Tuesday, January 30th, 2007


Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 30, 2007 and this is your first early morning Kids! briefing.

Today marks the launch of Nicktropolis.com, Nickelodeon’s new virtual world where kids can create their own avatars, and personalize their own rooms by using points to purchase accessories.  With their avatars, kids can travel through the Nicktropolis world playing games, interacting with the network’s characters and the environment, as well as other kids all in real time.  The new stand-alone site is targeted to kids in general, but the network expects that it will be Tweens 9-14 that will spend time in Nicktropolis, because the younger ones don’t have as fully developed reading skills, and young teens tend to be more attracted to games.  Nicktropolis will launch without any advertising, though Nickelodeon is planning to explore a variety of different advertising content.  Kid safety being an obvious concern, Nicktropolis has several built in checks and balances including supplying a parents email address upon registering for the site.  Parents then have to approve their child’s membership and even then they can manage the specific settings (e.g. not allowing them to take part in live chats).  Other safeguards include no sharing of personal information, a regularly updated dictionary of approved words/phrases for use on the site, and a trigger that can be used if a user finds themselves in any interaction where they feel uncomfortable. The site features four unique areas where kids can take their avatars: Nickname Lane where kids create own rooms; The Pier, a play area with games; Nicktoon Boulevard where they can visit with Nickelodeon characters and interact in a show’s world; Downtown Nicktropolis, a main shopping street with a parks and stores.


Smithsonian Networks, Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution joint VOD service, revealed some of the non-fiction shows that will be part of the initial programming lineup when it debuts in spring 2007.  Broadcast in HD, the service will feature a collection of original and acquired content reflecting the contents of the Smithsonian Institution, with the aim of delivering its collections and resources to a broader American audience.  Among the shows to be featured on the VOD service is Critter Quest from Tiger/Tigress Productions, a hands-on series targeted to K5-12 and hosted by Peter Schriemer, a 22-year-old producer/naturalist, who will present various projects that kids can do at home. Other shows announced that while not specifically for kids/teens will nonetheless appeal to them include: Stories from the Vaults (6×30′) – Hosted by actor Tom Cavanagh, goes behind the scenes at the Smithsonian’s research labs and museum complex to learn about rarely seen objects; The Hunt for the Double Eagle  investigation into the mystery of the world’s most valuable coin, the 1933 solid gold Double Eagle; American Treasures – unique objects from the Smithsonian collection, the stories behind them and their impact on our culture.


Nickelodeon celebrates Black History Month with a range of programming, including a line-up of interstitials.  The vignettes feature regular kids and Nickelodeon’s star Lil’ J.J. sharing their own stories about family, friends and traditions and will air on the network throughout February, as well as on TurboNick on Nick.com.  Beginning February 10, Nick Jr. and NOGGIN will introduce a series of 30-second interstitials profiling great figures in African American History; the spots will also stream on Nick Jr. Video on NickJr.com.  Additionally, six Nick News specials focusing on Black History Month will air on Cable in the Classroom on Wednesdays and Fridays at 6p, from February 2.  Both the current issues of Nickelodeon Magazine and Nick Jr. Magazine include a number of Black History Month related content.

BrainPop will launch a series of new short animated movies celebrating African America Heritage for Black History Month throughout February.  The 12+ animated shorts will honor the likes of Maya Angelou, Jackie Robinson and Oprah Winfrey among others, as well as detailing the history of African American history such as shorts about Brown vs. Board of Education, Civil Rights and The Civil War to mention a few, all of which will be available for free via a Black History Month mini-site accessible from the BrainPop home page (http://www.brainpop.com).

This Sunday, February 4, aka Super Bowl Sunday, while some are prepping chili, chips and libation for the big football game, others will be watching Puppy Bowl III on Animal Planet, from 3-6p.  New this year is the Tailgate Party, which joins returning features including instant replays, the ever-popular water bowl cam as well as this year’s version of the Bissel Kitty Half-Time Show.  As in past years, viewers can vote for the game MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) by logging onto www.animalplanet.com . Puppies featured in Puppy Bowl III hail from the Washington DC Animal Rescue League and surrounding shelters and are looking for homes.  Additionally, the network will also direct viewers to its sister service, www.petfinder.com , for information about local pet adoption.  Sponsored by animal-friendly companies including Bissell Homecare, Inc., Pedigree and Subaru, and the special is produced by the Discovery Production Group.

Two preschool series will make their Canadian debut on Family Channel next month, as part of its weekday morning Playhouse block (8:45-11:50a) that features Disney programming.

  • Handy Manny launches on the network on Wednesday, February 7 at 10:30a.  The CGI animated series, which features a bilingual component,
  • revolves around Handy Garcia, a neighborhood handyman.  The series is produced by Nelvana Limited in association with Disney Channel.

  • Johnny and the Sprites will bow on Thursday, February 8 at 10:30a, The music-based series includes a mix of live-action and puppet content and incorporates a curriculum that promotes and models positive social behavior, respect and tolerance.  Created by writer, executive producer and its star, John Tartaglia (Avenue Q).

Cartoon Network
will premiere the animated movie, Where’s Lazlo?, a prequel to its animated series, Camp Lazlo, on Sunday, February 18, at 7-8p.  Leading up to the debut of the new movie, the network will air new episodes of Camp Lazlo each Friday at 7p in February, and a marathon of the series on February 18, beginning at 9a.

Disney Channel is set to debut season five (26 new episodes) of the preschool series, The Wiggles with a week of new episodes from Monday, February 19 at 7a.  New content this season includes the animated segments Mariachi Wiggles and Mandarin Wiggles, which showcases songs performed in Spanish and Mandarin.


Miniclip.com is launching Loot Shoot, a game based on the feature film Arthur and the Invisibles, in advance of the movie’s release in the UK this Friday, February 2, 2007.  Arthur opened in the US on December 29, 2006.  In the new game, titled Loot Shoot, players help Arthur collect the treasure he needs to save the invisible world.  According to Google Analytics Dec 2006, the Miniclip online gaming site has 34 million unique game players per month.


Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Friday, January 26, 2007, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1180; K6-11 548; TWEENS 9-14 391
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11   950; K6-11 602; TWEENS 9-14 442
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   513; K6-11 347; TWEENS 9-14 243
TOON DISNEY:           K2-11   182; K6-11   99; TWEENS 9-14   55
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Answer to Yesterday’s trivia question:   What company told us during the 70’s, we’re changing our name, not our stripes!?”  ESSO TO EXXON   Kudos to:  Bobby Glaser-Royaltie$, Toys & Family Entertainment/NY; Hank Bordowitz-Bordowitz Media Werx/Suffern NY; Katharine E. Heintz, Ph.D-Children’s Media Research and Consulting/Falmouth ME; Amanda Zolper-TOKYOPOP Inc/LA; Matt Golding-Bandai America Inc/Cypress CA, Jodi Brown-Family Channel/Toronto
Today’s Trivia Question:  What two animated characters well known for their first names, have the last names Hoëk and Cadoogan?  (click here 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: DIRECTOR, TRUE DADS PROSOCIAL INITIATIVE (freelance), Spike TV/NYC: 7+yrs charitable/prosocial/corp outreach exp, Strng fundraising/mrktng/proposal writing exp, EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Send resumes: [email protected] (2/4)

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