Welcome to the Comic-Con edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report from Comic-Con HQ. Here’s what’s topping today!
Nick’s newest spooktacular show The Haunted Hathaway’s premiered last week along with a new episode of Sam & Cat. Meanwhile, Disney Channel’s been looking for another weekly sweep this month. Let’s check the weekly numbers and see how both networks did last week.
NEW YORK–July 16, 2013–Nickelodeon’s third straight hit in just the first seven weeks of summer, The Haunted Hathaway’s, leapt to the top with its Saturday premiere (July 13, at 8:30 p.m. [ET/PT]), as the day’s top-rated show among kids 2-11 and kids 6-11 across all TV. The series debut drew 3.3M total viewers and earned a 5.5/1.8M among K2-11, up +234%; a 6.6/1.3M with K6-11, up +221%; and a 5.2/1.1M among Tween 9-14, up +98%. The show’s 3.3 million total viewers also represents a +167% gain over last year. The show also bested its closest competitor (Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm) by +149% in the time period.
Preceding the debut of The Haunted Hathaway’s, Nick rolled out a new episode of live-action hit Sam & Cat (8 p.m. ET/PT), which drew 3.4 million total viewers. The series was Saturday’s top program with tweens 9-14 and teens 12-17 across all TV. The live-action comedy, averaged a 5.5/1.8M K2-11, 6.4/1.2M K6-11, 5.6/1.1M T9-14, 3.2/665,000 T12-17 and posted high triple-digit gains for the net with K2-11 (+189%), K6-11 (+167%), T9-14 (+100%) and total viewers (+133%).
SpongeBob SquarePants is the week’s number-one program with K2-11, averaging a 6.2/2.1M K2-11, up +117% over last year; and also ranks as basic cable’s top kids’ program with total viewers (3.5M) for the week.
Nickelodeon also posted its 25th consecutive week of gains, earning double-digit increases over last year. The net was up +43% with K2-11 (3.0/992,000), +32% with K6-11 (2.9/571,000) and +17% with total viewers (1.9M).
For the week of July 8, 2013, 24-hour kid-driven, family-committed television network Disney Channel continued to dominate Summer 2013, ranking as TV’s #1 Total Day network for the 7th consecutive week across Kids 2-11 (1.05 million/2.7 rating), Kids 6-11 (751,000/3.2 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (621,000/2.6 rating). Furthermore, this week stood as Disney Channel’s most-watched week in 27 weeks in Kids 2-11 and Kids 6-11, and 2nd-most-watched week of 2013 overall in the demos, behind only holiday week 12/31/12.
TV’s #1 network in Total Day for over 2 years, or 109 straight weeks, in Kids 6-11 and Tweens – dates back to week of 6/13/11 – Disney Channel out-delivered Nickelodeon by at least double digits for the 87th (+32% – 751,000 vs. 571,000) and 89th consecutive week (+60% – 621,000 vs. 389,000), respectively.
Summer to date, Disney Channel is pacing as TV’s #1 network for the 2nd straight summer in Kids 2-11 (1.01 million/2.5 rating), 5th in Kids 6-11 (711,000/3.0 rating) and 8th in Tweens 9-14 (630,000/2.6 rating), and as cable TV’s #1 network for the 2nd summer in a row in Total Viewers (1.83 million). Upcoming key events include this Friday’s premiere of original movie “Teen Beach Movie” (7/19, 8:00 p.m., ET/PT), ‘Into the Future Weekend’ (07/26-07/28) and “Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel,” the first ever crossover television special for Marvel and Disney characters (8/16, 8:00 p.m., ET/PT).
In Prime, Disney Channel extended its streak as cable TV’s #1 network to 428 consecutive weeks in Kids 6-11 (1.01 million/4.3 rating – 8+ years) and for 163 weeks in a row in Tweens 9-14 (804,000/3.4 rating – 3+ years).
Sunday’s all new “Shake It Up” (9:00 – 9:30 p.m.) hit a 4-month high in Total Viewers (3.45 million), Kids 2-11 (1.98 million/5.0 rating) and Kids 6-11 (1.65 million/7.0 rating), while “Dog With A Blog (8:00 – 8:30 p.m.) rose to a near 5-month high in Tweens 9-14 (1.40 million/5.9 rating) – since 3/17/13 and 2/24/13, respectively.
Led by “Shake It Up,” Disney Channel delivered the Top 9 TV telecasts in Kids 6-11 (18 of Top 20, Top 5 below) and Top 5 in Tweens 9-14 (51 of Top 53, Top 5 below):
Disney Junior Preschooler Block on Disney Channel
Led by “Sofia the First” and “Doc McStuffins,” Disney Junior on Disney Channel delivered the week’s Top 2 cable TV series in Kids 2-5, Top 3 cable TV series in Girls 2-5 and Top 4 preschool cable TV series in Total Viewers.
24-Hour Disney Junior Channel
The 24-hour Disney Junior Channel easily ranked as cable TV’s #1 preschool-dedicated network in Total Day for the 15th consecutive week – each week since reporting public ratings on 4/1/13 – with Kids 2-5 (205,000/1.3 rating) and Boys 2-5 (100,000/1.2 rating), for the 14th time in the previous 15 weeks in Total Viewers (401,000), and for the 3rd time in the prior 4 weeks in Girls 2-5 (104,000/1.3 rating) and 3rd week in a row in Women 18-49 (86,000/0.1 rating).
Impressively, Disney Junior Channel soared to its most-watched week on record in Total Viewers (401,000), Girls 2-5 (104,000) and Women 18-49 (86,000) and its 2nd-most-watched week to date in Kids 2-5 (205,000 – behind week of 5/13/13).
Disney Junior Channel topped Nick Jr. for the 15th week in a row in Kids 2-5 (+9% – 205,000 vs. 188,000) and Boys 2-5 (+10% – 100,000 vs. 91,000), and for the 14th time in 15 weeks in Total Viewers (+7% – 401,000 vs. 375,000), despite being in 16.4 million fewer homes.
Disney Junior Channel towered over Sprout by triple digits for the 15th consecutive week in the key demos Total Viewers (+137% – 401,000 vs. 169,000), Kids 2-5 (+185% – 205,000 vs. 72,000) and Boys 2-5 (+245% – 100,000 vs. 29,000), and for the 14th time in the previous 15 weeks in Girls 2-5 (+148% – 104,000 vs. 42,000).
You may or may not have know this Lassie fans, but the greatest canine heroine of Hollywood is heading to DreamWorks! What does this great Collie have to do with this heroic comeback Jim?
Jim Fish (via L.A. Times Entertainment)- Hollywood studio DreamWorks Animation plans to put the charismatic collie Lassie, still the world’s most famous dog, back in the public eye.
She’s an American icon with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
But it has been four decades since she had her own prime-time TV show, on which her courage, loyalty and knack for saving the day endeared her to millions of baby boomers.
Can Lassie really come home again?
A Hollywood studio is hoping so. DreamWorks Animation, creator of the “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda” movies, plans to put the charismatic collie back in the public eye, along with Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and other decades-old characters.
Lassie, who will celebrate her 75th anniversary in December, is still the world’s most famous dog. Introduced in a 1938 Saturday Evening Post short story, and then popularized in a bestselling novel, the fictional dog became the star of the 1943 motion picture “Lassie Come Home,” opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowall, after catching the eye of MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer. Six more films followed.
By 1954, she had her own TV series. The CBS show “Lassie,” in which the canny canine managed to save Timmy each week from a burning barn, falling tree or runaway automobile, ran for nearly 20 years before going global in syndication and reruns.
“She’s heroic, she’s loyal, she really is man’s best friend,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation’s chief executive. “She’s the single most recognized pet in the world.”
Indeed, a survey conducted by the research firm Penn Schoen Berland this spring found that Lassie had an 83% brand awareness among those polled in the U.S. The words most associated with her: classic, smart, loyal, brave, hero and heartwarming. Another survey by Nielsen found that Lassie had a 70% brand awareness among consumers in China, the world’s second-largest film market.
Lassie is so well known in some countries there are expressions named after her. In Sweden, the expression “Jag mötte Lassie” is used to mean that a celebrity has been sighted. In Argentina, “Tan bueno como Lassie” (roughly translated to “as good natured as Lassie”) is used to describe someone friendly.
But familiarity doesn’t necessarily translate into ticket sales. Witness the recent flop of the big-screen reboot of Walt Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” — and early failed attempts to make new movies out of old TV brands such as “Sgt. Bilko,” “McHale’s Navy” and “Car 54, Where Are You?”
“They may be iconic to people of a certain age, but people of the age they will be targeting have no idea who Lassie is,” said analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen and Co. “These characters have been out of the public circulation for a long time. I’m just not sure how much these brands resonate anymore.”
Efforts to revive Lassie’s Hollywood career have had mixed results. A 1994 “Lassie” movie from Paramount Pictures made $10 million in U.S. theaters. An Anglo-Irish remake of the 1943 movie, released in 2005 and starring Peter O’Toole, was critically acclaimed but didn’t do much business at the domestic box office.
A Canadian company produced an updated Lassie TV show in the late 1990s, with Timmy and his widowed mom living in Hudson Falls, Vt. The series didn’t gain much traction and sparked outrage from some Lassie fans who complained that it was tampering with an American icon.
But Lassie has one advantage over other aging properties: The character is still “alive.” The 10th-generation descendant of the original Lassie — a male collie named Pal trained by the late Rudd Weatherwax in the San Fernando Valley — still lives in the L.A. area and makes occasional appearances at dog shows.
DreamWorks last year paid $155 million to acquire the Classic Media library of titles, which along with “Lassie” included such properties as “The Lone Ranger,” “George of the Jungle” and “Frosty the Snowman.”
The Classic Media library will help form a new crop of TV shows for Netflix and other outlets as DreamWorks, based in Glendale, moves beyond simply producing a few animated movies a year.
Charged with leading “Lassie” and the other properties to new success is former Target Corp. marketing whiz Michael Francis, who joined DreamWorks as its global brand chief in February.
Francis says Lassie retains a strong brand appeal globally, in part because the original series continues to run in syndication in countries around the world.
“She’s the original superhero and stands for the great qualities of loyalty and trust and is a uniquely American icon,” Francis said. “Lassie is a property that is at the top of our list, and we’re actively developing the Lassie brand to ensure that new audiences are in love with that property.”
Although some analysts are skeptical that DreamWorks can teach an old dog new tricks, Katzenberg points to the success Marvel Studios has had in reviving comic book characters such as Thor, Captain America and the other “Avengers.”
There is no Lassie TV series or movie in the works just yet — though DreamWorks is developing a “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” film set for release next year. Instead, the studio is developing a multimedia marketing plan to reintroduce the dog.
Lassie will make appearances at such events as dog shows, charity events, children’s TV shows, as well as do promotions through social media, Francis said. Lassie already has her own Facebook page.
DreamWorks may also introduce a new line of Lassie-branded pet food, toys and accessories, which also could generate additional licensing revenue for the studio, he said.
Although DreamWorks and Disney have built successful franchises around new characters, there’s also a benefit to working with popular characters that have a proven track record, said Ira Kalb, professor of marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business. “It’s a very powerful brand,” he said. “This dog has a reputation of rescuing people and saving the day, and when you get right down to it, most people like a happy ending.”
Jon Provost, who was 7 when he joined the “Lassie” cast as Timmy in 1957, played an older version of Timmy in yet another TV series, called “The New Lassie,” that ran for two seasons before it was canceled in 1992.
Provost would like to see Lassie make another comeback. He still does promotions for the original series and signed autographs Saturday at the Hollywood Show at the Westin Los Angeles Airport. He was joined by other celebrities, including June Lockhart, who played his mother in the original TV series, along with a collie.
“A lot of the younger generation has never seen Lassie, so I think it’s great to reintroduce it, as long as they keep the tone of the show the way it was originally,” Provost said. “Timmy always learned something. He didn’t talk back to his parents. It’s not like the shows today.”
With the Emmy’s just 2 months away, the glitz and glamour continues to shine award season. As the show approaches Johnny, Has a familiar production company made its return this year?
Johnny Trout (via The Wrap)- The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards has announced the production team for the telecast on Sunday, Sept. 22 on CBS.
Producer Renato Basile, co-producer Danette Herman, director Louis J. Horvitz and scenic designer Brian Stonestreet round out the production team with previously announced executive producer Ken Ehrlich and host/producer Neil Patrick Harris.
“With such an exciting year in television to celebrate, I’m thrilled to have an equally exciting and wonderfully creative production team working with me on this year’s show,” said Ehrlich in a statement.
“The Emmys are always one of television’s most looked forward to events, and I have no doubt that with this group of talented individuals we can create a great evening of television.”
His fifth time producing the telecast, Basile had previously worked alongside Ehrlich on the 57th, 58th, 59th and 60th Emmy awards shows. He has also produced “Celine Dion: Opening Night Live Las Vegas,” “Marc Anthony: I’ve Got You,” “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild N’ Out,” the Michael Jackson Memorial and several Grammy Nomination Concert Live! events.
Herman has been on the production team for the telecast for 23 years. She served as coordinating producer for the 35th Kennedy Center Honors, The 85th Oscars and The 85th Oscars Red Carpet Live Pre-Show, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ The Governor’s Awards, and was co-producer of The Producers Guild of America’s The Producers Guild Awards.
Horvitz has directed the Primetime Emmy Awards 16 times. He has also directed the Academy Awards 12 times, receiving 14 Emmy nominations and winning six. His long resume of directing live telecasts includes 20 years on the Kennedy Center Honors, the Golden Globe Awards, the Grammys, the Billboard Awards and the opening and closing ceremonies for the XXI Winter Olympics.
A three-time Emmy winner, Stonestreet’s TV credits include the Grammy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Billboard Awards, BET Awards, Hip Hop Awards and the Kennedy Center Honors. His live event credits include this year’s TED Summit, the Lexus and Chrysler Dealer Rollouts, L.A. LIVE Holiday Event, BET Upfronts and Miss Universe Beijing.
Nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced on Thursday.
We’ll also bring you the winners as soon as the show concludes.
Checking the Penguins tally this week, 535 fans sign in as Team Skipper monitors our Comic-Con coverage all throughout this weekend.
There’s more breaking news still to come tomorrow as part of our Comic-Con coverage. The folks of Bikini Bottom News will keep you through Friday and the rest of the weekend as part of our weekend coverage. Remember, I’ll still be at Comic-Con HQ for this week’s Box office report. Until then, I’ll see you back here for more entertainment news!