12/03/14: Sneak peak at All Hail King Julien; Don’t miss CynKids cross-platform storytelling webinar; Viacom SVP Tony Maxwell jumps from VH1 to Nick


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, December 3, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


King Julien is ready for his Netflix coronation. Much-touted Madagascar spinoff series All Hail King Julien, from DreamWorks Animation, bows on the service Dec. 19. Voice cast includes Danny Jacobs as King Julien, Henry Winkler (Happy Days), Andy Richter (Arrested Development), Kevin Michael Richardson (Family Guy) and India de Beaufort (One Tree Hill). With the royal lemur ruling in his own show, things get plenty loud and silly. Check out a sneak peak here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1r5oEWzYZ4&feature=youtu.be

Julien’s Madagascar compatriots fared well below projections of their theatrical premiere. Penguins of Madagascar opened to only $36 million during the Thanksgiving weekend, causing DreamWorks Animation shares to slide 8 percent Monday and reigniting concerns about the studio’s business model.

The Teletubbies have a slew of new playmates. Owner DHX Media acquired Canadian animation producer Nerd Corps Entertainment for $57 million, giving the company 200 more half-hours of children’s shows, in a deal expected to wrap before Christmas.


Disney hasn’t officially confirmed, but if Elsa says it’s true, it must be true. Frozen 2 is a reality. The Internet blew up this week after Idina Menzel, who voiced the feisty princess in Disney’s blockbuster movie, confirmed in an interview with The Telegraph that a sequel is indeed in the works.

Comedian Stephen Fry and Richard Osman (Pointless) will join the voice cast of the new reboot of Danger Mouse, which will air on CBBC next year. Fry is set to play croquet-loving chinchilla Colonel K; Osman is reunited with Pointless pal Alexander Armstrong to play genius jellyfish Professor Strontium Jellyfishowitz. The reimagined series follows the misadventures of the heroic, small but perfectly formed white rodent Danger Mouse. The FremantleMedia Kids & Family co-production is being animated by Boulder Media.


WEBINAR: Developing, Programming & Distributing Multi-Platform Kids Content

Cort Lane, VP of Animation Development & Partnerships at Marvel
Sharon Rechter, EVP of Business Development at BabyFirst
James Nadler, Senior Development Executive at Guru Studio
Jef Kaminsky, VP of TV Development & Programming at Scholastic Media

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 1:30PM | REGISTER NOW!.


Disney XD will air Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors Showdown all morning long on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 9a-12p. The network is also debuting Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles  Clash of the Skywalkers with a special alternate ending on Sunday, December 14th at 9P.

In 2014, more than twice the number of kids crossed the southern border of the US from Central America and Mexico than in 2013. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee dove right into the hot issue last night with her latest edition, “The Border Kids,” which premiered on Nickelodeon at 8p. The special features American kids weighing in on the topic.

Discovery Family’s holiday programming kicks off with My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas on Saturday, December 13 at 7p. DF, which made its debut in October, is a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro, makers of My Little Pony merch.



Amazon is in the holiday spirit. On Friday (Dec. 5) a holiday ep of Creative Galaxy will debut on Prime Instant Video. The series comes from Out of the Blue Enterprises, with Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues, Super Why! Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) serving as creator and exec producer. Additionally, Amazon Studios has partnered with Toys for Tots for a holiday giving event. From Dec. 5-16, fans can share a craft inspired by any of the Amazon Kids shows on the Amazon Kids Facebook page tagged with #AmazonPrime, and Amazon Studios will donate $5 for every craft photo shared (up to $5,000) to Toys for Tots.

As a spinoff from its CBBC series Technobabble, the BBC is rolling out a “digital maker kit” aimed at kids 7-14 to enable them to create their own games. The Make It: Technobabble kit is available on the CBBC website and works on smart phones, tablets and computers. Kids can customize the games using images from the TV show. “It’s a starter kit. The only requirements are access to the web, a willingness to experiment and an idea. In minutes a child can create a game,” Martin Wilson, BBC Future Media head of digital creativity, wrote in a blog post.

Disney’s Maker Studios and social platform Wikia partnered to create The 2014 Year in Fandom (yearinfandom.wikia.com), a video series celebrating the year’s top trends. Wikia combined highlights from its fan base with other factors such as total audience, volume of content and the “momentum” around the major moments in the last 12 months including New York Comic Con, The Fault in our Stars premiere and Disney’s Frozen.


BabyFirst and My Gym Fitness Center created the My Gym at Home app, initially debuting for iOs with Android not far behind. BabyFirst is the broadcast home of the baby-toddler fitness daily show of the same name, which features My Gym instructors guiding children and parents through songs, dances and fitness routines culled from My Gym’s child fitness curriculum.

German App Publisher has Animal Hospital 3D Africa, Wildlife: America, Dog Hotel 3D, Hippo Sports and Teddy the Panda All Set to Go Live in December

Tivola, publisher of family entertainment and education apps, is publishing five new animal games–Animal Hospital 3D Africa, Wildlife: America, Dog Hotel 3D and Teddy the Panda–in time for the holidays. All games will be available on Google Play, Apple’s App Store and the Amazon Appstore for Android, and support most modern tablets as well as smartphones.


Genius Brands International selected Downtown Bookworks to publish a new line of books based on its Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club brand. The first title, How to Grow Your Very First Business, will be released next spring, with sales and distribution handled by Simon & Schuster. Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club features 26-webisodes at www.smckids.com, and 26 half-hour episodes on Discovery Family Channel in the US and other networks around the world.


Invizimals, the series based on the successful PlayStation game saga, is adding to its television empire with new network support from Spain’s TVE’s Clan Channel and Televisio de Catalunya’s Super 3. Other global nets carrying the series, aimed at kids 6-12, include Al Jazeera, Disney XD, Gulli and K2.

9 Story Media Group landed Good TV (Taiwan), EBS (Korea) and Asiana Licensing (Korea) for multiple seasons of Arthur. Additionally, Media Corp (Singapore) licensed season one of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Daekyo Kids (Korea) acquired season three of the 3D animated comedy Erky Perky. Thailand’s True Visions has licensed almost 200 half hours of 9 Story programming including Peg + Cat, Almost Naked Animals and Joe & Jack.


Nickelodeon named Tony Maxwell SVP of Promotional Creative and Strategy, Nickelodeon Group. An eight-year Viacom veteran, Maxwell most recently
served as SVP of Promotional Strategy and Creative for VH1, VH1 Classic and Palladia, where he spearheaded launch campaigns for series including Rock of Love, Mob Wives, Hit The Floor and Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.


** Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, weekly television ratings were not available at press time.

Weekend box office estimates for the top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Nov. 28-30, 2014:

The Hunger Games Mockingjay, Part 1 (Lionsgate) PG-13 $56.88 million (weekend) $225.69 million (2-week cume)
Penguins of Madagascar (20th Century Fox) PG $28.8 million (weekend) $36 million (1-week cume)
Big Hero 6 (Disney) PG $18.77 million (weekend) $56.2 million $167.21 million (4-week cume)
Interstellar (Paramount) $15.8 million (weekend) $147.09 million (4-week cume)
Dumb And Dumber To (Universal) PG-13 $8.25 million (weekend) $72.21 million (3-week cume)
The Theory of Everything (Focus Features) PG-13 $5.09 million (weekend) $9.6 million (3-week cume)
Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media) $1.58 million (weekend) $12.85 million (3-week cume)


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Answer to last week’s Trivia Question: Name one of the hosts of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1962-1971. Lorne Greene and Betty White Kudos to: Pat Brady, CESD, LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: What sales business did Warren Buffett start while he was in high school? 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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