded role, D’Ambrosia will continue to oversee production and creative development of Disney Junior’s TV fare, including Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First and  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

9 Story Media Group appointed Blake Tohana as CFO. Tohana most recently served as CFO at Tricon Films & Television; prior to his role at Tricon, he held the position of EVP/CFO of Magna Entertainment Corp. The company also announced changes to the management structure following its acquisition of Brown Bag Films. Steve Jarosz assumes an EVP role, responsible for production financing and compliance; Cathal Gaffney remains at Brown Bag helm and becomes COO for 9 Story Media Group; and Natalie Osborne becomes Chief Strategy Officer.





Last Week’s Trivia: What cartoon baby was born at the Rockville Hospital on February 22, 10,000 BC at 8:20p? Pebbles Flintstone. Kudos to: Stephen Kelley, 9Story Media Group, Toronto; Brad Stern, POM Technologies, NY; Carl Schellenberger, VCA, NJ; Tammy Golub, Nexstar Broadcasting, Waco, Texas; Barb Throm, True Media, Columbia, MO; Squirrel Ripley, Dark Horse Media, Tucson, AZ; Richard Quan, BSSP, San Francisco; Peter Steckelman, Tennis Channel, Santa Monica.

Today’s Trivia Question: What animated character was born on July 14, 1986? Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)

Cathy Applefeld Olson

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