04/21/14: Disney locks in more celebs for RDMAs; Hulu Kids’ first original series bows Friday; TV ad revenue up in Q1


Good morning. It’s Monday, April 21, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Ariana Grande and Austin Mahone are on board to perform Saturday night at Radio Disney’s RDMAs. Becky G, Zendaya, R5 and Fifth Harmony are also scheduled to perform at the event, which will air on Disney Channel Sunday, April 27, at 8p. The RDMA Red carpet will feature Mark Cuban, Kelly Osbourne, Julianne Hough, The Vamps, Lucy Hale, Dove Cameron, Ben Savage, Emily Osmet, a lot of the Girl Meets World cast and some Star Wars Stormtroopers, among others. CynKids will be there to report on all the news and kid fansanity. One highlight I’m looking forward to: The Heroes for Change Award, which recognizes exemplary kids for making a difference in their communities. This year’s honorees: Matthew, 16, from Phoenix, nominated by Youth Services America for his anti-bullying "The Be O.N.E. Project," targeting elementary and middle school-aged kids; Arianna, 17, from Carpinteria, CA, nominated by Girls Inc. for anti-smoking initiaitve "Carpinteria Clean and Green"; and Yossy Rojas, 19, from Dana Point, CA, nominated by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for his involvement with "Relay For Life," "Street Smarts" and "Sticker Shock," and efforts to increase drug and alcohol education.


Get ready for Hulu‘s first original kids series. Debuting this Friday is Doozers, the Fraggle Rock spinoff produced by the Jim Henson Co. that packs a full 52 episodes and will be available advertiser-free on both Hulu and Hulu Plus. The preschool series revolved around an animated gaggle of kids called The Pod Squad– Spike, Molly Bolt, Flex and Daisy Wheel–who learn to design and build different objects. Other Hulu Kids content includes Fraggle Rock, Pokemon and SpongeBob.


INSP is pushing ahead in its conversion from a faith-centric to family-centric network. VP, original programming Craig Miller, whom the net hired away from Scripps, is leading the new development slate with a mantle to create "lunge free TV" worldwhere parents don’t have to lunge for the remote when their kids are in the room.

Disney is priming the pump for the upcoming Star Wars Rebels series on XD, and Star Wars Episode VII, hitting theaters in December 2015. As part of the Star Wars film love, Disney Publishing Worldwide will release of four new books based on the original film trilogy, with adaptations by children’s authors Tom Angleberger, Tony DiTerlizzi, Adam Gidwitz, and R.J. Palacio. The quartet of titles will be published in the U.S. under Disney-Lucasfilm Press, an imprint of the Disney Book Group; first title hits retail in October. They’ll be preceded in August by six titles tied to the Star Wars Rebels animated TV series. The Rebels program also includes titles from licensees DK, Bendon, Klutz, and Scholastic.


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Ardy’s Party, the first-ever Radio Disney Music Awards-themed online game, has hit more than 250,000 plays since its release on March 28. The game is available both online and through the Radio Disney mobile app.


Psst… more proof television advertising is anything but dead. TV ad revenue jumped 21.2% in Q1 year-over-year, according to a new report from research firm Standard Media Index. Auto and pharmaceutical were big growth categories, with the former up a tremendous 45.8% and the latter up 38.2% YoY. Cable ad spending was up 21% in the quarter and up 18% in March. The broadcast spend rose 24% in the quarter, and up 12% in March.


Kel Mitchell returns to Nickelodeon UK today at 5p in a new episode of Sam & Cat, titled "Peezy B." In the ep, Sam (Jennette McCurdy) gets a job as the new assistant to the huge rap star Peezy B (Kel Mitchell). Meanwhile, Cat (Ariana Grande) finds babysitting much more challenging without Sam around to help. Nick UK will air a Kenan & Kel marathon beginning at 8:30p today to celebrate the UK debut of the episode.


Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: What real-life family musical group was The Partridge Family based on? THE COWSILLS Kudos to: Hank Bordowitz, The Werx, Ridgewood, NJ; Alan Dorfman, Topcat Worldwide, Bristol, PA;  Mike Doyle, Spot On Media Consultants, Madison, CT; Jeffrey Grant, Turner Research, Atlanta; Jane Pook, NY; Michael Ritz, BucStar Consulting, NY; Barry Solomon, Retailability Inc., NY; Todd Tarpley, NY; Tom Boyd, WGN, Chicago; William "Chip" Beaman, Formosa Interactive, West Hollywood, CA; Pat Brady, CESD, LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who played little sister Wonder Girl to Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)


Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for April 18-20, 2014:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Disney) PG-13 $26.61 million (weekend) $201.53 million (3-week cume)
Rio 2 (20th Century Fox) PG $22.50 million (weekend) $75.36 million (2-week cume)
Heaven Is For Real (TriStar Pictures) PG $21.50 million (weekend) $28.53 million (1-week cume)
Draft Day (Lionsgate) PG-13 $5.90 million (weekend) $19.55 million (2-week cume)
Divergent (Lionsgate) PG-13 $5.75 million (weekend) $133.91 million (5-week cume)
Noah (Paramount) PG-13 $5 million (weekend) $93.27 million (4-week cume)
God’s Not Dead  (Pure Flix) PG-13 $4.80 million (weekend) $48.33 (5-week cume)
Bears (Disney) PG $4.77 million (weekend) $4.77 million (1-week cume)
Muppets Most Wanted (Disney) PG $1.07 million (weekend) $48.32 million (5-week cume)
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (20th Century Fox) PG $800,000 (weekend) $107.18 million (7-week cume)

Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
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