Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008


Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 22, 2008, and this is your first early morning briefing.

The Walt Disney Studios launches Disneynature, its new nature documentary production banner this week.  With that announcement the studio is looking exactly one year ahead, to Earth Day 2009, April 22, when Disneynature will release Earth, its first feature-length nature documentary from producer/director Alastair Fothergill, best known for his Planet Earth series and The Blue Planet.  Targeted to all ages, Earth will be narrated by James Earl Jones, and produced by BBC Worldwide and Greenlight Media and co-produced by Mark Linfield.  The movie will also be released under the Disneynature banner in Latin America.  Jean-Francois Camilleri, who had been SVP and GM, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France, will head the new Disneynature production unit, which will be based in France.  Other Disneynature projects currently in various stages of development and production are (worldwide release date unless otherwise noted): The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos (roll-out begins December 2008); Oceans (domestic release 2010); Orangutans: one Minute to Midnight (2010); Big Cats (2011); Naked Beauty: A Love Story that Feeds the Earth (2011); Chimpanzee (2012);

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has teamed with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) team to launch a nationwide education campaign that includes the release and distribution of a booklet, A Parents Guide to Video Games, parental Controls and Online Safety, to the all 26,000 PTAs.  The campaign encourages PTAs to educate parents about the ESRB’s rating system and parental control technology available for various gaming systems among, and how to use the equipment.  The booklet can also be downloaded (for free) in English and Spanish via the PTA and ESRB websites.  Additionally, a free webcast featuring the heads of both organizations and others, will take place tomorrow night at 7p.  The webcast will offer explanations of the ESRB ratings system, information on setting up parental controls for a range of major gaming systems, as well as a discussion on online gaming safety,


More news out of NY Comic-Con …

Superhero creator Stan Lee and his Pow! Entertainment and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Comics have inked a new partnership to create a new universe of superheroes.  Under the new joint venture, Lee will oversee the new group of superhero characters and comics, including serving as editor as well as a writer.  Set to launch in early 2009, the new universe, which will revolve around the adventures of ten superheroes from various origins, will debut with an initial series (there is no title as of yet) of ten graphic novels that will link to a series of online animated shorts.


Nickelodeon officially launches it’s the Big Green Help, the network’s multiplatform campaign designed to empower kids to get involved in earth friendly and energy saving related activities.  This week Nickelodeon will feature green-centric messaging between all programming as well as a several environmentally themed online games.  New campaign partners include, The LeBron James Family Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources and Defense Council, the NFL, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Girls Scouts of the USA.

Grouchy though he may be, Oscar the Grouch will help celebrate We Share The Earth Week on Sprout this week, when he appears live on The Sunny Side Up Show this Thursday, April 24, 9a-12 noon.  Oscar along with the show’s host Sean and Chica the Chicken will talk about recycling and Oscar, with help from Caroll Spinney, will perform I Love Trash.  All together now … Anything dirty or dingy or dusty, Anything ragged or rotten or rusty, Yes, I love trash.

Brooke Shields returns in her second guest appearance as Miley Stewart’s mom, on a new episode of Hannah Montana, which will bow May 4 at 8p on Disney Channel.

Sesame Workshop has signed an agreement with the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) and Television Zanzibar (TVZ) to begin airing 13 TV and 13 radio episodes of the pilot preschool series, Kilimani Sesame, in Kiswahili this month.  The initiative aims to reach 5 million kids in Tanzania through the TV, radio and outreach with various educational efforts including literacy, math and life skills.  The series also offers families basic health information; including about Malaria and the ways the disease can be prevented, recognized and treated in live-action films.  In addition, the episodes focus on cognitive and social-emotional lessons and other messages related to health such as nutrition, basic hygiene and HIV/AIDS awareness.  Kilimani Sesame features some material adapted from South Africa’s Takalani Sesame.  Sesame Workshop partnered with Tanzania-based producer Aeigies International to produce the radio episodes and dub the Takalani Sesame content, while also working with the Tanzanian production company Maweni Farms to produce many of the live-action segments.


Midway Games has unveiled plans to publish the new game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for release for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft in fall 2008.  The new game title will see Mortal Kombat’s characters including Scorpion and Sub Zero face off against DC’s Batman, Superman among others.  In development at Midway Amusement Games in Chicago, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is not yet rated by PEGI or ESRB.  More information about the game can be at www.worldscollide.com .

Hasbro celebrates Earth Day with the addition of renewable energy utilities for its upcoming Parker Brothers Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition game.  The new utilities Wind Energy and Solar Energy, will replace the Water Works and Electric Company that traditionally appear on the Monopoly game board.  The new Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition, which will include global cities from around the globe as voted on by fans, will be available in stores around the world in Autumn 2008.

Lionsgate and Hit Entertainment will release Fireman Sam: To the Rescue on DVD July 1, 2008. The title includes five episodes of the series.  The Fireman Sam series made it original launch in the UK, and subsequently premiere in the US on PBS Kids Sprout in fall 2006, where the series continues to air daily.

More meddling kids coming our way this summer as Warner Home Video lets go of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! Volume 2, on DVD July 8, 2008.  The release features 4×22 episodes of the TV series Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get A Clue, which airs on Kids’ WB on the CW.


Eric Rollman is promoted to President, Marvel Animation.  Reporting to Simon Philips, President, Marvel Entertainment International, Rollman will oversee Marvel’s animation slate, as well as partnerships with key broadcasters and home entertainment studios.  Most recently, Rollman was Marvel Studios’ EVP, Home Entertainment & TV Productions.  Prior to joining Marvel in 2004, Rollman toiled for 15 years as an executive at Saban Entertainment/Fox Family Worldwide, ultimately as President, Fox Family Productions.


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Friday, April 18, 2008, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:          K2-11 1046; K6-11 479; TWEENS 9-14 332
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11   670; K6-11 413; TWEENS 9-14 334
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   606; K6-11 390; TWEENS 9-14 285
TOON DISNEY:          K2-11     95; K6-11   48; TWEENS 9-14   33
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: 
Which animated Disney film included the songs, Out There, Topsy Turvy and A Guy Like You?  THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME   Kudos to:  Dusty Ratledge-Scripps Networks/Knoxville, TN; Nancy Tsai-Scholastic, Inc./NY; Sheilagh Bryan-Cmedia/Exton, PA; John Ko-qubo/NY; Heather Hargraves-BreakThru Marketing/Lafayette, LA; Tricia Nelson-Herbalife International/Torrance, CA; Shannon Estrada-Schiefer Media, Inc./Santa Ana, CA; Rachel Capata-Kauff McClain & McGuire LLP/LA; Maitena de Amorrortu-Disney Channel Worldwide/Burbank; Claire Wilmut-Boomstone Animation Inc./Ottawa; Emily Claire AfanKidScreen/Toronto

Today’s Trivia Question: What was the name of the female mouse that both Brain and Snowball had a crush on (yet she took a liking to Pinky) on the animated series Pinky and the Brain? (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 Media: Top Tier
Executive Search Division

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.
[email protected]

Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the Cynopsis.com classifieds page here

JOB OPENING:  PRGRMNG MGR/TLC/LA: Provide support on range of projects in dev & prod for primetime. 5 yrs exp. brdcst/cable. Apply here:  discovery.jobs  (4/29)

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JOB OPENING:  LINE PRODUCER/LOGO: Assist w/ all aspects of production mgmt for Logo. Apply:  www.mtvncareers.com under Prod. Mgmnt. EOE   (4/29)

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SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED … Interested in posting your Video Resume?  Contact [email protected] for more information ….

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

Interested in posting your Video Resume?  Contact [email protected] for more information ….

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email [email protected] for specs.

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