Monday, April 20th, 2009

Cynopsis: Kids!



Good morning. It’s Monday, April 20, 2009, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.

CBBC is prepping Clash (6×30), a new music series which will provide kids with an introduction to classical music in a competition format.  Clash features BBC Radio 1 DJs Bobby Friction and Nihal, each of which will lead a team of musically talented kids to give noted classical music pieces makeovers as pop tracks.  The goal is to entertain and impress an audience of people who are not classical music.  Each team will also have a musical mentor, cellist/pianist/composer/conductor Jason Lai and creative director of the TV series I’d Do Anything, Tim Steiner, as they re-work the original piece of classical music for the final performance.  The final presentation can use all sorts of media including dancers, audio-visual enhancements and so on.  Classical musician/former pop star/TV host Myleene Klass provides the voice over for the series.

S4C, a Welsh-language TV broadcaster, commissions and re-commissions youth-centric TV from indie producer Boomerang Plus:

  • S4c has ordered the new mixed animation and live-action preschool series Ty Cyw (26×15), which focuses on colors, shapes, seasons, music, time and letter themes.
  • Fflic, a subsidiary of Boomerang, is set to produce the K11+ aimed series including the newly commissioned Ant ac Al ar y ffordd (Ant and Al on the Road)  a travel show that follows host Alun Williams and chef Anthony Evans around the world looking for a mix of unusual and traditional foods as well as local activities, and Salon  a studio-based style and fashion series that will provide real kids/tweens with makeovers and fashion tips and advice.
  • Fflic will also produce the second seasons of the preschool series Yn yr Ardd (In the Garden), Helini (Fit), as well as the second season of the K11+ aimed show Y Garej (The Garage).

Paramount acquires the family-targeted movie Lions, Tigers and Bears, which is based on the Image Comics comic book series of the same name, per Variety.  Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the movie is being penned by Joey Aucoin and will likely be a mix of live-action and CG effects.  Created by and written by Mike Bullock, the Lions, Tigers and Bears comic book series features the artwork of Jack Lawrence, Paul Gutierrez and Michael Metcalf.  The story follows a boy named Joey Price on adventures through the stuffed animal kingdom when those things we fear are in the closet and under the bed at night, The Beasties, come out.


In honor of Earth Week this week, PBS Kids Go! premieres five new episodes of Arthur and new web features at as part of PBS Kids Share the Earth Day Celebration.  The new Arthur episodes, the first of which airs today (check local listings), provides kids with information on how their actions impact the world and how to take care of the planet.  Online the Arthur site launches two new features: The Tree House is the first phase of a re-designed ‘Friends’ section, which is a small social networking space that underlines community and connectedness; Go Green Challenge, where kids can join with series characters to support green causes (e.g. Buster challenges kids to make greener choices related to food, D.W. suggests ways to save energy) among other activities.

In other PBS programming, PBS Kids celebrates Memorial Day with Super Why!  Hurray for Heroes, a two-hour marathon, Monday May 25, 2009 (check local listings).  The programming event includes four adventures of the preschool series Super Why, two of which are premiere episodes.  The marathon also includes never-before-seen live-action interviews that will air interstitially, featuring real kids talking about what it means to be a hero.  Ahead of the marathon, PBS Kids will feature an all Super WHY! video player at where fans can watch clips from the show.  Kids can also play reading games at, which will launch the new Wonder Red’s Freeze Dance Rhyming Game.  PBS Kids’ summer plans also include special Super Why! themed reading and literacy-centric weeks, online games and free downloadable materials.

Bardel Distribution inks a broadcast deal for its new CG animated series Zeke’s Pad (26×24) with Radio-Canada.  Zeke’s Pad revolves around Zeke Palmer (14), a skateboarder extraordinaire who has an electronic drawing bad that brings his drawings to life, but of course this can end with mixed results.  A co-production of Bardel Entertainment, Leaping Lizard Productions and Avrill Stark Entertainment, and produced with funds from the Canadian Television Fund, the Show Rocket Fund and the Independent Production Fund, Zeke’s Pad has been pre-sold to YTV (Canada), Channel 7 (Australia), ZDF (Germany) and Canal+ Family (France).  The series is distributed through Bardel Distribution in North and South America, the UK and Eire, and via Studio 100 Media in the rest of the world.

Infinity Entertainment Group and Smithsonian Networks are set to release Loose at the Zoo onto DVD this May 12, 2009.  Comprised of four episodes 0f the Smithsonian Networks’ series Loose at the Zoo, which introduces kids to the babies at Washington D.C.’s National Zoo.  Smithsonian Networks is a joint venture between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution.


Target establishes a new reservations program providing consumers with the chance to reserve new video game titles.  The program, which launched yesterday, allows video game fans to reserve an upcoming title with the purchase of a reservation card, available only in stores, for $1.  Yes, the reservation will cost you $1, but when consumers return to the store with the reservation card, within seven days of release to purchase their game, they will receive a $5 Target gift card to put toward a future purchase.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will publish The Clique: Diss and Make Up, a new video game based on the young adult book series, The Clique, about junior high by author Lisi Harrison, on Nintendo DS in fall 2009.  The game features characters from the books, as well as those created specifically for the game, in adventures as they work up the social ladder to be part of the ultimate clique.  Developed by Gorilla Systems, The Clique: Diss and Make Up games, which includes mini games, lets fans play as a new student in school as they take on various challenges in an attempt to make friends and increase their popularity.


Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; April 17-19, 2009:
17 Again (Warner Bros.) PG-13                              Opening Weekend $24.1m
State of Play (Universal) PG-13                              Opening Weekend $14.1m
Monsters Vs. Aliens (Paramount (DreamWorks)) PG $12.9m-4 wk total $162.7m
Hannah Montana The Movie (Buena Vista) G            $12.7m-2 wk total $56.1m
Fast and Furious (Universal) PG-13                         $12.3m-3 wk total $136.7m
Knowing (Summit Entertainment) PG-13                 $3.5m-5 wk total $73.7m
The Haunting in Connecticut (Lionsgate) PG-13        $3.2m-4 wk total $51.9m
Dragonball Evolution (Fox) PG                                $1.6m-2 wk total $7.8m
Duplicity (Universal) PG-13                                    $1.1m-5 wk total $39.1m
Race to Witch Mountain (Buena Vista) PG                $661,000-6 wk total $63.7m
Source: Rentrak ( )

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:
  What TV character is famous for this line:  “Heavens to Murgatroid!”?   SNAGGLEPUSS  Kudos to: Steven Kramer-EZTakes/Caldwell NJ; Russ Camlet-NBCU/NY; Mike Sheridan-Granada America/NY; Ron Yurman-Short Hills Media Group/NJ; Hank Bordowitz/Macomb IL; Tom Boyd-WGN/Chicago; April Ausburn-Signature Consulting/Sherman Oaks CA; Richard Quan-Imaginary Time/San Francisco; Margie Hernandez-Inside Latino Entertainment Magazine/LA; Randy Barrios-CBS/LA

Today’s Trivia Question: What well known actor of TV, film and stage was the original voice of Charlie the Tuna for Star-Kist Tuna?  (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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