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

Archive for October, 2008

Maisy comes to qubo in November

Friday, October 24th, 2008
qubo, the TV and online entertainment service for children and families, announced today that it has inked a licensing deal with NBC Universal to bring the hugely popular animated children’s series, MAISY to qubo Channel in the U.S. this November.
KIDS FIRST! loves Maisy – the lovable mouse whose daily activities are perfect models for preschoolers. As one of our child jurors said, “Maisy is my favorite mouse. She has lots of friends and is always doing something fun.”

Based on the award-winning books by the British author Lucy Cousins, this colorful and endearing animated series features Maisy, a lovable mouse with a nose for adventure. Joined by a colorful cast of friends, “Tallulah” the chicken, “Charlie” the crocodile, “Eddie” the elephant and “Cyril” the squirrel, Maisy is always up for trying new things and making discoveries that turn every day into something special. qubo has licensed all 26 episodes of MAISY.

qubo is a multi-platform entertainment destination for children that focuses on literacy, values and healthy lifestyles while celebrating the unlimited possibilities of a child’s imagination. Most of qubo’s shows are associated with popular children’s books, and the network’s interstitial programming continues to reinforce messages about early literacy and healthy living. qubo is broadcast in both English and Spanish and is available in all markets served by an ION Television station, as well as via Verizon’s FIOS TV, AT&T;’s U-Verse, Mediacom, RCN and Comcast. In addition to qubo Channel, qubo programming is available Wednesday- Friday afternoons on ION TV, Saturday mornings on NBC and weekend mornings in Spanish on Telemundo.

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Global Hit Kids Series LazyTown Arrives on V-me

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

LazyTown – the Global children’s television hit that inspires kids to move, play and eat healthy – arrives on V-me, America’s fastest- growing Hispanic TV network. With statistics from the Centers for Disease Control showing that 40 percent of Latino kids ages 6-11 are overweight, LazyTown’s positive message and V-me’s national platform are coming together at just the right time.

As the exclusive U.S. home of LazyTown in Spanish, V-me airs the series M-F at 7:30 and 11:30(et) daily, Saturdays at 9:30 and 11:30(et), and Sunday afternoons at 4P(et)as part of V-me’s Family Block.

“V-me is thrilled to add LazyTown to our Kids’ lineup,” said Carmen DiRienzo, V-me President. “Families love it, it’s fun and entertaining, and it speaks to a vital need in the Latino community.”

With its super-healthy superhero Sportacus leading the way, LazyTown’s high-energy mix of live action, puppets and state-of-the-art computer animation uses music and humor to help kids focus on healthy lifestyle choices. Sportacus teams with his pink-haired friend Stephanie, encouraging LazyTown kids to get outside, play, and resist the unhealthy schemes of Robbie Rotten – his snack-loving, couch-potato arch-enemy.

LazyTown is the brainchild of world-class athlete and health advocate Magnus Scheving, who stars as Sportacus. Now seen in 118 countries, the series is credited with driving official health initiatives in Mexico, Chile, and Europe, helping reduce the rise in childhood obesity. Research from Mexico and Europe shows that LazyTown viewers are more active and more interested in healthy eating, and that parents overwhelmingly support the show’s positive message.

“LazyTown works because it’s not about telling kids what to do. It’s about motivating them with a feel-good vibe,” said Scheving. “V-me is a perfect partner for us, because they share our mission and can bring it to Latino families across the U.S.”

Already reaching more than 50% of US Hispanic TV Households, V-me is presented locally by public TV stations and carried on basic digital cable and digital broadcast in many cities, and nationally on DIRECTV Ch. 440, DISH Network Ch. 9414 and DISHLatino Ch. 846. To find specific channel information for your market, visit http://www.vmetv.com/

LazyTown is the world’s only global brand dedicated to children’s health. Created originally as a book (Go, Go LazyTown!) in 1995 by international athlete, entrepreneur, producer and director Magnus Scheving, LazyTown has been nurtured into a household name worldwide, with businesses including publishing, home entertainment, music, live theatrical shows and even a dedicated radio station. LazyTown, the Emmy-nominated and BAFTA-winning television series, launched in 2004, and is now available in 53 episodes and has sold to over 110 territories worldwide. The LazyTown Movement appeals to kids and parents alike and encourages healthy lifestyle choices for kids of all ages. The team is dedicated to finding exactly the right partners worldwide to sustain the brand and uphold the credibility and vision of LazyTown and its creator.

V-me entertains and informs Latino families in Spanish with primetime drama, music, sports, current affairs and Latin cinema, along with world class kids, food, lifestyle and nature. The 24-hour network, partnered with public television, is America’s largest Spanish digital channel. V-me is the first venture of the media production and distribution company, V-me Media Inc. To find out more visit VmeTV.com

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Senator Barack Obama Declared the Winner in Nickelodeon’s Biggest ‘Kids’ Vote’ Ever

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Senator Barack Obama has been declared the winner of Nickelodeon’s 2008 Kids Pick the President “Kids’ Vote.” A record-breaking number of votes — upwards of 2.2 million — were cast in the network’s online poll. Nickelodeon has held a “Kids’ Vote” every election year since 1988, and kids have correctly predicted the winner in four out of the last five U.S. presidential campaigns.

In this election year’s Kids Pick the President “Kids’ Vote,” Senator Obama received 51% of the vote (1,167,087), and Senator McCain received 49% (1,129,945). The Nickelodeon Kids Pick the President “Kids’ Vote” is not a scientific poll. Kids were able to vote online on http://www.nick.com/kpp, via Nick’s mobile website, or in Nicktropolis, Nickelodeon’s virtual world destination, from Oct. 12-20.

“Nickelodeon has a long history of empowering kids and providing them with an opportunity to voice their opinions,” said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group. “The Kids Pick the President campaign has introduced them to the voting process, and hopefully will make them want to be active participants when they are old enough to vote.”

On Monday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. (ET), Linda Ellerbee, the Emmy Award-winning host of Nickelodeon’s Nick News, announced the winner of the sixth Kids Pick the President “Kids’ Vote” on Nickelodeon.

Said Ellerbee, “It’s important to take note of who won the ‘Kids’ Vote,’ simply because so many kids vote the way their parents will. But what really counts is this: they participated in democracy. They voted. How can this be anything but good?”

The “Kids’ Vote” is the culmination of the network’s year-long Kids Pick the President campaign, which was conceived to educate and empower kids across the country. This year’s campaign kicked off in January with the first-ever “Kids’ Primary,” which resulted in kids accurately predicting Senators Obama and McCain to win their respective party tickets. Leading up to the Kids Pick the President online vote, Nick News aired four election-themed episodes including: “Kids Primary;” “Election Issues”; Tales from the Trail”; and “Kids Pick the President”. Additionally, this year Nickelodeon hit the campaign trail with its Election Connection Team-Lily Collins, Lil’ JJ and Pick Boy-providing kids with an insider’s look at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions through blogs, interstitial programming and PSAs.

Nick.com served as the official home base of the Kids Pick the President campaign, generating more than 2.5 million page views since launch in December 2007. Kids have flocked to the site to discuss the general election as evident by its message board, which currently ranks as the second most popular on the site. A special playlist of Kids Pick the President-themed videos have also generated almost 8 million streams on TurboNick, Nickelodeon’s broadband video player. (Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst, 9/1/2008-10/16/2008).

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

AEG ThemeSTAR and HIT Entertainment are launching an all new, live musical adventure: Thomas and Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes to Town. When Thomas makes a big mistake, all the engines on the Island of Sodor must work together to prepare for the exciting event under the Big Top, and, Thomas must prove he’s a really useful engine once again. With thrilling adventures along the way, Percy, James, Gordon, and of course, Thomas, join with Sir Topham Hatt and the townspeople from the Island of Sodor, to welcome a colorful cast of circus performers in an engaging story that demonstrates the importance of friendship and cooperation.


20 – 22 Jan
Stockton Arena
Stockton, CA

24 – 26 Jan
Lawlor Event Center
Reno, NV

28 Jan – 1 Feb
Nokia Theatre
Los Angeles, CA

For a list of all dates and locations, go here.

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Monday, October 20th, 2008
New Episodes from MARTHA SPEAKS, SUPER WHY, WORDWORLD and CYBERCHASE Help Kids Learn Some Things Aren’t As Scary As They Think

PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! invite kids on a Halloween adventure exploring fears on Halloween day and preparing for the holiday season ahead with healthy findings from

SID THE SCIENCE KID. On October 31, kids can join their favorite character role models including Martha from the new literacy-based series MARTHA SPEAKS as well as friends from SUPER WHY, WORDWORLD, CYBERCHASE, ARTHUR and MAYA & MIGUEL as they embark on adventures that help them discover that some of the things they think are scary aren’t really so scary after all.

“Halloween is a time of excitement and sometimes anxiety for young children often fueled by sugar and for many, fears,” said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP Children’s Media, PBS. “Our characters are great role models to guide children as they explore their fears and help them make healthy choices.”

Early elementary school kids can extend the fun at pbskidsgo.org/video where they can watch streaming video of Halloween-themed episodes and clips from ARTHUR, CYBERCHASE, MARTHA SPEAKS, FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN, MAYA & MIGUEL, ANIMALIA, DESIGN SQUAD and more. Preschoolers and their parents can write their own silly stories about Halloween at Dot’s Story Factory (pbskids.org) and find Halloween-themed games, crafts, masks, costume ideas, recipes, e-cards and more at pbskids.org/halloween.
PBS Parents will feature healthy Halloween treats that families can make and enjoy together as well as information on keeping kids safe during trick-or-treating, costume ideas and Halloween book recommendations. In addition, parents can find resources for hosting a Halloween party, having a neighborhood costume parade, creating a haunted house and trick-or-treating for charity.


On PBS KIDS, for preschoolers:

MARTHA SPEAKS – “Martha Gets Spooked / Martha Changes Her Luck” (NEW)

Martha Gets Spooked – Is someone fixing up the haunted house? If not, who ordered those flowers? Was it the ghost of Mrs. Parkington’s Great-Aunt Martha? Whoever or whatever it was, Martha has to go in there to protect Helen, before it’s too late!

Martha Changes Her Luck – Uh-oh. Martha walked under a ladder-and broke a mirror-so now she thinks she’s jinxed. And she’s worried her bad luck is rubbing off on everybody else. Helen tries to explain that all the accidents are just coincidence, but things just keep getting worse.

SUPER WHY – “The Ghost Who Was Afraid of Halloween” It’s Halloween in Storybrook Village and Pig is so frightened, he won’t go trick-or-treating with his friends! The Super Readers pay a storybook visit to Little Ghost, who’s a bit of a scaredy cat himself, to teach him there’s more to Halloween than meets the eye.

WORDWORLD – “A Kooky Spooky Halloween / Sheep’s Halloween Costume” /A Kooky Spooky Halloween/ – The WordFriends get their share of scares the night before Halloween, when Pig sleepwalks and everyone thinks he’s a ghost!

Sheep’s Halloween Costume/ – It’s Halloween – Sheep’s favorite day of the year. Sheep likes nothing more than to dress up, so she always goes out of her way to make herself a special costume. But what will she do when her WordFriends need pieces of her costume for their own costumes?

On PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school children:

CYBERCHASE – “Spheres of Fears” (NEW, premieres October 27 with an encore presentation on October 31) In his latest and possibly maddest scheme ever, Hacker traps Digit and the kids in one of the dreaded Spheres of Fears, a mini-galaxy of orbs populated by eerie creatures called Creepers, where they must use the properties of circles to reverse Hacker’s chaos in the nick of time.

ARTHUR – “What Scared Sue Ellen? / Clarissa is Cracked” / What Scared Sue Ellen?/ – Sue Ellen isn’t afraid of anything until she takes the short cut through the woods. From that point everything appears to scare her. Arthur and the other boys accompany Sue Ellen through the woods to locate her monsters.

Clarissa is Cracked – Grandma Thora gives her favorite doll, Clarissa, to D.W. for a week. D.W. treats the antique doll like her other toys, but loving Clarissa more. Unfortunately, D.W.’s attention proves fatal to Clarissa when the doll breaks. D.W. and her family find a doll doctor to repair Grandma Thora’s treasured toy before she’s returned.

MAYA & MIGUEL – “La Calavera” When Maya wants to add some oomph to her presentation about Mexico for school, she consults her Abuela Elena, who allows her to borrow a prized possession: a calavera, or skull made of sugar, that is used in the yearly Day of the Dead celebration.

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Boo – Guess WHO!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
It’s that spook-tacular time of year again and the 100% faithful elephant Horton from Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! – has a trunk-full of tricks-and-treats. Enclosed you will find some fun ideas to make Halloween who-mongously sweet, including:
· Hort-o’-Lantern – A special Horton-themed pumpkin-carving pattern will help light the way for Whos everywhere. Use the stencil to carve the pumpkin, or as a safe alternative paint the pattern with washable poster paints or markers.

· Super Sweet Treat! – Horton shares a recipe for his favorite sweet holiday treat: tasty candied yams starring you-know-WHO! So delicious, it will have ghosts, mummies, witches and goblins racing to get their hands on it!

· Horton For Halloween! – Kids can ‘get big’ for Halloween this year by creating a fun and easy Horton costume with how-to instructions.

PDF files of each activity sheet can be found at http://www.hortondvdactivitypages.com

One of Dr. Seuss’ all-time classic children’s books, Horton Hears A Who (1954), comes to life with the help of an all-star voice cast including Golden Globe winners Jim Carrey and Steve Carell, and six-time Emmy Award winner Carol Burnett. Dr. Seuss’ whimsical tale imparts to children and adults alike the meaning of compassion, forgiveness and faith. One of the top films of the year, the Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! Two-Disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) including Digital Copy will be available December 9 from TCFHE.

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