Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006


Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 2, 2006 and this is your first early morning Kids! briefing.

In Minnesota, Chief District Judge James Rosenbaum issued a permanent injunction stopping the implementation of a law fining minors for buying video games rated M (Mature) or AO (Adults Only).  Doug Lowenstein, President/Entertainment Software Association explained the Minnesota case is unique, “because lawmakers tried to skirt the First Amendment issue by fining minors themselves for buying the games, not retailers, as they have tried in other states.”  In his decision, Judge Rosenbaum wrote “there is no showing whatsoever that video games, in the absence of other violent media, cause even the slightest injury to children.”  Minnesota is the seventh state to overturn laws to ban the sale of violent video games to minors since 2001, calling them unconstitutional.


Thirteen/WNET New York and Unnatural Productions, Inc. have teamed up to co-produce Unnatural History (65 x 30 min), an educational 3D animated kid’s series.  The goal of the series is to get kids to appreciate technology and not take every day items for granted.  Unnatural History is about a group of kids who must thwart the efforts of an anti-technology faction that is constantly trying to interfere with the creation of modern inventions throughout history like pencils, iPods and peanut butter.  Unnatural Productions is a joint venture between Fluid, LLC, and Shyanne Entertainment, Inc, for the international production and financing of 3-D animated TV series and feature films.  Fluid is currently producing its original animated series Lucy for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

Toei Animation and Disney will co-develop a new CG animated & live action series for Toon Disney’s Jetix programming block, reports Variety. The series, tentatively titled Robodeiz, is an action/adventure series about miniature robots.

Sony Pictures Animation is moving forward on its third movie, the CG animated feature film, Hotel Transylvania, per Variety.  Sony Pictures Animation’s first movie, Open Season, will open next month, followed by Surf’s Up in September 2007, and Hotel Transylvania currently slated for 2009.  Set in modern times, Hotel Transylvania is a comedy about some of the most classic monsters including Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Werewolf, who are all living in a hotel near Transylvania, and believe they are outmoded by newer, younger and more technologically enhanced characters.

Christopher Nolan returns to direct Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight, the follow-up movie to last year’s Batman BeginsChristian Bale will again play Bruce Wayne and Heath Ledger has been cast as The Joker.  Production on The Dark Knight is scheduled to begin in early 2007.


The Jetix programming block will move off the ABC Family schedule come September 1st, and will live exclusively on Toon Disney.  As a send-off ABC Family will host a marathon of Jetix shows the last weekend of the month.  The weekend send-off will include new episodes of W.I.T.C.H. and Oban Star Racers debuting on Sunday, August 27.  As of September 2, ABC Family will fill the time period with episodes of Full House, Boy Meets World, and The Dukes of Hazzard on the weekends and Family Matters and The Hogan Family on weekday mornings.

Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and CNN programming is now available at Apple’s iTunes Music Store.  Offerings include episodes from the first season of Cartoon Network’s series Johnny Bravo, Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force and from CNN, episodes of its series CNN Presents.  For the previous three months Adult Swim has been offering free video podcasts via iTunes and similarly CNN has offered podcasts of some of its content over the last month.


Disney Records is set to release the soundtrack to The Cheetah Girls 2, the sequel to Disney Channel’s movie Cheetah Girls, on August 15.  The album features 13 songs, in a range of genres including R&B, hip-hop, Latin, tango, and rock, all performed by the stars of movie Raven-Symone, Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, Sabrina Bryan and Mexican recording artist/actress Belinda Peregrin.  The Cheetah Girls 2 will premiere on Disney Channel, August 25, 2006.

THQ Inc. releases the Barnyard video game this week to coincide with the release of the Paramount and Nickelodeon animated movie this Friday, August 4.  The Barnyard video game is available for PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and Windows PC, with the Wii version of the game slated to debut this fall.  The console and Windows PC versions of the game were developed by THQ’s Blue Tongue Entertainment studio, while the Game Boy Advance version was developed by Halfbrick Studios, both located in Australia.  Barnyard was written/produced/directed by Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty, Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor).

Activision Value Publishing, Inc., has inked a distribution agreement with Big Fish Games under which Activision will be the exclusive distributor of three titles for the PC CD-ROM.  Activision Value will distribute boxed versions of Fish Tycoon, Mystery Case Files: Huntsville and Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects, all three of these games carry an ESRB rating of “E” for everyone.  Activision Value Publishing, Inc. is a subsidiary of Activision, Inc.


Correction: Disney Channel’s animated series The Replacements cast includes Nancy Cartwright, Frey Delisle, Kath Soucie, Daran Norris, and David McCallum, and not as listed here yesterday.


NBC Universal has named George Kliavkoff as its first Chief Digital Officer.  Kliavkoff will be responsible for growing the company’s digital media strategy and developing new business models and markets.  Additionally, he will oversee the operations of new broadband and wireless entities as well as digital innovation and product development, portal and partner relationships, and the Digital Studios.  Based in New York, Kliavkoff will report to Beth Comstock, President/NBC Universal Digital Media and Market Development.  Kliavkoff joins NBC Universal from Major League Baseball Advance Media (MLBAM), where he was EVP/Business, responsible for MLBAM’s New Media licensing business and for all business development related to baseball’s interactive media unit.  Previously, he ran the business development group for RealNetworks’ consumer division.

Ted Kiesewetter, Founder/President, International Plaything Inc. (IPI), a subsidiary of Grand Toys International Ltd, announced he will retire on August 31, 2006.  Grand Toys International, Inc’s President, Roger Bildsten will assume responsibility for IPI in addition to his other duties.  Moving forward Kiesewetter will maintain involved with IPI on an advisory basis.  IPI was acquired by Grand Toys International, Inc. on March 1, 2005.

And a quick housekeeping note — Cynopsis will be on vacation (no editions) during the week of August 7th, but no worries – we’ll be back in full force on August 14th


July Monthly Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported networks, Total Day and Primetime Rankings among K2-11 (000) 6/26-7/30/06:
Total Day         (000)   Primetime       (000)
NICK:              1254   DSNY*:           1550
DSNY*:            1010   CARTOON:        893
CARTOON:         759   NAN**:             568
NAN**:             568   TOON DIS:         152
TOON DIS.:       175   BET:                  113
NOG/THE N:        93   MTV:                 103
MTV:                  86   DISCOVERY:        95
BET:                  70   ANIMAL PLANET:  89
NICKTOONS:       69   NICKTOONS:       76
ANIMAL PLANET:  68   ESPN:                67
Source: Disney Research from Nielsen Media Research Data Live + SD Data
*Disney Channel is not an ad supported cable network, unlike the others in this listing.
**Denotes a network that broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24hr day.

July Monthly Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported networks, Total Day and Primetime Rankings among K6-11 (000) 6/26-7/30/06:
Total Day       (000)  Primetime       (000)
NICK:              753   DSNY*:           1170
DSNY*:            669   CARTOON:        669
CARTOON:        585   NAN**:            428
NAN**:            428   TOON DIS:         87
TOON DIS.:      104   MTV:                  77
MTV:                 67   BET:                  75
BET:                 48   ANIMAL PLANET:  62
NICKTOONS:      39   ESPN:                43
DISCOVERY:      38   NICKTOONS:       40
                              COMEDY:           40
Source: Disney Research from Nielsen Media Research Data Live + SD Data
*Disney Channel is not an ad supported cable network, unlike the others in this listing.
**Denotes a network that broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24hr day.

July, Monthly Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Networks, Total Day and Primetime Rankings among Tweens 9-14 (000) 6/26-7/30/06:
Total Day   (000) Primetime         (000)
NICK:          566   DSNY*:             978
DSNY*:       543   CARTOON:         479
CARTOON:   396   NAN**:             442
NAN**:       442   MTV:                 198
MTV:           176   BET:                 121
BET:             90   COMEDY:            94
TOON DIS.:   64    DISCOVERY:       84
COMEDY:      58    ESPN:                57
ESPN:           48   TOON DIS:          47
Source: Disney Research from Nielsen Media Research Data Live + SD Data
*Disney Channel is not an ad supported cable network, unlike the others in this listing.
**Denotes a network that broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24hr day.

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Saturday, July 29, 2006, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1126; K6-11 760; TWEENS 9-14 580
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11 1012; K6-11 629; TWEENS 9-14 532
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11  621; K6-11 458; TWEENS 9-14 307
TOON DISNEY:          K2-11  151; K6-11   83; TWEENS 9-14  48
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Sunday, July 30, 2006, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1148; K6-11 742; TWEENS 9-14 569
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11  941; K6-11 606; TWEENS 9-14 494
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11  691; K6-11 491; TWEENS 9-14 280
TOON DISNEY:          K2-11  140; K6-11   90; TWEENS 9-14   51
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Monday, July 31, 2006, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1457; K6-11 809; TWEENS 9-14 567
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11 1145; K6-11 748; TWEENS 9-14 633
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 1001; K6-11 727; TWEENS 9-14 445
TOON DISNEY:          K2-11   171; K6-11 122; TWEENS 9-14  72
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Answer to Yesterday’s trivia question
: Who was the first Mouseketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club?  THE NEW CLUB BRADEN DANNER; ON THE ORIGINAL, KAREN PENDLETON    Kudos to:  Awh Geez, nobody!  Let’s try another.
Today’s Trivia Question: Who were the co-hosts of “Wake Up San Francisco?”( 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 Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis Kids!

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYSTS– Discovery Nets, Silver Spring, MD: Mrktng, prod, programming research support. 1 yr exp, strong analytical skills & Excel.Media research, Nielsen a +. Apply at ; Job Req#4148, 4149 (8/16)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLAN’R/BET/CHG: Act as liaison between agency & Acct Mgr. Work w/ Sales Asst & Traffic coord assigned to each account. BA req’d. Sales Planning or advertising agency buying/plan’g exp. [email protected] (8/16)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/NY-XM Satellite Radio: Sales Research-creates presentations, generates requests & reports.Knwldg of nat’l ad sales and tools; Nielsen, Arbitron, TNS + Simmons preferred. 1+yr. exp. Apply Here (8/16)

JOB OPENING: COORD/JR PUBLICIST/Ent/Lifestyle PR agency/LA: Strong candidate w/ at least 1-2 yrs office exp (pr pref). Exp w/ Word/Excel/Adobe/PP, Pc’s, Mac a must.  List salary req’s/cover letter: [email protected] (8/15)

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JOB OPENING: SR. PRODUCER/DISNEY ONLINE/N. Hollywood CA: Track and coordinate the team’s projects, ensuring deliverables are met in a timely manner, oversee QA and report progress to management. JOB # 28476 (8/15)

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH /ABC Primetime/NY: We have 2 temp positions lasting for 3 months with amid Sept start date. Candidates should have Nielsen ratings experience & knowledge of Excel, Galaxy & Npower. Apply:  [email protected] (8/5)

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