Up to date information about children’s entertainment - film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Hub Network sets Sat., Oct 26 for its inaugural Halloween Bash

August 7th, 2013

Hub Network has set Saturday, Oct. 26, as the date for its inaugural Halloween Bash. The newest kids net didn’t waste much time jumping on the signature-event bandwagon–and it’s going big. The live-to-tape special will take place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, be exec-produced by Bob Bain (Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards and Fox’s Teen Choice Awards) and produced by Paul Flattery, and air five to seven times around the holiday. A “spooktacular” event is the perfect dovetail with Hub’s cache of safe-scary programming including Goosebumps and RL Stine’s The Haunting Hour. The Halloween Bash will include entertainment, plus a nationwide costume competition with finalists from every state. “We’re trying to celebrate all kinds of families, stimulate imagination and creativity and I think we’re going to be blown away by the level of what we see and the creativity,” Hub president/CEO Margaret Loesch tells CynKids exclusively. “Think about it–a whole class of from a school in southern Illinois [where I lived for a while when I was a child] could be the winner. Or a couple, or an individual. We want it to be very egalitarian. Anybody can win if they have the best costume. They don’t have to sing or dance; they just have to have a great imagination.” Celeb host, presenters, judges and musical acts are sure to be in abundance and will be announced shortly.

Are you destined to be a TV host?

August 6th, 2013

Are you a morning person? Sprout is giving aspiring actors and fans the opportunity to audition for the role of live morning show host with its launch of a national competition to find the next great preschool TV host. Now through August 31, hosting hopefuls can upload a 60-second audition video including their rendition of Sprout’s “Happy Birthday Song” at SproutOnline.com. Each day in August, Sprout will put the most notable videos on its YouTube channel, giving fans the opportunity to watch and participate in the Sprout Host Hunt. A live event will be held in LA on Aug. 23 at Universal CityWalk where Carly, one of The Sunny Side Up Show co-hosts, will join Chica - the world’s most famous chicken–to entertain fans and help prepare contestants for their audition. Three finalists will be flown to the set of The Sunny Side Up Show in Philadelphia in September, where they will have the chance to audition with Chica live in front of the show’s producers. The Sprout Host Hunt winner will be announced in December.

Think Twice (Or More) Before Social Posting

August 6th, 2013

While social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, are popular for sharing photos and other aspects of people’s lives, many users are worried that their postings could someday cost them their job. According to a new survey from FindLaw.com, the most popular legal information website, more than a quarter of young social media users think that something they posted could come back to haunt them.The survey found that 29% of users of Facebook, between the ages of 18 and 34, have posted a photo, comment or other personal information that they fear could someday either cause a prospective employer to turn them down for a job, or a current employer to fire them if they were to see it. The survey covered Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and other popular social media.

A form of “day-after remorse” seems to be evident, says the report. Close to the same percentage of young social media users, 21%, say that they have removed or taken down a photo or other social media posting because they feared it could lead to repercussions with an employer.

Users are taking other precautions as well. The survey found that 82% of young social media users say that they pay at least some attention to their privacy settings. Only 6% said that they pay no attention and only use the default settings when using social media.

Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor with FindLaw.com, says “… people love using social media to share their thoughts and life experiences… drawback is that many comments, photos and other information may not be looked upon favorably by employers… taking down or removing a post or photo may not be enough… the information may continue to live on in other parts of the Internet… assume that anything posted could live on the Internet forever… think accordingly before hitting the ‘Post’ button.”

More about FindLaw and the report may be found here.

Calling All Shorts

August 5th, 2013

B&B Theatres is delighted to announce that, for the second year in a row, they will be holding their B&B Theatres Film Fest: Shorts! The flagship student fest in 2012 was a success, but will be bigger and better this year with the addition of an Amateur/General division – meaning people of all ages are welcome to participate. They are happy to invite people with an interest in film, and those who have never explored the medium, to create films that are 15 minutes or less and submit them to be played on the BIG SCREEN at one of the selected B&B Theatres locations. If there is local participation, expect YOUR B&B Theatre to be one of those participating in showing the Festival.

This is a wonderful chance to invite B&B Theatres movie-goers to be a part of the movie-going experience, and serves as an outlet for the creativity of local talents. Who knows, maybe one of these filmmakers will be the next Spielberg!
Submissions: B&B Theatres is accepting submissions from July 2nd – September 10th, 2013. Submissions must be completed via www.regonline.com/bbfilmfest2013.

Fly-In Screening for Planes

August 2nd, 2013

PlanesFlyInIMG_1926_R.jpgHow Cool is this?
“Disney’s Planes” held a very special preview at ‘The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,’ EAA AirVenture in Osh Kosh, WI, where aircraft took a break to see a whole different kind of action at the air show: a fly-in screening of the animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer.

Six Back-to-School Tips from Huntington Learning Center

July 29th, 2013

It is back-to-school time, and if your student’s summer has been filled with trips to the pool, hanging out with friends, television and video games, and other leisurely activities, now is the time to transition from summer to school mode. “We always encourage families to relax and enjoy the less structured pace of summertime,” says Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. “However, there are several things you can do toward the end of summer break that are immensely helpful in getting students ready to return to the classroom.” Huntington offers these six back-to-school tips:

  1. Set goals. Goal-setting is a great way to help your child reflect on last school year and think ahead about what he or she wants to accomplish and avoid this year. Talk with your child about the things he or she is excited and anxious about and have him or her set several goals and measurable milestones. You can do this just before classes start or during the first week of school.
  2. Organize the desk and home. Get your house back into “school shape” by designating spots for important school papers that come home, a family calendar, backpacks, shoes and jackets, and a homework station. Your child’s homework station could be a desk in a bedroom or other room. Make sure it is stocked with the supplies he or she will need for the school year, and have your child help get the space ready.
  3. Reestablish a schedule. Talk with your child about the school-day routine, including wake-up time, school hours, homework time, dinner time and any extracurricular activities in which he or she will participate during the week. In the week or two before school, try to have your child go to bed and wake up at approximately the same times as during the school year.
  4. Review school work and information. Being prepared will help your child ease into the first weeks of school. Review assignments, spelling words and other work from the previous school year. Amp up the reading these final few weeks of summer. And find out as much as possible about what is to come: your child’s teacher, class schedule, classroom locations and more.
  5. Set a positive tone. A child who struggled last year might dread going back to school, so it is important to help him or her get into the right mindset for school success. Let your child know that you are there to support him or her no matter what. Talk about things he or she is looking forward to this year—and offer ideas if he or she needs some encouragement—and point out some of the good parts of last year. Be optimistic and encourage your child to embrace the same outlook.
  6.  Arrange for tutoring help if needed. If last year was difficult, don’t wait to reach out for help this year. Help your child build his or her skills, preparedness and confidence with a customized, one-to-one tutoring program. Call Huntington today to discuss your child’s needs and schedule a diagnostic evaluation before the new school year begins. We’re here to help your student.

For information on franchise opportunities, visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

Apple Said to Near Time Warner Cable Deal for TV Programs

July 3rd, 2013


Apple Inc. (AAPL) is nearing a deal with Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) to give subscribers of the cable television service access to channels via Apple TV, people with knowledge of the negotiations said.

The companies plan to announce an agreement within a few months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The iPhone maker is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu LLC, where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to help Apple executives in negotiations with media and cable companies, two people with familiar with the matter said.

A deal with Time Warner Cable would be a first with a cable company for Apple, which said last month that it’s also adding content from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s HBO and Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ESPN. Apple is aiming to bolster sales of the $99 set-top box amid competition from Roku Inc.’s device andMicrosoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Xbox. Meanwhile, media and service providers have been seeking more outlets to deliver shows to customers, who are opting for on-demand viewing and watching fewer scheduled shows. For details, go to  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-02/apple-said-to-near-time-warner-cable-deal-for-tv-programs.html

The World of Media According to Borrell

June 24th, 2013

A 2013 Delphi Panel of experienced management in the media industry, anticipating media’s future in a study by Borrell, contributes to a future knowledge base that will have value in planning for what’s coming for media in the next decade and beyond.In short, and expanded some in the continuing text, an overview of the results according to the year the panel says they will take place, is summarized as follows:

  • In 2018 it is 52% likely that real-time bidding will be responsible for half of all digital ad placements, and 61% likely that consumers will spend more on apps than they do on PC software
  • In six years, 2019, it is 48% likely that the first broadcast network will convert to a cable or cable-like entity, says the report
  • Seven years from today 2020, the panelists predict that it is 50% likely that major electronics retailers no longer stock desktop PCs
  • In 2021, the Panel anticipates that it is 49% likely that 50 million U.S. households will drop cable in favor of online TV services; 49% likely that newspapers in the top 20 U.S. metros will publish four days or less, and 49% likely that the U.S. Postal Service will declare bankruptcy
  • In nine years 2022, the panelists say that it is 45% likely that online political ad spending exceeds that spent for television
  • Ten years from today, in 2023, it is thought that it is 42% likely that mobile video ad spending exceeds that spent for broadcast TV

For more information about this project, go to http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/203118/the-world-according-to-borrell.html#reply

Wordgirl Returns for a Sixth Season

June 6th, 2013

Scholastic Media announced today that its Emmy® Award-winning animated series WordGirl®, produced by its animation studio Soup2Nuts, will premiere a sixth season of all-new episodes on PBS KIDS (check local listings) beginning Monday, August 5, 2013. The season kicks off with ‘What’s Up With WordGirl Week’ featuring five new episodes. The season will include 13 episodes in total.

The sixth season of WordGirl will find fifth grader Becky Botsford (and her alter-ego WordGirl) facing some of her toughest challenges yet, against the series’ most popular villains. The definition dynamo will be tricked by Mr. Birg (a Mr. Big doppelganger) and will combat Seymour Smooth – more than once! – as he tries to commit crime through game play. Audiences also will see Victoria Best mistaken for WordGirl - until the real WordGirl is able to prove Victoria has been fibbing, and WordGirl must battle Dr. Two Brains to save the world from being hit by a giant cheese asteroid.

Returning voice talent for the sixth season includes Dannah Phirman (“MadTV”) as WordGirl, Chris Parnell (“30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live”) as the Narrator, Maria Bamford (“Louie,” “Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil”) as Mrs. Botsford, Ryan Raddatz as Mr. Botsford and Scoops, James Adomian (“Last Comic Standing”) as Mr. Birg, Daran Norris (“The Fairly OddParents,” “Big Time Rush”) as Seymour Smooth, Kristen Schaal (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “30 Rock”) as Victoria Best, Tom Kenny (“SpongeBob Squarepants”) as Dr. Two Brains, TJ and Beau Handsome, John C. McGinley (“Scrubs,” “Burn Notice”) as Whammer, Patton Oswalt (“Justified,” “Two and a Half Men”) as Tobey, and Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) as Mr. Big, among others. Jane Lynch (“Glee”) guest stars as Miss Power in ‘The Rise of Miss Power’special, originally broadcast in 2012, which will air in Season 6 over the course of two episodes.

For more information on WordGirl, please visit mediaroom.scholastic.com/wordgirl,

Cynopsis Kids! presents: Cynopsis Kids 2nd Annual !magination Awards

June 5th, 2013

Cynopsis Kids 2nd Annual !magination Awards took place today at the Yale Club in New York City bringing together the top creative and business minds in kids entertainment.Special honors were given to Margaret Loesch, founder/CEO of Hub Network; Elie Dekel, president of Saban Brands; children’s singer/songwriter Laurie Berkner; and Cartoon Network for its Stop Bullying Speak Up campaign.

Two very special anniversaries in children’s entertainment were acknowledged:Babar the Elephant, who has charmed kids and families for 80 years and Clifford the Big Red Dog, who celebrates his 50th year.

Here’s a complete list of the !magination Awards winners and finalists:

App (Educational)
Winner: Nickelodeon - Bubble Guppies: Animal School Day
Honorable Mentions:

Cupcake Digital  Wubbzy’s Fire Engine Adventure
Disney Publishing Worldwide - Sofia the First: Story Theater
Lawless Entertainment - Suzy’s Zoo
Nancy O’Dell Enterprises - Little Ashby: Star Reporter
Oceanhouse Media, Inc.-  A Whale of a Tale!: All About Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales
Sprout The Good Night Show: Sandy Stories

App (Entertainment)
Winner: Budge Studios - Chuggington Traintastic Adventures
Honorable Mentions:

Cartoon Network - Cartoon Network
Cupcake Digital - Wubbzy’s The Night Before Christmas
Lima Sky - Doodle Jump
Nickelodeon - Nick Jr. Draw & Play
Random House Children’s Books - Barbie Color, Sparkle and Style!

Tablet-Based App (Educational)
Winner: Scholastic Corporation - Storia
Honorable Mentions:

Disney ABC Television Group - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally Appisode
Luca Lashes LLC - Luca Lashes Series
marblemedia - Skatoony: Skadoodle
National Geographic Kids - National Geographic Kids Tablet Magazine
Thirteen/WNET - Cyberchase 3D Builder

Digital Marketing Campaign
Winner: Saban Brands - Launches Vortexx on The CW
Honorable Mentions:

Cartoon Network - Level Up Choose Your Battle Experience
Disney - Little Mermaid
Sprout  A Lot Happens When You Sprout

Winner: Auryn, Inc. - Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery
Honorable Mentions:

Bento Box Interactive - Sweet Pickles
Luca Lashes, LLC - Luca Lashes Series
Mibblio - Mibblio
Random House Children’s Books - The Cat in the Hat Know A Lot About That! Color & Create
StoryToys - The Little Mermaid

Educational Series/Special Parent/Teacher Curriculum
Winner: The Jim Henson Company - Sid The Science Kid
Honorable Mentions:

Sprout - Noodle & Doodle
The Mother Company - Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show

Feature Film Based on a Book
Winner: Universal and HP - Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Honorable Mentions:

Dune Entertainment/Color Force/20th Century Fox - Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Studio Ghibli/Disney - The Secret World of Arrietty (based on The Borrowers)
Working Title Films/Universal Pictures - Big Miracle (based on the book Freeing the Whales)

Game Based on a Series
Winner: Thirteen/WNET - Cyberchase: Buzz & Delete Save the Day
Honorable Mentions:

Scholastic - I SPY Super Challenger for LeapFrog
Sprout - The Chica Show: Mr. & Mrs. C’s Melody Maker

Interstitial Series
Winner (tie): Nickelodeon - Team Umizoomi Curriculum Interstitials
WGBH/Seftel Productions - The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers
Honorable Mentions:

Beeswax Production - Recess Stories: Life on the Playground
Disney Channels Worldwide - Disney 365
Nickelodeon - Kids Around the World

Kids 2-11 Series
Winner: Corus Entertainment/NELVANA Ltd. - Franklin and Friends
Honorable Mentions

Cartoon Network - Adventure Time
Hub Network - Littlest Pet Shop
Hub Network - R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series
Hub Network - Transformers Prime
Nickelodeon - NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians
Saban Brands - Power Rangers Super Samurai

Kids 2-11 Special/TV Movie
Winner: Hallmark Channel - Jingle and Bell’s Christmas Star
Honorable Mentions:

Cartoon Network - Stop Bullying: Speak Up
Disney Channels Worldwide - Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess
Hallmark Channel - hoops&yoyo’s Haunted Halloween
Scholastic Media - WordGirl: The Rise of Miss Power

Marketing Campaign for a Toy/Game
Winner: Nickelodeon/Playmates - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Launch
Honorable Mentions:

Hasbro - Scrabble’s Catch Phrase game campaign featuring Neil Patrick Harris
Mattel - Hot Wheels For Real X Games campaign
Mattel/Peterson Milla Hooks - See What Happens When You Play With Barbie

Marketing Campaign for TV Series
Winner: Hub Network - My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Royal Wedding
Honorable Mentions:

Astral Media, Inc - Sofia the First  Series Launchf
Cartoon Network - Adventure Time: Season 4 Campaign Launch
Nickelodeon - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
PBS - Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Marketing/PR Campaign for TV Special/TV Movie
Winner: Nickelodeon - Dora Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure Campaign
Honorable Mentions:

Disney - Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess
Nickelodeon - Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale
Nickelodeon - Turtles Vs Foot Campaign for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at ComicCon 2102
PBS - PBS Kids’ The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas! Campaign

New Series
Winner: American Greetings - Care Bears: Welcome To Care-A-Lot
Honorable Mentions:

Disney - Dog With A Blog
Litton Entertainment - Recipe Rehab
Litton Entertainment - Sea Rescue with Sam Champion
Loma Media/EA Sports - EA Sports Game Time
Nickelodeon - NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians

Preschool Series
Winner: The Fred Rogers Company - Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Honorable Mentions:

Awol - Kioka
DHX Media - Yo Gabba Gabba!
Little Airplane - The Small Potatoes
NELVANA Ltd. / Corus Entertainment - Mike the Knight
Portfolio Entertainment - The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

Preschool Special
Winner: Corus Entertainment - Handy Manny and the Seven Tools
Honorable Mentions:

Brown Bag Films - Doc McStuffins Boo Hoo To You Halloween Special
Nickelodeon - Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale
Portfolio Entertainment - The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas

Promotional Campaign
Winner: Disney  Disney Media - Subway
Honorable Mentions:

Cartoon Network - Cartoon Network @ Atlantis 2012
Disney - Disney Media Invisilign Teen
Sprout - The Chica Show Launch Campaign

Pro-social Campaign
Winner: Disney Channels Worldwide - Disney Friends for Change
Honorable Mentions:

Disney - Make Your Mark
Nickelodeon - The Big Help  Let’s Move Event in London w Michelle Obama
Saban Brands - Power Rangers Super Samurai emPOWER Halloween Safety Campaign
Sprout - Sprout’s Kindness Counts Be Kind To Yourself Campaign

Social Media Campaign
Winner: Cartoon Network - Cartoon Network’s 20th Birthday
Honorable Mentions:

Bully Movie, Grassroots Twitter Campaign
Child’s Play Communications - Peppa Pig, Social Media Campaign
Lionsgate - Hunger Games, Social Media Campaign
Nickelodeon - Kids’ Choice Awards

Song for a TV Series/Special/Movie
Winner: Sprout - The Chica Show Theme Song
Honorable Mentions:

DHX Media Ltd - UMIGO
Portfolio Entertainment - The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas!
Saban Brands - Power Rangers Song
Smithsonian Network -The Titanoboa Song

Sweepstakes/Contest Campaign
Winner: Threadless & Disney - Design a t-shirt inspired by Disney Villains
Honorable Mentions:

Cartoon Network - Mattel Hot Wheels 20th Anniversary Sweepstakes
Disney Media - Nintendo (Wii U Campaign)
Hub Network - The Hub’s Pup-ularity Contest
Radio Disney - The Next Big Thing (N.B.T.)
Sprout - The Chica Show Sweepstakes

TV Series Based on Books
Winner: Hub Network - R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series
Honorable Mentions:

Big Bad Boo - 1001 Nights
Hallmark Channel - Jingle & Bell’s Christmas Star
NELVANA Ltd. / Corus Entertainment - Scaredy Squirrel
NELVANA Ltd. / TeamTO - Babar and the Adventures of Babou
Portfolio Entertainment Inc. - The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

Tweens 9-14 Series
Winner: Litton Entertainment - Born to Explore With Richard Wiese
Honorable Mentions:

Bento Box Entertainment/20th Century Fox - Bob’s Burgers
Disney ABC Television Group - Phineas and Ferb
Hub Network - “Dan Vs.”
Litton Entertainment - Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin
Luke Nola & Friends - Let’s Get Inventin’ New Zealand
marblemedia - Spatalot

Tweens 9-14 Special/TV Movie
Winner: ABC Family - The Mistle-Tones
Honorable Mentions:

Disney Channels Worldwide - Disney Channel Original Movie, Radio Rebel
Nickelodeon - Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Kids Pick the President: The Candidates

Video Game for a TV Series/Special
Winner: Microsoft and Edelman - Kinect Sesame Street TV
Honorable Mentions:

Cartoon Network - Mutant Fridge Mayhem
CSE - NBAHoopTroop.com-Hoop Troop Escape
Microsoft and Edelman  - “Kinect Nat Geo TV”
Scholastic Media - The Magic School Bus: Oceans for Leapster Explorer

Website for TV Series/Special
Winner: WGBH Educational Foundation - Design Squad Nation
Honorable Mentions:

9 Story Entertainment & Kratt Brothers - Wild Kratts Website
Disney Channels Worldwide and Walt Disney Records - AustinAndAllyVideo.com/Vevo
Little Airplane/Disney - Meet the Small Potatoes Custom Potato Builder Website
Random House Children’s Books - PBS Kids The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
See the complete story at http://www.cynopsis.com/editions/kids/

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