Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, February 13, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.

The kids distribution playground is getting crowded. On the heels of Amazon’s foray into original kids content, Netflix this week threw its hat in the ring announcing its first series will be DreamWorks Animation series Turbo: F.A.S.T., based on the studio’s animated film Turbo, set to hit theaters this summer.

Nickelodeon greenlighted 52 episodes of animated preschool series Lalaloopsy, based on the popular franchise of magical rag dolls. The half-hour series will debut this spring and is co-produced with MGA and Moonscoop Productions… Nick is also bringing Peter Rabbit back to the small screen with a new series beginning Feb. 19. The series, produced by Silvergate Media and animated by Brown Bag Entertainment, emphasizes problem-solving, resilience and respect for nature. 


Zodiak Kids on-demand is coming to North and South America. In the U.S., the three series of animated property Gormiti will be available through Hulu and Hulu Plus. In Latin America, Netflix acquired the SVOD rights to CBeebies arts and crafts show Mister Maker, produced by Zodiak Kids production company The Foundation.

More than two years after announcing plans for a children’s programming block, NBCUs Syfy Channel is launching Syfy Kids in partnership with international content developer KidsCo. The block will launch in Q2 and target kids 6-10.

Saban Brands trotted out two new animated series. Preschool-focused Julius Jr. is inspired by Paul Frank characters will begin airing on Nick Jr. in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand this year. Following the adventures of a young version of Julius the Monkey, Julius Jr. will mark the first television vehicle for Paul Frank. Digimon Fusion, which begins airing on Nickelodeon later this year, is the sixth installment of the Digimon franchise, which Saban re-acquired in 2012.

The Jim Henson Co. is producing a third season of Emmy-nominated animated series Dinosaur Train for PBS Kids. The new season will premiere in fall 2013.

Zodiak Kids is working with The Foundation and Korean animation studio High1 Entertainment to develop animated television and digital content for preschoolers and tweens. Zodiak Kids will retain worldwide rights to the properties.

More Kids Stuff

Three Stones Media, which produces CBeebies series Rastamouse, launched a round of funding seeking up to $15.7 million to support Rastamouse and other animated kids projects.

Disney Channel and Disney XD are getting in the Valentine’s spirit with the “Show Some Heart” campaign of kindness video messages posted on some of the networks’ actors’ Twitter feeds. and will debut videos with the stars sharing Valentine’s Day memories beginning Feb. 13.


Happy Toy Fair week! Here’s this week’s top licensing news:

Saban Brands’ Power Rangers are continuing to power up the merchandising arena with a new slate of action figures, plush, board games and consumer electronics to celebrate their 20th anniversary. “Having a great intellectual property can only get you so far; it’s all about collaboration and working with licensees as much as anything else,” Saban president Elie Dekel told CynKids at Kidscreen.  No wonder the brand has 190 licensee partners worldwide, including Bandai, Basic Fun, Cardinal Industries Funko Inc. and MEGA Brands.

Sprout is coming to a retail outlet near you. The preschool net named Big Tent Entertainment its exclusive U.S. licensing agency, to develop an integrated presence at retail and create an umbrella consumer products program under the Sprout brand name. Big Tent also will help introduce product based on the network’s growing roster of original programs.

Nickelodeon and Activision Publishing Inc. formed a worldwide, multiyear partnership to publish video games inspired by the animated Nick series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Under the new agreement, Activision has the global rights to produce interactive games based on the property.

A slew of new licensing partners for Cartoon Network’s series Adventure Time: USAopoly is debuting Monopoly and Memory Challenge games that merge Adventure Time and classic characters from the iconic games. Jazwares is adding to its new Adventure Time toy line with merch including Finn and Fionna hats and new 3-inch figures and comic book packs. Funko is expanding its line of stylized vinyl figures in the Adventure Time Pop! Series, and Briarpatch will debut a series of games and puzzles.

U.K. manufacturer of licensed clothing Poeticgem will produce an adult apparel range based around Internet and Cartoon Net comedy Annoying Orange.

The Joester Loria Group brokered a deal between The Collective and Play Visions for a line of stickers and temporary tattoos based on Cartoon Network’s Web-to-TV series Annoying Orange in North America.
Hoho Rights, the commercial arm of kids production company Hoho Entertainment, appointed Haven Licensing as the licensing agent for its CBeebies series Cloudbabies in Australia and New Zealand. Hoho Rights signed a home entertainment deal with ABC Commercial in the wake of the recent broadcast acquisition by ABC TV and January launch of Cloudbabies on its preschool platform ABC4Kids.

DHX Media, through its licensing arm Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG), will see a bevy of new products around its Caillou brand, seen on the PBS Kids series. In Canada, Daytime Enterprises Ltd. is creating character costumes and Editions Gladius International Inc. is releasing themed games. In the U.S., DHX renewed its agreement with Buy Seasons for birthday party supplies and signed on Genera Mobile Solutions SA to create a 3D talking Caillou app.

DHX brand Busytown Mysteries is getting busy. It’s entering its fourth year of partnering with the American Automobile Assn. to promote car seat safety and Wendy’s is producing a program, featuring Busytown Mysteries board books.

CPLG secured deals in the U.S. for its Space Invaders property to Buckle-Down Inc. for the production of seatbelt buckles, and to Just Funky for novelties and gifts… The company’s Happy Bunny brand will get a line of hosiery products from Axecso Mode.

Sanrio Inc. signed a raft of merchandise deals to support its Mr. Men Little Miss property in the States. Licensees include Age Group for apparel, FAB for stationery items, Franco Mfg for bedding and furniture, High Point for infant and girls apparel, Komar for sleepwear and Vandor for novelty items.

41 Entertainment licensed Phase 4 Films’ kids division kaboom! Entertainment home entertainment rights for the PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures property in the U.S. and Canada. The TV series is slated to begin broadcast in fall 2013. Phase 4 Films will launch DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and handle electronic sell-through rights.

American Greetings Properties and licensing agent Medialink announced two new partnerships for Strawberry Shortcake in Asia. Phidal Publishing will launch a range of novelty books in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and other South East Asia territories. Additionally, Ninety Nine will launch a new line of back to school products in China. CPLG and AGP secured a deal for Strawberry Shortcake outwear in Canada produced by Vetements Adorable Junior Garments, with Editions Gladius for camp chairs, balls and lunch boxes, and with Johnson & Johnson renews for a second year of toiletries.

CPLG inked deal with Calego, licensing the evergreen Care Bears brand, for backpacks, and with Jelli Fish Kids for its range of kids’ sleepwear.

On the heels of Tickety Toc’s success on Disney Junior Canada, Zodiak Kids and Studio Licensing just signed a bunch of new merch deals with NTD Apparel, Black & White Merchandising, Danawares, Imagine Publications and Daytime Enterprises for products to roll out to consumers this summer.

JAKKS Pacific this month begins rolling out merchandise to accompany Nerd Corps Entertainment series Slugtera, which launched last fall on Disney XD. Additionally, Shout Factory will release a series of Slugterra DVDs beginning this year.

Puffin and Rovio Entertainment signed a three-year deal giving Puffin English-language rights outside North America for Angry Birds story and activity books.


The relationship between Internet and TV content has never been closer. Just look at Little Airplane Productions’ Disney Junior Small Potatoes series, which skyrocketed in the social media realm. As he gears up for the Feb. 15 premiere of the first Small Potatoes movie on Disney Junior, Little Airplane president Josh Selig talked to CynKids about uniting content across screens.

Can you discuss the process of bringing Small Potatoes from TV to the internet and, finally, to a film?
We shape the property based on the feedback that they give us through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Small Potatoes is constantly evolving. For example, the film includes hundreds of custom potato avatars of our Disney Junior fans that were chosen from thousands of on-line submissions. One of our teenage fans asked if we could ‘turn her into a potato.’ So our designers made her a custom potato avatar and we posted it on Facebook; the page’s popularity exploded overnight. We now have over 1.5 million Facebook “likes” and we attract an average of 5,000 new fans every day

What other Small Potatoes content will you be producing?
We’re making twelve picture books through a partnership with Grossett & Dunlop, a division of Penguin. We’re also making a variety of puzzles, games and apps, and we’ll be releasing a Small Potatoes dance re-mix this spring featuring two leading hip-hop artists. Lastly, we’ve begun development on our second Small Potatoes movie.

Any other kids internet sensations you’ve got your eye on?
I’m a big fan of Domo and Hello Kitty. In my view, they are the most sophisticated and beautiful brands out there when it comes to the digital/internet space.

Little Airplane will also be launching What to Expect Jr., a collaboration with the popular What To Expect brand aimed at helping prepare preschoolers for life’s challenging firsts, “from a first day of preschool to a first visit with the dentist,” according to Selig. “Our goal is to become the go-to resource for parents of preschoolers and, of course, preschoolers themselves,” Selig tells CynKids.

By the Numbers

RATINGS: Weekly Snapshot February 2013 Week #2
Preliminary Basic Cable Network Rankings
K2-11     Total Day (000)                                Prime (000)
NICK                         1020                                              —-
DSNY                         879                                               1289
TOON                        498                                                 —-
NAN*                         217                                                473
ADSM*                      206                                                 293
NKJR                         184                                                 290
DXD                          152                                                 202
NKTN                        105                                                 162
SPRT                          94                                                 121
FAM                            65                                                 141
USA                         —-                                                   125
AMC                         —-                                                  119

K6-11     Total Day (000)                             Prime (000)
DSNY                         542                                              946
NICK                         482                                              —-
TOON                        312                                              —-
NAN *                       152                                              340
ADSM *                     130                                              187
DXD                          119                                              165
NKTN                         72                                              118
FAM                           43                                              100
AMC                           33                                               89
TNNK                         33                                               —–
USA                        —-                                                 87
AEN                         —-                                                64
** Source Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data.
Time Shifted Viewing Notes:
1) Data Based on most currently available Nielsen data stream (preliminary Live+SD).    
2) Final Live+7 Data will be available in two weeks

* = Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day.
Notes: Program-based, strict daypart averages. Prime time is Mon-Sat 8P-11P and Sun 7P-11P.  Total program day is Mon-Sun 6A-6A for household and demographic performance.                                                                                   
Total programming day performance based on the total programming day definitions as reported by Nielsen.  All others Mon-Sun 6A-6A. (Excludes Sunday 3A-6A, data not yet available).
All ratings based on Total U.S. Television Universe of 114,200,000 homes.

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for Feb. 8-10, 2013:
Warm Bodies (Lionsgate) PG-13  $11.5 million (weekend)  $36.62 (2-week cume) 
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Paramount) PG-13  $5.75 million (weekend) $43.83 million (3-week cume)
Lincoln (Disney) PG-13  $1.86 million (weekend)  $173.61 million (14-week cume)
Life of Pi (20th Century Fox) PG  $1.73 million (weekend)  $108.51 (12-week cume)
Les Miserables (Universal) PG-13 $1.56 million (weekend)  $143.98 million (7-week cume)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.) PG-13  $1.47 (weekend) $298.33 million (9-week cume)
Parental Guidance (20th Century Fox) PG  $1.09 million (weekend)  $74.36 (7-week cume)
Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) PG  $1.07 million (weekend)  $184.41 million (15-week cume)
The Impossible (Lionsgate) PG-13  $915,000 million (weekend)  $16.6 million (8-week cume)
Amour (Sony Pictures) PG-13  $380,721 (weekend)  $3.02 million (8-week cume)

Executive Moves

HIT Entertainment named Turner Broadcasting exec Michael Carrington to the newly created position of head of content and production, HIT Global Brands, based in London.

Shout! Factory tapped former Conde Nast Entertainment executive Jeffrey Thompson to lead its newly established digital media unit and oversee digital strategies & business development.

Shirley Patton joins ITV Studios Global Entertainment in the newly created position of head of publishing in the home entertainment division.



Cynopsis: Kids !magination Awards

Click here to learn about the awards program, eligibility period, and enter online!

Entry Questions: Jenn Ocampo | Sponsorships: Mike Farina.

Answer to Last Week’s Trivia Question: How many years after the debut of Mickey Mouse was it before Minnie Mouse made her first appearance? Minnie Mouse appeared with Mickey on May 15, 1928, in his first film, “Plane Crazy.” Stemaboat Willie appeared later that year. Kudos to: David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NYC; Robert Malkovsky-PHS/Media PA

Today’s Trivia Question: What are Timmy’s Godparents names in Fairly OddParents? (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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