Friday, November 15, 2013

Nickelodeon News Round-Up


NEED A BABYSITTER? You can't go wrong with ! The hilarious website features bios for Sam Puckett and Cat Valentine, two of the best babysitters in the business, testimonials from some of their most satisfied clients, and a online streaming video of their commercial.*

* The website was set up by Nickelodeon and Dan Schneider for the recent brand new "Samfoster learning, creativity or discovery through play; and endure in popularity over generations, according to the hall. This year's nominees trace their origins across centuries, from chess, which evolved in England during the 15th century, to the rubber ducky, which appeared in the 1800s, to Pac-Man and My Little Pony, which appeared in the 1980s. A Chicago company called Chemtoy sold the first soap bubble solution in the 1940s, though paintings of children playing with bubbles appeared in the country of Flanders in the 17th century, hall officials said. Some of the nominees have made the finals before, including plastic green Army men, Clue and the Magic 8 Ball. Thousands of suggestions come in every year. Previous winners range from classics, like Play-Doh and Slinky, to the less obvious, like the stick and cardboard box. This year's winners will be announced at an induction ceremony Nov. 7. Which toys will make it into the hallowed halls of toydom this November? !

has recently launched a new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Fan Club website at to replace their "Turtles vs. Foot" website. Fans who sign up have the opportunity to enter contests to win prizes by sharing TMNT posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Currently, fans can enter to win Bebop and Rocksteady production action figures, a signed Nickelodeon season 2 script, and an Xbox 360.

THAT SMYTHS TOYS SUPERSTORES has launched its first marketing campaign in its partnership with creative partner TWBA Manchester. Running on prime-time TV in the UK and Ireland, the new broadcast campaign follows a group of the latest toys on the market as they make their way from a Smyths store to the door of a young child. The advert features toy ranges from popular brands such as Nickelodeon, including "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Dora the Explorer", Mattel, LEGO, Hasbro, Flair, and Disney, and depicts their journey across the UK. The campaign includes brand and tactical executions, sponsorship idents for ITV's "You've Been Framed" and "Big Star's Little Star" along with press, outdoor, radio and point of sale materials. A 60-second version of the ad also ran during "The X Factor" on September 28th September 2013. You can also read the full press release and watch the full TV advert .

ARIANA GRANDE ON FAMILY GUY!: Nickelodeon Star Ariana Grande has announced the news in on her official Twitter profile page () on Friday 27th September 2013 that she has recorded a line of dialogue for a upcoming brand new episode of Seth MacFarlane's hit animated FOX series "Family Guy"! It is currently unknown whether she will be voicing a cartoon version of herself to guest star on the show or a new character, and what the episode will be about. This isn't the first time Ariana has recorded her voice for a animated show - Ariana provides the voice of villain Princess Diaspro in Nickelodeon's "Winx Club" and Cat Valentine in "The Lil' Sam & Cat Show", the animated companion series to her hit Nick sitcom, "Sam & Cat".

Meanwhile, Ariana Grande is also busy getting into the festive spirit! Ariana on 26th September 2013 that recently recorded the first of a series of Christmas songs for Christmas 2013! Plus, in celebration of her gaining ten million (10,000,000) Twitter followers, she will be releasing her hit song !

, teamed up with the experts in toys - kids - has named Playmates as a top toy in the "Kids 6 to 7 years" category its annual holiday top toy list. Walmart brought together 1,000 kids ages 18 months to 10 years to test, play with, and help select the top toys for the season. Timed with the "Chosen by Kids" top toy list unveiling, Walmart has rolled back prices on hundreds of dolls, action figures, ride-on toys and more.

: iKids is reporting that American kids and their counterparts across the pond in the UK are showing the same predilection for free educational iPad apps, but when it comes to dishing out dollars and pounds for paid apps their tastes seemingly differ. That's according to up-to-the-minute stats from data aggregator , which shows how mobile games are performing on varying platforms and in different countries. The data reveals that the top three free iPad apps in the UK and the US are mirrored, and while the number one paid educational iPad app (Toca Cars) is the same in both countries, the rest of the lists are impacted by respective localized children's properties. (Toca Cars, for its part, has been the top paid educational iPad app across Australia, France, Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden, Russia and Singapore.) And with research firm Gartner today predicting that the total number of app downloads in 2013 will surpass 100 billion, and free apps will account for a whopping 91% of these downloads, it's never been more important to focus on this segment. Among the most popular paid apps amongst preschoolers in the USA are Nickelodeon Preschool's "" and "" apps!

, with children in the UK clocking more than 23 million hours of TV every day, and roughly 10% of British three-to-four-year-olds using a tablet at home, it's not surprising that television and digital media execs would start to think out of the box and about the screen. Among them are former Nickelodeon UK MD Howard Litton and Skype/LoveFilm advisor Peter Read, who are backing , a brand new kids on-demand TV channel embodied in a single app that delivers preschool shows and games to touchscreen devices. The Netflix-like subscription-based service founded by former Viacom executive Nick Walters will launch in the UK App Store in November 2013 with episodes of licensed content and interactive learning games that are automatically customized based on the TV shows that kids are watching. As part of the service, Hopster will stream a range of classic Nickelodeon, Nick UK and Nick Jr. UK preschool series, including "Babar", "Little Bear", "Max & Ruby" and "Maggie"Madeline" and "Monster Math Squad" (DHX Media); and "64 Zoo Lane" (Millimages). The non-exclusive licensing deals already inked are nearing 800 episodes, with more to be announced in the coming months. "Everyone's trying to figure out what the future of TV-watching for kids looks like. For us, it's touchscreen devices," says Walters, former GM of Nickelodeon Russia. is reporting that Hospter's management includes Sander Striker from Vdio, Joost and Apache, Mahesh Ramachandra who has worked for Galleon Entertainment, Cellcast and Event Check-in and Bradley Archer, a former Nickelodeon executive like Walters. The Hopster advisory board includes Howard Litton, former MD of Nickelodeon UK, investor Peter Read, Bhavneet Singh, president and CEO of Pearson English and Tony Orsten of twofour54 and Paramount Pictures. You can read the full news here on , plus read more about the news story at , , , and .

that, while most kids would be impressed if their dad was "X-Men" superhero Wolverine, not Hugh Jackman's son! Oscar, 13, prefers to think of his famous father as a professional belcher. "My son was like, "You're really nothing like Wolverine. I used to think you were like him, but you just look like him, that's all" - which is pretty true," says Hugh, 44. "He was more impressed when he thought I was a burping champion. When he was younger, I won the Nickelodeon burping competition [at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2004] and he saw it." "So for a while he thought that was all I did." Hugh - who is a doting dad to adopted children Oscar and Ava, 8, with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness, 57 - doesn't think his son will follow in his acting footsteps. "All the kids at school were asked what they want to be when they grow up," the Aussie star tells Notebook. "Oscar was like, "I want to be a Pharoah!" I was like, "Excellent. We need one in the family!""

has acquired the library of U.K.-based children's television company Chapman Entertainment in an expansion of its TV portfolio which will now feature the popular preschool television series "Little Charley Bear", "Raa Raa the Noisy Lion", and Nick Jr. UK's "" and "". DWA's Chapman acquisition follows its purchase in July of 2012 of New York-based Classic Media, which includes properties such as "Archie", "Fat Albert", "Rocky and Bullwinkle" and "The Lone Ranger" and is expected to account for about $50 million of DWA's 2013 TV revenue. The move also follows the appointment in July 2013 to serve as its first head of television to run its new television group which is a significant growth area for the cartoon studio. As for the newly acquired Chapman series, "Little Charley Bear" has been sold into roughly 100 countries, including the UK, where it airs on CBeebies, which also holds the license to "Raa Raa the Noisy Lion". Meanwhile, "Fifi and the Flowertots" has broadcast deals in more than 200 countries and "Roary the Racing Car" airs in 100 countries and is seen on Milkshake in the UK. Chapman Entertainment was formed in 2002 by Keith Chapman, the originator of "Bob the Builder". It entered administration in November 2012. (Additional information from and .)

IS REPORTING THE NEWS that the Waheed Alli's London-based independent production studio Silvergate Media, a co-producer of Nickelodeon USA's new CG-animated "Peter Rabbit" and Cbeebies' "Octonauts" preschool series, has launched its own dedicated TV distribution arm to be headed up by former France T l visions and Chorion exec Geraint Marsh. As SVP of global TV distribution & consumer products (Americas & France), Marsh will be responsible for the global exploitation of rights across television and digital media, and consumer products in the Americas and France for Silvergate's key brands. Marsh was most recently EVP of television and consumer products at France T l visions Distribution and previously SVP of television sales at Chorion. He held various roles in publishing and TV distribution earlier in his career. The new "Peter Rabbit" airs in the U.S. (Nickelodeon), U.K. (BBC's CBeebies), France and Australia (ABC TV), with a launch in Germany coming later this year (2013). Silvergate holds worldwide licensing and merchandising rights for the Classic Peter Rabbit property and holds all worldwide audiovisual, licensing and merchandising rights for the new CGI "Peter Rabbit", excluding the Americas and India which are controlled by Nickelodeon. Penguin is supporting the animation with a full publishing program. Silvergate also holds all audiovisual and worldwide licensing and merchandising rights to "Octonauts", a preschool series based on books by the award-winning design team Meomi, and features the adventures of a team of underwater explorers. You can read more about this news story here on and .

, walk down Nickelodeon's purple carpet wearing colour co-ordinated outfits to match the famous orange Nickelodeon logo for NickMom's recent special panel discussion on Wednesday 25th September 2013. Tia Mowry-Hardrict is the star of Nick@Nite's brand-new, live-action family comedy series, "", which currently airs every Sunday at 8:30pm (ET/PT) on Nick USA's nighttime programming strand and later the same night at 10:00pm on NickMom. The series .

THE GD ENTERTAINMENT FUND, a Luxembourg-based boutique investment fund, has signed on to co-finance a range of Imira Entertainment shows, reports . The deal completes the funding for animated titles "Lucky Fred" and "Bat Pat", both of which will now enter production. "Lucky Fred" is an original Imira Entertainment animated co-production with Televiside Catalunya and Rai Fiction that is currently shown in the LatAm region . The animated series is about a young boy named Fred and Friday, his shape-shifting robot.

TO CELEBRATE TIA MOWRY-HARDRICT'S BRAND NEW ORIGINAL NICK AT NITE COMEDY SERIES, "INSTANT MOM", has unveiled a exclusive interview with Tia Mowry-Hardrict, in which she talks about the shows unique take on motherhood, how the show fills a TV void, how she got involved with "Instant Mom", what it's like also being a producer on the show, if there are any plans for her sister, Tamera Mowry-Housley, and/or brother, Tahj Dayton Mowry from ABC Family's "Baby Daddy", to guest star on "Instant Mom", how the show features a entirely African-American cast, and about her reality show, "Tia & Tamera".

has made a round of new broadcast deals across Central Eastern Europe and other European markets for a raft of their children's properties including "Peppa Pig" and new brand "Simon's Cat". MTVA in Hungary has picked up a selection of shows that will launch on the channel for the first time this year. Acquisitions include the first two seasons of "Peppa Pig" and "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom", CGI-animated farmyard series "Tractor Tom", a live action series, "Mist", which follows the rural adventures of a young sheepdog, and short film "Lost and Found". In Ukraine, FTA kids channel Inter 1+1 will debut all six seasons of "Peppa Pig", the first two seasons of "Tractor Tom", preschool show "Rob the Robot" and "Lost and Found". Meanwhile, Chello Central Europe has licensed the broadcast rights to "Lost and Found" and has also renewed "Pat and Stan" shorts for its pan regional Minimax and Megamax channels across several territories in Central Eastern Europe including Hungary, Romanian Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia and Croatia. Chello is also the first in the region to acquire animation shorts of eOne's new property "Simon's Cat", which will be aired in several of the same countries. Rounding out these sales are new and returning broadcast deals for "Peppa Pig" and "Lost and Found" across Europe. In Scandinavia, NRK in Norway has taken series three and four of "Peppa Pig" and YLE in Finland has licensed TV rights for "Lost and Found". Star Channel in Greece will air series three of "Peppa Pig" this fall, Capital TV in Cyprus has picked up series one and two of "Peppa Pig" and Noga Communications in Israel has acquired "Lost and Found".

THE FREE-TO-AIR (FTA) BROADCASTER TELEVISA has acquired the broadcast and consumer products licensing rights to eOne Family and Nick Jr. UK's hit preschool property "Peppa Pig" for Mexico, reports . Televisa will begin airing episodes throughout Mexico by the end of 2013. And in conjunction with the broadcast launch, the company will be developing a full L&M campaign for the property. Consumer products and promotions for "Peppa Pig" are likely to debut in Mexico in 2014, with a soft launch starting in Q3 and a full product launch hitting Mexican retail in Q4 2014. eOne has also partnered with Exim Licensing Group to develop a major consumer products program for the IP in South America, where "Peppa Pig" will air on Discovery Kids Latin America. The firm will look to develop toys, publishing and home entertainment categories throughout the region. The first line of products is slated to launch at retail in 2014 in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador.

Meanwhile, is also reporting that Entertainment One Family (eOne Family) has also made a round of new broadcast deals across Central Eastern Europe and other European markets for its children's properties including "Peppa Pig" and new brand "Simon's Cat". MTVA in Hungary has picked up a selection of shows that will launch on the channel for the first time this year (2013). Acquisitions include the first two seasons of "Peppa Pig" and "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom", CGI-animated farmyard series "Tractor Tom", a live action series, "Mist", which follows the rural adventures of a young sheepdog, and short film "Lost and Found". In Ukraine, FTA kids channel Inter 1+1 will debut all six seasons of "Peppa Pig", the first two seasons of "Tractor Tom", preschool show "Rob the Robot" and "Lost and Found". Meanwhile, Chello Central Europe has licensed the broadcast rights to "Lost and Found" and has also renewed "Pat and Stan" shorts for its pan regional Minimax and Megamax channels across several territories in Central Eastern Europe including Hungary, Romanian Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia and Croatia. Chello is also the first in the region to acquire animation shorts of eOne's new property "Simon's Cat", which will be aired in several of the same countries. Rounding out these sales are new and returning broadcast deals for "Peppa Pig" and "Lost and Found" across Europe. In Scandinavia, NRK in Norway has taken series three and four of "Peppa Pig" and YLE in Finland has licensed TV rights for "Lost and Found". Star Channel in Greece will air series three of "Peppa Pig" this fall/autumn, Capital TV in Cyprus has picked up series one and two of "Peppa Pig" and Noga Communications in Israel has acquired "Lost and Found". .

SLIMEFEST 2013 - THE SOUNDTRACK!: Nickelodeon Australia and New Zealand the SLIMEFEST 2013 compilation CD! Out now, it features music from Big Time Rush, Guy Sebastian, Samantha Jade, Justice Crew, One Direction, Justin Bieber and much more! Buy your copy online today !

IN A EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH , Nickelodeon Star Benjamin "Lil P-Nut" Flores Jr. freestyles & talks Drake, turning 11, and his new Nick comedy series "The Haunted Hathaways", in which he plays Louie Preston. The article also includes a exclusive video!

CLASSIC NICKELODEON STAR MELISSA JOAN HART ("Clarissa Explains It All", "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") will be releasing a brand new tell-all book called "Melissa Explains It All", in which she reveals just what she got up to after "Clarissa" and "Sabrina", and it's guaranteed to make your jaw hit the floor faster than a witty retort from talking cat Salem Saberhagen, reports .

Melissa Joan Hart also recently celebrated her son Tucker turning one with family trip to DisneyLand! The 37-year-old television star rode the attractions with husband Mark Wilkerson and her older sons Mason and Brady at the theme park in Anaheim, California. Tucker clearly enjoyed his best birthday ever as he smiled while tucked between his parents on the adventurous "Alice In Wonderland" ride in Fantasyland. You can see a selection of photographs of Melissa Joan Hart and her family visiting DisneyLand in California, USA, ! Happy Birthday, Tucker!

IS REPORTING that the American actress Alexa Vega has explained why she thinks her fianc , Nickelodeon Star and Big Time Rush singer Carlos Pena, Jr., is the one.

THE POPULAR FILM AND TELEVISION ACTOR AND POLITICAL ENTHUSIAST, SEAN ASTIN, who can currently be heard as the voice of 'Raphael' in the hit Nickelodeon "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" TV series, has announced in a has just launched a crowd funding effort to raise $30,000 from Kickstarter to take his "" online political radio show to the next level. With the government shut down, average people are looking at elected officials and wondering why they aren't communicating. Astin's show is an example of how that can be effectively done. The weekly show (Broadcast on the Toad -Hop Network) brilliantly matches guests with opposing viewpoints. The premise of the show is to use civil discourse to explore often hot button topics. Sean expertly interviews notable subjects while effortlessly guiding the broader conversation, creating a unique model for political talk radio. Currently he has completed thirty-five 2 hour shows with 12,000-15,000 loyal listeners each week. The KickStarter, once funded, will help create a more fully produced listening and viewing experience, continuing the important conversations which cover politics, government and world events. The fundraising will take place between October 1, 2013 through October 30, 2013. Astin's Kickstarter fund can be found here at . Sean Astin (born February 25, 1971) is an American film actor, director, voice artist, and producer best known for his film roles as 'Samwise Gamgee' in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, 'Mikey Walsh' in "The Goonies," and the title character of "Rudy." In television, he appeared as 'Lynn McGill' in the fifth season of "24" and currently voices 'Raphael' in the Nickelodeon "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" TV series. Astin is currently in production for the much anticipated series "The Strain" for FX based on Guillermo del Toro's Novel Series.

, launching "Domo" into games and puzzles and vinyl cases. Big Tent Entertainment is expanding its Domo portfolio with new deals introducing the character to vinyl skins and games and puzzles. In a deal with SkinIt, Domo will feature on stylish and protective vinyl skins for smart phones, tablets, gaming devices, laptops and more. Meanwhile, Magnote is launching a series of branded puzzles and games including sticky notes, magnetic desk puzzles, Gigo blocks and Manga tracing templates. Mascot of the Japanese public broadcaster, NHK, Domo has become one of the Internet's most popular sensations finding its home as a pop culture icon within the online viral community, including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Domo also had a short-form Nickelodeon TV with Nicktoons in North America and Nickelodeon Worldwide that .

is reporting that the American actor, model, director and professional athlete Kurt Yaeger, who had a role in Nickelodeon and Clear Channel Communications' "Maximum Rocket Power Live: The Battle for Madtown Park", a live-action extreme-sports dramatic arena play based on Nickelodeon's popular Nicktoon "Rocket Power" that briefly toured the U.S. Midwest in spring 2002, recently made a VIP appearance at The Gathering Deal, a show of skills on wheels which was held at Deal Skate Park in Kent, UK by Tides, that showcased skateboards, inliners, scooters and a featured a BMX show of skills. Kurt's visit to Deal is part of a tour of the United Kingdom to promote himself, his sponsors and other UK business interested in supporting his causes for this tour. The trip will be documented by a professional film producer and edited into a multi- part series. The series will be featured on , , multiple BMX outlets, and YouTube. The musical line-up included Craig Sheridan, Nicola Jane, The Black Mirrors, Suburban Radio and Crashgate. There was also TV coverage for Kurt's five part TV series and a after party at the Astor Theatre.

THE , VIA THE , is reporting that a delegation of officials are heading to Japan next month to spend five days on a trade mission, with more than 50 office trips and meeting 100 contacts. They are on a mission to sell the Lake District as the ideal holiday destination, meeting scores of people involved in the Japanese travel trade. The delegation from the Lake District Japan Forum will be visiting Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo between October 21 and 25. The Lake District has become a firm favourite with Japanese tourists due to its Beatrix Potter links, but lost out last year to the Olympics. Colin Fox, chairman of the Japan Forum and group marketing manager with English Lakes, said they had a "fantastic relationship" with the Japanese travel trade. "We continue to see impressive numbers of guests from the country," he said. "By going out to speak direct and update the right people, the Lake District has become a number one destination outside of London in the UK and we aim to help this continue for many years to come." Angela Metcalfe, commercial manager for Cumbria Tourism, said the Lake District was the 'jewel in the crown' of the county's EUR2bn tourism industry. "We are so pleased that Cumbria Tourism and the Japan Forum have this opportunity to update the Japanese travel trade about new developments in the county and the chance to provide people with more information about the area," she said. "The website is one way anyone interested in the Japanese business can get some exposure to the market and we will highlight the benefits of this excellent translated site during the visit." The trip follows the recent launch of Nickelodeon's all new "Peter Rabbit" animations, set against a backdrop of Lake District locations. Tourism bosses said the new CG-animated series is now being broadcast around the world via NickJr and via CBeebies in the UK and it was 'inevitable' they would create a fresh wave of enthusiasm for visitors to the Lakes. The delegation includes representatives from The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Dove Cottage, Windermere Lake Cruises, The National Trust and English Lakes Hotels Resorts and Venues.

DELL HAS ANNOUNCED IN A PRESS RELEASE, VIA ,, that the multi award-winning, London-based animation production company has implemented a robust Dell infrastructure to support development of the highly successful children's book into an animated TV series to be broadcast internationally, as well as enable the studio's expansion into film. With an animation portfolio including "Olive the Ostrich" for Nickelodeon UK and Nick Jr. UK and "Tree Fu Tom" for the BBC, Blue Zoo has experience working with some of Europe's largest broadcasters. However, upon winning the Q Pootle 5 contract for Snapper Films, Blue Zoo needed to increase its render farm architecture and workstation capacity, and fast. Blue Zoo turned to Dell to deliver a robust, reliable technology infrastructure with scale and stability, allowing the team to work faster and better, while saving money. The solution included powerful and reliable workstations to be used by animators as well as high performance servers to drive the software. The workstations were rolled out across the Blue Zoo design, animation and editing teams, replacing the legacy HP Z series. These Dell workstations ensured that those working on intensive projects had access to quiet yet powerful processors, delivering optimum performance and minimal distraction. Office space was also maximised due to the small form-factor of the machines - essential at a time of team expansion and soaring London office rental costs. Improved switching with has helped boost data throughout the network and provided high speed access to images for high-definition editing which has led to faster completion of projects, often beating exceptionally tight deadlines. Additionally, double the render-farm power without increasing server footprint or energy consumption. To provide peace of mind and protect against any delays, overall infrastructure performance is maintained by a range of Dell Services, including with four-hour on-site support. The deployment shows how integrated technology solutions are helping creative businesses develop and grow. With the Dell Precision workstations and render farm, Blue Zoo is now on schedule to complete its latest TV series and is planning to expand into film as a result of its improved animation capabilities.

, who was nominated for Nickelodeon's Fruit Shoot Skills Awards 2012's "Rising Music Star" Skillie Award, which celebrates the slickest young musicians out there ready and waiting to rock out in front of thousands of fans on stage, has become the youngest person in the world to receive a degree-equivalent diploma, called a ATCL diploma, which is equivalent to a first-year degree, for his piano playing skills! Congratulations, Curtis Elton!!

NAMIC (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR MULTI-ETHNICITY IN COMMUNICATIONS) has announced in the roster for Class XIII of its Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP). Presented in partnership with the University Of Virginia Darden School Of Business, 's education partner, ELDP Class XIII will be facilitated over the course of four sessions. Scheduled for October and December of 2013, and February and April of 2014, all sessions take place on the Darden grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia. Graduating a total of 434 executives of color since the program's inception, NAMIC's ELDP targets upper middle managers of color (directors with a minimum of two years at that level and above). The program's central goal is to develop business leaders of color who will be well prepared to assume the top roles within the communications industry. ELDP was created in response to some of the industry's most persistent challenges: increasing the diversity of the industry's executive suites; retention of executives of color; and maximizing the ROI of a diverse workforce in a business environment that demands strategic leadership agility and creative innovation. Emphasizing professional growth, the program addresses the unique challenges faced by executives of color, while strengthening the business competencies that all executives must have in order to be successful. The ELDP curriculum explores a range of topics and business functions such as strategy, finance, marketing, innovation, and leadership agility, presented as integrated components of a holistic learning experience. "NAMIC is honored to continue collaborating with Darden, our academic partner, and with all of the companies that support ELDP," said James C. Jones, NAMIC's Vice President, Education Programs and Diversity Solutions. "Our common goal of achieving diversity at the top echelons of the cable telecommunications industry can be realized by helping to cultivate savvy, results-driven problem solvers who thrive on diversity of thought, diversity of culture, and diversity of world-view." The members of ELDP Class XIII are: Angela Albert, Region Vice President, Human Resources, Comcast; MALEK ROBERT AMIRSHAHI, VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC RELATIONS, NICKELODEON; Bryen Aoyama, Director, Digital Project Management (Digital Advertising); Yvette Badua, Director, Traffic Operations, Time Warner Cable; Rickey Austyn Biggers, Senior Director, Development, BET; TANIQUE BLAIR, SENIOR DIRECTOR, NICKELODEON; Christine Chong, Executive Director, Workforce Management, Comcast; Deretta Cole, Vice President, Human Resources, Turner Broadcasting; ANTHONY DICOSMO, VICE PRESIDENT, SPORTS MARKETING, NICKELODEON; Yvette Encarnacion, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Viacom Media Networks; Claire Evans, Director, Marketing and Product Sales, Comcast, Ricky Frazier, Regional Vice President, Customer Care, Comcast; Amit Garg, Senior Director, Comcast; Iris Gonzalez, Corporate Director of Multicultural Strategies, Bright House Networks; Thomas Grayman, Senior Director, Spike TV Brand and Consumer Research, Viacom Media Networks; Tamara Gregory, Senior Director, DevelopmentHowie Hodges II, Vice President, External Affairs, Time Warner Cable; Christine Hong, Senior Director, Asset Management, ESPN; Meghan Hooper White, Vice President, Acquisitions, Lifetime Network, A+E Networks; Tamera Hylton, Senior Counsel, Turner Broadcasting; Renard Jenkins, Senior Director, Post Production and Network Operations, PBS; Alexis Johnson, Vice President, Content Acquisition, Time Warner Cable; Lawrence Jung, Director, Research, Scripps Networks Interactive; Sonia Koo, Director, Corporate Communications, BET; Robert Lewis, Senior Director, Production, BET; David Maharaj, Executive Director, IT, Cox Communications; Marisol Martinez, Senior Director, Time Warner Cable; Rajat Maulay, Captain/Pilot, Comcast Corporation; Phillip McKibbins, Senior Director, Emerging Technology, ESPN; Cheryl Middleton Jones, Vice President, Human Resources, Scripps Networks Interactive; Wanita Niehaus, Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Scripps Networks Interactive; Kia Painter, Vice President, Human Resources, Cox Communications; Leslie Pearce, Vice President, Sales and Retention Operations, Comcast; MONIQUE PRINCE, DIRECTOR, FASHION BASICS AND FOOTWEAR, NICKELODEON; Jacquelyn Puente, Senior Director, External Affairs, Comcast Corporation; Munzer Qaddourah, Vice President, Cox Media; Lucia Rodriguez, Senior Director, Multicultural Retention Marketing, Comcast; Ximena Rogers, Director, Marketing, Comcast; Satish Sampangiramiah, Principal Engineer - II, Comcast; Sudhanshu Sharma, Director, Video Engineering, Comcast; Joyclan Sumpter, Director, Distribution Operations, The Weather Channel Companies; Chantal Thomas, Director, Search Engine Optimization, MTV; Jose E. Velez Silva, Senior Director, Marketing Communications, Comcast; Keirsten Wanamaker, Senior Director of Photography, Press Art and Styling Group, Viacom Media Networks; Janet West, Vice President of Marketing, Southwest Region, Cox Communications; Kimberly Wilson, Vice President, Affiliate Marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks.

has announced in a press release that Nickelodeon USA will be helping the PHA's "" pro-social campaign by lending their creative/advertising support to encourage viewers to drink more water. PHA is asking people across the country to visit to join in a virtual "Cheers!" to water, or to find the initiative on (), tagging their pictures #DrinkH2O.

: To celebrate SeptBender, Hypable unveiled a selection of animated GIFs which detailed most "The Legend of Korra" fans experiences leading up to the premiere of ""!

, who voices 'Korra' in "The Legend of Korra". The interview was conduced in the Nickelodeon dining area to discuss Korra's long-awaited return, where the character is at as we meet up with her again, new additions to the cast this year and more, just after Varney and Dee Bradley Baker were recording pickups - adding new lines or giving different takes to scenes that had already been animated and now needed some tweaks from what was done at the original voice session many months before ("Korra" episodes are recorded in their entirety by the voice cast before they are animated) - under the direction of animation legend Andrea Romano.

NICK2GO: and are reporting that the Swedish cable operator Com Hem has added Nickelodeon Sweden (Sverige) to its TiVoToGo service. The service makes content available to subscribers across television, computer, mobile phones and tablet devices.

IS REPORTING THAT A RAFT OF NEW PRODUCTS ARE ROLLING OUT FOR CLASSIC PROPERTY "MIFFY", as fans get ready to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2015. Simon and Schuster Children's Books will be updating the English translation of the "Miffy" stories - written and illustrated by Dutch graphic artist, Dick Bruna - to appeal to a modern British audience. The classic stories will be refreshed, while there will also be new novelty formats. In addition, a range of greetings cards has been launched by Hype, while Star Editions will be rolling out a line of posters, postcards, magnets and tote bags for spring. Long-term partner Rainbow Designs continues to see steady sales of its nursery plush collection, while new licensee Neviti has launched a range of party ware. Mothercare is also due to launch a range of layette items, including bodysuits and sleep suits, through baby wear partner Brecrest. DRi will also be announcing an adult fashion partner soon, which will be targeting High Street and fashion retailers. "This is a new chapter in the Miffy story and we have big plans for the brand over the next few years," said Alicia Davenport, director of DRi Licensing. The brand new "Miffy" merchandise range will also including a line of "Miffy" branded greeting cards. The animated series "Miffy and Friends" formally aired on Nick Jr. USA.

IS REPORTING THAT THE GERMAN BROADCASTER SUPER RTL has picked up the broadcast rights to the popular CG-animated preschool series "Peter Rabbit". A co-production between Irish studio Brown Bag Films, Penguin Books and Silvergate Media the show was commissioned by Nickelodeon in the US and the UK preschool channel CBeebies.

IS ALSO REPORTING that a raft of free-to-air (FTA) broadcasters in Asia and Europe have picked up the broadcast rights to Zodiak Kids' popular CGI-animated preschool series "Tickety Toc". The 52x11series has been picked up by PBS in Thailand, Mediacorp in Singapore, Four NZ in New Zealand, Pixel in Ukraine, MTV in Hungary and Ultra/Ultra Mini in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. A , which follows the madcap exploits of a pair of twins and their friends as they race to keep a clock chiming in time, is currently in development for global broadcast partner Nickelodeon. The toon is produced by Korea's FunnyFlux Entertainment alongside Zodiak-owned UK kids' prodco The Foundation. As well as Nick Jr channels around the world, "Tickety Toc" also airs on Channel 5 in the UK, Disney Junior in Canada and Network 11 in Australia, among others.

is reporting that Canadian Phase 4 film label Kaboom! Entertainment has signed an agreement with Target for dedicated retail space across all of Canada's 125 Target stores for its Treehouse Presents DVD releases. The exclusive space will feature Treehouse branding and Treehouse Presents DVD releases. The space launches on November 5th and will run for a year with Kaboom! also providing custom Movie Night packaging for the retailer. The first line to feature the exclusive Movie Night packaging will include "Octonauts", "My Big Big Friend", "Toopy & Binoo", "Chuggington", "The Berenstain Bears" and Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. USA's "Franklinrubbing shoulders with Hollywood A-listers, attending glitzy LA award ceremonies, and entertaining millions around the world on stage and screen.

bafta nominated: Brad Kavanagh with the cast at the children's Baftas (he was nominated for a Bafta in 2010 for Best Breakthrough Talent)

And speaking to The Whitehaven News during a rare break in his filming schedule for his current project - Nickelodeon's House of Anubis - Brad would describe his journey from Whitehaven Theatre of Youth to becoming a children's television favourite, via a starring role in Billy Elliot on London's West End stage, as "a bit of a mad one".

"If you told me when I was growing up that all this would have happened to me, then there's no way I would have believed it," says Brad.

"There's been so many times I've had to pinch myself; I've been so lucky. But it's been cool at the same time."

Originally from Cleator Moor, Brad and his family moved to Whitehaven when he was young. He would sing to himself around the house which prompted his mum to take him to singing lessons.

"I went to local teacher Mandy Norman when I was six, and she taught me all my singing basics, as well as verse-speaking, pacing, elocution.

"I was also given extra lessons by Baxter Shaw, who was a vocal genius. He gave me my passion."

Brad competed in music festivals at Whitehaven, Workington and Carlisle from an early age, and having joined Whitehaven Theatre of Youth, he was given his first starring role in a production of Joseph at St James' Church.

"I loved it all; singing, acting, performing. It was all I wanted to do.&rdqu
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