Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 7, 2009, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
Brilliant Films teams with Mike Newell (Prince of Persia, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire) to direct its new feature film The Box of Delights. The movie is based on John Masefield’s 1935 kid’s novel of the same name. Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions, Hilary and Jackie) joins the team to adapt the screenplay from the original book. Brilliant Films’ great Joe Abrams and Rory Gilmartin will executive produce along with Newell. The story revolves around an old man who asks Kay (12) to protect The Box of Delights, a device that allows him to change size and travel through time. However, Kay is in danger, but when he asks for help no one believes him. The BBC produced a mixed live-action/animated six-part series based on the book in 1984.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
London-based indie production studio Rival Media won a pair of Factual Entertainment commissions from Ireland’s RTE to develop two new kids formats. The Shrinks takes a child’s-eye view of grown-up social and practical problems, as four pint-sized problem solvers aged 9 to 14 tackle personal adult issues. Band From School takes four popular Irish bands back to their childhood and to the primary schools they attended.
MORE KIDS STUFF
MTV Networks (MTVN) and Netflix expand their relationship to include a range of MTVN’s programming, including Nickelodeon series, available to Netflix subscribers for instant viewing. Nickelodeon programming that is streaming on Netflix include Blues Clues (season 1 and 2), Dora the Explorer (seasons 1 and 2), iCarly (seasons 1 and 2), True Jackson, VP (season 1) and SpongeBob SquarePants (season 3). Additionally, shows from other Nick networks are included in the deal such as The N’s Degrassi. Also featured under the deal is the Comedy Central animated series South Park (139 episodes).
Call for Content: Ion’s multiplatform kids destination Qubo is calling for a second round of user-generated shorts, the best of which will be featured on the network’s digital multiplex channel as well as on qubo’s broadcast blocks on NBC, ION Television and Telemundo. Kids can use the mash-up tool found on www.qubo.com to create their own cartoons exploring classic kid themes including science, animals, magic and adventure. Fifteen mini animated films generated by zinc Roe design’s “Zimmer Twins” application will be selected for air. Deadline for entry is April 30.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) appoints Target Entertainment Group as the consumer product licensing agent for PlayStation software IPs. According to the deal, Target Entertainment Group will operate across Europe & Australasia on all consumer products (excluding PlayStation peripherals and PlayStation specific accessories). Target will develop PlayStation apparel and accessories, toys and plush, stationery and gifts, housewares and food, and promotions.
Mattel races into deals with Churchill Downs and the Indy Racing League:
- Mattel is teaming up with Churchill Downs to create the Kentucky Derby Barbie doll, to commemorate the 135th Run for the Roses. And what would you suspect Kentucky Derby Barbie? Well, she’ll don a floral sundress, faux pearl necklace and spring sandals and, yes you guessed it, an oversized white hat with floral accents. For those Barbie collectors/aficionados … milliner Christine A. Moore is creating 135 life-sized (human size) Kentucky Derby Barbie replica hats, the first of which will be auctioned off via Clothes Off our back Foundation and the remaining 134 hats available via
- Mattel’s Hot Wheels is revving up a new deal with the Indy Racing League. Under the exclusive four-year licensing partnership, Hot Wheels will create a line of cars featuring IndyCar Series drivers and teams and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrates it 100the anniversary this year, followed by the 100the anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 in 2011.
Bulldog Licensing signs new licensing deals the preschool series Super Why in the UK, where the series airs on Nick Jr channel. Newly signed licensing partners include Cesar (hanging and boxed dress-up) and Melbry Events (mall tours). Melbry has already set an Easter appearance coming up at the Meadowhall complex in Sheffield, where kids will get the chance to meet characters and watch content on a big screen in the food hall. As previously announced RC2 is the master toy licensee.
Scholastic Media and WordGirl are teaming up with Wendy’s restaurants to feature WordGirl in the Wendy’s Kids’ Meals. The promotion will run April 27 throughout May, 2009 in the US and Canada and feature one of five different WordGirl premiums, including Scholastic Media’s first WordGirl audiobook, and WordGirl themed Wendy’s Kids’ Meals bags.
Corus Entertainment Inc.’s Nelvana Enterprises has reached an agreement with Chorion to become the Canadian licensing agent for its Mr. Men and Little Miss brand, based on the classic 1970s book series by British author Roger Hargreaves. The deal include rights for apparel and accessories, toys and novelty items, live stage shows and character appearances.
Casting Call: YTV (Canada) is searching for kids 15-years-old and younger who can sign to audition for the second season of the series The Next Star. The network is setting out across Canada on a six-city search beginning Saturday, May 2 in Halifax, and then heading to Montreal (May 5), Toronto (May 9 and 10), Winnipeg (May 16), Edmonton (May 19) and Vancouver (May 23). Full audition information can be found at YTV.com ( www.ytv.com ). Hosted again by Adamo Ruggiero (Degrassi: The Next Generation), the new season of The Next Star launches Friday, July 17 at 6p.
PorchLight Entertainment appoints Courtney Colman as CFO and Don Mirisch as SVP. Prior to joining PorchLight, Colman was EVP/Finance, First Look Studios. Mirisch, who will oversee the company’s business and legal affairs, comes to PorchLight from MGM Animation, which he founded and served as its EVP and GM.
Brandissimo! EVP and General Manager Andy Babb was upped to President of the kid targeted online casual gaming company. VP Josh Fisher was also promoted to Executive Producer and SVP/Content.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: Who provided the singing voice of Melody Valentine on the original Josie and the Pussycats? CHERYL LADD Kudos to: Jim Brown-WWE Enterprises/Stamford; Joe Swaney-Turner/NY; Michael Ratliffe-TV One/Silver Spring; Rich Thomas-Disney Book Group/NYC; Tom Boyd-WGN/Chicago; Squirrel Rippley-Dark Horse Media/Tucson; Richard Quan-Imaginary Time/San Francisco; Steve Waterman-Movieplus US/LA; Al Ovadia-Al Ovadia & Assoc/Hidden Hills; Dara Monahan/Studio City
Today’s Trivia Question: This show premiered at 8:00 AM on October 3, 1955, and was described as a program that “recreates the private wonderland of childhood …” The program aired for 29 years. What was it? (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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