Thursday, September 11th, 2008

 

Cynopsis: Kids!

09/11/08

Good morning. It’s Thursday, September 11, 2008, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.

In an address to the Australian National Press Club, Mark Scott, Managing Director/ABC (Australia) called for a commercial-free Kid’s channel with a programming line-up of at least 50% Australian content.  Such a channel would be in addition to ABC 1 and ABC 2.  Speaking about the possible kid channel Scott said, “If we are concerned about the impact fast food advertising on television is having on our children, doesn’t it make sense to give parents the choice of a completely commercial free children’s channel, with high quality, Australian content.”  The discussion was part of a bigger plan Scott laid out as the ABC’s priorities that include increasing the amount of digital multimedia and multiplatform content as Australia moves towards the digital switchover.  In addition to a kids channel, ABC suggests launching a public affairs channel, the description of which kind of sounds like C-Span and CNN rolled together, available to Australian audiences.

BabyFirst, the 24/7 channel aimed at babies and toddlers, establishes BFTV Productions, an in-house group set up to produce original preschool TV programming for both BabyFirst and other broadcasters.  The new unit will be helmed by Arik Kerman, SVP/Programming, BabyFirst, who will serve as GM/BFTV Productions.

NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Paramount Pictures signs Gore Verbinski to direct his first CG animated feature film Rango, starring Johnny Depp as the title character.  Verbinski directed Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  Set for release in March 2011, Rango will be animated by Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and will be produced by Verbinski’s Blink Wink Productions, Graham King (The Departed) and John Carls (Open Season).  Featuring a screenplay by John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator etc), Verbinski describes Rango, an adventurous pet, as an “oddly charismatic character that is perfectly sited for Johnny Depp’s extraordinary abilities.

In other Paramount Pictures news, the studio has teamed with Wildbrain to develop a feature film based on the Kidrobot characters for its Nickelodeon Movies family banner.  The movie will be produced by former Paramount exec Scott Aversano, as part of his overall production deal for the studio.  The Kidrobot movie is the first in a series of planned projects based on the Kidrobot limited edition toys.  Wildbrain is also know for producing the preschool music series Yo Gabba Gabba!, which airs on Nick Jr.

Comet Entertainment, a Canadian animation production/content developer/distributor, teams with Spain’s Somuga Produktora to produce the animated movie Around the World in 80 Days, Free! (80 minutes), per Animation Magazine.  The co-production will offer a new twist on the classic Jules Verne story.

Julie Andrews is set to join the cast of the Fox family feature Tooth Fairy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  The movie already stars Dwayne Johnson and Ashley Judd, as well as featuring Stephen Merchant (co-creator The Office) and skateboarder Ryan Sheckler (Life of Ryan).  The movie revolves around a minor league hockey player nicknamed Tooth Fair (Johnson), so called because of often knocks out the teeth of his opponents, who is sentenced to a week as a real tooth fairy (wings, tutu, wand and all) after dashing the hopes of a kid.  Directed by Michael Lembeck, production on Tooth Fairy begins next month in Vancouver.

Guru Studio, a Toronto-based animation studio, inks a development deal with a Canadian broadcaster to develop a pilot for its new animated preschool property, Justin Time (52×11).  Details to be announced.  Justin Time revolves around Justin and his pals and their adventures through history.  Guru will feature Justin Case and another animated series The Buds, which experiences food through your taste buds, at Mipcom Junior/Mipcom next month.  Guru projects include Nick Jr./Nelvana series The Backyardigans, Entertainment Rights series Guess With Jess among a range of commercial, branding and ID projects for broadcasters and ad agencies.

MORE KIDS STUFF

The second season of the BBC kid-targeted drama The Sarah Jane Adventures, a spin-off of Doctor Who, kicks off with part 1 of the first episode Monday, September 29 at 4:35p on CBBC on BBC One.   The CBBC Channel will air part 2 of the episode immediately following at 5:15p, with CBBC on BBC One airing part 2 on October 6 at 4:35p.  Moving forward the episodes (which all come in two parts) will debut first on CBBC Channel (5:15p) followed a week later on CBBC on BBC One (4:35p).

Disney Channel celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with programming for kids/tween/families beginning Monday, September 15, 2008.  Playhouse Disney hosts Fabuloso Fridays, featuring plays of Handy Manny each Friday at 9a, and Spanish language versions of the theme songs from several series.  PlayhouseDisney .com will feature Handy Manny Episodes in Spanish from September 15.  Disney Channel offers a host of themed interstitial programming throughout the month including the US premieres of: songs from Camp Rock in Spanish, performed by noted artists – Mexico’s Carla Medina and Spain’s Ismael; Spain’s Andrea Guasch singing the theme song Everything is Not What It Seems (Nada Es Lo Que Parece); and The Cheetah Girls Spanish language music video Fuego (September 15).  Additionally all month long Disney Channel will feature music videos from High School Musical 2 from Mexico and Spain, while Selena Gomez introduces Spanish language versions of theme songs from some of the networks’ original series.

PorchLight Entertainment’s feature length movie, Tutenstein: Clash of the Pharaohs, based on its Tutenstein animated series, will debut in the US on Discovery Kids.  PorchLight will showcase Tutenstein: Clash of the Pharaohs as well as unveiling the new animated series Tan this fall at Mipcom Junior next month in Cannes.  Created by the new animation studio Lincoln Butterfield, Tan (26×30 or 52×11) is targeted to K6-12.  The series revolves around Tan (an egg) who, having graduated from the Lo Fat Martial Arts Academy & Cooking School, sets out in the world to make friends and seek his fortune.

The Television Syndication Company, Inc. (TVS) signs license deals for a number of kid/teen-targeted series: Open Heavens Media (UK) and Entertainment Hwy Ltd. (Nigeria) have licensed the teen-targeted series Blue Dolphin Kids, Ultimate Choice and Real Life, Real Girls; Jivi Media (Russia) picks up the rights to Kid Fitness; Astro Xpresi (Indonesia) picks up Ultimate Choice and Real Life, Real Girls; TVB (Hong Kong) for Aqua Kids; and Channel 4 (Finland) acquires rights to the short-form series Car Coach and Daily Shortcuts.

Mediatoon will present the first episode of the new HD CGI animated series The Garfield Show (52×11) at Mipcom.  Produced by France’s Dargaud Media, The Garfield Show is executive produced by cartoonist and Garfield creator Jim Davis.  The Garfield Show will debut in 2009 on France 3 and Cartoon Network Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Australia’s Beyond Entertainment heads to Mipcom with a slate of new programming including those for kids and families such as:

  • Lab Rats Challenge (65×30) is a science-based game show for kids.  Produced by Beyond Entertainment for the Nine Network (Australia), the show features two teams competing in science-based challenges that are often messy.
  • Snakes Tales (13×30) is a comedy about two completely different teenage girls from opposite ends of the world who wing up living together in a snake park in Outback Australia.  The unlikely pair share two things in common, they want out of the snake park and they both come from eccentric families.  Produced by Westside Film & Television for Network Nine.
  • Engineered (10×60) follows the path that gets a new product from the design phase straight through manufacturing and testing and the various challenges involved in each step. Engineered is produced by Atlas Media Corp for National Geographic. (not specifically aimed at kids)
  • Natural Born Traveller (4×30) follows thrill seeker/adventurer Steve Crombie (29) as he takes off on a motorcycle journey (about 4,400 miles) along the trails/mountain passes of Great Dividing Range and up the spine of Australia.  The series is produced by Lonely Planet for Discovery Asia and Voom. (not specifically aimed at kids)

BFTV Production will introduce two original preschool properties, The Greenies (5×26), a non-verbal series about three characters learning to appreciate the planet, and Hello Around The World (3×29), which aims to teach preschoolers to say hello in various languages, at Mipcom Junior.

Health Media Network (HMN) adds the kids animated series The Wumblers to its programming lineup beginning October 1, 2008.  Produced by The Giddy Gander Company, The Wumblers will play in English and Spanish on HMN.  The Health Media Network is featured in waiting rooms and treatment areas of hospitals and doctors offices.

Program Call: If your company is attending MIPCOM with programming, we will include a cynopsized MIPCOM international and multicultural and MIP Junior program Shopping List in Cynopsis: International and Cynopsis: Kids the week before the market. So send along only the following info for your top 5 shows: title, availability date, number of episodes, length, type (i.e., movie, series, special, etc.), genre and your terms (barter, cash, etc.). If your company is interested in being included, please send the details to [email protected] by Thursday, October 2, 2008.

MARKETING/LICENSING

In addition to this fall’s debut of the second season of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! on Nick Jr. and Wubbzy’s Big Movie!, bowing on Starz and its kid-centric channels, Anchor Bay Entertainment is set to release the Wubbzy DVD, A Tale of Tails, on September 23.  The DVD includes six episodes of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! from the first season, and two bonus episodes, a music video, games, activities and so on.  The Wubbzy retail line of toys and books are als0 rolling out.  Created by Bob Boyle, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! is produced by Bolder Media for Boys and Girls, Inc. in association with Starz Animation’s Film Roman.  Anchor Bay Entertainment is also a unit of Starz Media.

Debuting this week on CD is Dora the Explorer Party Favorites CD from Nickelodeon and Sony BMG.  Hosted by the new voice of Dora, Caitlin Sanchez, CD features 16 titles, including classic preschool songs and a remix of the Dora the Explorer Theme and Travel Song, and an appearance by Dora’s cousin Diego.  Additionally the release includes a foldout activity game, Pin The Boots On Boots.  New episodes of the series debut on Nick Jr. on Monday, September 15, at 10:30a.

The Jim Henson Company‘s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas will be released on DVD November 4, 2008 from Lionsgate and Hit Entertainment.  The Jim Henson holiday special includes original songs by Paul Williams and a host of bonus features, such as a sing-a-long, behind the scenes documentary, bloopers, deleted scenes and so on.  Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas premiered on HBO in 1977,

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Disney names animation industry veteran Andrew Millstein as the new GM/Walt Disney Animation Studios, with effects production veteran Jim Morris named as GM/Pixar Animation Studios.  Millstein and Morris will be responsible for guiding overall operations of their respective studios, while continuing to oversee all aspects of production related to animated features, short films and special animated products.  Both will report to Ed Catmull, President/Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

RATINGS

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, September 9, 2008, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 865; K6-11 374; TWEENS 9-14 275
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11 579; K6-11 371; TWEENS 9-14 307
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 527; K6-11 296; TWEENS 9-14 225
TOON DISNEY:           K2-11 127; K6-11   61; TWEENS 9-14   45
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data



Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: Miss Bianca, Penny, Madame Medusa and Evinrude are characters from what animated film? THE RESCUER’S (Disney) Kudos to: Jimmy Bagley-Turner/Atlanta; Christine Ferrara-WSBK/WBZ/ Boston; Bonnie Bluemke-Fisher Price/NY; Kelly Hill-Pokemon USA, Inc./NY; Heather Floore-KDAF/Dallas; Kurtis Humfeld-KMSP/WFTC/Eden Prairie, MN; Tom Boyd-WGN/Chicago; Kerri Huyck-KIDK/Idaho Falls, ID; Obie Scott Wade-ObieCo Entertainment, Inc./PST; Carrie R. Wheadon-Common Sense Media/San Francisco; Betsy Bozdech-Common Sense Media/San Francisco; Cherie Oldenburg-Oasis International/Toronto

Today’s Trivia Question: What dreadlocked Muppet musician followed Kermit’s lead as host of Muppets Tonight (1996)? (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!
09.11.08

Cynopsis Kids Ad Sales:
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Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

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What would a year be without something new from Cyn opsis? Introducing …

Cynopsis Media: Top Tier
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High level executive search, candidates fully screened and vetted, meeting precisely your criteria.

For more information, call Trish Pihonak 203.926.9878
if you’re looking to make an executive change, or are looking for a change of scenery yourself.
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Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the Cynopsis.com classifieds page here    .


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E-mail [email protected] for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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