Monday, November 16th, 2009


Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Monday, November 16, 2009, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing. 

For kids/young adults 10 to 24-year-olds, homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans and the second leading cause of death for Hispanics.  BET Networks‘ series 106 & Park ( ) examines the growing issue of teen violence tonight in a special live episode at 6p.  106 & Park along with psychologist/host/author Dr. Jeff Gardere will feature a panel of experts, city officials, role models, victims and perpetrators that will discuss the impact teen violence has on young people.

The Healthy Kids Act introduced by Representatives Jim Moran (D-Virginia) and Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey) is causing discontent with the advertising, food and TV industries, per WSJ.  With a goal of curtailing the rise of obesity among kids/teens, the bill would provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a say on TV commercials for drinks and food that “do not contribute to a healthful diet for children and adolescents and the consumption of which is discouraged.”  Additionally, if the act moves forward it will allow for the creation of an Office of Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention and Treatment under the HHS.  Among those speaking out against the plan is The Association of National Advertiser lobbyist, Dan Jaffe who, in a blog post, said the legislation would have a “dramatic impact on food and beverage advertising to children.”  Jaffe explained, “This bill disregards the fact that many different foods can make up a healthy diet.  There is nothing wrong with any category of food or beverage per se, as long as it is consumed in moderation.”

If The Healthy Kids Act is approved:

  • The FTC could have the power to make rulings on food/beverage advertisements aimed at kids/teens
  • The HHS, in concert with other agencies, would be allowed to develop advertising guidelines that would consider “the emotional vulnerability of children and adolescents and their cognitive ability to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial content … and society’s interest in protecting the health and well-being of its children and the long-term health and well-being of its population.”
  • FCC will be able to prohibit select ads and provide limitations for others if it deems the food/beverages in the ads are unhealthy depending on their specific content.


A movie adaptation of author/producer Frank Beddor‘s (There’s Something About Mary) young adult book trilogy, The Looking Glass Wars, is in the works.  During an appearance to promote the third book in the series, ArchEnemy, on Good Morning America on Friday, Beddor said he was working with producer Chuck Roven (The Dark Knight, among other movies) to bring The Looking Glass Wars to the big screen.  He jokingly said he was trying to get his neighbor Angelina Jolie to appear in the movie.  Beddor also discussed a new “trailer” for his book, created in collaboration with a middle school boy and huge fan, which is set to premiere this Friday, November 20 on ( ).  According to the website they are already on the lookout for actors to portray Young Alyss and Young Dodge in the movie.

Marvel Studios is expected to begin production on the feature film adaptation of Thor in LA in mid January, per Production Weekly.  Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Thor will also shoot on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico in March and April.  Thor is slated for release on May 20, 2011, and will be distributed by Paramount.  The movie stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as the evil Loki, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.  Other cast members include Colm Feore and Stellan Skarsgard.


The new musical holiday special, Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation, will premiere across multiple Disney-ABC TV, radio and digital platforms as well as iTunes and Xbox Live, on Friday, November 27 through Friday, December 18.  In addition to the regular cast, the special includes special guests such as Clancy Brown (Shawshank Redemption), Jane Carr (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange and so many other things!), Mathew Horne (Gavin & Stacey) and Bruce MacKinnon (The Catherine Tate Show).  The premiere and support plan for Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation is as follows:
Friday, November 27  Radio Disney will begin showcasing songs from the soundtrack to the holiday special.

  • Sunday, December 6  Disney XD premieres Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation with back-to-back plays (8p and 8:45p).
  • Monday, December 7  the special will be available on Disney Channel SVOD, Disney XD VOD, Disney XD Mobile, iTunes and Xbox.
  • Friday, December 11  The special will air on Disney Channel at 8p, capping off a six-hour Phineas and Ferb marathon (2-8p).
  • Saturday, December 12  special becomes available on (
  • ) and ( ).

  • Friday, December 18  special airs at 6p on ABC Family as part of its 25 Days of Christmas.

In other Disney holiday news, Playhouse Disney will feature new holiday themed episodes of Special Agent Oso, Imagination Movers and Jungle Junction beginning Saturday, December 5 (8a-11a) on Disney Channel.  This month will also see the network premiere Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Adventure in Wonderland.

Boomerang will air the Hanna-Barbera animated holiday special, The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t, on Thanksgiving Day (1×30), November 26 at 10a (and again at 7p).  Set in 1621, the Thanksgiving special features a voice-over cast including June Foray (Looney Tunes, Rocky and Bullwinkle) and Don Messick (Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons) among others.  The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t made its initial premiere on Thanksgiving Day 1972.

PBS Kids Go is set to premiere three new holiday episodes of Scholastic Media‘s WordGirl ( on November 23, December 10 and December 28 (check local listings).  Voice talent for these episodes includes Dannah Phirman (MadTV) as WordGirl, Chris Parnell (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live) as the Narrator, Ned Bellamy (Scrubs, Seinfeld) as The Coach, Fred Stoller (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Chuck, Tom Kenny (SpongeBob Squarepants) as Dr. Two Brains and Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development, The Larry Sanders Show) as Mr. Big.  WordGirl is produced by Scholastic Media’s animation studio Soup2Nuts.  Full episodes and clips of the series can be viewed at .

Nobody said parenting was easy.  Hoping to make things a little easier for those parents with young kids comes ( ), which provides parents a range of research and resources via the Talaris Institute on early childhood development, brain development and parenting.  The site also offers users with customizable personal journals, network with friends among other things.  After a free 30-day trial, a membership is $19.99/year.


Israel’s Shidonni, Ltd., creators of the K5-12-targeted virtual world where kids create/design their own 2D virtual pals and then get to play with them online, has launched a cool new feature Shidonni One-of-a-kind.  The new One-of-a-kind feature allows adults to order a custom-made plush toy created from drawings kids make on the

Hanzawa Ltd. enters into a new licensing deal with HIT Entertainment for a new line of electronic Barney toys targeted to preschoolers.  Available in North and South America for holiday 2009, the initial line features barney Learn-A-Lot Laptop, Barney Bilingual Space Laptop and barney Bilingual My First Laptop.


With the holiday commercials already airing, many store windows already adorned and kids well into making their lists, the question is who is buying what and how much will the spend in these stressed economic times.  According to a new Harris Poll conducted October 5-12, 2009, 54% of Americans who responded say they plan to buy toys as gifts this season, which is happily up by +47% over what respondents said last year.  This is particularly good news since not all of these are households with kids.  As to how much consumers will spend, well, that is slightly different.  Of those who intend to purchase toys this holiday, 41% say they will spend the same as last year, 16% say they will spend more than last year, while 39% of toy buyers plan to spend less overall this year on toys.  The numbers are similar for those shoppers that have a kid living at home, 37% plan to spend the same, 17% will spend more and 45% say their spending on toys will go down.  What will consumers spend their money on for holiday 2009?

  • Of those surveyed, 45% say they’ll buy kid’s books, and similarly 48% of households with kids will buy kid’s books
  • In the video game category, 36% of consumers surveyed plan to purchase games for consoles this holiday, and 47% of households with kids will buy video games.  However, only 20% plan to buy handheld electronic games with just 12% planning to purchase a game console.
  • Traditional toys are still important to shoppers, with 30% reporting they plan to buy board games, 29% will purchase dolls and 28% going for arts and crafts products this holiday season. Other specific toys on shopping lists include building blocks and bricks (21%), sports equipment (21%).

Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13 – November 13-15, 2009:
2012 (Sony / Columbia) PG-13                            Opening Weekend $65.0m
A Christmas Carol (2009) (Buena Vista) PG           $22.3m-2 wk total $63.3m
Michael Jackson’s This Is It (Sony/Columbia) PG    $5.1m-3 wk total $67.2m
The Fourth Kind (Universal) PG-13                        $4.7m-2 wk total $20.6m
Couples Retreat (Universal) PG-13                        $4.3m-6 wk total $102.1m
The Box (Warner Bros.) PG-13                              $3.2m-2 wk total $13.2m
Where the Wild Things Are (Warner Bros.) PG        $2.4m-5 wk total $73.4m
Astro Boy (Summit Entertainment) PG                   $1.7m-4 wk total $17.9m
Amelia (Fox Searchlight) PG                                  $925,000-4 wk total $13.1m
The Stepfather (2009) (Sony/Screen Gems) PG-13 $900,000-5 wk total $28.9m
Source: Rentrak ( )


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, November 12, 2009, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1175; K6-11 516; TWEENS 9-14 363
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11   827; K6-11 510; TWEENS 9-14 406
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   586; K6-11 336; TWEENS 9-14 227
DISNEY XD:               K2-11   117; K6-11   78; TWEENS 9-14   60
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data


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Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  Who am I?  I have long blond hair, I wear a choker with a small jewel attached, and I carry a long slender scepter in my left hand.  I have looked the same as this product’s mascot since the 1950s.  Who am I?  CHICKEN OF THE SEA MERMAID  Kudos to:  Christopher; Joe Swaney-Cartoon Network/Atlanta; Keith Manzella-EastWest MG/NY; Ian James Corlett-VS Werks/Vancouver

Today’s Trivia Question:  Can you provide the final line of this opening?  “Pop goes the weasel, and the Jack-in-the-box jumps out of his house, and that means it’s time for _______________________________”    (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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Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here    .

JOB OPENING: DIR AFFILIATE SALES & MARKETING/HALLMARK CHANNEL/NY: Increase distribution for Hallmark Channels; please see full posting and apply at (11/21)

JOB OPENING: MGR DIGITAL ADSALES FINANCE/ min. 5 yrs ad sales financial exp. Respon. for fin. analysis of digital metrics. Strong business partner exp. Ad Servers/Yield systems req. Res + CL to [email protected]. EOE (11/21)

JOB OPENING: STRATEGIC MKTG MGR/(USA)/NBCU/NY: Devel. & execute revenue generating, multi-platform mktg opportunities for potential & current clients, support USA network’s sales goals. BA 5 yrs exp. , #1109143 (11/20)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS/Nat’l Geo Channel, DC. Lead/develop promo partnerships. BA & 7yrs exp & cable network pref. Apply job# FNG17451 (11/20)

JOB OPENING: EXEC PROD/NYC: Proven track rec to lead prod arm of NYC post shop. Resp for successful completion of projs across all mediums. Bring proven leadership skills to all phases of prod thru post. Res: [email protected] (11/19)

JOB OPENINGS:  (2) DIR, SALES & ACCT MGR/The Hotel Networks/Chicago: 3+ yrs Ad Sales Exp, OOH/Dig-Place Based+, Creative, Aggressive, Proven Sales Pro, Exp w/ Sales Promo, Excel Comm Skills, Self-Motivated. [email protected] (11/18)

JOB OPENINGS:   MGR, STANDRD PRACTICES/RADIO DISNEY/BURBANK: Revw commercial copy/audio for policy compliance. Revw lyrics, video, sweepstakes, online content. Knwldg kids issues, COPPA, CARU, FCC, radio. 212770 (11/18)

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 INTERNSHIPS CREDIT ONLY: Rock Ridge Music/Newark NJ: call tour promoters & retail stores, work directly w/RRM staff & artists, Internet promo/research, computer savvy, familiar w/social networking sites [email protected] (11/20)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Trylon SMR (, a NYC PR agency, is seeking a Spring intern that has familiarity with the media industry and tech sector, and strong internet skills. [email protected] (11/17)

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: DESIGN, ILLUSTRATION & ART DIRECTION (NYC)20 years experience working concept through completion. Portfolio: Email: [email protected] (11/21)

SITUATION WANTED: DESIGN, ILLUSTRATION, WEBSITE, VIDEO EDITING & ART DIRECTION (LA) Extensive industry experience.  Portfolio: / Email: [email protected] (11/21)

SITUATION WANTED: EXPERIENCED FINANCIAL AND TURNAROUND EXECUTIVE – Over 20 years experience. Seeks challenging situation at broadcast/internet/print media company. [email protected] (11/20)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER/WRITER/EDITOR(LA)10+ yrs in news, reality, features, docs, clip shows w/ ESPN, HBO, E! Ent., NFL Net, TruTV. Field and story producer, final cut/avid exp, great w/ deadlines & talent [email protected] (11/20)

SITUATION WANTED:CONTRACT MANAGER/ADMINISTRATOR: 10 yrs Contract/Sales Admin: avails, reporting, etc.; looking to work out of home office, or in the NY area. Contact e-mail: [email protected] (11/20)

SITUATION WANTED:CAMERA OPERATOR/LA Based… MTV, TRUTV, ABC, Watch my reel at: Contact email: [email protected] (11/20)

SITUATION WANTED: BIZ & LEGAL AFFAIRS ATTY: seeks studio position/10+ yrs exp/new media, content licensing, IP, rights mgt, use of name & likeness/ [email protected] (11/20)

SITUATION WANTED: MARKETING MANAGER/LA with exp in independent film, home entertainment, television and entertainment partnerships seeks opportunity to make a difference for the right company. Email for resume. [email protected] (11/20)

SITUATION WANTED:  EIC/Line Prod/Dir.Ops. 10+yrs Versed in: live, synd, news, reality, lg. event sports & Ent. Budgeting Lg & sm. Exc. org. skills, Movie Magic, & union contracts.  At ease in fast paced control room envir. [email protected] (11/19)

SITUATION WANTED:  MEDIA SALES/MARKETING MANAGER/LA: 15+ years experience in educational, documentary, advertising media sales.True Closer!!!!!  [email protected] (11/18)

SITUATION WANTED:  EIC/Line Prod/Dir.Ops. 10+yrs Versed in: live, synd, news, reality, lg. event sports & Ent. Budgeting Lg & sm. Exc. org. skills, Movie Magic, & union contracts.  At ease in fast paced control room envir.[email protected]  (11/18)

SITUATION WANTED:CAMERA OPERATOR/LA Based: MTV, TRUTV, ABC, Watch my reel at: Contact email: [email protected]  (11/17)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR (NY) Ultra-creative, award winning, all formats, all genres, all major networks and major cable. Fast, frugal and fun! [email protected] (11/17)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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