As part of MTV Networks' (MTVN) niche programming strategy to super-serve targeted audiences, the award-winning NOGGIN and The N, the two Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group brands that currently share space on a single channel, will be separated into two 24-hour services beginning Dec. 31, 2007. NOGGIN will become a commercial-free preschool service, while The N will be a tween/teen channel, featuring TEENick programming during the day and The N's content at night. NOGGIN and The N will be carried by all cable operators, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS.
Geographical Region: North America
Leading kids and family entertainment specialist DECODE Ent. has signed up Rocket Licensing as the U.K. licensing agent for its hit preschool property FRANNY'S FEET, the adventures of a little girl with magical shoes. The company has already completed a deal for costume characters with Rainbow Prods. for Europe.
Astral Media's Family Channel has announced that the new flash-animated comedy-adventure series PUCCA will debut on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007, at 7:20 am.
Bejuba! Ent. has licensed the award-winning animated series THE AMAZING ADRENALINI BROTHERS to Voom's HDTV Networks in the U.S. THE AMAZING ADRENALINI BROTHERS is a Pesky/StudioB co-production in association with Bejuba! Ent.
Riding the popularity of the box office's favorite giant robots in TRANSFORMERS, 20th Century Fox-based New Regency is in final talks with the Mark Gordon Co. to bring VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE to the big screen as a live-action film, VARIETY reports. Gordon has been developing the project and previously hired Justin Marks (HE-MAN) to pen the script.
Artists and visual effects supervisors Ed Jones and Mark Breakspear of Rainmaker Ent. Inc. have joined the //ADAPT Conference lineup at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Montreal from Sept. 24-28, 2007. An estimated 2,500 people from around the world are expected to attend the industry's second annual creative event focused on inspiring and teaching advanced digital art production techniques for film, visual effects and videogame development. The program includes more than 40 digital art masters, an Art Expo, a Theatre, a Job Fair and much more.
Chilean filmmaker Nicolas Lopez will write and direct an untitled comedy thriller about a young woman who is sent to the past to prevent World War III, under Salma Hayek and partner Jose Tamez's new MGM-based production shingle Ventanazul, reports VARIETY.
Ventanazul is scouting hot young talent from Mexico, Chile and the U.S. for this and its other first few projects.
The Walt Disney Co. has acquired Club Penguin, one of the fastest-growing online virtual worlds for kids. Since its launch in October 2005, award-winning Club Penguin has grown to more than 700,000 paid subscribers, achieving this subscriber and user growth with very limited marketing efforts, relying mostly on strong product and word-of-mouth awareness among kids. The site has more than 12 million activated users, primarily in the U.S. and Canada
JoeCartoon, who was recently acquired by Endemol USA, announced the re-launch of its new 'humor portal' JoeCartoon.com. The revamped website offers an enhanced user-friendly interface.
DreamWorks Animation today (July 31, 2007) posted a sharply higher second-quarter profit, propelled by SHREK THE THIRD, which has reached global box office grosses of $720 million since mid-May.
The Glendale, California-based studio reported total revenue was $222.5 million and net income was $61.8 million, or 60 cents per share, compared with $74.9 million and net $13.7 million, or 13 cents per share, for the same period in 2006.
Montreal-based My Virtual Model Inc. has recently switched its 3D software technology to SOFTIMAGE|XSI, enabling its customers to offer new interactive marketing techniques in the online retail apparel and fashion, home decor, weight loss and entertainment industries.
My Virtual Model chose to replace its Maya software with SOFTIMAGE|XSI software to further develop the wide range of realistic 3D character and product models for its customers, who offer unique "try-before-purchase" online experiences as part of their customer retention strategies.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) announced its roster of films in competition, including the controversial feature PERSEPOLIS. Included among the final contenders are 26 films from the U.S. and 20 films from the U.K. Other countries competing include Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Russian Federation, Serbia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.
A new Canadian animation award has been established in honor of the late Helen Hill, an experimental filmmaker who was violently killed at her home in New Orleans this year. Linda Joy Media Arts Society has established The Helen Hill Animated Award to recognize the achievements of animators working in Atlantic Canada.
Imagi Studios U.S.A. and the Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE signed a contract on July 20, 2007, covering animation writers, storyboard artists and designers. Imagi Studios U.S.A. also signed onto the Animation Guild's 401(k) Plan, and employees will be covered under the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan.
Filmmaker Zack Snyder (300), who is set to direct Warner Bros. Pictures' feature film adaptation of the award-winning graphic novel WATCHMEN, announced the cast and release date (March 6, 2009) of the highly anticipated epic before 6,500 fans during a presentation at this year's Comic-Con International convention in San Diego, California.
New York City-based Animation Collective and Canadian-based Fatkat Studios will co-produce a new, 26 half-hour episode action/comedy, animated series, THREE DELIVERY, in association with; Nicktoons Network, YTV and the BBC.
THREE DELIVERY, created by Animation Collectiveâs founder/ceo Larry Schwarz, is about a group of teenage delivery kids/superheroes, set in a Chinatown, animated in a highly graphic comicbook style. Produced with Fatkat as a U.S./Canadian co-venture. Animation Collective will handle worldwide television and consumer products sales.
Houston-based Anime Network has secured linear carriage in the state of Kansas with Sunflower Broadband and Eagle Communications, which adds three new markets to Anime Network's linear distribution. Anime Network will soon be available in Lawrence, Hays and Minneapolis, Kansas, just in time for the new semester to begin at universities across the state.
If you've been wondering how those amazing looking dinosaurs have made it to the small screen in DINOSAPIEN, the new live-action/animated adventure series airing on Discovery Kids in the U.S., you can look to Toronto-based animation studio Yowza Digital. Yowza Digital is crafting the 3D animation and visual effects production on DINOSAPIEN, which premiered July 7 in the U.S., after its earlier debut on BBC Kids Canada.
Mario Lopez hopes to revitalize the motion picture industry in Mexico with an animated film about an ancient Mayan myth, Uxmal, now 16 years in the making, reports CALAVERASENTERPRISE.COM.
The Austin, Texas, division of BioWare Corp. is integrating NaturalMotion's morpheme into its pipeline and will be using it to develop assets for several undisclosed next-generation game titles. morpheme is robust middleware designed to give developers and animators unprecedented creative control over the look of their final in-game animation by allowing them to author and preview blends, blend trees and transition graphs in realtime.
Corus Ent. announced highlights from its 2007 fall schedules.
"Treehouse, Discovery Kids and YTV are with kids at every stage of their journey through childhood - from preschooler to tween to teen," said Scott Dyer, evp/gm, kids, Corus Ent. "This fall, we're doing what we do best: giving young Canadians great programming from around the world, from preschool shows that parents trust to entertaining live-action dramas to hit series, like SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, plus a slate of kid-friendly reality series."
Cuppa Coffee Studios has started production on the new comedy series LIFE'S A ZOO. The stop-motion package aimed at the 18+ crowd, includes its own Web channel.
MySpace and TOKYOPOP have partnered up to premiere four exclusive new shows based on TOKYOPOP's hit manga series I LUV HALLOWEEN, A MIDNIGHT OPERA, BIZENGHAST and RIDING SHOTGUN. Featuring music from the latest underground acts and cutting edge digital animation from Menfond Electronic Art, pilot episodes will air the week of July 16, 2007, with subsequent episodes running weekly thereafter. MySpace and TOKYOPOP are strategically launching a TOKYOPOP-branded profile (www.myspace.com/tokyopoptv) to host and deliver the shows to create a unique one-on-one relationship with MySpace users.
PBS is bringing an animated version of Tom and Ray Magliozzi's CAR TALK radio show to TV. Based on the hit NPR radio show, the as-yet-untitled animated 10x30 sitcom is targeted for summer 2008. Fans will be invited to submit title suggestions for the television show.
The show will focus on the âoff-airâ escapades of Tom and Ray Magliozzi (known to their listeners as Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers) as they try to fix cars, fend off disgruntled customers and seek out ways to do less and less work.