Monday, April 18th, 2011

Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Monday, April 18, 2011, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing. 

HIT Entertainment and Vme, a Spanish-language US broadcaster, enter into an exclusive TV partnership.  Under the deal Vme will air HIT’s series Thomas & Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Barney, and Bob the Builder in Spanish as part of its daily four-hour preschool programming block, Vme Ninos and on its cable channel Vme Kids, for the first time in the US.  Vme will begin airing HIT’s series from June 2011.  Available in 40 markets, Vme is provided free to viewers via the digital channels of public television stations and is available on basic digital cable in those markets. Vme is also available in the US via satellite in the basic and Hispanic packages of Dish Network and DirecTV and available on Verizon Fios and AT&T U-verse.


Linda Kahn Media and Majestic Dream Productions enter into a new partnership for two new, live-action teen-targeted properties:

  • Crush – a teen issue centric drama that follows the relationship between three high school freshman girls who discovery they have unique special powers.
  • Duckyland – a comedy that follows the friendship and teen issues of six friends who work at a kid’s amusement park.

PBS Kids observes Earth Day this week April 18-22 by hosting its sixth annual PBS Kids Share the Earth, during which it will feature new environment-focused episodes of its series including Sid the Science Kid, Curious George, Martha Speaks, Wild Kratts, and Arthur, as well as popular Earth-friendly episodes of Super Why!, and WordGirl, among others.  Additionally, Share the Earth will also showcase online at ( ), with special Simple Ways to Protect the Earth page that will offer gardening and craft ideas.  An Earth Day channel on ( and ( will feature Earth-themed episodes all week.  Finally, a new web exclusive episode of Design Squad Nation, Sustainable South Bronx, will be available on, where kids and parents can also find eco activity ideas.  The new Sid the Science Kid episodes, from The Jim Henson Company and KCET/LA, will highlight five tips for Earth Day every day: don’t waste water; reduce air pollution; plant a tree; recycle; and preserving animal habitats.

Sprout celebrates Earth Week this week with special events and green-centric activities, including a live appearance by Top Chef winner Richard Blais and a dirtgirlworld marathon on Earth Day, Friday, April 22.  Sprout is a partnership of NBCUniversal, HIT Entertainment PBS and Sesame Workshop.

  • This Friday, Richard Blais will appear on Sprout’s The Sunny Side Up Show (9a-12p).  Blais and show hosts, Sean and Chica the Chicken, will make a preschool-friendly dish and recycled craft from that kids and parents can make at home.  The directions for both will be available at

  • Also on Friday, the network will host the dirtgirlworld marathon, Sprout’s Dig Into Earth Day, from 1-3p.  The programming event will feature episodes green-themed series, focusing on topics including the environment, outdoor play and sustainable, green living.
  • Additionally, all week long, beginning today, The Sunny Side Up Show will feature eco-friendly crafts, games, and activities.
  • Sprout will support Green is Universal, NBCUniversal’s ongoing environmental initiative, and is turning its on-air and online logos green all week long.

The manga publishing industry took a blow at the end of last week when Tokyopop founder Stu Levy announced the company would cease its LA-based publishing operations after 14+ years.  Tokyopop (originally called Mixx) is largely credited with popularizing English-language manga across North America and beyond, beginning with four titles Parasyte, Ice Blade, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Sailor Moon, later launching MixxZine, which aimed to introduce comics to girls, and kid-targeted books called Manga Chapters, original English-language titles (OEL), among other efforts.  Tokyopop also ventured into video game soundtracks, live-action movies and documentaries, anime and merchandising, among many other creative endeavors.  Tokyopop will officially close its LA offices and operations on May 31, 2011, per Anime News Network, which notes that Tokyopop’s film and European operations, including its Hamburg, Germany publishing and international sales office, will not be affected by the US closure.  The movie Priest (PG-13), which is based on a Korean comic (manhwa) published by Tokyopop, is set for release in the US on May 13, 2011.  Levy, who spends a lot of time in Japan, arrived in Tokyo just before the recent earthquake on March 11 and recently unveiled plans to live in Miyagi for the next year where he’ll make a documentary about the aftermath of the earthquake and its aftershocks and how the Japanese people are rebuilding their lives.


DreamWorks Animation SKG and Macy’s have set Kung Fu Panda‘s Po on the first US tour of an official Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon (42 feet tall and 34 feet wide).  The Po balloon will way across the country visiting six cities, making stops in Miami, St. Louis, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, and ending up in LA for the debut weekend of the new movie Kung Fu Panda 2, May 26, Memorial Day weekend.  Each of Po’s stops will feature family-targeted free events that will include photo ops, various activities, and giveaways, as well as a Kung Fu Panda martial arts presentation.  The DreamWorks Animation giant Po balloon made its debut at last year’s annual Macy’s Parade.  Kung Fu Panda 2 is distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Lisle International and Cepia enter into a new multi-territory publishing partnership with kid’s publisher Egmont for ZhuZhu Pets in the UG and the Baltic’s.  Under the deal Egmont will publish books across all formats as well as a monthly magazine, All About…Zhu Zhu Pets, based on the ZhuZhu Pets characters.  Targeted to girls 4-9, Egmont’s initial ZhuZhu Pets book line debuts in the UK from July 2011, and will feature ZhuZhu Pets Sticker Activity and Coloring Books, a ZhuZhu Pets Pocket Library and ZhuZhu Pets Annual, as well as the new magazine.

Toei Animation completes Latin American licensing and merchandising deals for several of its brands.

  • New Dragon Ball licensee deals include: Riclan (Brazil) for bubble gum and lollypops; Neolingo (Mexico) for toys; Productos Alimenticios Bocadeli (El Salvador) for collectable cards/promotions; Editorial Guadal (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia) for Stickers and Bondyfiesta (Mexico) for bubble gum.
  • Campestre (Brazil) signs on as a Digimon licensee for backpacks.
  • For Sailor Moon, Doobalo (Mexico) inks a license deal for socks.

Marvel and Disney Publishing partner to release Disney  Muppets Presents: Meet the Muppets ($5.99), a new giant-sized comic featuring Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy, and Gonzo, among other Muppet characters.  Targeted to all ages and set to debut July 2011, the new 96-page comic features stories from writer/artist Roger Langridge (Thor: The Mighty Avenger).  Plans for the new comic include versions of popular Muppet Show sketches such as Pigs in Space and Veterinarian’s Hospital, while the gang tries to cheer up Kermit who is missing the swamp, and Fozzy works on his standup act, Scooter continues to try to figure out what species Gonzo belongs to, and a psychic tells Miss Piggy she’s going to lose something green.


Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; April 15-17, 2011:
Rio (Fox) G                                                    Opening Weekend $40.0m
Hop (Universal) PG                                         $11.2m-3 wk total $82.6m
Soul Surfer (TriStar) PG                                  $7.4m-2 wk total $20.0m
Hanna (Focus Features) PG-13                        $7.3m-2 wk total $23.3m
Arthur (2011) (Warner Bros.) PG-13                $6.9m-2 wk total $22.3m
Insidious (FilmDistrict) PG-13                          $6.9m-3 wk total $36.0m
Source Code (Summit Entertainment) PG-13    $6.3m-3 wk total $37.0m
The Conspirator (Roadside Attractions) PG-13   Opening Weekend $3.9m
Limitless (Relativity) PG-13                              $3.8m-5 wk total $69.7m
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (Fox) PG    $2.2m-4 wk total $48.2m
Source: Rentrak (


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Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia:  If for the first time in history you put a transparent sheet on the television and then drew in various things as cued thru the show, what are you watching?  WINKY DINK  AND YOU  Kudos to: Jerry Kapner-Kapner Group/NJ; Fred Petrosino-JBG/NY; Rick Gallagher-Bookazine/NJ; Jim Salicrup-Papercutz/NY; Carole Monroe-SD Entertainment/PTZ; Pam McNeely-Tantara Media Partners/Pasadena; Jody Simon-Peter Rubin & Simon/Beverly Hills; Steve Hirsen/Sherman Oaks

Today’s Trivia Question:   So let’s say you’re on TV and  your name is Seymour, and you have a girlfriend named Audrey.  What is your plant’s name?  (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 Billings for Cynopsis Kids!

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SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE MEDIA MIND Seeking to assist, Entry- Junior level positions, B.A. & Communications/Media background, 3-5 years of experience domestically & internationally. NY based. Please contact, [email protected] (4/19)

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