Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007


Cynopsis: Kids!


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, May 23, 2007 and this is your first early morning briefing.

Faster than you can say, well just about anything, the a bill that would effectively ban sales of violent video games to minors in NY was introduced to and passed by NY State Senate in just four short days.  The bill, which has now to go on to the State Assembly and then to Governor Eliot Spitzer, who’s subsequent autograph would make it law in the State of NY.  Similar to the tune we have heard in other states, if the bill becomes law, each game sold in NY would be required to have a sticker with the game’s rating on it, and an advisory council would be established to review the Entertainment Software Ratings Board’s video game rating system, additionally a parent/teacher anti-violence awareness program would be developed.  Not one of the similar violent video game bills proposed in other states over the last few years has held up in federal court.  Regardless of your opinion on this topic – can we just go back to that four-day thing again?  Four days?  Have you ever tried to get a new stop sign in your neighborhood, fight a parking ticket or sign in for jury duty?  All of those take longer than four days.


Mike Myers will star in a remake of the 1947 Danny Kaye comedy, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, per Variety.  I think Myers is a good choice for the role, not that the movie needs remaking of course, but if they are going to do it  good casting helps, right?  Previously set up at Paramount, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty will now be distributed by Fox.  Writer/producer Jay Kogen (The Simpsons, Fraiser and others) is penning the script for the movie, which will be produced by Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and John Goldwyn,


Nickelodeon will host Ned Shred Weekend next month, including a three-hour Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide marathon and two TV movies, both featuring Ned’s Declassified star Devon Werkheiser (Ned Bigby).

  • The weekend begins with a Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide marathon Friday, June 8, 5-8p;
  • Followed by the premiere of a Nickelodeon TV original movie, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide to Field Trips, Permission Slips, Signs and Weasels, 8-9p (followed by another play at 9p).  The TV movie finds Ned and his classmates on a school field trip, which course involves Ned’s usual set of shenanigans, you know  dodging the Vice Principle, foiling art thieves and a little romance that will see Ned getting a kiss … who is she?  Not telling. 
  • Also premiering is Shredderman Rules!, another original Nickelodeon TV movie, on Sunday, June 9, 8-9:30p, followed by a behind-the-scenes special at 9:30p.  The special is based on the book Shredderman: Secret Identity by author Wendelin Van Draanen, which revolves around Nolan Byrd, a brainy and nerdy middle-schooler, who uses a school assignment to turn the tables on the school bully, by creating a superhero named Shredderman (aka Nolan’s alter-ego) and a website.  The movie also stars Tim Meadows, Daniel Roebuck, Dave Coulier, Francia Almendarez, Curtis Armstrong and one of my favorites Mindy Sterling (Frau Farbissina in the Austin Powers movies).

Season three of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody is set to launch on Disney Channel, as the twins graduate from middle school, on Saturday, June 23, at 8p.  The new episodes then follow Zack and Cody as they toil in their first summer jobs, while dealing with summer school and, of course, girls.

MTV Networks Latin America is launching VOD content across Latin America, which will be distributed through its new partner Digital Latin America in the region.  Every month MTVN will offer 12-hours of VOD programming, which will be comprised of content from Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1 channel libraries.  Nickelodeon shows to be featured as part of the VOD offering include Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Drake and Josh, with MTV shows including Made, Laguna Beach and Pimp my Ride.


B*tween Productions has entered into a partnership with Sally Ride Science (SRS) in an effort to support and nurture tween girls 9-14 and their interest in math and science.  The two companies will launch a marketing initiative that will include a Beacon Street Girls contest (a B*tween Products brand) in conjunction with the 2007-2008 SRS Science Festivals, as well as a new Beacon Street Girls book titled Green Algae and Bubble Gum Wars, which will feature a fictional SRS Festival, and is slated for release in 2008.

The parent-targeted social networking website,, has added enhanced its site to include several new features, including birthday notifications, forum polling, video uploads and sharing and chat scheduler among others.  Additionally, MommyTalk has signed advertising deals with companies including Nestle, Google and Burst Media.

Gameloft, a developer/publisher of games for mobile phones, has inked an exclusive licensing deal with Endemol USA to develop and publish the mobile game version of the TV game show 1 vs. 100.  In the game players will get to go up against 100 opponents from their mobile phones.


Do they or don’t they? Illegal downloading among kids and teens 8-18 has dropped 24% to 36% over the last three years, according to a new national Business Software Alliance survey.  In the first survey, conducted in 2004, 60% of kids and teens reported they downloading content (music, movies, games etc) without paying for it, followed in 2006 by a dip to 43%.  While that is all good, what is more interesting, to me anyhow, are the concerns cited by kids/teens surveyed as to what most worries them about downloading copyrighted work:

  • 62% were concerned about accidentally downloading a computer virus;
  • 52% about getting in legal trouble;
  • While 51% also reported they worried about downloading spyware;
  • Coming in at fourth place was 48% of respondents fearing getting in trouble with mom and dad, which is up by +40% in 2006.

Of course it is music that is still the most abused illegally downloaded copyrighted works for the youth demos, with 30% of the youth in the 2007 survey admitting to downloading music without paying, down just a bit from 32% in 2006, which in turn was down significantly from 53% in 2004.  In comparison illegal downloads among kids/teens of movie (8%/2007 vs. 17%/2004) and software (11%/2007 vs. 22%/2004) is negligible.  The BSA’s walk-away from this is that parents are having influence over their kids.  But parents are still coming in fourth, primarily behind computer problems, which is a real drag for kids/teens, who use the computer as their lifeline (like many once used the phone) and because as we know they are the main tech leaders in many families and most parents are pretty useless in helping solve computer issues.


Rico Hill joins Cartoon Network US as VP/Programming and Acquisitions.  Hill will oversee programming for both Cartoon Network and Boomerang, including scheduling, on-air events planning and program acquisitions.  Hill will be based in Atlanta and report directly to Bob Higgins, SVP/Programming and Development.  Hill spent the last decade with Nickelodeon where most recently he served as Executive Director/Production and Development, Nickelodeon Animation.

Ed Adams has been appointed VP/Business Affairs and Sales, Cookie Jar Entertainment.  Based in LA, Adams will reporter to President and COO Toper Taylor.  Adams joins Cookie Jar from Cartoon Network Studios where he led the Business and Legal Affairs Department, and then oversaw development and production of live-action and animated TV, DTV and movies.  Most recently he has been writing books and developing TV shows targeted to kids.

Cynthia M. Roe has been appointed CEO, Kidrobot, Inc.  Based in NYC, Roe will work with Kidrobot founder, President and designer, Paul Budnitz to strategic positioning and grow the brand.  Roe will also focus on expanding the company’s apparel and toy lines as well as moving into other product categories and partnering with Wildbrain, Kidrobot’s majority investor, on multimedia and other entertainment efforts.  She will report to the company’s Board of Directors.  Most recently Roe has served as a consultant to the apparel and retail industries.  Previously, she served for five years as COO and EVP of the Polo Jeans Company, and prior to that as EVP, Sun Apparel Inc.


Weekly Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported networks, Total Day and Primetime Rankings among K2-11 (000) 5/14-5/20/07 :
Total Day     (000)  Primetime     (000)
NICK°:           1132   DSNY*:           1202
DSNY*:            741   CARTOON:        792
CARTOON:       544   NAN**:             519
NAN**:            299   TOON DIS:        209
ADSM**:          283   ESPN:                82
TOON DIS.:      126   DISCOVERY:       79
NOG/THE N:     107   ANIMAL PLANET: 78
NICKTOONS:      56   NICKTOONS:      74
DISCOVERY:       45   MTV:                 70
ANIMAL PLANET: 43   TLC:                  64
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.
°Nickelodeon Total Day 6a-11p

Weekly Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported networks, Total Day and Primetime Rankings among K6-11 (000) 5/14-5/20/07 :
Total Day       (000) Primetime    (000)
NICK°:              608   DSNY*:           978
DSNY*:             488   CARTOON:       589
CARTOON:         357   NAN**:           408
NAN**:             233   TOON DIS:       132
ADSM**:           205   MTV:                 57
TOON DIS.:         70   DISCOVERY:      55
NICKTOONS:       29   ESPN:                53
DISCOVERY:       28   TLC:                   43
MTV:                  27   NICKTOONS:       42
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.
°Nickelodeon Total Day 6a-11p

Weekly Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Networks, Total Day and Primetime Rankings among Tweens 9-14 (000) 5/14-5/20/07 :
Total Day  (000)   Primetime (000)
NICK°:         432     DSNY*:        842
DSNY*:        407     CARTOON:   441
CARTOON:    281     NAN**:       371
ADSM**:      235     MTV:           128
NAN**:        224     BET:              98
MTV:              76     COMEDY:       81
BET:              53     DISCOVERY:   75
DISCOVERY:   42     ESPN:            72
TOON DIS:     39     TOON DIS.:    64
COMEDY:        39     TLC:              49
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.
°Nickelodeon Total Day 6a-11p

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Saturday, May 19, 2007, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1345; K6-11 917; TWEENS 9-14 617
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11   925; K6-11 588; TWEENS 9-14 436
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   659; K6-11 508; TWEENS 9-14 471
TOON DISNEY:           K2-11   167; K6-11   79; TWEENS 9-14   45
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Sunday, May 20, 2007, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1089; K6-11 781; TWEENS 9-14 557
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11 1005; K6-11 652; TWEENS 9-14 496
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   601; K6-11 399; TWEENS 9-14 279
TOON DISNEY:           K2-11   122; K6-11   78; TWEENS 9-14   49
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Monday, May 21, 2007, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
NICKELODEON:         K2-11 1032; K6-11 460; TWEENS 9-14 311
DISNEY CHANNEL:     K2-11   869; K6-11 497; TWEENS 9-14 399
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11   525; K6-11 336; TWEENS 9-14 254
TOON DISNEY:           K2-11   115; K6-11   63; TWEENS 9-14   51
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

Answer to Yesterday’s trivia question: What character plays a teenage secret-agent on a show-within-a-show called Silverstone?  JET JACKSON.   Kudos to: David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Catherine Pirrone-Nickelodeon/NY; Rosemary Cunningham-MMT/Chicago; Kimberly Luce-Disney Channel/Spain; Lori Heiss-Walt Disney Television International-EMEA/London

Today’s Trivia Question: What children’s reading series did actor LeVar Burton host?   (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 Cynopsis: Kids!

Cynopsis Ad Sales:  Jennifer Franko – 203-583-1224 / [email protected]
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JOB OPENING: CLIENT SERVICE EXECUTIVE/Nielsen/NY: Sell Nielsen products/provide service to Nat’l Cable networks. 3+years research industry experience and sales experience. Nat’l Cable experience a+. (5/31)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, MARKET RESEARCH/Midtown Manhattan, NY- Sirius Satellite Radio: Supports org. w/ custom research. Need strong design/analysis skills. Media/Radio/Subscription based exp. req. Reply to: [email protected] (5/31)

JOB OPENING: DIR DIGITAL MEDIA AD SALES/NBC UNI/NY: Assist and increase sales across NBC Universal properties. Degree w/ min 5 yrs related exp. keyword job#598621 (5/31)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER DIGITAL MKTG/NICKELODEON/NY: BA; 4 yrs exp managing execution of online marketing campaigns. Strong analytical skills, exp w/ DART and Omniture. EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (5/31)

JOB OPENING: AVID EDITOR (FT)/Ventana Productions/Washington DC: Knowledge of After Effects & Photoshop is a plus; previous experience w/promos & political spots ideal; apply to Armando Almanza at [email protected] (5/31)

JOB OPENING: ADMIN ASST, PROGRAMMING/VERSUS/Stamford, CT: Asst VP and dept with day-to-day operations of busy, growing sports cable net Programming dept.Great entry-level opportunity.Apply at EOE (5/30)

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE MGR/MTV Integrated Marketing/Santa Monica, CA: 4+yrs exp. marketing at TV network or major ad agency. Must have strong bus. ethics & strong negotiation skills. Apply, EOE (5/30)

JOB OPENING: ACCT COORDINATOR/TNS MEDIA RESEARCH/NYC: 1+yrs research exp, Strong analytical/software/communication skills. Exp. in TV audience measurement or ad sales research a big plus!Res to: [email protected] (5/30)

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JOB OPENING: PLANNER /Oxygen/NY: Support 2 AE’s in Direct Response w/ all aspects of sales. Must be detailed oriented w/strong comp skills and a team player. 2+ yr cable exp or advertising agency. Resume to: [email protected] (5/30)

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JOB OPENING: SR SALES RESEARCH ANALYST/CBS NETWORK SALES/NYC: Min 3 yrs agency planning &/or network research exp. Strong comp. skills/media research dbase exp req. Apply: job #2103. Indicate salary & source (5/26)

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JOB OPENING: SR DIR, DEV & PRGM/HISTORY CHANNEL/NY: Resp for dvlpmnt & piloting of prgrmng. Min 5yrs exp in prgmng at a cable,brdcst net or prod co. Strong knwldg of tv/film prod techniques. Apply: click careers tab (5/26)

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SUMMER INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. They are posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at  [email protected] .

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: INTERN NEEDED. We are a management/production company in Hollywood. Clients include rappers, singer, actors, and directors. Need someone to help with GENERAL OFFICE DUTIES. Contact Adam at [email protected]. (5/24)


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