Tuesday, April 9th, 2013


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Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 9, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Today’s Top Headlines
We’ve got kids news covered for you daily during Upfront season…

AT&T U-verse just became Disney-land, thanks to a new deal that sees Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior live and on-demand programming available to U-verse customers who subscribe to the linear networks. AT&T joins a growing list of distributors on Disney’s TV Everywhere map, including Cablevision Systems, Charter, Comcast and Cox Communications. Disney says its content also will be available via U-verse apps.

Listen Up: Radio Disney is revamping its programming schedule and adding a new morning show hosted by Morgan Tompkins and Maddy Whitby. Aside from taking on “Morgan & Maddy in the Morning” (live, 6 a.m.-noon, ET) duties, the duo will also continue to host Radio Disney’s popular “Move It Party” on Saturday evenings. In other changes, on-air personality Candice moves from evening host to afternoons. Ernest “Ernie D” Martinez, Radio Disney’s on-air personality and the network’s creative director, programming, will host mid-days, targeting the station’s strong audience of moms.  Martinez also oversees the presentation of Radio Disney’s programming and manages on-air talent.

Former Disney topper Michael Eisner is partnering with Nelvana Enterprises to develop a new action series called Mysticons.  Nelvana will produce the animated series (26 eps, 22 minutes) aimed at boys 6-11 in partnership with Eisner’s The Tornante Company, which invests in, acquires and operates media and entertainment interests, and its subsidiary The Topps Company, the brand marketer of sports cards and other novelties, which Tornante acquired in 2007. “Nelvana has a strong history of success in building and launching hit boys action properties and the partnership with Topps sets the stage for Mysticons to be the next big global boys action franchise,” Eisner said. The action centers around four kids in a quiet suburb who are called to double as a legendary line of heroes and discover a mystical tome that transforms them into “oath-bonded warriors.”


Adrenalynn Entertainment and Technicolor Digital Productions are shopping their new preschool series Airside Andy (52 x 10), a mix of stop-frame and CGI animation that features a lively team of ground-based airport vehicles and their enthusiastic leader Andy. The project is veteran kids exec Greg Lynn’s first preschool show since leaving his post as managing director of Chapman Entertainment and founding Anrenalynn. The multiplatform property is set to debut digitally this summer initially with a content-rich 2D gaming app, eBook and web site promoted through a network of marketing partnerships. The property has an educational foundation rooted in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum.

NBCU network KidsCo has added the adventure series Matt Hatter Chronicles, from Platinum Films, to the roster for its SyFy Kids block. Season one of CGI show will join the branded programming block when it launches in Central and Eastern Europe this June. The block’s lineup already includes Zuzu & the Supernuffs, Z-Squad, Di-Gata Defenders, The Mummy, Earthworm Jim, The Future is Wild and Dino Squad.


Curious Pictures, producer of TV, film, animation and video games, is investing in PlaySquare’s Touchable Television tablet platform and will develop content to support the platform. The investment is being made through Curious Ventures, the venture capital arm of Curious Pictures. A second screen technology, Touchable Television integrates existing children’s television episodes with original interactive content that enables the viewer to step into and participate in the story-world of a television property. PlaySquare’s first release is an adaptation of the episode Happy Birthday Dog from PBS Kids series WordWorld, originally released in July 2012. New Touchable Television enhancements are due in the fall. As part of the deal, PlaySquare will move into Curious Pictures’ New York studio, and Curious CEO Jan Korbelin will become an advisor and board member of PlaySquare.

Starting this week, Cupcake Digital will begin to make all of its enhanced story apps available in Spanish, beginning with the popular Wubbzy’s Space Adventure. Customers who already have downloaded the English version can get a free upgrade and will be able to select between the English and Spanish versions. The Spanish narration and individually highlighted words in the app are designed specifically for teaching the basics of spelling and vocabulary and could be used to practice the language.

Online comics hub ComiXology (comiXology.com) and Marvel are bringing back the super-heroic promotion Marvel #1, which offers fans the ability to access 700-plus #1 issues for free. These free comics can be read on the comiXology platform-available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 the Web, or the Marvel Comics app (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch & Android devices) and online in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop, both powered by comiXology. Enthusiasts must sign on to the promotional page y end of day today (April 9).


Cynopsis Social Media & TV Webinar: 3 Week Away!
Tuesday, April 30 || 1:30-3:00 pm ET

Leveraging Social Media and TV Ads: Best Brand Strategies REGISTER TODAY!

Moderator: Arthur Greenwald & Speakers include:
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Subway: Karie Ford (VP of Media)
Hallmark Channel & Crown Family Network: Mike Freeman (Social Media Specialist)


Bulldog Licensing brokered a deal for Accessories 4 Technology (A4T) to use smash digital brand Plants vs. Zombies in a new range of themed peripherals. A4T will produce tablet and smartphone peripherals, game peripherals, speakers and headphones that all feature the distinctive Plants vs. Zombies characters. Bulldog is building a comprehensive licensing program for the franchise that also includes plush and figures from Jazwares, adult apparel and accessories from Bioworld and posters from GB Eye.

Ever-hot children’s music brand Kidz Bop is all smiles about its new partnership with Church & Dwight Co., maker of Arm & Hammer Tooth Tunes tooth brushes, to expand the line to younger children with three tunes performed by the Kidz Bop Kids: “We Found Love,” “Party in the USA” and “Good Feeling.” The Arm & Hammer technology streams sound vibrations from the bristles of the brush through the teeth, allowing kids to hear the music while they brush. Tooth Tunes Jr. brushes features two minutes of music to encourage longer brushing and ensure that kids achieve the dentist’s recommended brushing time.


That other dynamic duo, Wallace & Gromit, are starring in a new campaign for national tourist board VisitEngland to inspire U.K. residents to take a holiday (and spend their money) in the homeland this year. The two intrepid pals pledge to make 2013 the year they take a well-earned stay-cation in a television commercial that kicks off May 12. “Leisure time has always been very important to Wallace & Gromit, so it’s great to see them making this holiday choice,” says W&G creator Nick Park.


Production on Marvel’s film “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” starts this week in Los Angeles, with production also including locations in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. The film is due out April 4, 2014. Based on the comic book series first published in 1941 “The Winter Soldier” returns Chris Evans as the iconic superhero character Steve Rogers/Captain America, along with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. In addition, film icon Robert Redford joins the cast as Agent Alexander Pierce, a senior leader within the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization.

The action picks up where “Marvel’s The Avengers” left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C. 


Nothing says MIP like a slew of new deals. Here’s our roundup of the latest: PGS Entertainment licensed pay TV rights for TAT Productions’ The Jungle Bunch series, shorts and movies for Cartoon Network in Latin America, Italy and Germany… DHX Media secured deals for its new series SheZow with Lagardere Active’s TV channel division and Switchover Media’s FRISBEE channel, which recently became part of Discovery Group in Italy… Entertainment One Family inked broadcast deals for the second season of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom with CLAN (Spain), RAI (Italy) and RTE (Ireland); RTE also picked up preschool series Humf and animated film Lost and Found. PGS also brokered a deal for Australian broadcaster ABC Australia to air the second series of popular animated brand Rob the Robot… France Televisions picks up TV, home entertainment, licensing and merchandising rights to Silvergate Media’s new animated series Peter Rabbit, which recently debuted on Nickelodeon in the U.S. Silvergate also appointed France Televisions Distribution international sales rep for Peter Rabbit and preschool series Octonauts… Fox International Channels’ BabyTV is launching on UPC Romania… Swedish production and distribution company Svensk Filmindustri AB is getting exclusive home video and SVOD rights in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland for Studio 100 Media GmbH’s series Maya the Bee, Vic the Viking, Big & Small and Zigby… Vodka just inked a broadcasting deal with Lagardere Active’s TV division to bring animated Bugsted to French DDT and Canal-J audiences this month. Lagardere Active will also help promote the new Bugsted gaming app.

More musical programming is infiltrating kids television around the globe. Nick Jr. Australia enlisted former Wiggles member Sam Moran to star in its new series Play Along with Sam, set to premiere May 6. The series showcases Moran’s musical talents through 80 segments including 20 new songs in a curriculum-based format designed specifically for preschoolers. Play Along With Sam will air Mondays in a dedicated morning music block alongside series including The Fresh Beat Band, Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies and Dora the Explorer. Back in the States, Sprout recently debuted a music block anchored in new Laurie Berkner series Sing It Laurie!


Annette Funicello, the sweetheart of the original “Mickey Mouse Club,” died yesterday of complications from multiple sclerosis. She was 70. Funicello “was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mouseketeer, and a true Disney Legend,” said Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:
Which Disney character made her theme park debut in December 2012? Sofia the First. Kudos to: Wendy Louie-Lam-Cartoon Network/NY; Sharaine Roberts-A+E Networks/NYC; Armando Sanchez-Radio Disney/Phoenix; Matthew C. Bergeron-Disney Channels Worldwide, Research/Burbank; Caroline Solis-Cricket Moon Media/Seattle, WA.

Today’s Trivia Question: What year did the Mickey Mouse Club premiere? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)

Cheers — Cathy
[email protected] for Cynopsis Kids!

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