Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 1, 2011, and this is your first early morning Kids briefing. 

Starz Entertainment is making some changes to its family of Encore premium channels, including from August 1, 2011, the launch of a Spanish language channel, rebranding of its family targeted channel, and offering two channels in HD, among other things.

  • Encore Espanol, the eighth Encore channel, is a Spanish-language premium movie channel that will mirror the programming of Encore channel, including popular movies uncut and commercial free.  Movie titles aimed at families will include Alice in Wonderland, Up, The Princess and the Frog, with other titles including 2012, The Bounty Hunter, The fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Nothing Like the Holidays, The Bourne Identity, Gangs of New York, City Island, Brooklyn’s Finest, and The Scorpion King.
  • In the rebranding arena, Encore Family will take over for Encore WAM.  The ad-free channel will now offer family friendly movie and programming for all ages.  Similarly to the way the Starz Kids and Starz Family merged into Starz Kids & Family channel back in 2005.
  • Also rebranding, Encore Suspense replaces Encore Mystery in an effort to expand the channel’s reach by offering more programming options.
  • Encore Action and Encore Drama will go HD, becoming the company’s 10th and 11th channels to be available in HD.
  • Movieplex will become its own commercial-free premium channel and will no simulcast a daily rotation of the Encore channels anymore.  Starz says that the change will drive variety for the new Movieplex with “incremental movie programming that strengthens each of the respective brands.


Donald Sutherland signs on to play the callous President Snow, who has ruled Panem for 25 years, in Lionsgate‘s feature film The Hunger Games.  The cast already includes Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, among others.  Based on the first book Suzanne Collin’s young adult trilogy, The Hunger Games, the movie is scheduled for release on March 23, 2012.


Nickelodeon will premiere its new special iParty with Victorious (1×90), which features the casts of both iCarly and Victorious, on Saturday, June 11, at 8p.  The storyline features a cheating boyfriend and two scorned girlfriends, as Carly and Tori plot revenge, while the iCarly and the Hollywood Arts kids head into a rap battle supreme, culminating in an ensemble performance of the theme song mash-up Leave It All to Shine.  The mash-up will be available on iTunes from Tuesday, June 7.  The special also includes an appearance by Nick alum Kenan Thompson (SNL, All That, Kenan & Kel) as himself.

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) secure a raft of program deals across its brands.

  • TV Jamaica acquires Nickelodeon’s series True Jackson (season 1), Planet Sheen and Rocket power, as well as Fairly OddParents (episodes 121-126), Penguins of Madagascar (season 2) and Rugrats (season 2).
  • Televisa (Mexico) finalizes its 2011 package includes the acquisition Victorious (season 1), iCarly (episodes from season 2 and a selection of renewals), and The Troop (season 1), The Mighty B! (seasons 1 and 2), Penguins of Madagascar (seasons 2), SpongeBob SquarePants (new episodes from season 7 and renewals on 124 episodes), Back at the Barnyard (season 2), and Fairly OddParents (30 episodes), and Fanboy & Chum Chum (season 1).
  • Teletica’s (Costa Rica) Nickelodeon package includes Victorious (season 1), The Troop (season 2), True Jackson (season 2), and iCarly (season 3).
  • TV Hondurena (Honduras) confirm the second year for its Nickelodeon-branded programming block, which will include iCarly (episodes 231-245), Victorious (season 1), The Mighty B! (seasons 1 and 2), Penguins of Madagascar (episodes 207-217), SpongeBob SquarePants (episodes 126-215), and Back at the Barnyard (seasons 1 and 2), as well as Drake and Josh (seasons 1-4).
  • TeleAmazonas (Ecuador) also finalizing a second year for its Nick block that will feature Planet Sheen, Victorious (season 1), iCarly (new episodes from season 3, and select episode renewals).  The channel also renews American Mall, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Back at the Barnyard, All Grown Up, Drake and Josh (seasons 1-4 and the Christmas movie), Fairly OddParents, Fanboy & Chum Chum, Penguins of Madagascar, SpongeBob SquarePants, Hey Arnold and Jimmy Neutron.
  • In Canada, VRAK signs on for iCarly (season 2) and also for Kid’s Choice Awards 2011


Fisher-Price, a unit of Mattel, is appointed as Entertainment One‘s (eOne) new preschool toy partner in the US for Peppa Pig.  Fisher-Price, the first US licensing partner for Peppa Pig in the US, will develop a toy line based on the animated preschool series upon completion of the remaining details of the deal.

Bandai is set to launch the new Power Rangers Samurai toy line in the UK this July 2011.  Bandai, which has been the Power Rangers toy partner since 1993, will work in tandem with Nickelodeon UK, where the series made its UK debut earlier this month, to introduce the new toy line.  Bandai’s Power Rangers Samurai toy range includes action figures, Switch Morphin figures, Disc Cycles with Figure, Samurai Morpher, Samurai Megazord and the Samurai Mega Blade.  Products from other Power Rangers Samurai UK licensees will rollout in later this year and into 2012.

Spin Master launches its new boy-targeted action property Redakai this month, which includes strategic trading card gameplay with new technology, and a new animated adventure series, Redakai: Conquer the Kairu, debuting this July on Cartoon Network.  Arriving in hobby and specialty stores this Saturday, June 4, and then mass retailers nationwide in August, Redakai trading cards featuring Blast3D technology and animation effects.  Redakai features new “stack to battle” gaming advancement, which automatically tracks player progress and lets players the results of their attacks.  This Saturday kids will also be able to play Redakai via Official Redakai Organized Play programs, supported at (  ), and including nationwide leaderboards and achievements.

Rocket Licensing will serve as the UK licensing agent for the upcoming new live-action tween/young adult-targeted TV series Teen Wolf (12×60).  A co-production between MTV and MGM, Teen Wolf will launch in the US on MTV on June 5 at 11p, and then on MTV in the UK on July 7.  Products in several key categories will be available at retail shortly after the series debuts, with the first phase of the campaign focusing on apparel, accessories and stationery, with the goal of making a select range of products available for holiday 2011.  Based on the 1985 Teen Wolf movie that starred Michael J. Fox, the new series is penned by Jeff Davis (creator of Criminal Minds), and features visual and make up effects by teams Proteus FX (Star Trek, Mission Impossible III) and K.N.B. Effects Group (Predators, The Chronicles of Narnia)

Zodiak Kids completes two new licensing deals for its preschool brand Waybuloo. Walltastic is appointed as the 3D wallpaper mural licensee, adding Waybuloo to its licensed portfolio, which already includes Dora the Explorer, Barbie, Ben 10, In The Night Garden, Peppa Pig and Fifi and the Flowertots.  More For Your Store has acquired the rights to produce Waybuloo money tins.  Produced by The Foundation, part of Zodiak Kids and Decode Entertainment for the BBC, Waybuloo launched on the BBC’s digital channel CBeebies (UK) in May 2009, which also premiered new episodes earlier this year.  The series currently airs in 80+ countries with licensing programs already launched in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and later this year in the Middle East.  Additional key markets, including Italy and Portugal will roll out in 2012.

Target Entertainment expands the licensing programs for Sony’s PlayStation intellectual properties with the signing of new deals for Invizimals and rolling out EyePet across Europe.

  • Target inks a deal with Panini for the UK and parts of Europe for Invizimals, the K7+ property, for products including trading cards, stickers and albums.  Those products already released earlier this year by Panini under deals with Target subagents BRB Internacional (Spain and Portugal), The Licensing Factor (Italy) and MJA Licensing (France).  Other recent Invizimals licensing deals include Safta (stationery and back to school), Comansi (mini figurines) in Spain and Portugal, and Edibas (collections for trading card games and figurines) in Italy.
  • Target has also completed a multi=territory plush deal for EyePet with UK-based IGS Corporation.  The initial lines of plush key chains, beanies, large plush, animated plush and sound-activated plush will roll-out across Europe from October 2011 and will be available through IGS’s gaming purpose website
  • .  The two companies previously worked together on PlayStation brands such as LittleBigPlanet, Ratchet and Clank and Buzz!

CBS Consumer Products enters into a new deal with Brazilian-based licensing agent Supermarcas to develop a licensing program across Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Panama and all of Central America.  Under the deal, over the next year Supermarcas will put a broad merchandising program into place for CBS’ brands Mighty Mouse, 90210, Star Trek and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


Cartoon Network will launch its second annual summer Move It Movement Tour ( ) in new partnership with President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition ( ).  The 10-week tour, part of the network’s pro-social effort to combat childhood obesity through physical activity and healthy eating choices, gets underway on June 3, 2011 in Atlanta, and will then makes its way clockwise around the country, stopping in 20 key markets and winding up in Washington, D.C. on August 10.  The Move It Movement Tour includes a range of kid/family aimed outdoor activities and educational stations, which feature core partner organizations including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, FDA’s Spot the Block, NBA/WNBA FIT, NFL Play 60, The PGA and HOPSports.  A national Public Service Announcement (PSA) promoting the tour and its online educational components will debuts this week on Cartoon Network.  Joining Cartoon Network as co-sponsors of the 2011 tour are Crayola, Columbia Pictures’/MGM’s new movie Zookeeper, which opens July 8, and the FDA.


Kidz Entertainment/EEMC grows its sales team with the appointment of Anna Elleson as Key Account Manager Nordic.  Based at Kidz headquarters in Denmark, Elleson is charged with boosting sales across Sweden and Finland.  She will work closely with the management team and Head of Sales Soren Buhl.  Elleson comes from the licensing sector, having previously held key account management positions with Global Licensing and Webwear UK.


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Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia:  Mayberry’s Helen Crump wrote a children’s book, originally titled Good Sensitive Book About Kids.  The publisher however, didn’t care for that title and changed it … to what? AMAZING TALES OF TINY TOTS by Helene Alexian Dubois (the publisher didn’t care for her real name either!)  Kudos to: Joy Evans-Pocket Productions/Novato CA

Today’s Trivia Question:  Who were the keepers of “Papa’s Recipe”? (Email [email protected] 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 Billings for Cynopsis Kids!

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