Monday, September 10th, 2012

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Monday, September 10, 2012, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Answering a few of our questions this week is Nancy Friedman, Co-Founder and Queen Bee of KidzVuz (, a social media site for tweens. In addition to KidzVuz, Friedman writes regularly for the blog, and has written for NYC Moms Blog, part of SVMoms Group of 400+ writers. Friedman also co-founded The Blogging Angles (, a weekly podcast for women, as well as her humor blog, From Hip to Housewife… in two kids flat ( Prior to her social media life, Friedman produced videos for Drexel Burnham’s video department. She also spent two decades as a writer/producer of marketing, promotional and branding material for Nickelodeon, HBO, Lifetime Television, A Current Affair, Donahue, Disney Channel and many others. Additionally, Friedman has written for various magazines and anthologies – and served as a ghostwriter for two books (don’t ask, she can’t tell us). Friedman lives in NYC with her husband, tweenage twins and dog.

What happens at and why did you decide to create the site?

KidzVuz is a video review and sharing site for kids. The easiest way to understand it is to think Yelp meets You Tube for kids under 13.

We’re a COPPA compliant, moderated, online community where kids 7-12 create and submit their own video reviews about toys, books, tech, travel, movies, TV, whatever! (One kid even reviewed her baby sister!) Basically it’s videos by kids, for kids. KidzVuz is where kids share the stuff they love.

My co-founder, Rebecca Levey, and I launched KidzVuz because we knew that our own tween-aged kids had lots of opinions, and no real place to put them. So initially, we just wanted somewhere for them to go. But then we did some research and found out that the tween market is $43 billion strong. That made building a site where brands could interact with tweens, an under-served community online, more of a viable business idea than just a way for our kids to have somewhere to vent.

What has surprised you most about running KidzVuz?

One of the most surprising things about KidzVuz has been that our most popular category is books. It’s heartening, really. Kids still read, and still want to share the books they love. The other thing that surprised us is how quickly the kids made virtual friends with one another. They’re sharing shopping tips, and complimenting each others videos. Once, when a girl got a haircut, she got comments about how good she looked.

I mean, we hear so much about cyber-bullying these days. I think that of the thousands of comments we’ve had, maybe ONE was mean. We read every single comment before it goes up. And these kids are nice to each other.

Not that we shouldn’t trust kids producers and distributors, but how do you know that the reviews on KidzVuz are actually from tweens, and not from ambitious adults associated with the products, movies etc.?

A lot of people wonder how we deal with online predators. Well, all of our user-generated content is video. And one of our rules for those videos is that we have to see your face. We watch every single video before it goes up. So, if you’re a forty-year-old marketer, it’s awfully hard to pretend to be a 10-year-old girl. We see you.

Do you know if the brands that produce or distribute the products pay attention to the reviews on KidzVuz?

I think that KidzVuz offers brands a unique opportunity to hear directly from kids what they think about a product. And kids listen to each other — not to professional reviewers, and not to their parents.

Look, there’s nothing more authentic than a kid who is excited about something, talking about whatever that something is. If brands aren’t listening… they should be.

You’ve written and produced for many successful cable networks, including Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. When you think about kids and tween programming today, what do think might be missing?

One of the things I like the most about watching our KidzVuz kids’ videos is how real they are. I’d love to see a dose of reality on kids television programming as well. Not Jersey Shore faux-reality, but maybe some less-than-perfect looking stars, with less-than-perfect-looking homes. Kids need to be entertained, sure, but they also need something they can relate to. I think that’s why kids watch an average of 4 videos each time they visit the site: they like seeing real kids. Kids like them.

Being the co-founder of a tech start up business can be stressful. How do you balance running a business, family and life too?

I try to work from home as much as possible. I try to unplug on the weekends (at least for a little), and I train for competitive ballroom dance for 90 minutes two days a week. (Not that I’ve competed… yet.) Competitive ballroom dancing is a good reminder that it takes hard work and sweat to do anything well.

My partner – a five-time world champion – says that ballroom is all about putting your body into completely unnatural positions and making it look natural. I apply that to my work: building a site for kids is hard, but for the kids, the experience should be natural and easy.

You’ve also written for moms and women’s blogs. Do you think moms should have more of an impact on the content of kids and tween media?

This answer may surprise you – but I almost think Moms should have less of an impact on the content. Let the kids decide what they like — within reason, of course. A lot of our reviewers talk about books, videogames, or TV shows as being “inappropriate.” Kids know when something isn’t for them. They’ll be uncomfortable when they see it and they won’t watch it.

If I’ve learned anything from KidzVuz, it’s that kids have an opinion about everything — and they’re not afraid to share it. We of course get parental permission for each account – and we have a team of moderators making sure nothing unsafe or inappropriate gets on the site. But the kids create their own content. We just give them a safe place to do it.

When you were younger, you sang for a year in Paris. Was there anything from that glamorous-sounding experience that has helped you in your work today?

Ah, yes, my Brandy Snifter on the Piano days. Not so glamorous at 2am when the only people still in the audience were two drunks at the bar. I guess that experience taught me two things: 1. As much as possible, listen to client requests. You get better tips, and the customers keep coming back. 2. If you’re going to be a lounge singer, do it in a foreign country, that way, if you mess up the lyrics, no one will know!


Discovery Communications expands its licensing relationship with Ty Global by signing a new deal to produce a line of Animal Planet-branded stationery and writing products for release across Canada. The new Animal Planet line will include note pads and cubes, journals, notebooks, three-ring binders, portfolios, pencil pouches, clipboards, dry erase boards, sticker sets and playing cards. Ty Global will target various retail distribution channels for these new items in Canada, including key mass and mid-tier retail outlets, department and home stores, specialty chains, bookstores and more. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Animal Planet products will benefit the principal partners of R.O.A.R (Reach Out. Act. Respond), Animal Planet’s national campaign that, together with noted animal organizations, takes action and provides a voice for animals. The deal was brokered on behalf of Animal Planet by its North-American licensing agent, the Joester Loria Group. Discovery and Ty Global previously teamed to work with Animal Planet on a line of pet products for Canada.



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American Greetings Properties (AGP), and MediaLink, AGP’s international licensing agent for Asia, signs Strawberry Shortcake for two quick service restaurant (QSR) promotions in China with KFC. The first promotion, running now through September 30, 2012, is with Fenda (Shanghai) Arts & Gift. The second promotion, running now through September 30, is with Maxx Marketing. There are 3,000+ KFC restaurant locations in 650 cities throughout China. During the first promotional period, customers will receive a Strawberry Shortcake pencil bag premium with the purchase of any KFC kids’ meal. Throughout the second promotional period, customers will receive, a Strawberry Shortcake coffee cup, a Strawberry Shortcake fitting room, or a princess-themed Strawberry Shortcake figurine.


Entertainment One (eOne) has entered into a deal to acquires indie distributor Alliance Films from Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Investissement Quebec in a for an estimated US $230 million. According to eOne, the acquisition will make it the largest independent film distributor in both the Canadian and UK markets. Entertainment One’s Board believes that the acquisition will strengthen eOne’s existing film distribution business and help drive growth. Alliance Films and eOne operate in complementary territories, and upon completion of the deal, eOne will have an international reach across Canada, the UK, Benelux, Australia, the US and Spain. eOne will also gains output deals in Canada with The Weinstein Company, Focus Features and Relativity. Entertainment One is also an indie TV production studio in Canada, which produced 237 half hours of original TV across various genres, including kids, over the last year.

Singapore-based August Media steps into the distribution arena by establishing a distribution arm, August Rights, which will be acquire and distribute kid’s, youth and family content worldwide, while also handling August Media’s own intellectual properties. August Media recently acquired Scotland’s Red Kite Animation. Jumping right in, August Rights’ inks its first deal with Wendy Promotions and will oversee international distribution across English speaking territories worldwide and Asia for the new K6-9 targeted 3D animated series Wendy, which debut at Mipcom this October. Created and produced by Red Kite Animation and commissioned by ZDF and France Televisions, Wendy is based on the popular German comic of the same name about a teenage heroine who loves her horses. ZDF Rights and France Television Rights will handle distribution to Europe, Middle East and Africa, and French Speaking Territories respectively.

Breakthrough Entertainment completes broadcast sales of a number of kid-targeted and factual specials and series across Europe, Africa, Australia and The Middle East. Some Breakthrough’s newly licensed programming deals include:
– In Europe – YLE Teema (Finland) acquires My Really Cool Legs!, which follows a team of pediatric amputees who challenges themselves in various areas with the help of the prosthetist who makes their legs and the their amputee mentor and coach; Red Bull Media (Germany) picks up The Future Revealed; and DR TV (Denmark) takes The RE-Inventors.
– Breakthrough inks a new multi-property deal, including with 300+ half-hours, with StarTimes Media (Africa), which includes kid-targeted series such as Dino Dan, Droogles, The Mooh Brothers, My Big Big Friend and Robot Zoo. The deal also includes documentary and lifestyle series such as Books Into Film, Criminal Mind, Filmography, Hollywood’s Greatest Mysteries and Sacred Balance.
– Other deals around the world include HOP TV (Israel) picking up Dino Dan and My Big Big Friend, and Foxtel (Australia) taking Clash of Cultures China and the West, as well as TRT (Turkey) picking up Re-Inventors.

Spain’s Imira Entertainment signs deals in Spain for several series from its library of third party programming. RTVE has acquired the tween-targeted live action series Lightning Point (26×26 and special 1X90), which is produced by Jonathan M. Shiff in association with ZDF, Network Ten, ZDF Enterprises, Screen Australia and Screen Queensland, and Sherlock Yack Zoo Detective (52×13), which it has also picked up for free TV and online. Sherlock Yack Zoo Detective is produced by Mondo TV with the participation of TF1, ZDF and ZDF Enterprises, and is based on the books by Michel Amelin and Colonel Mustard, which are published by Editions Milan. Additionally, Televisio de Catalunya picks up Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog (65×26) along with the companion series Clifford’s Puppy Days (39×39) for free TV and online in Catalonia.

Disney Interactive launches Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique game for iOS via iTunes. The new mobile app brings the fashion collections from Disney’s Pixie Hollow virtual world and a bevy of new fairy designs into gaming. Targeted to players of all ages, Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique is available as a free download with in-app purchases, and let’s players run their own boutique, design Fairy outfits and accessories and interact with Fairies like Tinker Bell and her friends, and play five fashion-themed mini games. Additionally, players can create a Fairy avatar in-game, or download one from their ( account.


Weekend Box Office Estimates for kids/tweens/teens rated G, PG or PG-13; September 7-9, 2012:
The Possession (Lionsgate) PG-13                                      $9.5m-2 wk total $33.3m
The Words (CBS Films) PG-13                                            Opening Weekend $5.0m
The Bourne Legacy (Universal) PG-13                                  $4.0m-5 wk total $103.7m
ParaNorman (Focus Features) PG                                        $3.8m-4 wk total 45.1m
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Disney) PG                          $3.7m-4 wk total $43.0m
The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.) PG-13                         $3.3m-8 wk total $437.8m
2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain Pictures) G              $3.3m-9 wk total $26.1m
Hope Springs (Sony) PG-13                                               $2.8m-5 wk total $57.5m
Premium Rush (Sony) PG-13                                             $2.3m-3 wk total $16.7m
The Cold Light of Day (Lionsgate) PG-13                             Opening Weekend $1.8m
Source: Rentrak ( )


Top 10 Combined Broadcast/Basic Cable shows among Kids 2-11 for the week of 8/27-9/2/12 , 6a-6a:
K2-11                                        Total Delivery (000)
DSNY*:  Jessie (8/31; 11p)                                 1126
DSNY*:  Good Luck Charlie (7/31; 10:30p)             1087
DSNY*:  Jessie (8/31; 11:30p)                            1074
DSNY*:  Austin & Ally (8/29; 10p)                        1018
DSNY*:  A.N.T. Farm (8/31; 12:30a)                    1015
DSNY*:  Jessie (8/28; 9p)                                  1005
DSNY*:  A.N.T. Farm (8/31; 12a)                        1000
TOON:   Regular Show (8/27; 8p)                         991
DSNY*:  Good Luck Charlie (8/31; 1a)                   990
DSNY*:  Good Luck Charlie (8/28; 10:30p)             975
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
*Disney Channel is not spot ad-supported, although it does accept select sponsors.

Top 10 Combined Broadcast/Basic Cable shows among Kids 6-11 for the week of 8/27-9/2/12 , 6a-6a:
K6-11                                                    Total Delivery (000)
DSNY*:  Jessie (8/31; 11p)                                            1285
DSNY*:  Good Luck Charlie (8/31; 10:30p)                        1258
DSNY*:  Gravity Falls (8/31; 9p)                                     1242
DSNY*:  A.N.T. Farm (9/1; 11:30a)                                 1234
DSNY*:  Gravity Falls (8/31; 9:30p)                                 1203
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (9/1; 10:30a)                  1167
DSNY*:  Jessie (8/30; 9p)                                              1159
NICK:    SpongeBob’s Runaway Roadtrip (9/1; 9a-10:30a)    1156
DSNY*:  Gravity Falls (8/31; 8:30p)                                 1141
DSNY*:  Jessie (8/28; 9p)                                              1141
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
*Disney Channel is not spot ad-supported, although it does accept select sponsors.

Top 10 Combined Broadcast/Basic Cable shows among Tweens 9-14 for the week of 8/27-9/2/12 , 6a-6a:
Tweens 9-14                                          Total Delivery (000)
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (9/1; 10:30a)                1919
NICK:    SpongeBob’s Runaway Roadtrip (9/1; 9a-10:30a)   1812
DSNY*:  Gravity Falls (8/31; 9p)                                    1690
DSNY*:  Gravity Falls (9/1; 10-10:25p)                           1688
DSNY*:  Gravity Falls (8/31; 9:30p)                                1685
DSNY*:  A.N.T. Farm (9/1; 11:30a)                                1664
DSNY*:  Phineas and Ferb (9/1; 9:30a-9:55a)                  1652
DSNY*:  Good Luck Charlie (8/31; 10:30p)                       1628
DSNY*:  Jessie (8/31; 11p)                                           1613
NICK:    SpongeBob SquarePants (8/28; 5:30p)                 1558
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
*Disney Channel is not spot ad-supported, although it does accept select sponsors.

Top 10 Combined Broadcast/Basic Cable shows among Teens 12-17 for the week of 8/27-9/2/12 , 6a-6a:
Teens 12-17                                       Total Delivery (000)
FAM:       Pretty Little Liars (8/28; 8-9p)                 900
ADSM**: Family Guy (8/29; 11p)                           758
ADSM**: Family Guy (8/27; 11:30p)                       723
ADSM**: Family Guy (8/29; 11:30p)                       716
ADSM**: Family Guy (8/27; 11p)                            696
ADSM**: Family Guy (8/30; 11:30p)                       687
ADSM**: Family Guy (8/30; 11p)                            679
ADSM**: Family Guy (8/31; 11:30p)                       677
MTV:       Awkward (8/30; 10:30p)                         670
ADSM**: Family Guy (8/31; 11p)                            659
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
*Disney Channel is not spot ad-supported, although it does accept select sponsors.
**Abbreviation for Adult Swim, which airs on Cartoon Network

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, September 6, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL:          K2-11 676; K6-11 395; TWEENS 9-14 342
NICKELODEON° :            K2-11 633; K6-11 272; TWEENS 9-14 186
CARTOON NETWORK** :  K2-11 369; K6-11 227; TWEENS 9-14 185
DISNEY XD:                   K2-11 114; K6-11   80; TWEENS 9-14   77
NICKTOONS:                  K2-11   69; K6-11   46; TWEENS 9-14   42
°Nickelodeon Total Day: Mon-Thurs 7a-8p; Fri 7a-9p; Sat 6a-10p; Sun 6a-8p
**Cartoon Network & Adult Swim share channel space ADSM airs Sat.-Thurs. 9p-6a
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Who is Superbunny’s archnemesis in Bunnytown? Little Bad Bunny. Kudos to: David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NYC.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who moved from Bloatsburg to Bluffington? (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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JOB OPENING: DIR DIGITAL AD SALES RSRCH/Turner Digital/NYC: High level cust srvc, tough negotiator, run primary rsrch projects, media rsrch exp including 3+ yrs dig media rsrch, ad sales rsrch plus. Apply: (9/15)

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JOB OPENING: VP, RESEARCH, BROADCAST SYNDICATION/Disney ABC TV/BURBANK: Min of 12 years in media research w/ syndication/distribution exp. Apply req ID 59837 (9/13)

JOB OPENING: SR PUBLICIST/LA: Handle publicity for New Daily Syndi Talk Show. Previous exp working In Content-Rich Talk Shows. Strong writing/pitching skills a must. Exp Syndior Station Community a +. Resume: [email protected] (9/13)

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JOB OPENING: MGR, STRATEGY & BUS. DVLPMNT/SONY MUSIC/NYC: Support Strat & Bus Dvlpmnt for Global Digital Bus Group. 3-5 yrs exp; Comm, presentation & analysis skills key; Prior consulting exp; Music or dig media passion a +. Apply here (9/11)

JOB OPENING: ACTIVATION-PROMO MGR/AMC/NYC: manage planning & execution of dozens of simultaneous promo & activation projects, 5+ yrs. exp, pro-active,results driven. Resumes to: [email protected] (9/11)

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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: SOCIAL MEDIA INTERN/NYC: Build community for website with ties to popular TV shows. Cool celebrity project in the mix. Requires understanding of social media, excellent writing/phone skills [email protected] (9/14)

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