06/18/14: Fox to launch STEM-focused kids block; Jim Davis Q&A; return of The Powerpuff Girls; Saban launches Emojiville brand


Disney Channel is a Top Network for Families!

#1 Cable Network for Kids and Tweens,
Top 3 Cable Network for Moms and Women!

Own 4 of the top 5 TV programs for K2-11 season-to-date

#1 Cable Network in Prime among Hispanic Total Viewers

Add some Disney magic into your Upfront plan. (SOURCE: Nielsen. Click here for source)


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 18, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


In September, Fox is launching a new two-hour block of Saturday morning programming focused on science and technology. The block, titled “Xploration Station,” was conceived by Steve Rotfeld Productions, which is producing all four half-hour syndicated series: Xploration Awesome Planet, hosted by Philippe Cousteau Jr. (grandson of the famous underwater explorer), Xploration Outer Space, Xploration Earth 2050 and Xploration Animal Science. “I call it outer space, inner space and future space,” Rotfeld tells CynKids of the block. It’s currently cleared in 80% of the US. “Most of the other Saturday-morning stuff is sort of soft adventure and animals,” Rotfeld says, noting the series are aimed at kids and their parents to watch together. “We thought, Let’s try to do something that’s educational but also fascinating, and we thought STEM was a great hook for that, since there’s such a huge movement to advance STEM education.”

Because we all could use a little more Chemical X… Cartoon Network will bring back one of its most beloved franchises, The Powerpuff Girls, in 2016. The new series, produced by Cartoon Network Studios, follows the successful PPG special that aired this January, and the original, Emmy-winning series created by Craig McCracken that debuted in 1998 and had a 78-ep run. The new launch will feature a full licensing program; the brand has earned $2.5 billion in global retail sales.


Saban Brands and JAKKS Pacific are developing the new multiplatform property Emojiville. Saban will launch Emojiville as an original web series this fall, and is also developing a television series for the brand to debut in the near future. The series follows five emoji friends and their antics in Emojiville–a colorful town filled with spirited personalities and awesome adventures. JAKKS Pacific will develop a consumer products and toy line as well as technology products for the property. Saban Brands will lead the content, distribution, marketing, promotion and other licensing for the brand… In other Saban news, the company selected Canada’s Spin Master Ltd. as global master toy licensee for Popples, which Saban will bring to the market via a new animated children’s series based on the nostalgic characters from the popular ‘80s toy line and TV series. Spin Master merch will debut in the U.S. market in 2015, followed by an expanded international program in 2016.

Want to know the details of the “Oreo: Twist, Lick, Dunk” mobile app? Then grab a glass of milk and come hear from Carnival Mobile CEO Guy Horrocks talk about the strategy behind the most successful branded app ever. It’s all happening tomorrow at the Cynopsis Digital Monetization Summit. Register here.

Thomas the Tank Engine and friends are parking themselves at the Edaville USA amusement park in South Carver, Mass., beginning in next summer with the opening of the Thomas Land theme park. The park, in development with HIT Entertainment, is timed to open around the time of Thomas’ 70th anniversary in 2015. Thomas Land will cover 11.5 acres and include 14 rides based on Thomas & Friends and the Island of Sodor, including a 20-minute train ride on a life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine, a roller coaster, drop tower and Ferris wheel. There are currently two other Thomas Lands in operation, in Fujikyu Highland amusement park in Japan and Drayton Manor Theme Park in the UK.

Hub Network is remaining mum on speculation, including its move from LA to Discovery headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, after network president/CEO Margaret Loesch late last week said she will be departing at the end of the year when her contract expires. In a statement Loesch said, “I am very proud of the work we have done and the accomplishments we have achieved at the Hub… I will be working closely with our parent companies, Discovery and Hasbro, to assist in the leadership transition… While my career has spanned over four decades, I look forward to evaluating future opportunities and writing the next chapter.”

Shout! Factory, The Film Collective, Dada Films and Brainstorm Media are collaborating on the launch of French animated film Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. The film will be released in theaters and simultaneously on VOD on Wednesday, Sept. 24.



Thursday night premieres are #1 with all key Kids and Boys demos!

Source: AYAKM Research, Nielsen Media Period 6/05/14-6/12/2014, 6PM-8PM, based on Live+Same Day, ranks based on delivery versus all basic-cable and broadcast,  Based on winning time period (strict dayparts) K/B2-11, 6-11 and 9-14; Clarence (6:45p) joined the Thursday line-up on 6/12


Garfield the cat is turning 36 tomorrow, and he’s got a lot to celebrate. The Garfield Show, a production of Dargaud Media, Paws, Inc. and France 3, is aired in 211 territories in 27 language versions, with wide distribution by Cartoon Network. Season five is currently in production and 210 11-minute eps are in frequent rotation. What’s more, the Garfield comic strip is the most widely syndicated strip in the world, and Davis just signed his first-ever master toy licensee, Wicked Cool Toys. CynKids spoke with the legendary Jim Davis, creator of the comic strip and television show, about why his feline is still, ahem, the cat’s meow.

What’s the secret to Garfield’s lasting appeal?
We live in a time where we feel guilty about overeating, wanting to sleep in, hating Mondays, not exercising. Garfield defends his right to do these things. He helps us alleviate our guilt.

Which Garfield character are you most like?
I am Jon, the optimist who’s always looking on the bright side of things.

What’s at the root of the Garfield comedy?
The humor in the comic strip comes from conflict. If everyone agreed and looked alike, we’d end up with the Smurfs. But I created Garfield with all sorts of conflicting characters. The trick is to not let one philosophy dominate. It’s good to let Jon and Odie get the upper hand sometimes. I don’t do shock humor. I do family situational humor so it’s a shared gag. Jon’s terrible with fixing things and when, for example, he’s detonating the Christmas tree, it’s always funny. [Readers] are saying to themselves, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Will Garfield ever hit the gym?
Regardless of the fitness craze, the majority of America still loves their donuts and watching TV. If Garfield started going to the gym, he’d lose his street cred. He can certainly encourage healthier habits and handle it with humor; I do think there’s room for that. But Garfield adheres to first law of physicsAn object at rest tends to stay at rest. I wouldn’t be surprised if some day he came out with healthy message, but he’s not going to lose weight.

Some comic characters never age. Why does Garfield have birthdays?
This may sound weird, but it wasn’t my decision–it was his. He likes attention, he has a pretty big ego. And certainly… he would do just about anything for his birthday cake.

What real-life celeb would Garfield most like to hang with?
Well, there’s Morris the Cat. They are simpatico. He’d definitely want to be where the food is so I’d say Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. That’s who he’d hang with; he’d be right there in the passenger seat of that red convertible.


Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, the third season of the series, will premiere Sunday, Aug. 31, at 9a on Disney XD’s Marvel Universe programming block. The new season begins with Spider-Man accepting an invitation to become an Avenger alongside Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Falcon. Presented in a multi-episode story format, the new season also introduces new heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe, such as Agent Venom, Amadeus Cho, Cloak & Dagger, and Ka-Zar. Additionally, for the first time in animation history, Miles Morales teams up with Spider-Man for a new adventure, and he’s not the only Spidey Peter Parker will encounter in this action-packed season. Stay tuned…


Nickelodeon picked up a fourth season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a top fiveanimated series for Q1 across all of television. On Aug. 8 Paramount will release the theatrical TMNT movie, produced by Michael Bay.The net alsogreenlit a third season of animated series Sanjay and Craig, its original animated series that’s been pulling an average 4.9/1.6M with K2-11 and 3 million total viewers. The new 20-ep order will extend the misadventures of Sanjay, an irreverent 12-year-old boy and his best friend Craig, a smooth-talking snake and master of disguise. New season two eps will debut this summer and roll out internationally this fall. Sanjay & Craig is seen in 120 countries and territories around the world via the Nickelodeon channels and syndication.

Thirty-three years after Danger Mouse first appeared on the small screen, FremantleMedia Kids & Family is partnering with the BBC to produce a new series based on the super-cool white rodent to air in CBBC in 2015. The co-production is part of Fremantle’s five-year partnership with BBC Children’s; Danger Mouse will be co-produced and animated by Boulder Media with Robert Cullen (The Amazing World of Gumball, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends) directing and Peter Lewis and Anne Tweedy producing. Last week’s CynKids Kids People honoree Bob Higgins is exec-producing for FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment, and original Danger Mouse co-creator Brian Cosgrove acting as a consultant on the series.

Disney Television Animation began production on The Lion Guard, an animated TV movie and series that will continue the story of The Lion King, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The story follows Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, as he assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a group of the bravest and brightest tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. The TV movie will premiere in fall 2015, and the subsequent series will debut in early 2016 on Disney Junior and Disney Channel. The lifetime global box office total for The Lion King is $987.4 million.


Sales of licensed products continued their upward trajectory in 2013 for the third straight year, with $5.655 billion in royalty revenue in the US and Canada, translating to $115.75 billion in retail sales, an increase of 3.3% and 3.25%, respectively, over 2012. This according to a new report from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Assn., which cited Character as the top licensing category (no doubt kids-related merch is a big slice of that pie), followed by Corporate Trademarks, Sports, Fashion, and Collegiate. Together, they represented 94% of overall licensing revenues in 2013. Character-related merch accounted for $2.66 billion in royalty revenues and $51.44 billion in retail sales, up 4.3% from 2012. Royalty rates are generally higher in this category compared with others, accounting for 47.2% of total industry revenues.

Scholastic Media is expanding its licensing program for the Scholastic brand, led by a back-to-school initiative at Walmart via Tara Toys. The lineup includes nearly 30 educational products such as sequencing puzzles, pocket charts and preschool learning games.

Zodiak Kids and Biplano, the Iberian agent for Tickety Toc, appointed new licensees in the region: Educa Borras comes aboard as licensee for games and puzzles and Random House has been appointed as publishing licensee. Additionally, Vivid Imaginations struck a distribution agreement with Spanish toy company Famosa to distribute Vivid’s line of Tickety Toc plush, figures, games and play sets throughout Spain and Portugal. 


YouTube channel DreamWorksTV goes live this week, bowing with a mix of live-action and animated short-form content. The DreamWorks Animation-AwesomenessTV venture features original video posts from characters including Shrek, Puss in Boots and the Kung Fu Panda plus reality TV shorts including Prank My Parents, OMG and Record Setter Kids, and original animated web series from creators such as Jimmy Blue Shorts, Gorillaville and Report Card. Richie Rich, an original scripted series based on the iconic comic book character, will make its debut on the channel this summer. AwesomenessTV founder Brian Robbins will oversee the channel; DreamWorks Animation bought AwesomenessTV last year.

Additionally, DreamWorks Animation and Netflix announced a new original series based on the award-winning children books Dinotrux to premiere in spring 2015. The three-season series will follow hybrid dinosaur-construction characters who are set to build and battle. DreamWorks Animation debuted original Turbo FAST last year on the streaming service, and will bring King Julien, Puss in Boots and Veggie Tales in the House this year along with DreamWorks Dragons in 2015.

In other Netflix news… two kids series are new to the service this week: UK break-out comedy Strange Hill High and Tree Fu Tom, which originally aired on Sprout.

Entertainment One Licensing is creating fresh digital content to help expand its teen property SO SO Happy. Currently in production are 13 2-minute comedy shorts due for delivery in spring 2015, which will be hosted on social media sites and a new website that is set to launch next spring. The brand also has a new partnership in the US with Kelly Teegarden Organics to launch a new collection of SO SO Happy licensed cosmetics and skincare products targeting teens and young adults.


HIT Entertainment is in preproduction on a CG animated series based on the Fisher-Price toy brand Little People. The series, the first collaboration between HIT and Fisher-Price to develop a Fisher-Price franchise since HIT was acquired by Mattel in 2012, is being produced out of HIT’s UK content hub and is planned for release in late 2015.

UK-based broadcast group CSC Media will air seasons one and two of animated series slapstick animated series Larva, developed by Spain’s Imira Entertainment. CSC will also air a special three-minute soccer-themed episode, which celebrates the excitement around the FIFI World Cup.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) signed its first international TV broadcast deal with Australia’s free-to-air Nine Network for the new iteration of Thunderbirds Are Go! The series will air on Nine’s youth-skewing digital channel GO! in its children’s programming block and be available for viewers to catch-up via 9jumpin’s VOD service.

Atlantyca Entertainment licensed animated series Geronimo Stilton seasons one and two in Australia and New Zealand to Network 10 and Universal Pictures (Australasia) for the DVD distribution rights for both seasons. The deal was signed through Atlantyca’s agent Merchantwise.  Network 10 will launch the series on Eleven next month.


Cynopsis Digital BIG Monetization Summit
June 19 | 10 on the Park, NYC | Sponsors: FreeWhee, YuMe & Hiro

Come hear Christine Dilandro, SVP, Head of Media & Integrated Marketing for Citi, Kerri Vickers, Senior Media Director for Razorfish, and Yahoo! talk digital partnerships.

View the complete list of speakers & register: http://www.cyndigitalmonetization.com/.


Justin Pertschuk and Mimi Slavin joined the DreamWorks Animation marketing team as Head of Digital Marketing and Head of Global Promotions, respectively. Pertschuk most recently was president of 42 Entertainment and prior to that was an 11-year Disney veteran. Slavin most recently was Founder/President of MSN Marketing Inc., with clients including Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Showtime Network.

AG Properties promoted three licensing execs this week and welcomed one new hire. Carla Neves is promoted to Director, International Licensing, Laura Arst, is promoted to Senior Manager, Domestic Licensing and Jennifer Nuccio is promoted to Manager, Domestic Licensing and Retail Development. Heidi Schwartz joins AGP’s domestic licensing team as Associate Manager. Schwartz joins from Tournesol.

ZAG Studios tapped Andre Lake Mayer and Jared Wolfson as President of Global Brand Strategy & Consumer Products, and Head of Production, Development & Acquisitions for ZAG’s US TV division, respectively. They will work in conjunction with ZAG’s new 40,000-square-foot entertainment studio. Lake Mayer has worked spearheading the US consumer products re-launch of the Star Wars franchise and Star Trek consumer products business; Wolfson worked with brands including Nickelodeon’s Monsuno, Pokemon, Star Wars, Marvel Universe and SpongeBob SquarePants.


Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of June 9-15, 2014

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 June 9-15 , 2104
6/12/14/Paw Patrol/NICK/12:30-1p/1320
6/13/14/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/8:30-9p/1294
6/12/14/16 Wishes/DSNY/8-9:40p/1272
6/15/14/Finding Nemo/DSNY/8-9:45p/1270

K6-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of June 9-15, 2014
6/13/14/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/8:30-9p/1032
6/12/14/16 Wishes/DSNY/8-9:40p/982
6/12/14/Amazing World of Gumball/TOON/6:30-6:45p/952
6/13/14/I Didn’t Do It/DSNY/9-9:30p/904
6/14/14/The Thundermans/NICK/8-8:30p/892
6/13/14/Austin & Ally/DSNY/10-10:25p/866
6/12/14/Adventure Time/TOON/7-7:30p/854
6/15/14/Finding Nemo/DSNY/8-9:45p/842

Source: Turner Research based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800,000 homes.

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for June 13-15, 2014:

How To Train Your Dragon 2 (DreamWorks Animation) PG $50 million (weekend) $50 million (1-week cume)
Maleficent (Disney) PG $19.01 million (weekend) $163.53 million (3-week cume)
Edge of Tomorrow (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $16.18 million (weekend) $56.65 million (2-week cume)
The Fault in Our Stars (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $15.73 million (weekend) $81.7 million (2-week cume)
X-Men: Days of Future Past
(20th Century Fox) PG-13 $9.5 million (weekend) $205.94 million (4-week cume)
Godzilla (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $3.16 million (weekend) $191.3 million (5-week cume)
Blended (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $1.64 million (weekend ) $40.29 million (4-week cume)
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony) PG-13 $960,000 (weekend) $198.39 million (7-week cume)
Million Dollar Arm (Disney) PG-13 $716,000 (weekend) $33.83 million (5-week cume)
Belle (Fox Searchlight) PG $510,000 (weekend) $8.57 million (7-week cume)


Cynopsis Digital is proud to launch the highly anticipated…

2014 Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards
The 2nd Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards competition to benchmark excellence in online and multiplatform video programming, advertising, technology and services in 2013-2014, as well as recognize the leading players propelling the industry into the future.

For more information & to enter, visit the awards webpage:


Answer to last week’s Trivia Question: Donald Duck celebrated his 80th birthday this week (and may I say hes looking grand). Who knows his middle name? Fauntleroy Kudos to: Daniel Errico, Pajama Publishing, NJ; Alison Hill, Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta; Ellery Locklear, Scollon Productions.

Today’s Trivia Question: Which Powerpuff Girl plays the drums in that classic song, Love Makes the World Go Round? Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)

Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
[email protected] for
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