February 13 through 15

Little Airplane Productions is accepting applications to this unique workshop led by accomplished preschool TV veterans on creating a hit preschool series. Courses include Pitching, Writing, Research, Design, Music, Directing, Legal, Licensing, etc. and a notable panel of children’s television network executives.

Please contact Tone Thyne at 212-965-8999 or [email protected].

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning.It’s Wednesday, December 4, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.


“While you were eating your turkey, we were getting down to business.” So jests DHX Media president/COO Steven DeNure about DHX’s acquisition of Canada’s top-rated kids network, Family Channel, plus Disney XD Canada, and both English- and French-language Disney Junior channels in Canada from Bell Media. The news marks the first foray into broadcast for the company behind kids hits Teletubbies and Yo Gabba Gabba. DHX will pay $170 million in cash for the nets, and the transaction is expected to close in 2014 pending approval by the Competition Bureau and the CRTC. “The opportunity to acquire existing branded channels was something we weren’t going pass up,” DeNure tells CynKids. “Broadcasting is a natural extension for the company. The acquisition… further enhances our ability to operate as a vertically integrated player in the global children’s content business.”

DeNure isn’t expecting any hurdles to closing the deal. “It represents another independent player in the Canadian broadcast business. While there’s tended to be consolidation in this space, we think the fact that there’s a new player will be looked at positively,” he says. And he didn’t shy away from addressing persistent rumors that DHX itself primed for an acquisition: “We are a publically traded company and [as such] are potential acquisition targets at any time. But in the meantime, the management team is focused on continuing to grow the business.”


Animation and Disney go together like, well, Mickey and Minnie. Two-time Emmy winner Mike Moon, VP, creative, for Disney Television Animation, has been working Disney magic since 2006. But he’s been honing his animation skills for more than two decades, including being an animator/producer at Cartoon Network. His credentials are varied, from Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends to Mickey’s Mouseworks. With a unique perspective on the animation business from both sides of the storyboard, here’s Mike in his own words about…

Portrait of the artist as an animation exec
Animation has so many moving parts. It combines every discipline there is in entertainment–acting, craftsmanship, story-telling, filmmaking. And it’s such a tight-knit industry. I think coming from the creative side, I brought a different point of view to Disney, not just in what we do but how we do certain things. I also think I brought a trust level to working with a lot of talent in town.

Why people are more important than plot
It’s all about creator-driven breakout content. Creators who have a real voice, have something to say that’s what we are ultimately successful with. If you look at Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb, Wander Over Yonder, those are all creator-driven shows. We take so many pitches throughout the year, but the reality is that with this business it’s all about the talent, not about the one specific idea. We want the person who knows how to breathe life into an inanimate character. That ultimately is more important than any big, high-concept pitch.

Scouting talent
We look for folks everywhere–in schools, at festivals, and in other industries such as toy design, web design, the music industry, puppeteering, improv. It’s all fair game. We’ve had projects in development from former athletes. We really look anywhere you can find an interesting, fresh voice. We discovered [Gravity Falls creator] Alex Hirsch at Cal Arts and nurtured the relationship while he went through his schooling. With creators it is a long-term strategy. We try to sow a lot of seeds. It’s a relationship that builds over time.

Tools of the trade
Animation is a long process, and that’s one of the challenges of animation vs. live action. Half of the projects are board-driven and half are script-driven, so those each have different processes as well. No one has figured out the magic bullet that speeds production time, but there have been huge strides in the last 10 years. A lot of the new digital animation tools have significantly changed things  but when it comes to development, you still need that person who brings the characters to life.

New distribution avenues
Mobile technology is producing so many new opportunities for us and our competition, but for Disney that doesn’t change anything. The best story wins, the best character wins.


Gleeks have been choosing the tunes for the 100th episode of Fox’s Glee. Through Dec. 3, viewers played DJ on FOX.com/GleeksChoice and on Facebook to decide which 10 songs will be performed by New Directions on the milestone ep, which airs Tuesday, March 18, at 8p.

Couple of Nick holiday episodes coming your way… First, Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1p is Power Rangers Mega Force-The Robo Knight Before Christmas, where Robo Knight learns the true meaning of Christmas when he is mistaken for a donated Christmas toy. On Monday, Dec. 16, at 7:30p, AwesomenessTV-Swag Master J: Swagify Your Christmas is a mashup of comedic takes on the holidays, including a irreverent look at decorating the tree.

The newest Disney Channel Original Movie, snowboarding drama Cloud 9, premieres Friday, Jan. 17, at 8p. Exec-produced by Ashley Tisdale, Paul Hoen, Kirkland Tibbels and Jessica Rhoades, and starring Luke Benward (Ravenswood, Good Luck Charlie) and Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie), the movie follows two unlikely allies who help each other on and off the slopes. Premiere night also includes the new comedy series I Didn’t Do It, a new ep of Liv and Maddie, and a first-look at the upcoming Disney’s Win, Lose or Draw. And beginning Monday, Dec. 16, fans can hit the virtual slopes on disneychannel.com/cloud9, with themed activities and games.

I Didn’t Do It, meanwhile, embraces reverse-story-telling in the lives of five teenagers-ultra-competitive fraternal twins and their three besties. Each episode starts at the end of a predicament, and the characters explain their side of the story via flashbacks. Series stars Olivia Holt, Austin North, Piper Curda, Peyton Clark and Sarah Gilman, and was created by Tod Himmel (90210, The Starter Wife) and Josh Silverstein (So Random!).

Wonder Woman didn’t die – she moved to Me-TV. The 1975-79 Lynda Carter superhero series joins the net’s Saturday night sci-fi lineup Dec. 28 at 8p. Lost in Space moves to Saturday nights at 12a.


Gaumont Animation is joining Technicolor and Mercury Filmworks to co-develop and co-produce animated series Atomic Puppet, which is set to air on Disney XD in the States and other global markets, and on Teletoon in Canada. Series follows Model City superhero Captain Atomic, who is transformed into a powerless puppet and must team with his biggest fan to save the day.Atomic Puppet was created by writer Mark Drop (Johnny Test, Jake and the Never Land Pirates) and writer/creator Jerry Leibowitz (The Mouse and the Monster).


We were wondering whether 2013 would close out without an official launch date for Netflix’s first original kids series, DreamWorks Animation Television’s digi-spinoff Turbo Fast, but we now have a date and time12:01a, Christmas Eve. The series, voiced by Reid Scott (Veep) and Ken Jeong, debuts with five episodes.

CAKE is now distributing season four of DC Thomson’s series Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. The series targets 7-12 year-olds; season four runs for 52 eps and is produced by Red Kite Animation and Sticky Pictures.

Big appetite this year for NBC’s broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The event garnered its best rating in metered-market households in 11 years, averaging 13.5.


Disney Interactive launched online original series It’s A Small World: The Animated Series, inspired by the iconic Disney Parks attraction. The eight-episode series, sponsored exclusively by Rosetta Stone, is premiering on Disney.com, Disney’s YouTube network and across Disney’s connected TV apps and introduces families to unique words and customs from around the world.

No surprise it’s shaping up to be another tech-heavy holiday season. But a new survey conducted for PBS Kids by ORCInternational finds tablets top the list of tech items parents plan to buy their kids, edging out video game consoles. The survey of 1,000 parents of kids ages 2-10 also found:
*  54% of all parents plan to give a tech item to their kids; 59% of millennials plan to do so.
*  Nearly 7 in 10 parents say they currently purchase or plan to purchase apps for their children; 77% cite educational content as most important factor and 90% believe educational apps will play an important role in children’s learning.
*  6 in 10 parents collaborate with their child to select apps; a third of parents say they make the choice themselves.
*  When selecting games and apps for their kids, 56% of parents base their decisions on age recommendations. Additionally, 56% pointed to price and 45% cited characters their kids know and love.

Speaking of characters kids know and love… programmers and distributors increasingly are drawing viewers to TV shows via digital games and apps. Join Cynopsis Kids, BabyFirst’s Sharon Rechter, Cupcake Digital’s Susan Miller and DHX Media’s Bryce Hunter for How to Drive Tune-In & Dollars with Apps and Games webinar on Dec. 11 from 1:30-3p to learn more. Sign up for the webinar at www.cynopsis.com.

There’s no meltdown at Snowman Enterprises, which had built a bigger, better online destination (www.thesnowman.com) for The Snowman and Snowdog brands. New features include a four-piece revolving news carousel, an events guide and the Snow Finder, which is linked to a live global weather station and allows visitors to input their location to find out if snow is in their local forecast.


Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale trended as the 2014 New Artist to Watch on music discovery app Shazam‘s Sounds of 2014 list, which includes artists and song predictions for the coming year and trends on the app from the past year.

Here’s a great way for kids to get their veggies. Cupcake Digital and DreamWorks Animation tomorrow will release an app inspired by the VeggieTales DVD, Merry Larry & the True Light of Christmas. The VeggieTales: It’s A Very Merry Larry Christmas holiday activity app stars Larry the Cucumber and features loads of holiday-themed activities.

Disney Channel is building buzz for new series I Didn’t Do It. Beginning Dec. 23, the That Just Happened game will be live on Disneychannel.com/IDDI.


Call for Entries


Since 1941…the World’s Oldest, Most Prestigious Award for Electronic Media

Entry forms and detailed information available online at:www.peabodyawards.com

Deadline for 2013 entries: January 15, 2014


AG Properties is partnering with Sanrio to bring Care Bears and Little Twin Stars together for a co-branding collaboration that includes apparel, stationery and accessories. The deal, brokered by Mindworks Entertainment, AGP’s agent in Japan, is for a three-year joint program beginning in Japan next March.

Coolabi’s preschool series Poppy Cat is getting its own magazine in the U.K. Publisher Kennedy Enterprises, is launching a stand-alone Poppy Cat magazine that will feature branded stickers, posters and mini activity booklets, plus a branded Poppy Cat cover mount. The magazine is set to launch in spring 2014.


Disney XD in Canada is putting the “fan” in its upcoming animated series Fangbone. The net is giving viewers the power to call the shots for its latest pilot on DisneyXD.ca, where they can influence the pilot’s creative direction by voting for elements they want to see. Feedback will be incorporated into the show ahead of its network premiere in late January 2014. The pilot for Fangbone, based on the graphic novel series about the journey of a 9-year-old barbarian warrior, was developed and produced by Radical Sheep Productions.

Spain’s Imira Entertainment inked deals with Disney Channel across several territories in Asia for the animated feature Cher Ami, about French messenger pigeons during WW1 and produced by Accio in Spain.

Discovery Kids Asia acquired the third season of 9 Story’s animated series Wild Kratts, the third season of live-action science series Finding Stuff Out and the first two seasons Making Stuff. Additionally, 9 Story’s Peg + Cat has been picked up by Zee Learn (India) and Disney Korea, and Animax Korea picked up the while the season one of Almost Naked Animals.

Disney Junior Asia is picking up Paris-based Studio 100 Media’s CGI series Maya The Bee. The show is set to debut Wednesday, Jan. 1, and air daily in markets including Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.


John Vilade, a former VP of national ad sales at Hulu, joined online video platform NDN as EVP, ad sales.


Only 1 Week Away…
Cynopsis: KidsWebinar | REGISTER NOW
How to Drive Tune-In & Dollars with Apps and Games
Wednesday* December 11, 2013* 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET
Hosted by:
Cathy Applefeld Olson, Editor, Cynopsis Kids

Speakers Include:
Susan Miller, Co-Founder – Cupcake Digital
Sharon Rechter, Co-Founder & Principal – BabyFirst
Bryce Hunter, Interactive Producer – DHX Media


Answer to Last Week’s Trivia Question: What kind of animal is the smarty-pants protagonist in The Gruffalo?A mouse. Kudos to: Jeremy St-Onge, Family Channel, Toronto.

Today’s Trivia Question: Reid Scott is voicing Turbo in the new DreamWorks/Netflix series. Who voiced the snail in the theatrical movie? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)


Editor’s Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, ratings are unavailable this week but will return next week. Thanks.

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Nov. 22-24, 2013:

Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) PG-13 $74.5 million (weekend) $296.6 million (2-week cume)
Frozen (Disney) $66.7 million (weekend)  $93.4 million (1-week cume)
Thor: The Dark World (Disney) PG  $11.1 million (weekend) $186.8 million (4-week cume)
Delivery Man (Disney) PG-13 $6.9 million (weekend)  $19.5 million (2-week cume)
The Book Thief (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $4.9 million (weekend) $7.9 million (4-week cume)
Black Nativity (Fox Searchlight) PG $3.9 million (weekend) $5 million (1-week cume)
Philomena (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $3.8 million (weekend) $4.8 million (2-week cume)
Last Vegas (CBS Films) PG-13 $2.8 million (weekend) $58.7 million (5-week cume)
Gravity (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $2.6 million (weekend) $248 million (9-week cume)
Free Birds (Relativity Media) PG $1.8 million (weekend) $53.2 million (5-week cume)


Cynopsis Sports Webinar|DEC 10 |1:30-3pm
Sports Social Media Superstars: Insider Secrets to Engaging Sports Fans on Multiscreens
Executives who drive the social media conversation for some of the most successful brands in sports will share their company’s strategies to stand out in the tumultuous world of social TV

Scott Carlis (VP, Digital & Social Media) AEG Global Partnerships
Jayar Donlan (VP, Social Media) WWE
Amanda Perkey (Social Media Senior Manager) FOX Sports
Megan Hueter (Director, Digital/Social Strategy) Catalyst

Cheers — Cathy
[email protected] for
Cynopsis Kids!

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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CYNOPSIS: SPORTS is proud to launch the highly anticipated…

Honoring the best and brightest work from around the spectrum of sports business, with categories that include our Legacy and Vision Awards, the Award of Distinction as well as honors for best series, live coverage of a sporting event, social media excellence, marketing campaign, app and more!

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

CynopsisCLASSIFIEDS For More classifieds, visit theCynopsis.com classifieds page here.

JOB OPENING:AE/BabyFirst/LA or CHI: Oversee Ads and Brand Integration in region. Prior cable net sales exp. req’d; women/kids nets preferred. Lo-Mid 6-figure Pkg w $70K base. Report to SVP. Reply @ [email protected] (12/11)

JOB OPENING:MGR, BRDCST OPS/NUVOtv/NYC: Mng daily ops for prgrmng, video on demand, scheduled on-air elements, Nielsen, & closed captioning. Highly orgnzd/detail-oriented, 3-5yrs exp Cable Ntwrk enviro req’d. Apply HERE: [email protected] (12/11)

JOB OPENING:DIGITAL PRODUCTS ANALYST/iN DEMAND/NYC: build financial models, conduct mkt. research, analyze/negotiate/recognize new bus. opps. Bachelors + 3-4 yrs digital exp. Resume & sal req to: [email protected] (12/11)

JOB OPENING:ASST EDITOR/PRODUCER/iN DEMAND/NYC: attend video & audio sessions, produce/edit prom. assets weekly. Bachelors + 2 yrs post-prod exp. Resume & sal req to: [email protected] (12/11)

JOB OPENING: VP INDUSTRY PRGRMNG/The Paley Ctr for Media/NY: Resp for strategic vision, creation & successful implementation of critically engaging & distinctive prgrmng that attracts Nat’l & global audiences. 10+ yrs exp. Send res HERE (12/10) 

JOB OPENING: VP SALES & SPONSORSHIP/The Paley Ctr for Media/NYC: Dynamic sales prof. to secure key Sponsorship, mktg & media partnerships. Solid relationships w/sr-level brand decision makers. Proven track rec closing deals. Res HERE (12/10) 

JOB OPENING: DIR, CONTENT & INTEGRATION/ZO Newcast/NYC: 7 yrs exp’d integrated mkting or branded ent with in TV/Dig Nwk or Agency. Apply via zenithoptimedia-na.com (12/10)

JOB OPENING: SR DIR, MKTG & PROMOTIONS/NBCU/East Coast: Create mktg & promo strategies and 360 campaigns for Sprout Network (affiliate, event, consumer). 7+ yrs mktg exp. Ad sales exp. a plus. Cable/TV background pref’d. Apply HERE (12/10)

JOB OPENING: AE/METV Network Sales: Join growing sales force. Independent self-starters with Network agency contacts are a must. Create, present proposals to secure bus. Dvlp/maintain client & agency relationships. Resume Here (12/7)

JOB OPENING: SR WRITER/PRODUCER/NBCU/NYC: Produce integrated on-air promos for USA Network. 5 yrs exp. creating content at TV or agency required. Co-branded exp. 20% travel. Apply HERE (12/7)

JOB OPENING: SVP CONSUMER MKTG & CREATIVE/CMT/Nashville: Dvlp/support cross-co., multi-channel consumer strategies, & breakthrough creative initiatives which lead to increased mkt share & contribute to overall aud. growth. Apply HERE (12/7)

JOB OPENING: SR PRODUCER, LONG FORM/Weather Channel NYC/ATL: 8-10 yrs exp at Production Co or Network. Guide series of varied genre for original content. Oversee series from conception 2 delivery. Resumes: [email protected] (12/7)

JOB OPENING:TVONE/AD SALES COORD/NY: Work w/AE & Planners. POC for agencies. Create flowcharts, handle make good offrs. Trffic & agency Liaison. Self strter, strg org skills,attn to details. BA+2yrs exp. Resumes: [email protected] (12/7)

JOB OPENING: DILIGENCE SPECIALIST/LA: Work with the Production Legal group handling television production to help oversee the vetting of prospective participants in unscripted (“reality”) shows. Apply HERE (12/5)

JOB OPENING: SALES COORDINATOR/NBCU/NYC: Provide support to their respective sales team, which is constituted of a SVP/VP, Directors, and Account Managers, and assist in the management. Apply HERE (12/5)

EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at [email protected]

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Hayden5 (hayden5.com) is looking for dedicated, hard working interns. Req’s a min of 2 days/wk from 9:45-6pm starting 1/14. Res/cover letter to [email protected] (12/5)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:POST PRODUCTION INTERN/NYC: seeking motivated, creative interns for SPRING 2014, to assist with RESEARCH and POST PRODUCTION on a docudrama series. Send resume and cover letter to [email protected] (12/5)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected].

SITUATION WANTED:PRODUCTION ACCOUNTING & FINANCIAL SYSTEMS: 20+ years studio experience building/integrating production financial systems for TV, Film, Animation, VFX; PeopleSoft/SAP. Consultant/staff and East/West coast considered. http://www.linkedin.com/in/mmdavis777 (12/6)

SITUATION WANTED: L.A. based Pro available for Production, Sales, Business Development, Management, Film/TVMusic Supervision. Previously at NBC Universal, Fox TV & Warner/Chappell Music. [email protected] (12/6)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email [email protected] for specs.

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