A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM LITTLE AIRPLANE
LITTLE AIRPLANE CHILDREN’S BOOK ACADEMY
Brenda Bowenand Little Airplane Productions present a unique workshop
on the craft and business of picture books May 30 to June 1. Faculty includes
Kid’s Lit Ambassador Jon Sciezska; Anne Schwartz & Lee Wade, co-
publishers Schwartz & Wade/Random House; Alessandra Balzer, co-publisher
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins; Betsy Bird, NY Public Children’s librarian; and
award-winning author/artist Greg Foley.
Contact Tone Thyne 212-965-8999 or see www.littleairplane.com/academy
Good morning. It’s Thursday, May 28, 2009, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Looking to expand its US business, BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, appoints Susanna Pollack as SVP/Children’s and Children’s Business Development and Matt Forde is named EVP/Sales and Co-Productions. In her new position, Pollack will head the effort to launch an English language CBeebies, the BBC’s preschool channel, in the US and be responsible for growing BBC Worldwide’s kids brands in North and Latin America. Pollack moves up from SVP/Sales, Co-Productions and Children’s, BBC Worldwide, Americas. Previously she managed TV, home entertainment and licensing business for Star Farm Productions and before that she toiled for BBC Worldwide in several areas including overseeing business development of kid’s properties. Forde, who joins the NY-based team from BBC Worldwide in London, will lead sales and co-production activity across all genres in the US and Latin America. Most recently, he was Director of Investment, of all BBC Worldwide’s investments in BBC programming. Previously, Forde was Head of Commercial Development, Independents, and before that, he ran BBC Worldwide’s Global TV Sales business in Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.
Universal Pictures announces the formation of Universal Partnerships and Licensing (UP&L), a new division that brings the studio’s retail focused Consumer Products Group with its Universal Studios Partnerships (USP). The goal of the move is to integrate and enhance its brand management and promotional partnership efforts, with UP&L having combined oversight of all Universal’s consumer product licensing, film and home entertainment promotions and corporate alliances for theatrical, home entertainment, theme parks and stage productions. Stephanie Sperber, who currently heads USP, will run the new division and assume the title EVP/UP&L. See the executive moves section below for more management appointments of the new UP&L.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Author and Karate expert, Dawn Barnes and animation producer John Drdek enter into a deal to develop Barnes’ The Black Belt Club book series as an animated series. Curious Pictures has begun work on conceptual art for the Boy 6-11-aimed action series. Published by Scholastic, there are currently three books in The Black Belt Club, with a fourth title set for release in 2010, which is the target date for the animated series as well. Barnes, who is a third-degree black belt and founder of Dawn Barnes Karate Kids martial arts schools, writes all the Black Belt Club books. Drdek is a writer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and produced the Johnny Lightning for Starz/Film Roman.
MORE KIDS STUFF
CBBC picks up a third season of Prank Patrol (10×30) in a format deal with Apartment 11 Productions and Bakermedia. Bakermedia begins production on the new season of the UK-version of Prank Patrol next month, which will then air in 2010. Apartment 11 Productions, the creator of the series, produces the original Canadian version of Prank Patrol that currently airs on YTV. MarVista Entertainment distributes Prank Patrol worldwide.
Disney Interactive Studios is developing Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned, a new action role-playing game (RPG) from Propaganda Games, Disney’s video game development studio. The Armada of the Damned game, which takes place before the events of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, lets players take on the role of a pirate and set off on adventures on land and sea. Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned is scheduled for a fall 2010 release for next-generation consoles and Windows PC.
Lincoln Butterfield Animation enters into a deal with Mike Vosburg, a noted comic book artist, to ink its new teen-targeted RIP, M.D. graphic novel. Last week Lincoln Butterfield completed a deal with Fantagraphics to publish a graphic novel series based on the new property. Vosburg will work closely with animation producer Mitch Schauer, RIP, M.D. creator who is also writing and penciling the book as well. RIP, M.D. revolves around Ripley Plimpt, a regular boy whose life turns upside-down when he discovers that monsters are not only real, but are also in need of his unique services as a Monster Doctor. Vosburg has worked for Marvel and DC Comics, HBO Tales from the Crypt, HBO’s animated series Spawn as well as creating storyboards for a number of music videos for artists and movies, as well as creating and producing his own comic book graphic novels.
Vivendi Entertainment (VE) acquires the US home video, digital and mobile rights to eebee’s adventures from Every Baby Company. VE will launch the brand immediately with three titles, Exploring Real Stuff, All in a Day’s Play and Figuring Things Out. Each DVD includes three stories along with Play by Play Guides–expert commentary on every adventure; A Developmental Perspective a video Q&A with academic experts in the fields of infant learning, play, and kid’s media; and eebee’s beat a mini music & movement adventure. Las Aventuras de eebee, the Spanish-language versions of the property, featuring Latina superstar, Thalia will be introduced in the fall Additional adventures are in production and are slated for release in 2010.
Chorion signs new deals and renewals for its Mr. Men and Little Miss brand ahead of Licensing International Expo 2009.
- New US licensing partners for kid products include Jay at Play (novelty room decor) and Liquid Crystal (personal care items). For the young adult market, Demand Made is making apparel and accessories that are printed on-demand via yerzies.com. In the US, Fisher Price, Sony and Penguin will launch brand new toy, DVD and TV tie-in book lines based on The Mr. Men Show this fall 2009, which coincides with premiere of season 2 of the series on Cartoon Network.
- In the UK, Martin Yaffe takes Mr. Men into new categories including a range of electrical goods (e.g. hairdryers and food processors). The Corporate Clothing Company is developing Mr. Men apparel for the souvenir market. Additionally, Blueprint renews its stationery deal and Euromark renews its homewares range.
- In Australia and New Zealand, Qantas renews its partnership for a second year with new Mr. Men in flight activity kits. Fonterra Brands will launch a new range of yogurts at retail for September 2009.
- In Germany, CPLG is appointed to represent the brand, while in France, Canal Toys comes on as partner for arts and crafts, and master toy licensee, Fisher Price, recently launched its Mr. Men toy range in January.
- A TV tie-in publishing program has also been developed with Egmont (UK) and Hachette (France) to launch a range of books later this year.
Also leading into Licensing International Expo 2009, Adness Entertainment partners with Namco Bandai Games to develop video games based on the live-action Kamen Rider Dragon Knight TV series. Namco Bandai Games, which is also the Master Toy Licensee for the property, will create Kamen Rider Dragon Knight games for handheld and console platforms, which will be published throughout North and South America by its subsidiary company, D3Publisher. The video games are set to debut in retail stores this November 2009. Produced and distributed by Adness Entertainment, Kamen Rider Dragon Knight currently airs in the US Saturday mornings on TheCW4Kids. The series is scheduled to air in Europe and Latin American beginning this fall. The series is based on based on the original Japanese series, Kamen Rider Ryuki, produced by Toei Company.
4Kids Entertainment International inks further licensing deals for its Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise in Italy. New Italian Yu-Gi-Oh licensees include, Linea D (T-shirts, sweatshirts, underwear, jeans, towels, jackets and shoes) and Giochi Preziosi (back-to-school, stationery). This fall 2009 will see a new toy line released by Upper Deck, which will feature action figures, wrist card holders and Duel Runners. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX season 3 continues to air Saturday mornings on Mediaset’s Italia 1, which has also acquired the first season of the new Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s series.
Bulldog Licensing names John Tashjian Marketing Group (JTMG) as the consumer products agency of record for its Gogo’s Crazy Bones. JTMG will handle licensing programs and merchandising campaigns for the kid-aimed Gogo’s Crazy Bones property, which heads to the Licensing Show for the first time this year. Already popular in the UK, Spain and Germany, the collectible Gogo’s Crazy Bones is produced by Magic Box International and Promociones Premier International, and debuted at the New York Toy Fair in February 2009. iToys has already signed on to handle the distribution of the toy, which it has begun rolling-out.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) selects Moonscoop‘s animated preschool series, Dive Olly Dive!, to be part of its new educational environmental campaign that aims to teach students about the Earth’s underwater heritage. UNESCO will feature characters from the show in printed outreach materials that will be available on its website and sent to classrooms worldwide. Additionally, UNESCO will serve as a consultant to Dive Olly Dive!, as the series begins production on its second season. Dive Olly Dive! is a co-production of Mike Young Productions Limited (MYP), Flying Bark Productions (Australia), KI.KA, ARD (Germany), Telegael Teo (Ireland), Atlantyca Entertainment (Italy) and GDC (China). Created by Andrew and Ian Ross, Dive Olly Dive! is produced with the support of the Media Plus Programme of the European Community.
Indie producers Moi j’aime la television (MJTV) and Helion Pictures appoint John Collins as Brand Consult for their Genie in the House property. Collins will work closely with MJTV’s MD, Phil Ox and Helion’s MD, Steven Bawol, to explore merchandising and other media (e.g. music, books, video games, toys stationery, educational language learning etc.) opportunities for the Genie in the House brand. Earlier this year MJTV and Helion unveiled plans to produce a trilogy of feature length films based on Genie in the House TV series, with the first title set to shoot in 2010 for release in 2011. Additionally, MJTV also recently launched a licensing division. Previously, Collins toiled for nine years at BBC Worldwide and Chorion. Genie in the House is currently in its third season, with a total of 78 episodes.
Fitz Roy Media appoints Jonathan Breiter and Jennifer Zivic as the designated US licensing agents for the company’s slate of kid’s properties. As their first step in their new role, Breiter and Zivic will attend Licensing International Expo 2009 next week where they will represent Fitz Roy’s newest kid franchises including Funny Face, Heathcliff and Secret Wings. Also added to the team are Jon Rosenberg, who will represent the company’s properties exclusively throughout the publishing industry and Richard Oren, who will be the exclusive agent handling promotional opportunities.
Under Universal Studio‘s newly established Universal Partnerships and Licensing (UP&L):
- SVP, Amy Taylor will oversee UP&L’s North American promotions, worldwide licensing and retail development. She and her team are currently spearheading sales for upcoming Universal Pictures feature films such as Land of the Lost and the classic franchise property Curious George. Her group is handling promotional activities for films developed around Hasbro products such as Stretch Armstrong and those being produced by Universal and Chris Meledandri’s family entertainment and animation production group Illumination Entertainment such as Despicable Me.
- SVP/Brand Management and Marketing Services, Universal Pictures David O’Connor will also oversee marketing for UP&L reporting to both Sperber and Universal Pictures President/Marketing and Distribution Adam Fogelson. O’Connor will continue to be responsible for developing content ideas and integration with NBC and its related entities and Universal theme parks.
- VP/Corporate Partnerships, Stephanie Testa will head UP&L’s corporate alliances practice, overseeing long-term partnerships for Universal’s film, home entertainment, theme park and stage production business units. She is responsible for the acquisition of new brand partners as well as managing relationships with the existing partners.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Saturday, May 23, 2009, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON: K2-11 1327; K6-11 807; TWEENS 9-14 634
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1051; K6-11 670; TWEENS 9-14 503
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 437; K6-11 299; TWEENS 9-14 240
DISNEY XD: K2-11 180; K6-11 143; TWEENS 9-14 95
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Sunday, May 24, 2009, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON: K2-11 1125; K6-11 738; TWEENS 9-14 564
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1067; K6-11 667; TWEENS 9-14 556
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 538; K6-11 382; TWEENS 9-14 289
DISNEY XD: K2-11 197; K6-11 126; TWEENS 9-14 71
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: As in many children’s shows, the props on the Captain Kangaroo Show all had names. Was was the name of the grandfather clock? GRANDFATHER CLOCK … clever huh? Kudos to: Kerry Hughes-qubo/NY; Al Ovadia/Hidden Hills,CA; John Mazur-KCET-PBS/LA
Today’s Trivia Question: Buster Brown was originally a comic strip and later after its popularity grew, the name was licensed off to a variety of companies, including what became the Buster Brown Shoes line. The shoes featured a sticker on the inside of the heel of Buster Brown and his dog. Do you remember the advertising catchphrase for the shoes? (hint — it’s two full lines) (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: SUPERVISOR/Univision NAT’L TV Sales /NY: Prior Brdcst exp req’d, Exe Asst exp pref’d. Detail-oriented, strong comm & orgnztnal skills, fluency in MS Office. 4 yr BA degree pref’d. Email: [email protected] EOE (5/29)
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SITUATION WANTED: AWARD-WINNING FREELANCE CD/ WRITER/ PRODUCER Former Creative Director for international cable network ready for freelance project work. Visit www.ryancraigadams.com for samples and contact info. (5/29)
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