Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Thursday, June 30, 2011, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing. 

Music and movie industry icons T Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart, Cold Mountain) and Danny Elfman (Alice in Wonderland, Spider-Man) sign on to collaborate on the music score for Lionsgate‘s feature film adaptation of The Hunger Games, which is based on the first book in the young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Burnett will also serve as the film’s executive music producer, producing songs for the film and soundtrack.  Sounds great to Hunger Games fans as well as Burnett and Elfman fans too.  Production president Alli Shearmur is overseeing the production for the studio.  The deals for both Burnett and Elfman were negotiated by Tracy McKnight, Lionsgate’s Head/Film Music, with Lenny Wohl, EVP/Business Affairs Music & Publishing, on behalf of Lionsgate.

LeapFrog Enterprises jumps into the table business this August 15, 2011 with the launch of its LeapPad personalized learning tablet specifically for K4+. LeapPad is designed for little hands and features 2 GB of memory, a 5-inch touch screen (480×272 resolution), as well as offering motion-based play with a sensor that includes a built-in camera, video recorder, microphone and stylus, and art, story, and photo studios.  Additionally, LeapPad will launch with LeapFrog’s largest library and 100+ learning game cartridges, books, apps and videos by year’s end.  There are all sorts of specific reading features to support kids at their appropriate reading levels. The existing library of Leapster Explorer game cartridges and apps is cross compatible with LeapPad.  Available for pre-sale now in green and pink in the US ($99.99, apps $5+, game cartridges $24.99), Canada, the UK, and Ireland, LeapPad will expand to other countries including Australia and New Zealand later this year.


Big Idea Entertainment enters into a new multi-million dollar production pact with New Zealand-based animation company HuHu Studios to produce six new, direct-to-video VeggieTales DVD titles over the next two years.  HuHu, which previously worked with Big Idea, will oversee pre-production, animation and post-production on for each title feature.


YTV‘s (Canada) series The Next Star premieres its newest season (12×60) on Monday, July 18 at 7p.  Whittled down from 4,000 Canadian kids that auditioned, the top 16 will compete on the series, with contestants eliminated along the way until six finalists are selected and eventually one is chosen, with the help of viewer voting, as The Next Star on the series finale, which will broadcast live on Sunday, September 25 at 7p.  The final six contestants will record an original song and star in their own music video; the singles will be featured on a Next Star compilation album.  Adamo Ruggiero (Degrassi: The Next Generation) returns as host, while musician Suzie McNeil, songwriter Christopher Ward and music marketing exec Steve Cranwell return to mentor, guide, and judge this year’s would-be singers. As in years past, special guests will participate throughout the season.  The Next Star is produced by Toronto-based producer/distributor Tricon Films and Television in association with YTV, which is owned by Corus Entertainment.

The Hub hosts the world TV premiere of the family-targeted movie Free Willy: Escape from Pirates Cove (2010) on Friday, July 8, 8-10:30p.  The Warner Premiere presentation of a Film Afrika/Apollomovie production, Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove was directed by Will Geiger from his own screenplay and story by Cindy McCreery, and is part of a film license from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.  The movie, which stars actor Beau Bridges, will encore the following day and then throughout August.

Boomerang will feature The Smurfs all this July 2011, just ahead of Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s worldwide release of the new 3D mixed live-action/animated feature film, The Smurfs, which opens Friday, July 29.  Throughout July Boomerang will feature episodes of the classic 1980s animated series The Smurfs every day as follows: Monday-Friday 9-10a, 3-4p and 8-9p, Saturday-Sunday 9-10a, 2-4p and 8-9p.  The Smurfs animated TV series debuted on NBC in 1981.

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) inks program sales with broadcasters in Spain and Portugal:

  • In Spain: Public service broadcaster TVE signs on for seasons 5 and 6 of Dora The Explorer, as well as inking a new deal for SpongeBob SquarePants episodes 121-178, and re-licenses deal for episodes 1-120; while ETB re-ups its deal for three Nickelodeon animated series Rugrats seasons 1-3, Ren & Stimpy season 1-3, and Aaahh Real Monsters seasons 1-2.
  • In Portugal: TVI signs on for more SpongeBob SquarePants with the addition of season 5 and part of season 7, as well as the second season of Ni Hao Kai-Lan.

MTV’s international channels (excluding North America) acquire the rights for the original primetime animated primetime comedy series Crash Canyon for debut in 2012.  Developed by Joel Cohen (co-exec producer/The Simpsons), Crash Canyon is produced by Breakthrough Entertainment in association with Shaw Rocket Fund and Teletoon Canada.  In addition to Cohen and Producer/Executive Story Editor Greg Lawrence (Kevin Spencer), other contributing writers on the series include Tim Long (The Simpsons) and Chuck Tatham (How I Met Your Mother, Arrested Development). Crash Canyon follows the Wendell family as they literally drive off a cliff and wind up in an inescapable canyon.  They all survive and discovery they are stuck there with all the other folks who have crashed and have been stranded there for years, including an astronaut and his chimp, an old lady and her domesticated bear, a British punk rocker, a ventriloquist and his dummy, and others.  There, the group develops an odd community they call Crash Canyon.

UK publisher Egmont launches Animal Cuties, a new girl 5-8 targeted monthly magazine, this week.  The new Animal Cuties magazine debuts following the success of All About Animal Cuties, a one-off from the All About… magazine line.  The first issue of Animal Cuties debuts with special features including a set of 12 animal postcards and a six-piece stationery set and a pencil bock for readers.  Additionally, girls will have the chance to win Zhu Zhu Pets characters.


July 8, 9, 10

Little Tugboat is offering limited enrollment in a unique workshop taught in Toronto by accomplished preschool TV veterans on every step of creating an animated or live action preschool show.  Sessions include Pitching, Producing and Licensing.  The workshop will feature a panel of broadcasters from CBC, ABC Australia, Corus and Nickelodeon.

Please contact Brenda Nietupski at 416-654-4720 or [email protected] .


Chapman Entertainment enters into a new UK licensing deal with PWPFS for Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car.  Under the deal PWPFS will create personalized products including ceramic mugs, tableware, posters, greeting cards and party accessories, which will be available at the online shop ahead of holiday 2011.

Majesco Entertainment in association with TWC Games will release the new game Spy Kids: All the Time in the World for Nintendo DS this August 2011.  Based on Dimension Films‘ upcoming feature film Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, the game challenges would-be spies to use various high tech gadgets and gear to save the world.  Directed by Spy Kids series creator Robert Rodriguez and starring Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, and Joel McHale, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D opens nationwide on August 19, 2011.  The movie also features appearances by the original Spy Kids from the first movies Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara).  The game was developed by OneNineStudios for Nintendo DS.

Mike Licensing appoints Kiddo Tags ( ) as the exclusive licensee for Madame Alexander‘s StinkyKids ( ) for a collection of custom labels.  are already being sold, and Cycle Force Group signs on to produce themed bikes, scooters, skateboards, skates, safety gear and accessories.  Mike Licensing is currently seeking StinkyKids licensees across a range of categories including toys/games, coloring books, jewelry, keychains, puzzles, gift & novelty, party paper products, apparel & accessories.

Nickelodeon Consumer Products International and publishing partner BIR‘s kid’s imprint Gorilla Box will expand the SpongeBob SquarePants book series in Korea, which currently includes 42 English-language titles (reader’s book, storybooks, and chapter books), with an additional ten titles for reading level 4 in 2012.  Each book comes with an audio CD narrated by a native English speaker, plus a vocabulary and language list designed to help Korean-speaking kids learn English phrases and expressions.  The book series is further supported by additional online content.

Bulldog Licensing signs a new UK apparel licensing deal with BCI for Monkey, the star of the classic ad campaign for ITV Digital and PG Tips.  The P16-34 targeted ads featuring Monkey has developed a cult following.  Under the deal BCI will launch a line of T-shirts featuring Monkey’s image.  Existing licensing partners for Monkey include Posh Paws (plush), GB Eye (posters) and Danilo (greeting cards), Bluebird Brands (fashion bags, laptop bags, plush bags and purses, homewares).  Licensor for the Monkey brand is Comic Relief, which is to say that all licensed products sold will help support the charity.


mun2 names Hanna Bolte to the newly created position of VP/Media and Talent Relations.  Bolte, who officially joins mun2 on July 11, will be responsible for the young Latin American 18-34 targeted channel’s overall media strategy and implementation, and will also direct its talent relations efforts.  Bolte will be based in LA and will report to Diana Mogollon, GM/mun2 and Michelle Alban, VP/Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Telemundo.  Most recently, Bolte was with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), where she served as Asst. VP/Corporate Communications & Media Relations.


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:          K2-11 1295; K6-11 729; TWEENS 9-14 538
DISNEY CHANNEL:       K2-11 1288; K6-11 914; TWEENS 9-14 680
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   754; K6-11 535; TWEENS 9-14 350
DISNEY XD:               K2-11   250; K6-11 275; TWEENS 9-14 209
NICKTOONS:              K2-11   103; K6-11   74; TWEENS 9-14   58
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia: What classic superhero’s motto was “Justice Through Strength and Courage”?  CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT Kudos to:

Today’s Trivia Question:  This supporting character had a birthmark blotch that he said was shaped like the head of Abraham Lincoln.  Who is he?    (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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Later —
Gwen Billings for Cynopsis Kids!

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JOB OPENING: ON AIR CREATIVE MGR/Discovery Comm/FL: Supervising/senior producer 5+ yrs exp in TV entertainment, manage budget, responsible for output of Gen entertainment ch. LIV. Speak Eng & Spa a must. #4150 (7/8)

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JOB OPENING: SR MGR OPS/Traffic/NYC: Mng daily operations ensure the timely and accurate upload of inventory; perform tracking and billing process; order approvals 4+ yrs exp traffic/sales ops. Visit (7/8)

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JOB OPENING:  IT PROJECT MANAGER/NY: Please go to req#94274 for Full Description and to apply!  (7/8)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/MD: Mngs 360 ad campaigns for variety of Discovery networks within our in-house creative agency. Strong digital advertising experience a plus. # 4164

JOB OPENING:  SR DIR OF DVLPMENT/MD: Lead development for Science Channel that span from quirky to groundbreaking/craft to appeal to the curiosities of audience; +7yrs exp in broadcast/cable industry # 4020 (7/7)

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JOB OPENING: DIR STRATEGIC INSIGHTS/Women @ NBC U/NY: #1827BR  Provide strategic & analytical guidance for integrated mrktng div. sales research w/new ROI research methods. 5+ yr exp. (7/7)

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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:  Recent college graduate looking for ENTRY LEVEL JOB IN PR/PROMOTIONS/MARKETING in television broadcasting. NYC based. Please contact Elissa Henderson at [email protected] (7/8)

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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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