Good morning. It’s Tuesday, June 30, 2009, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing.
India’s DQ Entertainment (DQE), an animation production and distribution group, is partnering with Classic Media to co-develop a multi-million dollar 3D animated series based on Lassie. Other partners for the animated project include M6 (France) and ZDF (Germany) and DQE affiliates in France and Ireland. Classic Media holds the rights to Lassie. Lassie, the most loyal and helpful collie dog ever, is based on Eric Knight’s 1940 novel, Lassie Come-Home. Lassie went on to star in a dozen or so movies, a radio show, range of books and several TV series, the most famous of which was the live-action series that debuted in 1954. Additionally, in August 2009, the US Postal Service will introduce a classic Lassie postage stamp. DQE, its affiliates and Classic Media previously teamed to develop and produce the CGI 3D animated series Casper’s Scare School.
NEW PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation‘s previously announced mixed CG and live-action movie based on The Smurfs will also be a 3D movie, per Coming Soon. The hybrid movie is currently slated for release on December 17, 2010. Based on The Smurfs characters created in 1958 by Belgian cartoonist Pierre Culliford, better known as Peyo, the movie will be directed by Colin Brady and penned by David Stern and David Weiss.
Brandon Camp (Love Happens) signs on to direct Walden Media‘s family-aimed comedy Relativity, per Variety. The story revolves around a close-knit family that gathers to celebrate their parents’ anniversary during which the adult kids discover they are all adopted. Produced by Brad Epstein (Dan in Real Life), the original script was penned by Peter A. Craig, with the current draft written by Daniel Cohn and Jeremy Miller.
MORE KIDS STUFF
Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Celebration from Madison Square Garden will premiere in HD on Great Performances on Thursday, July 30 at 8p (check local listings). Recorded last month, the concert celebrates the lifetime achievements of the legendary folk artist/activist/environmentalist, popular with kids and families, with performances by Seeger along with many other big names singing some of Seeger’s most famous songs. Great Performances is a production of Thirteen in association with WNET.org. The birthday concert was a benefit for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a non-profit, environmental organization created by Seeger.
With Warner Bros.‘ release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince almost upon us (yes, the movie finally opens July 15), ABC Family will help fans get in the mood during its Harry Potter Weekend, Friday-Sunday, July 10-12, during which the network will air the first four Potter movies and feature exclusive featurettes and never-before-seen footage and cast interview from Half-Blood Price over the course of the on-air event.
Brian Goldner, President and CEO, Hasbro will deliver a keynote speech at Mipcom on Tuesday, October 6, 2009. In his speech, Becoming a Branded Play Company, Goldner talk about how Hasbro has developed into the company it is now and will also discuss his vision for the new joint effort with Discovery Communications that will see the creation of a new kid/family-targeted TV channel, as well as Hasbro’s ongoing involvement in feature films and video games. Digital gaming is a leading theme of Mipcom’s conference program this fall, which focuses on rethinking traditional media in the battle for the digital living room.
4Kids Entertainment expands its relationships with Exim Licensing Group and Tycoon Enterprises, appointing them as licensing agents in Latin America and Mexico respectively. Under the deals they will handle a majority of 4Kids’ properties including Chaotic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dinosaur King, Jim Henson Designs, Monster Jam, RollBots, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Artlist Collection: The Dog, The Cat and The Pig among others. Tycoon Enterprises will develop and oversee all licensing programs in Mexico, and Exim Licensing will do so in Central & South America, Puerto Rico (Spanish only) and the Caribbean.
Discovery Communications and videogame publisher, 505 Games U.S., release Parrot Pals for Nintendo DS, the newest game in the Discovery Kids game line. Other games in the Discovery Kids pet simulation games for Nintendo DS include, Dolphin Discovery, Puppy Playtime, Kitten Corner and Pony Paradise.
ABC Family will serve as a sponsor of this Simon Property Group‘s seventh annual teen-targeted 10-city mall tour, the 2009 Simon dTour. The dTour, which launches July 24 in LA, features BMX bike demos, musical performances and interactive games and contests. The in-mall concerts include performances by up-and-coming bands such as Hoobastank, Shwayze, and Forever the Sickest Kids. Participating sponsors include Coca Cola, Samsung, XGames Gear, Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s release of Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, Eco-Maniacs, truth, the National Crime Prevention Council, and Fox Searchlight Pictures’ feature film Post Grad.
Janice Jacobs joins animation studio guru as Producer in its episodic + film department. A 20-year veteran producer, production manager and line producer for CGI animated projects, Jacobs has worked on the Weinstein Bros. movie Outlander, Disney’s The Wild, Peter and Jane, Return to Neverland and TV series such as Franklin and The Magic School Bus.
MTV Games, a unit of MTV Network’s, gets two new executives. Scott Guthrie, formerly EVP/ Publishing, THQ, joins MTV Games as its new EVP and GM to lead the video game publishing group’s management team. Guthrie will be based at MTVN’s NYC headquarters and will report directly to Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music & Logo Group. Also joining MTV Games as SVP/ Sales is David Cox, formerly Sr. Director/Sales and Merchandising, Sony Computer Entertainment America. Based in San Francisco, Cox will report to Guthrie.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Friday, June 26, 2009, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1611; K6-11 1222; TWEENS 9-14 1098
NICKELODEON: K2-11 1272; K6-11 694; TWEENS 9-14 528
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 636; K6-11 502; TWEENS 9-14 409
DISNEY XD: K2-11 197; K6-11 136; TWEENS 9-14 104
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data
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Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: If you were seated in the Peanut Gallery of this popular kids show, 44 of the most coveted seats of any children’s program, what show were you attending? THE HOWDY DOODY SHOW Kudos to: Kenn Venit-Kenn Venit & Associates/Hamden, CT; Jonathan Meath-MeathMedia/Boston; Dennis R. Nance-Turner Broadcasting, Inc./Atlanta; Rich Thomas-Disney Press/New York; Tom Boyd-WGN-TV/Chicago; Squirrel Rippley-Dark Horse Media/Tucson; Richard Quan-Imaginary Time/San Francisco; Bill Evashwick-Speed of Dreams/North Hollywood; Brook Chalmers-Cartoon Network/Burbank; John Mazur-KCET/LA; Claire Wilmut-Boomstone Animation/Toronto; Rich Ross-Disney Channel/Japan
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