Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Cynopsis: Kids!



Good morning. It’s Thursday, February 11, 2010, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.

Andy Heyward’s new A Squared Entertainment (A2) is partnering with the legendary Stan Lee and his POW! Entertainment and Archie Comics to create a new print and digital line of comic books, which will also be developed as an animated series.  Lee will be featured in the property, entitled Super Seven, which revolves around a group of seven aliens that wind up stranded on Earth when their spaceship crashes and are befriended by Lee.  Under the tutelage of Lee the aliens resume their lives as superheroes on Earth.  Super Seven is expected to debut in fall 2010 in digital, print and broadcast.  Lee is, of course, best known as the co-creator of Marvel characters including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men and Iron Man to name a few.  Earlier this week A2 unveiled its new partnership with Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Sony says Spider-Man will spin his next big screen web in 3D on July 3, 2012.  The still untitled Spider-Man movie reboot is slated to being production later this year, with Marc Webb directing and featuring a screenplay by James Vanderbilt.  Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin will produce the movie from Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios.  Still no word on who will play Peter Parker in the movie, which will focus on his teen years.

For parents who’d like to get a better handle on the video their kids are watching online, YouTube introduced a new opt-in Safety Mode setting that screens out “potentially objectionable” content. It will disable searches of risque words and replace objectionable text with asterisks. Just click on the Safety Mode link at the bottom of any video page to activate it. You can also lock your choice on that browser with your YouTube password.


Tiger Aspect Productions, The Jim Henson Company and Sticky Pictures Pty have begun pre-production on the new kid-targeted live-action/puppet series Me and My Monsters (26×30) in Sydney, Australia.  Production on the series is slated to commence in early summer 2010.  Commissioned by BBC CBBC in the UK, ZDF (Germany) and Network Ten and Nickelodeon Australia, distribution for Me and My Monsters is being handled by BBC Worldwide.  The series follows the Carlson family that has recently relocated from Australia to the UK, where they discovery three rowdy (but funny) monsters living in their new basement.  While it three build-in new friends are good new for Eddie Carlson (10), his parents are a little overwhelmed by the stress of three more in the house, and of course his teen sister is in for unending embarrassment.  Created by Mark Grant (Perfect World, BBC and Star, ITV), the series features monster puppets created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.  The Jim Henson Company (UK) and Tiger Aspect Productions are working in partnership with Australia’s Sticky Pictures on this UK/Australian co-production.

Coolabi taps King Rollo Films as its animation partner for the new preschool series Poppy Cat (52×11), which is slated to debut on Nick Jr (UK) in 2011.  Coolabi and King Rollo Films will co-produce the TV series, which is based on the Poppy Cat books created by Lara Jones.

Imira Entertainment adds a new co-production partner for the K6-12-targeted new series Lucky Fred (52×12).  Philippines-based Top Draw Animation joins Imira, TV Catalunya and RAI to co-produce the series.  The deal will see Top Draw handling all animation for Lucky Fred, with its subsidiary Mango Distribution managing distribution for the series in Asia (excluding Japan), Australia and New Zealand.  Imira holds series distribution rights for the rest of the world.  Lucky Fred revolves around Fred, a lucky kid with a shape-shifting robot pal named Friday.  Whatever Fred needs Friday becomes, a pair of boxing gloves, a jet pack, even a translator for girl speak.  Thing is … Friday actually belongs to the girl next door, secret Agent Brains, and while she could use the robot’s help he now only responds to Fred’s voice commands.  So, now Fred, Friday and Brains must work together against evildoers  and still attend middle school.  The property will be showcased at Mipcom 2010.


The Blue Wiggle (AKA Anthony Field) takes on the role of director for The Wiggles  Big, Big Show In the Round!, a new live-concert movie set for release in the US beginning March 20, 2010.  Targeted to preschoolers and their families, the movie was filmed at The Acer Arena in Australia in December 2009, and is presented by The Wiggles and CinemaLive.  A listing of theatres where the movie will play can be found at CinemaLive .com. The Wiggles make a history with the release as the first kid’s entertainment group ever to have a live-concert movie.

The cast of Disney Channel‘s new music-filled original TV movie, StarStruck, help the network and viewers celebrate President’s Day/Valentine’s Day this weekend with a series of interstitials beginning Friday, February 12 and leading up to the StarStruck premiere on the network, Sunday, February 14, 8-10p.  The interstitials features the cast and a range of other Disney Channel celebrities as they take viewers on a tour of Hollywood.  The weekend also includes the TV debut of the music video Bounce, written/produced by Jonas Brothers and featuring Demi Lovato, during StarStruck.  Additionally, look for two marathons of Sonny With A Chance on Sunday, 1:30-8p and Monday, 3:45-6:30p.

Nickelodeon debuts the director’s cut of iCarly special episode, iSave Your Life, on Friday, February, 12 at 8p, as part of its President’s Day/Valentine’s Day holiday weekend programming.  This version of the episode features seven minutes of previously unseen footage, Freddie’s mostly hidden obsession with Carly and a longer webcast.  This particular episode of iCarly originally bowed on January 18 at 8:30p to become the network’s most-watched live-action debut with kids, tweens and total viewers.  The evening also includes the premiere of a new episode of Nickelodeon’s new series Big Time Rush.

Boomerang Network will host a 12-hour marathon of the animated series The Smurfs on Monday, February 15, from 8a.  Based on the Belgian comic strip created by Peyo, The Smurfs TV series was produced by Hanna-Barbera and originally debuted in the US in 1981 as part of NBC’s Saturday morning lineup.

Nickelodeon will help preschoolers celebrate the Chinese New Year with new episodes of Ni Hao, Kai-lan during its Year of the Tiger week, Monday-Friday, February 22-26, at 1:30p.  The week culminates with a new episode on Friday, February 26, during which Kai-lan teaches Rintoo the Tiger the importance of taking turns.

Cartoon Network premieres the second seasons of its live-action series, Dude, What Would Happen and Destroy Build Destroy, on Wednesday, February 24, at 8p and 8:30p, respectively.  Additionally, Cartoon Network will celebrate President’s Day weekend with Dudes Make It Happen Weekend, which will feature a marathon of the network’s original series, acquisitions and family films.  The 60-hour event begins Saturday, February 13 at 10a and runs through Monday, February 15 at 10p.  The weekend includes the first full seasons of Dude, What Would Happen and Destroy Build Destroy episodes.

Playhouse Disney‘s new primetime preschool special Handy Manny Big Race will premiere Saturday, March 20, 7-7:25p, on Disney Channel.  The special features guest stars NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt Jr. and N’Sync’s Lance Bass (who recurs on the series as surferdude Elliot).  In the special Bass performs the new song, One Step at a Time, with Wilmer Valderrama (the voice of Handy Manny).  A music video for the song will debut Saturday, March 6 on Disney Channel and online at HandyMannyPlayhouseDisney .com will invite preschoolers to decorate their own race car for the chance to have it featured on air during the premiere of the special.  Additionally, a full-length preview of the special will available on Disney Channel On Demand on Saturday, March 13.  Select mobile providers will also simulcast the special in conjunction with the TV debut.  Finally, beginning Sunday, March 21, the special will be available at and on a variety of mobile VOD distributors.

American Greetings Properties (AGP) signs further international deals for the new CGI animated Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures TV series and The Strawberry Shortcake Movie: Sky’s the Limit.  New broadcast partners include in France Disney and M6, Cartoon Network UK (series only), Astral Media’s Playhouse Disney (Canada), Disney Latin America, Hop! (Israel), and Al Jazeera (Middle East).  On the home entertainment front, the home video rights have been acquired by SND Groupe/M6 (France), Magna Home Entertainment (Australia and New Zealand), Prime Pictures (Middle East) and Magma D.D., Cass Films and Mirax (Eastern Europe).

Zodiak Entertainment Distribution finalizes new sales of Gormiti, The Lords of Nature Return (52×26), including deals with GMTV 2 (UK), SIC (Portugal) and TV Globo (Brazil).  Based on Giochi Preziosi’s Gormiti toy line, the animated series is produced by Marathon Media and Giochi Preziosi for M6 and Canal J in France and Mediaset in Italy.  Additional recent TV sales of seasons one and two include those in Alter Channel (Greece), MBC (Middle East), Noga (Israel), Digi Turk (Turkey), One2Play (ex-Yugoslavia) and several northern and Viasat (Eastern European countries).  Further TV deals are underway with broadcasters in Mexico, Morocco, Poland and the Netherlands.  Additionally, the video rights have been transferred in Spain (Manga Films), Greece (Alter Channel), the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Ritka Video), Bulgaria (Pro Filmo), and to all the republics of ex-Yugoslavia (One2Play).  The In-flight rights have been acquired by IFE Services (France) and Spafax Airline Network (Middle East).  Zodiak handles all TV and video sales.  Giochi Preziosi manages international merchandising and licensing, in conjunction with marathon Media, which is responsible for those rights in France.


Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) and VOOZ Co. launch a specialized apparel collection for the US featuring Pucca, the popular South Korean animated girl character that was originally introduced online in a series of Flash-animated shorts produced by VOOZ.  Almost entirely non-verbal, the humor and love-focused series revolves around young Pucca, an independent and self-confident daughter of a restaurant owner in Korea.  Here in the US we can expect to see new Pucca products aimed at teens and young adults (18-29) by various designers including Preen, Mark Fast, Raquel Allegra, Unconditional, Not Rational, Genetic Denim, I.R.O, and jewelry by Erickson Beamon, all of which will be featured at Curve boutiques in NYC and LA throughout spring 2010.  WBCP plans to expand Pucca into new markets and product categories including bags, stationery and paper goods via several retail channels nationwide from fall 2010.

Cookie Jar Entertainment and My Gym Children’s Fitness Center team-up to launch Mommy & Me Free Play at the gym’s locations nationwide.  The Mommy & Me-branded play sessions are designed to further encourage parent-child bonding through play.


The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games are upon us and a few kid-targeted programs will be featured there.  marblemedia’s is a contributing artist to the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition (CODE).  What that means is that two of marblemedia’s kid-targeted properties, This is Daniel Cook-Figure Skating; and This is Emily Yeung-Learning Ballet (co-produced with Sinking Ship Productions) have been selected to be featured on towering HD screens at the Vancouver and Whistler Celebration Sites during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.


Spin Master Entertainment appoints Melissa Wolfe as Director/Development.  She will be based at the company’s LA offices.  Wolfe previously served as Director/Development, Cookie Jar Entertainment and was a development executive at Frederator Studios.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: Who are we?  We like to say “uh-oh” and say “again” when we want to see the film again.  We live in a lovely fantasy land, where the sun smiles as us every day.  Who are we? TELETUBBIES  Kudos to: Deborah Skolnik-Parenting Magazine/NY; Sarah Dell’Aquila-Cartoon Network/NY; Sara Zeglin-Nat Geo Digital Media Kids/Washington DC; Meg Ross-Just 4 Fun Kids & Family Marketing/Atlanta; Amanda See-Flashpoint Academy/Chicago; Sue Barrett-Determined Prods/CST; Rita Silva-Disney Media Sales & Marketing/Chicago; Michael Hawkins-PromoDoctors/Irving; Mark Rodriguez-MDR Entertainment/Valencia; Michael Ross-THE HUB/LA;

Today’s Trivia Question:  I’m a little fella who has something in common with Big Bird – same designer, Kermit Love.  I require 3 puppeteers for my 30-second commercial spots, an my voice is courtesy of Corinne Orr.  I’ve also participated in Grudge Match with Winnie the Pooh.  Who am I?   (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.)


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SITUATION WANTED:  Seeking any ENTRY LEVEL WORK in the TV industry in the greater NYC area. Close to 2 years of video and new media freelance experience in NYC + an internship at VH1. [email protected] (2/18)

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