April 27, 2017
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The Australian Greens political party has launched the #SaveKidsTV initiative to defend children’s storytelling in the country, with Screen Producers Australia among those pledging support to the cause.
#SaveKidsTV aims to protect the children’s television industry in Australia by highlighting the challenges that the sector faces from such streaming services as Netflix and Stan, while also pushing for the government to strengthen the requirements of broadcasters to produce and air high-quality, locally made kids’ programming in the country.
TF1, Cyber Group Studios, Supamonks Studios and La Chouette Compagnie are currently developing Droners, a new animated comedy adventure series based on an original idea by Pierre de Cabissole and Sylvain dos Santos.
Set in a world that is 95-percent covered by oceans, Droners follows Corto, Arthus, Enki and Mouse as they team up to win a drone race called the Whale Cup. The future of their archipelago, which is being threatened by marine submersion, depends on their victory in this tournament. The 26×26-minute show is meant for young viewers between the ages of 6 and 10.
The special An American Girl Story: Summer Camp Friends for Life, inspired by the American Girl character named Z who fronts the web series Z’s Crew, is scheduled to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on June 9.
An American Girl Story: Summer Camp Friends for Life tells the story of Z, short for Suzie, the latest addition to American Girl’s new line of contemporary characters that are designed to represent a broader range of girls’ interests, backgrounds and experiences. Z is a Korean-American girl from Seattle who loves to make films and stay connected to her friends by sharing stories through her stop-motion videos. The web series featuring Z has amassed more than 3 million views on YouTube, and American Girl is now bringing the character to life as an 18-inch doll.
Kids’ media company pocket.watch, which creates, acquires, distributes and curates content across a range of platforms, has secured its first creator partnership with HobbyKidsTV, a brand of ten YouTube channels.
Through the partnership, HobbyKidsTV gains access to pocket.watch’s team of industry veterans, with the goal of developing apps, books, animated series and toys. The collaboration kicks off with a new animated series concept that is being fast-tracked by pocket.watch’s development team. In addition, pocket.watch is in discussions with a publisher on a series of books related to HobbyKidsTV.
The YouTube Kids app, which can be downloaded on mobile phones and tablets, is now also available on select smart television sets.
YouTube Kids has launched on LG, Samsung and Sony smart TVs in the 26 territories where it is currently available. The app is now offered on all 2015-2017 LG webOS TVs via the LG content store, all 2013-2017 Samsung smart TVs and Blu-ray players that have access to the Samsung App Store, and, after a firmware update, on 2016-2017 Sony TVs (excluding Android TV, which will become available soon).
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