Thursday, June 21st, 2007


Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Thursday, June 21, 2007 and this is your first early morning briefing.

20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising (Fox L&M) and STAR India, a media and entertainment company, have teamed to form a licensing division, StarFox India.  The new entity will seek licensing opportunities in the Indian marketplace for Fox’s big movies (e.g. Ice Age, Napoleon Dynamite, The Simpsons), as well as STAR India’s popular local content.


American Greetings Properties has inked a co-production deal with DQ Entertainment to create and co-produce a new TV series based on the Maryoku Yummy property.  Discussions are currently underway with several broadcasters for Maryoku Yummy (52×11′) for fall 2008.  Created by Jeffrey Conrad, Studio Chief/American Greetings Properties, the preschool series revolves around Maryoku, a Yummy, who lives in a world where all wishes go and are granted.  Creator/writer/editor Jym Magon (Duck Tales, Rescue Rangers and Winnie The Pooh) has been tapped to work on the scripts and oversee direction of the series.  DQ Entertainment will hold entertainment distribution rights for broadcast and home video for the property in France and India, as well as all the merchandising rights in India. American Greetings Properties will retain rights for the rest of the world.

Teletoon will premiere Total Drama Island, a new tween-targeted series, with a 1-hour episode on Sunday, July 8 at 8p, and which will air regularly Thursdays and Sundays at 8:30p.  Created by Fresh TV, the folks behind 6TEEN, the show combines two formats popular with tweens, animation and reality TV.  Set in a summer camp way up in Northern Ontario, the series revolves around a group of teens as they spend a summer in leaky cabins, crappy food and the requisite crazy challenges and the drama of the game, as each vies to be the sole winner.  Additionally, Fresh TV has teamed with Xenophile Media to create Total Drama Island  Totally Interactive, a web and mobile phone extension of the series.  Launching this weekend, the website ( includes customizable avatars, 26 games (each corresponding to a specific episode) and a weekly email magazine.

Go, Speed Racer, Go … indeed! Lionsgate first animated TV series effort will be a new animated TV series adaptation of Speed Racer, per Variety.  Furthermore, Nickelodeon has completed a deal that will bring the updated Speed Racer (26×30′) to its Nicktoons Network.  The new series follows a young Speed Racer as he heads to a racing academy, at which time he finds that he is the son of the Speed Racer from the 1960s series, and low and behold Speed Jr. (my name for him) also learns that he has a brother, yes a new Racer X.  Of course modern times require modern wheels, so Speed is now racing in a Mach 6.  Additionally, The series premiere on Nicktoons Network is expected to coincide with Warner Bros. release of the live-action Speed Racer movie, which is currently slated for May 9, 2008.  Animation Collective will serve as the animation studio for the updated Speed Racer series.  While there is no relationship between the new TV series and the live-action movie, the former can only stand to benefit from the latter in both promotion and licensing.

Eyeshield 21 US Project, a company established by Japanese studios TV Tokyo, Shueisha and NAS (NIHON AD Animation Development SYSTEMS, Inc.), has unveiled plans to bring the popular Japanese ‘sports anime‘ series Eyeshield 21 to the US.  The series is set to bow online on Toonami Jetstream and NFL’s kid-aimed site from fall 2007.  Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, overcoming obstacles and having goals, Eyeshield 21 revolves around Sena, a shy kid beginning High School at a new school where he hopes to start anew, shedding his previous experience as the endlessly bullied kid.  Sena becomes the school football team’s secret weapon when the coach discovers how fast he can run.


A second season of Scholastic Media’s stop-motion animated preschool series Dragon, will premiere beginning fall 2007 on Qubo, the Saturday morning programming block on NBC, Telemundo, and ION TV.  The new season includes 13 new episodes of Dragon.  The series is co-produced by Cite-Amerique (Canada), scopas medien (Germany) and Image Plus (South Korea).

Jetix Europe has picked up a second season of the animated series Galactik Football from France’s Alphanim.  Season two of Galactik Football will include 26×30′ new episodes that are set to begin rolling out on Jetix Europe channels in summer 2008.  Jetix Consumer Products manages the home video rights, licensing and merchandising rights for Europe.


While the Springfield’s all over the country battle it out to be “the Springfield” where Fox’s The Simpsons Movie will make its premiere next month, Fox Licensing & Merchandising plans for a theme park attraction and a gaggle of licensing deals, taller than Marge’s hair, are underway. Fox L&M has partnered with Universal Orlando Resort for a The Simpsons theme park attraction, which will include rides and live action/adventure stage shows.  The Simpsons ride is slated to open at Universal in both Orlando and Hollywood in spring 2008.  New licensing deals for The Simpsons include: Russ Berrie’s dancing Homer Plush; a new line of bobbleheads from Funko; Skechers shoe charms (fall 2007); Calhoun Sportswear will launch a line of men/women’s apparel and accessories this summer; and detailed toys based on the movie from McFarlane Toys.  There are 600+ The Simpsons licensees worldwide.


The Walt Disney Company has established a new Global Television Distribution unit, following the announcement that Laurie Younger, President/Disney-ABC Worldwide Television, will retire at the end of her contract in January 2008, after spending the last 20+ year with the company.  Younger says explained, “…now seems the appropriate time to start the next chapter and explore some new avenues.”  The newly-formed unit will bring several existing distribution related groups under Ben Pyne, who has been named President/Global Distribution, Disney ABC Worldwide Television & Disney Media Networks.  Younger will assist in transition to the new structure, providing counsel to the management team.

Lionsgate President Steve Beeks has signed a new long-term pact, which also sees him adding COO to his title.  Lionsgate Co-Chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer, Vice Chairman Michael Burns and Beeks have now all inked deals extending until 2010 and 2011.  Beeks joined Lionsgate and its predecessor companies about 10 years ago. He was named President of Lionsgate Entertainment Inc. shortly after Lionsgate acquired Artisan, and he became President of parent company Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

Ben Pyne takes on the new position of President/Global Distribution, Disney ABC Worldwide Television & Disney Media Networks.  Pyne will be responsible for the International distribution and sales of entertainment and news content produced by Disney, which includes feature films, TV series, kids’ programming, TV movies, miniseries, news documentaries, TV animation and direct-to-video content, as well as their distribution across all platforms.  He will also oversee domestic distribution of the Disney’s TV content handled by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, and will assume responsibility for the ABC Television Network’s Affiliate Relations department.  Prior to this he served as President/Disney & ESPN Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing.  Pyne will report to Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair/Disney Media Networks & President/Disney-ABC Television Group and Alan Bergman, President/Disney Studios.  For domestic responsibilities concerning ESPN, Pyne will continue reporting to Sean Bratches, EVP/Sales and Marketing, ESPN and ABC Sports. He will also work closely with Andy Bird, President/ Disney International.  Under the new structure, David Preschlack has been upped to EVP/Disney & ESPN Network Affiliate Sales & Marketing.

DreamWorks Animation has named Damon Ross, Sr. Development Executive.  Working with Sr. Development Executive, Chris Kuser, Ross will acquire and develop literary projects and other original content for the company.  He will report to Bill Damaschke, Head of Creative Development and Production, DreamWorks Animation, and the studio’s head of Development, Kristine Belson.  Most recently, Ross was VP/Development & Production, Nickelodeon Movies.


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:          K2-11 1311; K6-11 684; TWEENS 9-14 484
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11 1030; K6-11 739; TWEENS 9-14 721
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   547; K6-11 399; TWEENS 9-14 323
TOON DISNEY:          K2-11   193; K6-11   92; TWEENS 9-14   64
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Answer to Yesterday’s trivia question: Where would you find a Handy-dandy notebook? BLUE’S CLUES.   Kudos to: Ayana Bryan-Cartoon Network/Atlanta; Denise Mignano-Nickelodeon/NY; Amie Lozanski-Hasbro Products Group/Pawtucket RI; Estrella J. Diaz-NY Ad Sales & Operations/TBS TNT CourtTV/NY; Rita Silva-Disney-ABC Kids Networks/Chicago; Joy Starr-HIT Entertainment/Allen TX; Anita Frazier-NPD Group/Port Washington NY; Susan Arcidiacono-Frankie & Her Little Pals/Burbank; Steven Weisbaum-Saint Johns Health Care Center/Santa Monica CA; Grace Benn/LA; Brenda Nietupski-Treehouse TV & Discovery Kids Canada/Toronto

Today’s Trivia Question courtesy of Denise Landry-Advanced Neuromodulation Systems/Dallas: What is the name of the “Captain” who performs in the children’s musical group The Wiggles?     ( click here 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: NPR DIR. MEDIA RELATIONS/DC: Manage media relations staff. Bachelors 5+ exp. req’d. Send cover letter & res., ID position #CYN470 to NPR: HR Dept; 635 Mass Ave NW; Wash, DC 20001; Fax 202-513-3047; [email protected]. (6/28)

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SUMMER INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. They are 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] .

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