Friday, April 25th, 2008


Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Friday, April 25, 2008, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Middle-earthlings, Hobbits, Elves, Orcs, and others, take note.  Guillermo del Toro will direct the movie adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit and its sequel (no title yet), it was announced yesterday by the movie’s executive producers Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema’s Fran Walsh.  Del Toro will relocate to New Zealand for the next four years to work with Jackson and his Wingnut Films and WETA production teams on the two movies, which will be shot back-to-back.  The sequel, will tell the story of the 60-year period between The Hobbit and the first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring.  New Line is overseeing development and will manage the production of The Hobbit and its sequel, which are being co-produced and co-financed by New Line Cinema and MGM, with Warner Brothers distributing domestically and MGM distributing internationally.  “Never laugh at live dragons.”

The Harry Potter movies and the Matrix trilogy have helped push Warner Bros. over the $400 million mark in Imax Corporation box office receipts.  Since 2003 Warner Bros. has released 16 movie titles in various Imax formats, including those movies adapted for Imax, as well as original movies c0-produced with Imax and released by Warner Bros. specifically for Imax.  The Warner Bros. and Imax release schedule for the next three years (2008-2010) includes: Speed Racer (May 9), The Dark Night (July 18), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (November 21), Under the Sea 3D (February 2009) and Hubble 3D (February 2010).


Turner Broadcasting commissions a localized UK version of the successful Australian preschool TV series Hi-5 TV.  The UK version of Hi-5 will include 40×30 episodes and will be produced by UK indie production company, Darrall Macqueen, and will premiere on Turner’s Cartoonito channel in the UK later this year.  Also partnering on the UK series is free-to-air broadcaster GMTV, which will debut the series in 2009.  Seems like a making a UK version of the series is a pretty good gamble, given that the Australian version of Hi-5 includes 435 x 30 episodes, 25 DVD/videos, some 80 books and 11 CDs, and the series airs 118 countries around the world.  The Australian version of the series has aired in the UK.

Singer/songwriter/actor Nick Lachey has been tapped to host Disney’s recently announced summer reality series High School Musical: Summer Session (working title).  The series is scheduled to premiere on ABC on Sunday, July 20 (8-9p) and will air Sundays and Mondays (8-9p) for three weeks, continuing then on Mondays (8p) through the middle of September.  An update on the open casting calls (they are looking for teens/young adults 16-22) for HSM: Summer Session, with the first session set for this Sunday, April 27 at Long beach Arena in Long Beach, California, followed by a second call on Wednesday, May 7 at Champion Stadium in Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.


Studio B Productions Inc. inks broadcast deals for its series Martha Speaks (40×30) with three Canadian education-centric TV networks.  Acquiring the K4-8 targeted series is TVO (a Canadian public broadcaster), Knowledge Network (British Columbia’s public broadcaster) and SCN (Saskatchewan’s regional public broadcaster), all of which will premiere the series from fall 2008.  The series will launch in the US this fall as part of the PBS Kids lineup.  A co-production between Studio B Productions and WGBH Boston, the series is based on author Susan Meddaugh’s book Martha Speaks (Houghton Mifflin).

Mother’s Day, which is everyday according to my Dad, will be honored Sunday, May 11 with a host of Mom-centric programming over the course of the May 9-11, 2008 weekend:

PBS Kids Sprout celebrates Mom with two special live programming blocks, hosted by Nina from The Good Night Show, on both Saturday and Sunday, May 10 and 11, 12 noon-3p.  On Saturday the block will feature mom-themed episodes of Berenstain Bears, Angelina Ballerina and Pingu, as well as showing viewer-submitted Mother’s Day cards, craft ideas and so on.  Sunday will showcase preschoolers calls talking about their moms.  Throughout the weekend Sprout will air live-action video in which real moms talk about being moms.  Also, prior to Mom’s Day weekend, kids and parents can send Mom a message via , these messages will scroll on air over the weekend.

Turner’s Cartoon Network and Boomerang have plans for daylong Mom events for Sunday, May 11.

  • Cartoon Network will pay tribute to Mom with Yo Mama’s Day, with viewers joining Irwin (from Billy & Mandy) as he hosts an afternoon (12-6p) of his own Mummy and Grandmother and Madam Foster, in episodes of Billy and Mandy and Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends.
  • Boomerang once again airs its annual marathon salute to Wilma Flintstone, 12-7p.

Nick Jr. will offer kudos to mom with a marathon of new mom-themed episodes of Go, Diego, Go! and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, as well as episodes of other series from the block, Friday, May 9, 9a-2p.

Disney Channel’s salute to mom will feature a special themed episode of its animated series Phineas and Ferb on Saturday, May 10 at 8:30p.  Titled Mom’s Birthday, the episode features the brothers planning the best birthday ever for their mom.


Sorpresa! has teamed up with Major League Soccer (MLS) to launch a multi-platform youth soccer campaign.  Designed to promote self-esteem and an active and healthy lifestyle among kids, the Juega Como un MLS Pro (or in English, Play Like an MLS Pro) youth soccer effort combines local grassroots outreach, interactive online and TV programming elements.

As part of an effort to promote support of the teaching profession, TeachersCount, a not-for-profit group, has teamed celebrities with their favorite teachers in a poster campaign, titled Behind Every Famous Person Is a Fabulous Teacher. Designed to inspire kids, the posters are being made available to schools through an initiative co-sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education.  With the first set of posters currently being distributed to schools nationwide, a second set will be available this summer.  The poster series comes with instructional material kits for school districts.  Additionally, the series of ads appear throughout the Time Inc. roster of magazines.  Ah, the celebrities featured in the posters with their favorite teachers include America Ferrera, Tony Shalhoub and Chris Bridges (aka Ludacris), as well as American Express Chairman and CEO, Ken Chenault.

Topps Candy launches a educative social networking site this May called , the site is designed to educate kids about US waterways and allow them to send virtual “messages in a bottle” to other Topps Baby Bottle Pop fans by uploading a secret code on marked packages. One message can be written and received for each unique UPC code uploaded to the site.


Jeremy Carr is appointed VP/Regional Entertainment Advertising Sales, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, Inc., (TENA).  Based in Hong Kong, Carr oversees TV and interactive ad sales for the properties TENA represents; he is responsible for 13 TV channels including: Cartoon Network’s India, Australia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Pakistan and South East Asia feeds; Pogo in India; Boomerang in Australia and Southeast Asia; and HBO in South Asia; as well as eight Cartoon Network online destinations and the TCM and Pogo websites.  Carr takes over his new position for Soumitra Saha, who was named head of TENA in December 2007.  Carr was most recently Partner and Director at International Media Representation Company Pty Ltd.

Scholastic announces several new hires and promotions in the trade publishing division:

  • AnnMarie Harris comes on board as Sr. Editor/Scholastic Trade Paperback group
  • Victoria Tisch as Associate Director/Advertising and Marketing Operations
  • Anna Bloom as Editorial Assistant/Trade Paperbacks.
  • Francesco Sedita is upped to Executive Creative Director/Creative Services, from his previously role as Creative Director
  • Geoff DeCicco has been promoted to Art Director/Creative Services. He had been Associate Art Director.
  • Kim Balistreri is promoted to Manager/Sales Support.

Gary Atkinson is named General Counsel, The Singing Machine Company.  Atkinson will be responsible for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, dispute resolutions and special projects.


Top 10 Combined Broadcast/Basic Cable shows among Kids 2-11 for the week of 4/14-4/20/2008 , 6a-6a:
K2-11                                             Total Delivery (000)
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/19; 11a)            2211
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/19; 9:30a)         2061
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/19; 11:30a)       2059
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/20; 9a)              1922
DSNY*: Spy Kids (4/19; 9-10:35p)                           1892
NICK:    Back at the Barnyard (4/19; 10a)                 1874
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/14; 6:30p)         1862
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/14; 6p)              1846
NICK:    Back at the Barnyard (4/19; 10:30a)            1842
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/19; 9a)              1825
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
*Disney Channel is not an ad supported cable network, unlike the others in this listing.

Top 10 Combined Broadcast/Basic Cable shows among Kids 6-11 for the week of 4/14-4/20/2008 , 6a-6a:
K6-11                                                Total Delivery (000)
DSNY*: Spy Kids (4/19; 9-10:35p)                              1498
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/19; 9:30a)            1271
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/19; 11a)               1237
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/19; 9a)                 1185
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/20; 11a)               1184
FOX:     American Idol (4/15; 8-9:01p)                         1184
NICK:   Drake & Josh Movie (4/18; 8:30-10p)               1183
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (4/14; 6:30p)            1172
DSNY*: Wizards of Waverly Place (4/20; 8:30p)            1171
TOON:   Ben 10: Alien Force (4/18; 8-9p)                     1155
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
*Disney Channel is not an ad supported cable network, unlike the others in this listing.

Top 10 Combined Broadcast/Basic Cable shows among Tweens 9-14 for the week of 4/14-4/20/2008 , 6a-6a:
Tweens 9-14                               Total Delivery (000)
DSNY*: Spy Kids (4/19; 9-10:35p)                        1513
FOX:     American Idol (4/15; 8-9:01p)                  1382
FOX:     American Idol (4/16; 9-10p)                     1258
DSNY*: Suite Life of Zack & Cody (4/19; 7:30p)     1175
NICK:    iCarly (4/20; 4p)                                     1055
DSNY*: Wizards of Waverly Place (4/20; 8:30p)     1033
DSNY*: Hannah Montana (4/19; 11:30p)               1012
DSNY*: Minutemen (4/14; 8-9:40p)                      1011
DSNY*: Suite Life of Zack & Cody (4/19; 11p)        1003
NICK:    iCarly (4/20; 5:30p)                                  998
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
*Disney Channel is not an ad supported cable network, unlike the others in this listing.

Top 10 Combined Broadcast/Basic Cable shows among Teens 12-17 for the week of 4/14-4/20/2008 , 6a-6a:
Teens 12-17                                   Total Delivery (000)
FOX:     American Idol (4/16; 9-10p)                         1322
FOX:     American Idol (4/15; 8-9:01p)                      1261
DSNY*: Spy Kids (4/19; 9-10:35p)                              788
FOX:     Hell’s Kitchen (4/15; 9:01-10p)                       770
NICK:    iCarly (4/20; 4p)                                            725
ADSM:   Family Guy (4/20; 11p)                                  665
ABC:     Desperate Housewives (4/20; 9-10:02p)           663
FOX:     Family Guy (4/20; 9-9:01p)                             649
NICK:    iCarly (4/20; 3:30p)                                       640
NAN:     George Lopez Show (4/18; 10:30p)                 639
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
*Disney Channel is not an ad supported cable network, unlike the others in this listing.
**New abbreviation for Adult Swim, which airs on Cartoon Network

Final K6-11 Ratings for Saturday, September 22, 2008 Broadcast Networks only (Live + SD Data):
Source: Disney Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
CW (Kids’ WB!) 0.9/5 Avg. (7a-12p)
Will & DeWitt 0.4/4; Magi Nation 0.7/4; Skunk Fu! 0.9/5; Tom and Jerry Tales 1.1/5; Tom and Jerry Tales 1.3/6; Spectacular Spider-Man 1.2/6; Spectacular Spider-Man 1.1/5; World of Quest 0.5/3; Johnny Test 0.9/5; Eon Kid 0.5/3
ABC 1.0/5 Avg. (9a-1p)
The Emperor’s New School 0.5/2; The Replacements 0.9/4; That’s So Raven 1.1/5; That’s So Raven 1.3/6; Hannah Montana 1.7/9; Suite Life of Zack & Cody 1.6/9; Power Rangers Jungle Fury 0.6/3; Power Rangers Jungle Fury 0.4/3
FOX (4Kids TV) 0.9/4 Avg. (8a-12n)
Viva Pinata 0.5/3; Viva Pinata 1.0/5; Chaotic 1.1/5; Chaotic 1.1/5; TMNT Lost Episodes 1.1/5; Dinosaur King 0.9/4; Yu-Gi-Oh GX 0.7/4; Winx Club 0.6/4
NBC (Qubo on NBC) Avg. 0.3/1 (7:30a-12p)
Jacob two Tow 0.1/0; Dragon 0.1/0; My Friend Rabbit 0.0/0; 321 Penguins/Larryboy Adventures 0.2/1; Veggie Tales 0.4/2; Jane and the Dragon 0.4/2
CBS (KEWLopolis on CBS) 0.3/2 Avg. (7-10a/10a-1p*)
Care Bears 0.2/2; Strawberry Shortcake 0.4/2; Cake 0.4/2; Sushi Pack 0.3/2; Dino Squad 0.4/2; Horseland 0.2/1
*Times vary from market to market

Final K6-11 Ratings for Saturday, April 19, 2008 Cable Networks only (Live + SD Data):
Source: Disney Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
NICKELODEON 3.9/22 Avg. (7a-1p)
Jimmy Neutron 1.4/16; Jimmy Neutron 2.6/21; Fairly OddParents 3.3/21; Fairly OddParents 4.0/22; SpongeBob SquarePants 4.9/22; SpongeBob SquarePants 5.2/25; Back at the Barnyard 4.6/21; Back at the Barnyard 4.2/20; SpongeBob SquarePants 5.1/26; SpongeBob SquarePants 4.4/24; SpongeBob SquarePants 3.6/21; SpongeBob SquarePants 3.3/20
CARTOON NETWORK 2.3/13 Avg. (7:30a-1p)
Cartoon Cartoon Top 5 (60 minutes) 2.2/16; Chop Socky Chooks 2.5/14; Blue Dragon 2.0/10; Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl Battle Dimension 2.2/10; Ben 10: Alien Force 3.4/16;Bakugan 2.4/12; Robotboy 2.3/13; Cartoon Cartoon (60 minutes) 1.8/10; Cartoon Cartoon (60 minutes) 1.1/5
DISNEY CHANNEL 1.5/8 Avg. (7a-1p)
The Wiggles 1.3/15; Johnny and the Sprites 1.3/10; My Friends Tigger & Pooh 1.6/10; My Friends Tigger & Pooh 1.4/8; Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 1.7/9; Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 1.7/8; Bunnytown 1.3/6; Handy Manny 1.2/6; Little Einsteins 0.8/4; Charlie and Lola 1.0/5; Princess diaries (125 minutes) 2.5/16
TOON DISNEY (Jetix) 0.6/3 Avg. (8a-1p)
Legend of the Dragon 0.2/2; Jackie Chan Adventures 0.3/3; Power Rangers: Mystic Force 0.4/2; Power Rangers Jungle Fury 0.8/5; The Emperors New Groove (105 minutes) 0.9/4; The Emperors New School Short (15 minutes) 0.5/2; The Emperors New School 0.5/3; The Emperors New School 0.5/3; The Emperors New School 0.5/3; The Emperors New School 0.5/3

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1029; K6-11 473; TWEENS 9-14 364
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11   615; K6-11 372; TWEENS 9-14 289
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   496; K6-11 269; TWEENS 9-14 198
TOON DISNEY:           K2-11   137; K6-11   68; TWEENS 9-14   39
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Friday Fun Fact: 
It takes 70% less energy to produce a ton of paper from recycled paper than from trees.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  the children’s series Thomas & Friends, what is the name of the square-faced #7 engine?  TOBY    Kudos to:  Jack Spillum-Cartoon Pizza/NY; Clare Alter-Outright Distribution/Coral Springs, EST; Tom Boyd-WGN/Chicago; Squirrel Rippley-Dark Horse Media/Tucson, AZ

Today’s Trivia Question: What was the name of the dragon on the classic children’s series Captain Kangaroo?   (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Later — Gwen
Gwen Billings for Cynopsis: Kids!

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What would a year be without something new from Cyn opsis?  Introducing …

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JOB OPENING: ASSOC RESEARCHER/WGBH/Boston: Assisting in Gathering and analyzing research.  BA in Communications, Business or Marketing. Job Req # 4362 (4/26)

JOB OPENING:  COORD, AFFILIATE SALES/AETN, NY: Support NE & Canadian Affiliate groups. Maintain budgets, contracts, premium program. Str communication & MS Office skills, cable industry exp. Apply: (4/26)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLNR/The Hotel Networks/Chi:BA pref. 1+ yrs exp nat’l advrtsng/buying/plan’g. Exp brdcst/cbl/natl o-o-h companies a +. MS knwlg. Exc media math, verbal/written comm skills. Res/cvr: [email protected] (4/26)

JOB OPENING: ACCT MGR/The Hotel Networks/Chi/LA:Aggressive & creative. 3+yrs nat’l media sales exp. Exc media math, verbal/written comm skills, Exp travel/finance/auto/hospitality ind. a + Res/cover  [email protected] (4/26)

JOB OPENING: ACCT MGR/The Hotel Networks/NY:Aggressive & creative. 3+yrs nat’l media sales exp. Exc media math, verbal & written comm skills, Exp in travel/finance/auto/hospitality ind. a + Res/cover:  [email protected] (4/26)

JOB OPENING: SR MGR MKTG/ Casual Games/Disney/N. Hollywood: Dvlp/mng/exec acquisition & retention strats for gaming incl’g downloadable games & Disney Game Kingdom Online. 7 yrs mktg & 3 yrs+ online gaming exp. [email protected] (4/26)

JOB OPENING: SR. PROD, Franchise Web sites & Games/Disney/N. Hollywood: Previous Sr-level Prod exp w/ website & content dvlpmnt req’d. 7+ yrs exp  in website prod req’d & exp in online gaming or ent pref’d.  [email protected] (4/26)

JOB OPENING:  BROADCAST & CABLE TV BUSINESS ANALYSTS/NYC: -Multiple- Ad Sales system experience: Gap analysis, software vendor assessment, requirement gathering all plusses. [email protected] 860 632 3707   (4/26)

SPRING AND SUMMER INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. They are 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] .

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Ongoing Internships avail at BOOM! Studios in the comic book depts. Send resume, cover letter, references, and availability to: [email protected]   Photoshop and html skills +. Diverse candidates encouraged. EOE. (5/2)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: LA Intern/Banyan Productions: Asst prod. team in ofc & in field w/2nd season of 1 hr docu-drama series DELIVER ME. Asst w/rsrch, releases, casting, coord & more.FT or PT, begin asap, work thru summer. [email protected] (5/1)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: COMMUNICATIONS INTERN/ WLIW21/NYC: Publicity/marketing/promotion to local media & PBS stations. Must commit 30-40 hrs/wk. Majors: PR/Comm., Mktg, Adv. Skills: Writing, Computer, Phone, Rsrch. [email protected] (5/1)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: UPP ENT MKT seeks INTERNS to asst depts.Clean driving record, be comfortable driving high-end vehicles, knwldg of MS Office & basic PC skills. Knwlg of LA area a +  Res to: [email protected]  Mktg intern/subject line (5/1)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  RESEARCH INTERN/SCRIPPS NETWORKS/NY: Intern will gain exp. w/ TV/Online research methodology, terminology, various TV/Online research measurement tools, audience & market research. Apply at (4/30)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: MKTG/ON-AIR/Fox Reality Channel-LA – summer intern for mktg & on-air production. 30-40 hrs/wk. Majors: Mktg, Adv, PR/Comm, TV/Film. Skills: Writing & computer; On-Air Pro/Avid a plus. [email protected]  (4/26)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED … Interested in posting your Video Resume?  Contact [email protected] for more information ….

SITUATION WANTED: Freelance web writer/blogger. 4 years exp; smart, sharp voice;web 2.0-savvy. Email [email protected] (4/25)

E-mail  [email protected] for rates and specs for Job Openings. 

Interested in posting your Video Resume?  Contact [email protected] for more information ….

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

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