Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Thursday, February 2, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.

The Walt Disney Company will acquire, through a subsidiary, a controlling interest in India’s UTV Software Communications, a media and entertainment company that produces TV and other content, has its own film studio UTV Motion Pictures, as well as owning six TV channels. UTV founder and CEO Ronnie Screwvala has been named Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company India, and he will report to Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International. As a result of this acquisition of UTV, Disney will produce both UTV and Disney-branded local films. Disney will own a total of nine channels in India, adding UTV’s six to its India kids’ TV networks Disney Channel, Disney XD and Hungama. Disney will also gain a significant presence in digital media with the addition of UTV’s Indiagames, India’s top mobile gaming company, to its portfolio. The terms of the deal will not disclosed, though the NYT estimates it to be valued at US $450 million. Screwvala explains that there is great potential for the integrated companies as India’s middle class is expected to explode from 50 million to more than 500 million people by 2025.

It’s a done deal. Mattel has completed its acquisition of HIT Entertainment from a consortium of funds led by Apax Partners for US $680 million in cash.  The initial proposed deal was announced in October 2011 and includes HIT’s properties such as Thomas & Friends, Barney, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Angelina Ballerina. Additionally, Edward Catchpole, formerly Disney Consumer Products SVP/Europe and Emerging Markets, has been appointed SVP/HIT Brands, overseeing Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Japan, per Catchpole will report to Fisher-Price EVP, David Allmark.


Lionsgate and Funtactix, a developer/publisher of social games based on entertainment brands, partner for the social game The Hunger Games Adventures (, which will debut the same date as The Hunger Games feature film on March 23, 2012. The adventure-based social game allows fans to explore the world of Panem, the world where author Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy is set.  Players will also complete missions that will take them to each of the Districts and the Capitol where they will interact with characters from the book. As they complete each mission, players advance their own storyline in the game. The Hunger Games Adventures will be the first place fans can see the official map of Panem, and how the districts are laid out, the details of which will be rolled out in the game with a steady stream of chapter expansions as the game unfolds over time.

Random House Publishing Group will be making Jim Davis‘ beloved Garfield cartoons available in a digital format for the first time. Random House has been publishing Ballantine trade paperback editions of the Garfield cartoons for 30+ years. The first of the collections to be published as an eBook will be Davis’ first and second books, Garfield at Large and Garfield Gains Weight, as well as the newest collection, Garfield Brings Home the Bacon. Random House will continue to publish four Garfield eBook titles every month for the next 18 months, until the entire collection is available in the eBook format.


Nickelodeon will launch the new CG animated series Mike the Knight (26×30) tomorrow, Friday, February 3 at 10:30a.  Following its debut on Nickelodeon, new episodes of Mike the Knight will air on the network, Monday-Thursday, February 6-9 at 12n, where the series will air regularly. Created by Alexander Bar (Lunar Jim) and written by Marc Seal (head writer, Bob the Builder), Mike the Knight is produced by HIT Entertainment and Nelvana Studios. Mike the Knight follows the adventures of a young knight-in-training as he works to protect his kingdom, serve his Queen and become a full knight. The series is designed to teach preschoolers about friendship, loyalty and determination.

Disney Channel celebrates Black History Month beginning this week by featuring kid viewers talking about what Black History means to them and how they’d like to change the world, as part of the network’s original interstitial series This Is Me. These segments were filmed at the Challengers Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles.

BabyFirstTV, targeted to babies, toddlers and their families, has ordered 26 new episodes the music-filled series Shushybye Baby. In addition to original songs performed by Shushybye’s lead singer Michael North, the new episodes of the series will also feature songs performed by Davy Jones of The Monkees, Tommy James (Tommy James and the Shondelles), Steve Lawrence (of Steve and Edie fame) and Ron Dante (lead singer of The Archies), among others. Shushybye Baby is produced by The Shushybye Company in partnership with BabyFirstTV. BabyFirstTV is available on DirecTV, Dish Network and cable MSO’s including Time-Warner and Charter. The channel can also be seen in countries throughout Europe, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East.

Abu Dhabi-based twofour54 completes international broadcast deals for its mixed CGI animated/live-action preschool series Driver Dan’s Story Train. Under the new deals: BBC Latin America acquires the first two seasons of Driver Dan’s Story Train for its CBeebies channel; MTV3/Juniori (Finland); TVA, Yoopa Channel (French speaking Canada); TG4 (Ireland); and Skylife (South Korea).


Discovery Education names Tanya Van Court as SVP/Partner Marketing.  Van Court will oversee the development of consumer-facing programs and district-led initiatives to support educators in their transition to digital learning environments. She will also lead Discovery Education’s strategic partnerships with key educational foundations, accountable for guiding the development of innovative educational programs for the K-12 and higher education markets. Van Court will report to Lori McFarling, CMO for Discovery Education. Most recently, Van Court was with Nickelodeon where she was SVP and GM Noggin, ParentsConnect and Prior to that she served as VP/New Media Products for ESPN, and began her career at Covad Communications.

A2E2, a joint venture between A Squared Entertainment and Tata Elxsi, appoints Harish Seth as CFO and Mary Moore Kean as Licensing Director. In his new position, Harish will report to A2E2 Co-Presidents Amy and Andy Heyward. Harish has toiled in finance with India’s Tata Group for 17 years, most recently serving as Tata Teleservices’ Regional Finance Controller for South and West India. In her new position, Kean will be responsible for licensing A2E2 owned intellectual properties such as Secret Millionaires Club, Gisele and the Green Team, Martha & Friends, Build-A-Bear Workshop property, and several yet-to-be announced properties in development. She will report to A2E2’s VP/Licensing, Laurie Windrow. Kean previously worked in licensing at Winterland Productions and The Roger Richman Agency.

Genius Brands International, developer/marketer of entertainment products, appoints consumer products industry veteran Denise Kovac as Marketing Director. Kovac oversee Genius’ new Direct Response Division and launch the first direct response marketing campaign for the Baby Genius DVDs and CDs. The worldwide campaign will launch in the US in Q1 2012 with the debut of TV commercials, which coincide with the launch of the new Baby Genius website. Kovac previously served as COO of Your Baby Can, President of Thane Direct, USA, President of Bay Street Brands, and VP/Sales, Fitness Quest/Warner Vision where she also managed sales for Atlantic Records, Electra Records and Rhino Records divisions. She also founded and ran her own consulting firm, Managed Full Services Marketing.


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Saturday, January 28, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL:      K2-11 1221; K6-11 914; TWEENS 9-14 697
NICKELODEON:           K2-11 1093; K6-11 706; TWEENS 9-14 529
CARTOON NETWORK:  K2-11   655; K6-11 452; TWEENS 9-14 362
DISNEY XD:               K2-11   257; K6-11 185; TWEENS 9-14 141
NICKTOONS:             K2-11   151; K6-11 110; TWEENS 9-14   59
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Sunday, January 29, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL:      K2-11 1155; K6-11 839; TWEENS 9-14 670
NICKELODEON:          K2-11 1115; K6-11 693; TWEENS 9-14 514
CARTOON NETWORK:  K2-11   677; K6-11 433; TWEENS 9-14 282
DISNEY XD:               K2-11   250; K6-11 204; TWEENS 9-14 153
NICKTOONS:              K2-11   120; K6-11   82; TWEENS 9-14  63
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Monday, January 30, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:           K2-11 903; K6-11 364; TWEENS 9-14 238
DISNEY CHANNEL:       K2-11 867; K6-11 450; TWEENS 9-14 347
CARTOON NETWORK:   K2-11 441; K6-11 305; TWEENS 9-14 263
DISNEY XD:               K2-11 191; K6-11 138; TWEENS 9-14 131
NICKTOONS:              K2-11   75; K6-11   48; TWEENS 9-14  48
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL:       K2-11 905; K6-11 512; TWEENS 9-14 393
NICKELODEON:           K2-11 780; K6-11 310; TWEENS 9-14 210
CARTOON NETWORK:   K2-11 377; K6-11 243; TWEENS 9-14 206
DISNEY XD:               K2-11 173; K6-11 114; TWEENS 9-14   95
NICKTOONS:              K2-11 112; K6-11   72; TWEENS 9-14  65
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data


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Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: What cartoon characters have magical powers that come from their bellies? The Care Bears. Kudos to: Kyle Luna-TuneIn/Tobyhanna, PA;Meredith Rusu-Disney Publishing Worldwide/NY; Melissa Picarello-Toys R Us/Wayne, NJ; Dawn Ross-FremantleMedia/NY; KevinSchmidt/Chicago; Jordan Beck-The Hub/Burbank;Mike Wood-WGBH/Boston; Jill Allison-OMD-LA; Lindsey Brustad-groupm/LA; Michael Decsi-Nelvana/Toronto.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who is very good at Geography, loves to make signs and put them all over the jungle, which he knows better than anyone? (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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Cynopsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here .

JOB OPENING: TALENT DVLPMT SPECIALIST/Nat Geo TV/DC: Exp’d talent dev person to oversee casting, targeted talent & dev search. Success in finding talent, hosts & char for non-fic TV series. Apply ID 4866 EOE (2/9)

JOB OPENING: VP, BUS/LEGAL AFFAIRS/Fox/LA: Anlyz contracts in resp to bus/client group questions, prvd nec rsrch info to depts & execs. JD req + CA bar membrshp. Req. 7+ yrs trans exp w/ 3-5 yrs bus.affrs. FNG0000889 (2/9)

JOB OPENING: SR MANAGER INTEGRATED AD SALES MARKETING/ION/NY: Create/execute Integrated Ad Sales solutions & cross platform B2B Marketing campaigns. Experience 5+ years sales marketing. Apply at [email protected] EOE (2/9)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR MANAGER, PROGRAM RESEARCH/NBC Universal/NY: Manage top line and detailed ratings reporting, audience profiling, and highlights covering Oxygen and its competitors. Job#4291BR (2/9)

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JOB OPENING: SR RSRCH ANALYST/Screenvision Cinema/NYC: 3+yrs exp; proficient w/Nielsen & Rsrch systems. Ability to analyze data & exe for sales in fast pace environ. Res/apply at (2/7)

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JOB OPENING: DIR TALENT RELATIONS/BBC AMERICA/NYC: Develop talent strategy includes celebrity driven activites/projcts/stunts. Nurture new talent. 5-8 yrs ent talent mgmt exp. Press/casting/booking exp, a +. [email protected] (2/4)

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JOB OPENING: CONTRACT ATT., LBA/Los Angeles: Attorney who will be drafting and negotiating contracts for one of the top cable companies (2/3)
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JOB OPENING: DIR, CONSUMER MKTG/CURRENT/NY: Dvlp/implement & mng Current’s brand initiatives & prtnrshps across all media platforms. 5yrs+ exp cbl &or brdcst ntwrk prgrm mktg campaign creation/exec. Res/cover: [email protected] (2/3)

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].

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: LA: Experienced sales, biz development pro seeking position in educational / home media. Solid resume and excellent references. email: [email protected] (2/9)

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E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.381.9096 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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