Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nickelodeon Unveils Plans For More Than 650 New Episodes Across Every Genre At Nickelodeon's 2012 Upfront Presentation

Below is a Nickelodeon Press Release from PRNewswire:
Nickelodeon Unveils Plans at Annual Upfront for More than 650 New Episodes Across Every Genre

Announcements Include Premiere Date for Highly Anticipated The Legend of Korra; Original TV Movies; a SpongeBob SquarePants Stop-Motion Christmas Special; a Raving Rabbids series; and Development Projects for UK Pop Sensation One Direction, Hit-maker Dan Schneider and iCarly star Jennette McCurdy

Special Appearances During Presentation Made By Nick Cannon, Michael Bay, Keke Palmer, One Direction; With Performances by Big Time Rush, How to Rock's Cymphonique Miller and Gravity 5, and Rachel Crow

NEW YORK, March 14, 2012 /Nickelodeon Press Release via PRNewswire/ -- Nickelodeon, at its annual upfront presentation held today at Jazz at Lincoln Center, unveiled plans for an unprecedented 650 new episodes—the top-ranked network's most ever—of both brand-new content and returning hits, as well announcing premiere details for the highly anticipated animated series The Legend of Korra; a stop-motion SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas special; original primetime TV movies; casting for the new Nick at Nite series Hollywood Heights (formerly Reach for a Star); an original animated series based on the Raving Rabbids video games; and new projects with UK pop sensation One Direction, iCarly/Victorious show creator Dan Schneider and iCarly star Jennette McCurdy.






The presentation was punctuated with appearances by Nick Cannon, Keke Palmer, One Direction and musical performances by Nick's own Big Time Rush and How to Rock's Cymphonique Miller and Gravity 5, making their live-performance debut. Nick's newest star, Rachel Crow of The X Factor fame, capped the evening with a performance of Cee Lo Green's "Forget You." The evening also featured an exclusive look at a previsualization (3D storyboard) of Paramount Pictures' highly anticipated live-action Ninja Turtles feature, presented by producer Michael Bay. The feature film will bow in 2013, following this year's fall TV premiere of the brand-new CG-animated TMNT series on Nickelodeon.

"Kids have a ferocious appetite for new content and it is our intention to serve them more, innovative work than ever before," said Cyma Zarghami, President of Viacom's Nickelodeon Group. "We are tapping into new sources and proven hit-makers to maintain our position as the top entertainment brand for kids and families."

Details of Nickelodeon's new content slate include:


Nickelodeon, the top producer of television animation in the US, will roll out a new roster of over 300 new animated episodes in 2012 which includes:

* New episodes of returning hit series including SpongeBob SquarePants, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Fairly OddParents and The Winx Club.

* The Legend of Korra, in which the mythology of the beloved animated franchise from Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko continues. The series centers around a new Avatar named Korra, a 17-year-old headstrong and rebellious girl who continually challenges and bucks tradition on her quest to become a fully realized Avatar in a world where benders are under attack. The half-hour series will debut on Saturday, April 14, at 11:00 a.m. (all times ET/PT), as part of Nickelodeon's Saturday morning block (8AM-Noon), which has been the number-one destination for Kids 2-11 for 12 consecutive years and currently delivers more than three million total viewers each week. The Legend of Korra will air regularly on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

* Raving Rabbids, which will join the net's animation line-up in spring 2013, brings to television the hysterical physical comedy that has become so popular in Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids video games. Nickelodeon has secured global broadcast rights for 26 new CG episodes of Raving Rabbids, which will be produced by Ubisoft.

* Monsters vs. Aliens, the all-new animated television series marking the third partnership between Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation. Green-lit for 26 episodes and based on the popular characters from the 2009 blockbuster hit feature film ($383 million worldwide gross); the new series will continue to follow the funny escapades of the beloved, well-meaning monsters.

* Robot & Monster, which will also be hitting Nickelodeon's air for a 26-episode run for the 2012-2013 season. Created by Josh Sternin, Jeff Ventimilia and Dave Pressler, this CG-animated buddy comedy is set in a unique world where gangs of Howling Cyber Monkeys roam the streets at night, everybody loves bacon, and robots and monsters live side by side, but typically don't get along.

* It's A SpongeBob Christmas! - Nickelodeon's first full-length stop-motion animated special is inspired by the classic Rankin/Bass (Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town) specials, and the popular SpongeBob song released in 2009, "Don't Be a Jerk, It's Christmas," written by Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley. In "It's A SpongeBob Christmas!," Plankton vows to get his Christmas wish – the Krabby Patty formula – by turning everyone in Bikini Bottom bad by feeding them his special jerktonium-laced fruitcake. The special features John Goodman as Santa Claus, and will air in December 2012.

* Seven new animation pilots picked up for the 2012-2013 season, including four pilots helmed by hit-maker Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, T.U.F.F. Puppy).


As part of the overall 650 new episodes the network is rolling out this year, Nickelodeon's live-action slate will include:

* More new episodes of hit live-action hit series -- iCarly, Victorious, Big Time Rush and Supah Ninjas.

* A 26-episode pick-up of Marvin, Marvin, an original new series starring internet sensation Lucas Cruikshank (AKA Fred). Executive Produced by Jeff Bushell and The Collective, the half-hour comedy follows the exploits of Marvin, an alien teen, living with a human family, while trying to fit into life on earth.

* The third installment of the hit Fred movies – Fred Goes to Camp, as well as a pick-up of 28 additional 11-minute episodes of FRED: THE SHOW.

* A development project for UK pop sensation One Direction, who will next collaborate with Nick when they perform live at Nickelodeon's 2012 Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles on March 31.

* Rags, a music-infused modern-day fairy tale debuting this spring. The two-hour original TV movie centers on Charlie Prince (Max Schneider), an orphan living with his acerbic and unloving stepfather and spoiled stepbrothers, whose dream of being a singer might come true once he meets pop star Kadee Worth (KeKe Palmer). Rags is executive produced by Nick Cannon, directed by Billy Woodruff (Beauty Shop, Honey) and features original music by Rodney Jerkins and choreography by Rosero McCoy (America's Best Dance Crew),

* A Fairly Odd Christmas, a sequel to 2011's hit live-action TV movie, A Fairly OddMovie: Grow Up Timmy Turner, which will bow this holiday season. The original TV movie follows the exploits of Timmy Turner (Drake Bell), and his well meaning fairy godparents, as he tries to save Christmas, but first he's got to get himself off the naughty list.

* Figure it Out, a contemporary revival of the hit '90s family friendly game show. The show, which begins production in Los Angeles this April, will launch later this year with 40 brand-new episodes. Figure It Out features a panel of celebrities trying to guess kid contestants' unique talents and skills by asking 'yes' or 'no' questions while being bombarded by messy visual and tactile clues.

* Casting for the new Nick at Nite series Hollywood Heights (previously titled Reach for a Star), a daily scripted series based on the wildly popular Televisa telenovela, Alcanzar Una Estrella. The 80 one-hour episodes currently in production will star Brittany Underwood, Melissa Ordway, Cody Longo Anthony and Justin Wilczynski. Hollywood Heights is a co-production with Televisa and is being produced by Sony Television and will debut in primetime on Nick at Nite in June.

Nickelodeon President Zarghami also highlighted several live-action projects currently in development, including pilots for Nick at Nite with Scott Baio (Daddy's Home); Wendell & Vinnie, a comedy about a goofball uncle (Jerry Trainor from iCarly) who becomes the guardian to his conservative 12-year old genius nephew; and a new Nickelodeon series from hit-maker Dan Schneider that will star Jennette McCurdy from iCarly; and a series starring The X Factor sensation Rachel Crow.

Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 17 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B).

*For downloadable photos and additional information, visit:

Streaming Nickelodeon Videos from the above Nickelodeon Press Release:

The Legend of Korra will debut on Saturday April 14 at 11:00 a.m. on Nickelodeon:

Rags, a music-infused modern-day fairy tale debuting this spring starring Keke Palmer!

Nickelodeon Images and Nickelodeon Photographs from the above Nickelodeon Press Release:

The Legend of Korra will debut on Saturday April 14 at 11:00 a.m. on Nickelodeon. (PRNewsFoto/Nickelodeon)

Nickelodeon announces new series starring The X Factor sensation Rachel Crow. (PRNewsFoto/Nickelodeon)

Rags a music-infused modern-day fairy tale debuts on Nickelodeon this spring starring Keke Palmer!
UK pop sensation One Direction has been signed to a development project with Nickelodeon. (PRNewsFoto/Nickelodeon)

Hollywood Heights is the new Nick at Nite series that will debut in primetime in June and star Brittany Underwood, Melissa Ordway, Cody Anthony Logan and Justin Wilczynski. (PRNewsFoto/Nickelodeon)

SOURCE Nickelodeon

Also, from Multichannel News:
Upfronts 2012: Nick Rolls Out Expansive Development Slate

Kids Service Commits To More Than 650 New Episodes of Original Series

New York -- Vowing not to let recent ratings woes stop its programming creativity, Nickelodeon announced the development of more than 650 new episodes of original series as part of its upfront presentation here Wednesday.

Stating that the network is "in fantastic shape," president of Viacom Inc.-owned Nickelodeon Group Cyma Zarghami told advertising executives gathered at Jazz at Lincoln Center that the network has been the top-rated cable network for 17 straight years (on 24-hour basis) and the network is "not planning to give that up."

Pop group Big Time Rush Performs at Nickelodeon's upfront event.

The upfront featured performances by Cymphonique Miller and Gravity 5 (How to Rock), boy band Big Time Rush and former The X Factor competitor Rachel Crow.

"Brands with real equity survive and thrive in times of change," she said. "Our brand has a strong history and a lot to be proud of."

She also said the network's recent ratings slip, which has been on the decline since mid-September and has allowed competitor Disney to overtake the network in the key kids 6 to 11 and challenge Nick for supremacy among kids 2 to 11, will not affect the network's aggressive original programming push.

"We have no intention of letting a recent slip in Nickelodeon ratings slow down our creative momentum," Zarghami said.

Among the new programming developments for Nickelodeon on the animation side is the April 14 launch of animated series The Legend of Korra, a sequel to the network's popular Avatar: The Last Airbender. Other new projects include Raving Rabbids, based on the popular video game of the same name; Monsters vs. Aliens, based on the characters from the 2009 film; and Robot & Monster, a CG-animated buddy comedy.

The network will also develop new episodes of existing series T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kung Fu Panda, Legends of Awesomeness, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Fairly OddParents and The Winx Club. SpongeBob SquarePants will also receive a new batch of episodes as well as a full-length, stop-motion animated Christmas special, the network said.

On the live action front, the network has greenlit a 26-episode run of Marvin, Marvin, starring Lucas Cruikshank (Fred: The Show) as an alien teen living with a human family and trying to fit into life on earth. Cruikshank will also star in a third Fred movie -- Fred Goes to Camp -- as well as in additional episodes of Fred: The Show.

The network also has development projects for UK pop music group One Direction; iCarly stars Jennette McCurdy and Jerry Trainor; veteran actor Scott Baio; and The X Factor star Crow.

Nickelodeon will also develop original movies Rags, a musical rags-to-riches story starring KeKe Palmer and produced by Nick Cannon; and A Fairly Odd Christmas, a sequel to the 2011 live action TV movie based on the popular animated series.
Also, from Kidscreen:
Nickelodeon unveils 650 new eps

Despite lingering controversy over its fall ratings drop, it was best-foot forward at Nickelodeon’s annual upfront presentation in New York this afternoon. The overall leading US kidsnet announced its upcoming season, unveiling plans to air 650 new episodes of programming across all genres. Additionally, Nick greenlit three new animated series and three original live-action shows.

On the animation front, the planned 300 new eps of programming will include new seasons of returning series SpongeBob SquarePants, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Fairly OddParents and The Winx Club.

New to the net are: The Legend of Korra, a spin-off Avatar: The Last Airbender, where the series’ original creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko return to tell the tale of a new headstrong female Avatar, Korra; a full 26 half-hours of Raving Rabbids, based on the popular video game from Ubisoft, which the gameco is also producing; DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters Vs. Aliens, based on the feature film that grossed US$383 million worldwide in 2009; and Robot & Monster, also set for 26 eps that tells the tale of two buddies that inhabit a world populated by roaming gangs of Howling Cyber Monkeys.

Nick has also picked up four unnamed animated pilots from master toon man Butch Hartman.

On the live-action front, expect new eps of current series iCarly, Victorious, Big Time Rush and Supah Ninjas to join the sked. In terms of new series, Nick’s picked up 26 eps of Marvin, Marvin, starring internet sensation Lucas Cruikshank (AKA Fred). Then there’s Rags, a music-based series centering around a modern-day fairytale, which will debut with a two-hour original movie. Finally, the net has signed a development deal with UK pop group One Direction,which is slated to perform live at Nickelodeon’s 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31.

Nickelodeon President Cyma Zarghami also highlighted live-action projects in development, including a new series from resident Nick hit-maker Dan Schneider that will star iCarly‘s Jennette McCurdy and a series starring The X Factor‘s Rachel Crow.

Tags: iCarly, Nickelodeon, Raving Rabbids, SpongeBob SquarePants, upfront
Also, from
One Direction signs Nickelodeon deal; 1D and Rachel Crow at Nick upfront event

One Direction at the Nickelodeon upfront event in New York City on March 14, 2012. Pictured from left to right: Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles Credit: Getty Images

"X Factor" alumni One Direction and Rachel Crow were among the stars who attended Nickelodeon's 2012 upfront advertising presentation on March 14 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. During the event, it was announced that One Direction has signed a development deal with Nickelodeon.

One Direction came in third place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2010. The members of One Direction are 18-year-old Harry Styles, 20-year-old Louis Tomlinson, 18-year-old Liam Payne, 19-year-old Zayn Malik, and 18-year-old Niall Horan.

Crow, who is 14 years old, came in fifth place on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2011.

One Direction and Crow are both signed to Syco Music/Columbia Records in the U.S. and Canada.

One Direction's debut album, "Up All Night," was released in the U.S. and Canada on March 13, 2012. It is expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart when the chart rankings are announced on March 21, 2012. "Up All Night" has already been a Top 10 hit in several countries around the world.

Crow's debut album is due out in 2012 on a date to be announced.

As previously reported, One Direction had been rumored to star in its own Nickelodeon series. On March 6, 2012, One Direction did an an interview with radio station G105 in Durham, North Carolina. When asked about if One Direction would be starring in its own Nickelodeon series, One Direction's Styles replied, "We filmed an episode of 'iCarly,' and the guys were great. But at the moment, we just want to focus on the music thing and see what happens there."

One Direction's development deal with Nickelodeon may not be for a TV series but could be for a TV special or a documentary film.

As for Crow, she has signed a previously announced Nickelodeon deal that includes a recurring guest role on "Fred the Show" (her episodes begin airing in the spring of 2012) and a starring role in a musical TV series whose title and premiere date are to be announced.

One Direction did not perform at Nickelodeon's upfront event on March 14, but Crow did. She sang Cee Lo Green's "Forget You."

Big Time Rush, How to Rock's Cymphonique Miller and Gravity 5 also performed at the event, whose celebrity attendees included Nick Cannon and Keke Palmer.

One Direction's Horan commented on Twitter about meeting Crow for the first time at the event: "We just met @iamrachelcrow what a lovely girl, she's soo funny and bubbly, gona go a long way."

One Direction has several connections to Nickelodeon:

As previously reported, One Direction filmed a guest appearance on Nickelodeon sitcom "iCarly" in the episode titled "iGot Jungle Worms." The episode's premiere date is to be announced.

In addition, One Direction is set to perform "What Makes You Beautiful" on the 25th Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles on March 31, 2012. One Direction is also hosting Nickelodeon shows on Saturday nights in March 2012.

One Direction's first North American tour (from February 24 to March 9, 2012) was as the opening act for boy band Big Time Rush, which stars in its own self-titled series on Nickelodeon.

Crow is doing her first North American tour as the opening act for Big Time Rush in the summer of 2012.

On February 29, 2012, Crow was a special guest of Big Time Rush at the group's iHeartRadio Theater performance presented by P.C. Richard & Son in New York City.
Also, from C21Media:
Nick unveils record Upfront

A series pick-up for a new live-action series featuring internet teen star Lucas Cruikshank is among 650 new episodes US cablenet Nickelodeon unveiled at its Upfront presentation in New York.

Nick has been suffering on the ratings front in recent months and come under increased pressure from the Disney Channel but yesterday revealed its new slate comprises a record number of new and returning animated and live-action episodes for the 2012-13 season.

The channel has acted quickly to take comedy Marvin, Marvin (26x30’) to series following a pilot greenlight in January. The show is about the exploits of an alien teen living with a human family and trying to make sense of Earth.

It comes from Jon Ross (10 Things I Hate About You), and The Collective’s Evan Weiss, with Gary Binkow and Jeff Bushell exec producing.

Nick is already working with internet star Cruikshank on Fred: The Show, which began life as a YouTube series. The TV version has been given a third season.

Other news coming out of the event includes toon hit-maker Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, T.U.F.F. Puppy) helming four of seven new toon pilots, and a development project for UK teen pop group One Direction.

New toons for the 2012-13 season include The Legend of Korra, which comes Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzo and shares the mythology of their Avatar: The Last Airbender. Korra is due to debut on April 14.

Other titles include Raving Rabbids, Monsters & Vs Aliens, and Robot & Monster. Nick is also readying It’s a SpongeBob Christamas!, which will be the channel’s first full-length stop-motion special, for December this year.

Returning toons include SpongeBob SquarePants, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Fairly OddParents and The Winx Club. On the live-action front, iCarly, Victorious, Big Time Rush and Supah Ninjas all get more episodes.

“We are tapping into new sources and proven hit-makers to maintain our position as the top entertainment brand for kids and families,” said Nick group president Cyma Zarghami.

Jesse Whittock

GENRES: Children's

SHOWS: Figure it out, Hollywood Heights, It’s a SpongeBob Christmas, Marvin Marvin, Monsters Vs Aliens, Rags, Raving Rabbids, Robot & Monster, The Legend of Korra
Also, from
Nickelodeon Unveils Plans 650 Hours Of New And Returning Programming

The kids and family-focused cable channel laid out an aggressive plan of original and returning series, movies and more today as part of its advertiser update in New York. Highlights include a new music-themed series, Rags, debuting this spring; a revival of the 1990s game show Figure It Out that will air later this year; an animated series — The Legend Of Korra — based on the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated franchise that debuts April 14 as part of the channel’s Saturday morning kids block; 26 episodes of the new CG-animated series Raving Rabbids, based on the video game of the same name; and, as revealed first by Deadline earlier today, the pickup of the 26-episode comedy series Marvin, Marvin, starring Internet celebrity Lucas Cruikshank (his Fred shorts are popular among kids).

The network also confirmed that Nickelodeon is developing a new series about Rachel Crow, one of the stars from the first season of The X Factor.

Also announced: Hollywood Heights (formerly known as Reach For The Stars), based on a Televisa telenovela format; a show in development for Brit Pop band One Direction, which gets to make some noise locally when it performs on Nick's Kids Choice Awards on March 31; and two new animated series, Monsters & Aliens, based on the DreamWorks Animation feature, and Robot & Monster. Nickelodeon also announced new episodes of such hits as iCarly, Big Time Rush and The Fairly Odd Parents, among others.
Also, from USA TODAY:

Disney gives Nickelodeon a run, sparks run on new series

The race for young viewers is tightening as Disney Channel challenges the once-dominant Nickelodeon as the top home for tyke TV.

That's forcing Nick to ramp up production of new shows in a bid to stave off Disney, which Friday also unveils its full-time Disney Junior preschool network to compete with Nick Jr.

Season to date, Disney Channel's ratings among children ages 2 to 11 inched up 1%, while Nick's plummeted 22%, and Nick leads by an average of just 31,000 viewers. But that margin has been halved since January, and Disney eclipsed Nick last year among the older half of that age group.

"We've been the No. 1 network for kids for the past 17 years, and we're not planning to give that up," Nick chief Cyma Zarghami told advertisers last week. "We have no intention of letting our recent ratings slip slow down our creative momentum."

Like Disney, Nick is plotting more music-fueled movies, and several networks plan more TV spinoffs from movie and video-game franchises, meant to grab kids' shortened attention spans.

President Gary Marsh says Disney Channel has been "girding ourselves for what might be the fallout" after top hits Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place ended their runs last year, adding several new shows that have been hits among its tween audience, including Shake It Up! and A.N.T. Farm.

"We only launch a handful of shows a year, each of us," he says, and "kids are much more media snackers; they want to sample" a variety of shows.

Here's a look at some of the kids' snacks on the way:


The struggling leader is refilling its programming pipeline, putting its money on Lucas Cruikshank, the Nebraska teen who gained YouTube fame with his Fred Figglehorn videos. In addition to more episodes of Fred: The Show and a third movie, Fred Goes to Camp, next January Marvin, Marvin will star Cruikshank as an alien living with a suburban family.

The channel also is prepping a new CGI take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for fall, to be followed by a feature film; a revival of '90s game show Figure It Out; and spinoffs of video game Raving Rabbids in spring 2013 and DreamWorks' Monsters vs. Aliens, also next year.

Coming this spring: movie musical Rags, a male spin on Cinderella; the 25th Kids' Choice Awards (March 31), hosted by Will Smith; and The Legend of Korra, a sequel to cult hit Avatar: The Last Airbender (April 14, Saturdays at 11 a.m. ET/PT). In summer, look for Hollywood Heights, a 16-week, 80-episode adaptation of a daily Mexican telenovela about a rock singer and his idolizing fan. And in development are projects featuring teen X Factor finalist Rachel Crow and U.K. pop group One Direction.

Disney Channel

New shows include Phineas & Ferb companion Gravity Falls (June), about twins who spend the summer with their great-uncle in a weird Oregon town; Wander Over Yonder, a sort-of-space Western from producer Craig McCracken (Dexter's Laboratory); and Code 9, a summer hidden-camera show in which kids prank parents. Three original movies are on tap: hip-hop-flavored Let It Shine (June 15), Shake It Up: Made in Japan (August) and Girl vs. Monster (October).

*Disney XD. This boy-targeted channel unveils a Marvel- programming block April 1 with Ultimate Spider-Man, and will add futuristic car cartoon Motorcity (April 30), movie spinoff Tron: Uprising and Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja (fall).

*Disney Junior. This new 24-hour channel, launching in 30 million homes, includes Doc McStuffins, about a 6-year-old stuffed-animal healer, and will add Sofia the First, featuring Disney's first pint-sized princess, with a fall movie and winter 2013 series. The main Disney Channel will continue to air a Disney Junior preschool block.

Cartoon Network

The No. 3 children's network will give advertisers a first look next week at a new series based on the Annoying Orange, another YouTube phenomenon, due in summer or fall, along with a spinoff of DreamWorks movie How to Train Your Dragon, which was announced last year, and Omniverse, the latest edition in its long-running Ben 10 series.

PBS Kids

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, due this fall, marks the first sequel to the celebrated Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. It will turn that show's puppets into the parents of a new generation of animated preschoolers, with an emphasis on music.

The Hub

This fledgling channel, a joint venture of Discovery and toymaker Hasbro, this summer will add Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, on the American Greetings franchise's 30th anniversary, and Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters, based on the trading-card game. Fall brings Littlest Pet Shop and Spooksville, based on the youth horror-novel series. Hedging its bets, on April 2 the Hub also begins airing a block of weeknight classic sitcom repeats, including Mork & Mindy and The Facts of Life.
Also, from Gamersyndrome:
Assassin’s Creed Movie Being Fast-Tracked

London, uk — October 22, 2012 — Today, Ubisoft® and New Regency announced that they are partnering on the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed® film.

Ubisoft Motion Pictures, the film and television division of Ubisoft, will develop the Assassin’s Creed film in close collaboration with New Regency. The development of a screenplay is beginning immediately and the project is being fast tracked as the creative pieces come together, while allowing Ubisoft to maintain control of key elements of the movie’s creative direction. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

“Ubisoft chose to partner with New Regency because they are a talent- and filmmaker-driven company, with the same independent and creative mindset that we have at Ubisoft Motion Pictures,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that Assassin’s Creed will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the video game franchise.”

The partnership with New Regency comes hot on the heels of Ubisoft Motion Pictures attaching distinguished actor Michael Fassbender to the Assassin’s Creed film.

“We wanted to do everything we could to secure the rights to Assassin’s Creed, which Ubisoft has maintained with such care and quality over the years,” said Brad Weston, president and chief executive officer, New Regency. “Having just finished working with Michael on Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (with Plan B) made the partnership even more irresistible.”

Ubisoft Motion Pictures was created in January 2011 to expand the audience of Ubisoft’s successful video game brands by bringing them to film, television and Web series.

In addition to the Assassin’s Creed movie, the studio also is in production on the Rabbids TV series, a collection of 78 seven-minute CGI episodes based on the insane, hilarious and silly stars of the video game franchise of the same name, in partnership with France Televisions and Nickelodeon. Ubisoft Motion Pictures also has two additional feature-length films in development based on the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon video game franchises.