Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 21, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Between guiding the evolution of legacy properties like Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears, to launching new brands like Packages From Planet X–brand new on Disney XD–Sean Gorman, president of American Greetings’ outbound licensing division, is one busy guy. Here’s Gorman in his own words on…

The importance of having a TV presence
It’s very important because it’s the standard way kids build most of their content library, and it’s a great way to launch and sustain a brand. But it’s hard to start on TV. The idea of walking into a network and saying, “You have to support our show” are long over. We have to bring something to the table, too. We’re looking at things from the broadest perspective so everyone involved feels more comfortable, rather than being out there alone. It’s not as linear as it once was. So even if we don’t start on TV, we would love to end up on TV.

Digital extensions
You’ve got to have them. If you have an iconic character like Strawberry Shortcake who’s well-known and has Internet properties for younger audiences, you can do something along the lines of story-telling and simple games. In the boy space, to get the broadest audience possible there has to be some robust game play. For all [demographics] it has to be visually appealing.

Off-screen licensing avenues
We are trying to do some things that don’t necessarily start on TV. We have a joint venture with a social gaming company, and we’re trying some smaller plays where we launch brands through alternative means like going directly through a toy launch through a smaller entertainment supplier. We see some other companies successfully launching things through the Weblook at Monster High, MGA, Lalaloopsy–so we’re not married to just having to go the TV route.

AGP’s Packages From Planet X series, new on Disney XD
It’s a very high-concept show, and it’s very marketable, with the idea of empowerment. The kid is getting this package weekly from an alien source, so it felt inherently episodic, which is great because packages keep coming so it’s a limitless story line. It’s also has this Pandora’s Box element. He’s got to keep this thing contained. That’s a great way to drive adrenaline. From a licensing perspective, we can accumulate a core group of these packages and use them individually or together.

An AGP move into feature films?
My background is working in feature films and they can be very impactful for a brand. But they can’t be the only thing. Films can have a huge impact, but they are so driven by schedule-there are only a few key weekends and we want to be out there day in and day out. If you really want to be a brand in people’s hearts and minds, you need more consistent exposure. We’ve had conversations but we’ve not gone there yet… it’s not our primary focus in supporting our brands.

The secret to keeping legacy brands relevant
Our core must-have is the creative has to be impeccable. When you’re working with licensing partners you have to make sure that the look and all your best practices come across. Whether it’s a television show, redesign or retail statement–we are completely type A about how our characters look and how they are displayed. Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake have some different evolutions but the key is keeping their core DNA while making them appeal to newer consumer.

**For more wisdom from Gorman, plus expert insight from Daisy Kline, VP, marketing and brand management at Scholastic; Melissa Segal, EVP, global consumer products at Jim Henson Co.; and Pete Yoder, VP, U.S. consumer products, at Cartoon Network Enterprises join us at the CynKids Licensing Webinar next Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 1:30-3pm ET. Register here:


Pass the popcorn: Summer movie season rises to an August swelter with Swindle, a Nickelodeon original movie mashup of fan favorites Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat), Noah Crawford and Chris O’Neal (How to Rock); Big Time Rush’s Ciara Bravo; and Noah Munck (iCarly). The 90-minute comedy caper based on the children’s book by Gordon Korman premieres Saturday, Aug. 24, at 8p. The plot spirals when an evil collector cons an otherwise savvy teen out of a million-dollar baseball card that could have saved his best friend’s home. So he unites his pals to take down the swindler in a frenzy of daring heists, crazy disguises and one killer pie fight face-off. Swindle is available for preorder on iTunes, and beginning Aug. 25 will be available for download on Amazon Instant Video, Xbox Video, PlayStation Store, Samsung Media Hub and Vudu. Fans can also visit to access photo galleries featuring the all-star cast, behind-the-scenes videos, blogs, quizzes and polls. The movie will begin airing in 2014 on Nickelodeon’s international channels in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. Swindle is written by Eric Freiser and Bill Motz & Bob Roth. Marjorie Cohn, Lauren Levine, Karen Glass, Paul Barry and Loris Lunsford serve as exec producers. The movie is directed by Jonathan Judge with Scott McAboy’s Pacific Bay Entertainment producing.

It’s a beautiful day in the… Preschoolers will learn about the power of acts of kindness when Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood debuts half-hour special “Neighbor Day” on Labor Day, Sept. 2, on PBS Kids. The Fred Rogers Co.-created series episode finds Daniel’s first good deed starting a chain reaction of kindness all around the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Labor Day also happens to mark the first birthday of the series–congratulations to all involved!


Keep those costumes tasteful, kids. Martha Stewart will be the queen of the judging panel for the costume competition in Hub Network’s inaugural Halloween Bash, airing Oct. 26. Submissions for the contest are open Aug. 16-Sept. 29. Fifty semifinalists representing each state will win a trip to LA to be a part of the two-hour event. One lucky winner will take home $25,000 and will have a chance at a walk-on role on R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series. The six costume categories are:
Howl-arious, Spook-tacular, Mad Genius, Blast from the Past, Animal Kingdom and Everyday Stuff.

In a Michael Bay Watch of movie openings, Paramount has bumped the release of the busy producer’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from June 6 to Aug. 8 to give some breathing room to Bay’s other big studio film, the newest Transformers movie, slated for a June premiere. The new date will land the Turtles at the box office a week after the release of Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Summer 2014 is shaping up to be jammed with family movies, so look for more jockeying as schedules firm up.

Speaking of family movie night, is the market glutted with animated films? That’s the question posed this week in an LA Times piece, which notes a slate of 11 animated films in 2013, with an additional 13 slated for next year. While most recent animated fare has fared well-notably the hugely successful sequels Despicable Me 2, from Universal Pictures, and Disney’s Monsters University-others had a less than welcoming reception. DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo had a disappointing U.S. opening and earned only $77.6 million in its first five weeks in the States, according to Rentrak, and Sony’s Smurfs 2, suffering from similar lethargy. “We’re all sitting at a very delicate point,” Chris Meledandri, chief executive of Illumination Entertainment, which produced the Despicable Me titles with Universal, told the LAT. “Everybody has been able to survive so far, but as more films are planned, it’s inevitable that there will be more acute cannibalization off each other.” Food for thought…


We’re three days into the launch of Disney Infinity, and the multiplatform gaming universe is largely getting a thumbs up (except for growing complaints about kinks in the Playstation 3 version). Why? Because where real estate hinges on location, location, location, kids entertainment is driven by character, character, character. And Infinity’s loaded with them-from TV favorites to movies–in expandable, upgradable, interactive story lines created with unique landscapes and music that can stretch play time up to eight hours each as players add to their unique toy box of virtual pieces. Disney not only put a theatrical-sized budget and three years of development into the system, the company has completely overhauled the way it approaches gaming and brand extension–going forward.

Sponge who? Netflix continues to bolster its kids offerings after losing SpongeBob Squarepants and other Nickelodeon content earlier this year. The company has expanded its current agreement with Scholastic Media for additional TV series and content, including The Baby-Sitter’s Club, The Magic School Bus, and Goosebumps. Unfortunately for Netflix, the deal doesn’t include any of the video content Scholastic owns related to the Harry Potter series. However, this is the first time that much of this content will be available as streaming content. Netflix will have 300 hours of original kids’ programming coming next year, thanks to its agreement with DreamWorks Animation.


Cynopsis Future TV: Content Innovation and Next Gen Advertising Models
October 17| Grand Hyatt | NYC
This summit will examine what networks are doing – and what they need to do more of – to aggressively evolve to compete, and profit in this shifting landscape. Join us as our experts share the latest business and advertising models for success.

For sponsor information, please contact Mike Farina (203) 218-6480.
For registration information, please contact Pete Romas (203) 899-8483

**More Info/Website Coming Soon**


Mind Candy is headed to the movies. The company is in production in conjunction with animation studio Spider Eye on a feature film around its Moshi Monsters brand. The film is set for theatrical release in U.K. and Ireland on Dec. 20 with Universal Pictures International Entertainment serving as the global distribution partner for the animated film including theatrical, home entertainment, digital and TV distribution. Moshi Monsters has experienced global success with 80 million-plus registered users for the Web-based game to date and a line of toys, books, games and trading cards.


Marvel Entertainment is dressing up its licensed apparel line around its summer 2014 franchise Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy. Mad Engine, C-Life and New Era are on board as the first apparel partners for the brand. The former two will serve as the core apparel licensee with a line of tees and fleece for boys and men, while New Era, an international lifestyle brand, will develop signature co-branded headwear and hats. The companies join Hasbro, Disguise, Sideshow Collectibles and others already signed on the support the franchise.

International brand manager PGS Entertainment secured worldwide media rights, excluding the U.S. and France, from Bagdasarian Productions for upcoming TV series Alvinnn!!! and The Chipmunks. The first TV series for the trio in 20 years was created by Janice Karman and Ross Bagdasarian and will be presented for the first time in CGI and feature The Chipettes plus new original songs.


Cartoon Network is continuing the Ben 10 digital parade with the launch of a new iOS game, Ben 10 Slammers, tomorrow (Aug. 22). The new game is a strategic card game full of fun unlockables and level-ups, and can be enjoyed in both single and multi-player modes. Ben 10 is already a successful digital brand. Ben 10 Game Creator, available on, has garnered nearly 1.8 billion game plays to date.

CBeebies Playtime is a new app from the BBC aimed at its youngest audiences and their parents. Available for free on Android, iOS and Kindle Fire devices in the U.K., the app enables kids to play along with characters from Alphablocks, Octonauts, Tree Fu Tom and Something Special’s Mr Tumble. There’s also a dedicated ‘Grown-ups’ area where parents can record special messages for their little ones, find out about each game’s learning benefits, and access useful tips to help their children get the most from the app.


U.K. network CBeebies this fall will unleash two new original series–Minibeast Adventure and Melody. The former stars zoologist Jess French exploring the astonishing wildlife that lives on our doorstep, while the latter, produced with the RNIB and a co-commission with BBC Learning, introduces kids to a rich variety of classical music. The mixed-media show stars Melody, a partially sighted girl with an incredible imagination who discovers a new piece of classical music each episode and visualizes wonderful stories and characters conjured up by the mood of the music. CBeebies also just launched its new preschool online brand, Tee And Mo, which comprises 10 narrative-led desktop and mobile games accompanied by a series of one-minute shorts that will be roll out August to October on CBeebies.

The Power Rangers “Back to School with Megaforce” U.K. mall tour kicks off Aug. 25 in Glasgow, Scotland. Working exclusively with Intu Shopping Centres, the tour will travel to seven different malls across the U.K. in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Saban’s Power Rangers and launch of Power Rangers Megaforce in the U.K. launch on Channel 5.


Zodiak Rights’ Tickety Toc!, a newcomer to Nick Jr. and about to get its first DVD release, “Chime Time Adventures (Anchor Bay), will benefit from a trio of partnerships with Cold Stone Creamery, Minute Rice (Riviana) and Uncle Matt’s Organic that kick off in September and continue through year’s end. Cold Stone’s “It’s a Great Time for Ice Cream!” campaign will extend to more than 1,200 Cold Stone Creamery stores nationwide, while the Uncle Matt’s partnership will provide exposure for the brand on 1 million bottles of juice. The Minute Rice pairing will feature images and catchphrases from the series like “Quickity Tickety!” along with Tickety Toc-themed recipes on 3 million rice packages. Each partner will also flag the upcoming promotions on their respective websites and social media channels.


We love a good pun, so we’re really digging the six promotional posters for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 unleashed this week by Sony Pictures Animation. From an image of a giant BananaOstrich chasing the James Caan character Tom Lockwood in the “Peel Out” poster to a jacket potato looming in the “Run For Your Chives” incarnation, there’s no reason to doubt the sequel will have the same irreverent quality that made the original a winner. The film hits the box office Sept. 27. Consider our appetites whetted.


Jason DeMarco has been promoted to VP/creative director, on-air, for Adult Swim. Previously, DeMarco served as vice president of marketing and promotions for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.

Children’s production company The Foundation has promoted Gwen Hughes from her role as head of production to managing director. After joining The Foundation in 1996 as production assistant, Hughes worked on the award-winning Finger Tips, Stephen & Holly’s Saturday Showdown, Waybuloo and Tickety Toc.


Cynopsis: Kids Webinar
How to (Really) Increase Kid Brand Revenue through Licensing
Tuesday * August 27, 2013 * 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Hosted by: Cathy Applefeld Olson, Editor, Cynopsis Kids
Daisy Kline –
VP, Marketing & Brand Management at Scholastic
Pete Yoder –
VP, U.S. Consumer Products at Cartoon Network Enterprises
Melissa Segal – EVP, Global Consumer Products at The Jim Henson Company
Sean Gorman –
President at American Greetings Properties


Answer to Last Week’s Trivia Question: What was the first game Hasbro Interactive released in 1995? Monopoly. Kudos to: Chris Devine Dailey; Simply Devine Marketing Group, Deposit, NY; Sharaine Roberts, A+E Networks, NY; William “Chip” Beaman; Formosa Interactive, West Hollywood.

Today’s Trivia Question: What is the name of Strawberry Shortcake’s cat? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)


Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of Aug. 12-18, 2013

K2-11 Total Programming Day

DSNY 3.3 1078
NICK 3.0 980
TOON 1.5 487
DSJR 1.3 276
NKJR 0.9 231
NAN 0.8 270
DXD 0.8 228
NKTN 0.6 139
ADSM 0.5 151
SPRT 0.5 91

K2-11 Prime (Monday  Sunday 8-11p.m.)

DSNY 4.4 1427
DSJR 1.5 308
NAN 1.4 458
NKJR 1.1 277
DXD 0.8 241
ADSM 0.6 210
FAM 0.6 198
NKTN 0.6 145
SPRT 0.6 106
A+E 0.4 137

K2-11  (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)

DSNY 3.5 1139
NICK 3.0 980
TOON 1.5 487
DSJR 1.5 313
NAN 1.2 389
NKJR 1.2 303
DXD 0.9 256
NKTN 0.5 119
SPRT 0.5 99
FAM 0.4 118

K6-11 Total Programming Day

DSNY 4.0 776
NICK 2.8 545
TOON 1.9 366
DXD 1.1 193
NAN 1.0 187
NKTN 0.7 99
ADSM 0.5 106
TNNK 0.4 59
DSJR 0.4 54
FAM 0.3 65

K6-11 Prime (Monday  Sunday 8-11p.m.)

DSNY 5.6 1078
NAN 1.6 312
DXD 1.2 209
ADSM 0.7 142
NKTN 0.7 105
FAM 0.6 106
APL 0.5 97
A+E 0.5 90
TNNK 0.5 69
DSJR 0.5 61

K6-11  (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)

DSNY 4.1 793
NICK 2.8 545
TOON 1.9 366
NAN 1.4 269
DXD 1.2 214
NKTN 0.6 88
TNNK 0.5 72
DSJR 0.5 63
FAM 0.4 68
NKJR 0.4 63

K9-14 Total Programming Day

DSNY 3.1 619
NICK 1.9 378
TOON 1.5 312
DXD 1.1 195
NAN 1.0 197
ADSM 0.9 191
NKTN 0.6 85
FAM 0.4 71
TNNK 0.4 69
MTV 0.3 64

K9-14 Prime (Monday  Sunday 8-11p.m.)

DSNY 4.2 844
NAN 1.3 258
DXD 1.1 198
ADSM 1.0 213
A+E 0.7 133
NKTN 0.7 100
FAM 0.6 115
APL 0.5 106
TRU 0.5 89
TNNK 0.5 83

K9-14  (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)

DSNY 3.0 604
NICK 1.9 378
TOON 1.5 312
NAN 1.2 250
DXD 1.2 206
TNNK 0.5 85
NKTN 0.5 79
FAM 0.4 75
APL 0.3 69
MTV 0.3 65

Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research National MIT, ranked on coverage ratings
Viewing Type: Live +SD

K2-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of Aug. 12-18, 2013

8/16/2013 Phineas and Ferb DSNY 8-8:55p 2261
8/18/2013 Teen Beach Movie DSNY 8-9:45p 1976
8/16/2013 Wander Over Yonder DSNY 9-9:15p 1901
8/14/2013 SpongeBob NICK 6:30-7p 1857
8/17/2013 Phineas & Ferb DSNY 11a-12p 1843
8/14/2013 Spongebob NICK 6-6:30p 1839
8/17/2013 Jessie DSNY 10:30-11a 1740
8/13/2013 SpongeBob NICK 5-5:30p 1692
8/13/2013 SpongeBob NICK 12:30-1p 1692
8/14/2013 SpongeBob NICK 5-6p 1680

K6-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of Aug. 12-18, 2013

8/16/2013 Phineas & Ferb DSNY 8-8:55p 1678
8/18/2013 Teen Beach Movie DSNY 8-9:45p 1603
8/16/2013 Wander Over Yonder DSNY 9-9:15p 1451
8/17/2013 Phineas & Ferb DSNY 11a-12p 1344
8/17/2013 Jessie DSNY 10:30-11a 1314
8/17/2013 A.N.T. Farm DSNY 10-10:30a 1251
8/18/2013 Austin & Ally DSNY 9:45-10:15p 1231
8/16/2013 Jessie DSNY 7:30-8p 1224
8/16/2013 Dog With A Blog DSNY 10:05-10:30p 1207
8/15/2013 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl DSNY 8-8:40p 1160

Source: Turner Research from the Nielsen Co. data, Viewing type = Preliminary Live + SD

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Aug. 16-18, 2013:

Lee Daniels The Butler (The Weinstein Co.) PG-13 $25 million (weekend)  $25 million (1-week cume)
Planes (Disney) G  $13.1 million (weekend) $45.1 million (2-week cume)
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (20th Century Fox) PG $8.4 million (weekend) $38.9 million (2-week cume)
Jobs (Open Road) PG-13 $6.7 million (weekend)  $6.7 million (1-week cume)
Smurfs 2 (Sony) $4.6 million (weekend) $56.9 million (3-week cume) PG-13
The Wolverine (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $4.4 million (weekend) $120.5 million (4-week cume)
Despicable Me 2 (Universal) G $3.8 million (weekend) $346 million (7-week cume)
Turbo (20th Century Fox) G $1 million (weekend)  $77.6 million (5-week cume)
Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $725,000 (weekend) $98.4 million (7-week cume)
Red 2 (Lionsgate) PG-13 $720,000 (weekend)  $51 million (5-week cume)


**Cynopsis Webinar Just Announced**

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Cheers — Cathy
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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: MARKETING: Assist with all aspects of marketing campaigns for startup digital video network. Please send resume, cover letter, links and other work to [email protected] (8/24)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Raw Travel TV show debuts Oct. 5. Seeking 2 PRODUCTION & 1 MARKETING: interns to help with new season. Email: [email protected] (8/24)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected].

SITUATION WANTED:  DEV. PRODCR/AP/Reality/Talk Shw/Docs: long/short formats A&E; Bravo; Dis; E!; CBS; Hist; Logo; MTV; Spike; TLC; VH1; Travel; solid showrunner/prodco/agency/network relationships, runs on batteries! [email protected] (8/24)

SITUATION WANTED:  LIFESTYLE HOST/NUTRITION EXPERT: available for television, spokesperson & hosting. Trained host, experienced, represented by agents. See Contact [email protected] (8/24)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 888.702.3858 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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

Copyright Cynopsis 2013

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