HBO Max Launching New Kids Cartoon Network Sept. 13

WarnerMedia is taking a new approach to children’s programming. The media company is set to launch the new “Cartoonito” preschool block on Sept. 13 on HBO Max and Cartoon Network. The new platform offers a modern approach to preschool programming with a focus on “humancentric learning,” including programming that celebrates individuality and originality, while championing creativity, compassion and inclusion.

The humancentric learning framework developed in partnership with educational psychologist Dr. Laura Brown, which aims to help children develop their unique potential and encourage them to treat others with compassion, respect and fairness.

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On Max, Cartoonito will be presented as a dedicated page featuring a collection of new preschool shows, including “Little Ellen” and the second season of the “The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo,” along with other staples such as “Esme & Roy” and “Sesame Street,” among others.

Cartoonito on Cartoon Network will be available Monday through Friday (6 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET/PT) and will include new series “Bing,” “Mush-Mush & The Mushables” and “Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go.” Preschoolers and families can also tune in Saturday-Sunday (6 to 8 a.m. ET/PT) for additional new Cartoonito shows, including “Lucas the Spider.”

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“Cartoonito’s offerings on Max and Cartoon Network will reflect a wide array of diverse content that connects kids and their caregivers through relatable stories, lovable characters and meaningful social emotional learning both in and between the shows,” Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming at WarnerMedia, said in a statement.

Episodes of ‘Arthur,’ ‘Hero Elementary’ and ‘Wild Kratts’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July

PBS Distribution will be adding new volumes of “Arthur” and “Hero Elementary,” along with a “Wild Kratts” special, to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due July 2 is Arthur Vol. 24. In one episode, George creates a piece of art for the country-wide art show with the help of guest artist, Kevin Sampson. Also, Arthur must learn how to control his temper after getting angry over a pair of sneakers in “George Scraps His Sculpture/Arthur’s Big Meltdown.” Then, in “The Great MacGrady,” Arthur and his friends find out that Mrs. MacGrady is diagnosed with cancer. The kids must learn how to come together to support each other.

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Starting to stream July 16 is Hero Elementary Vol. 8. In the two-part “Heroes in Space,” Sara is excited to celebrate the full moon viewing with her pals, but they notice that half the moon seems to be gone. Sparks’ Crew flies to the moon to investigate where the other half went. In “Squeak to Me/Team’s Song Theme Song,” Sparks’ Crew wants to make their own theme song. Then, when Sparks’ Crew is looking for their classmates in “Search and Rescue/Secret Lives of Teachers,” the kids are shocked to see their teacher on the weekend outside of school. What happens when a toy train display featuring a model replica of City Town is ruined is explored in “Back on Track/Switcheroo-er.”

Coming July 13 is Wild Kratts: Cats and Dogs. In the special, while on the African savanna, Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt observe lots of wild cats and dogs interacting with each other. Soon, Wild Kratts kids are calling in from all over to ask about these wild animals and whether they’re like their own pets. Zach, who has been secretly listening to all the questions, comes up with a scheme to capture and sell these creatures as “special” pets. The brothers, plus Aviva, Koki, and Jimmy, race to save the wild cats and dogs and protect them so they can live free and in the wild.

Also coming to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July are Let’s Go Luna Vol. 8 and Nature Cat: Ocean Commotion.

Genius Brands Promotes Jon Ollwerther to President of Kartoon Channel!

Genius Brands, a global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia entertainment content for children, has promoted Jon Ollwerther to president of family entertainment digital network Kartoon Channel!

Ollwerther previously served as GM of Kartoon Channel! and will continue in his role as EVP of business development for Genius Brands.

“I am pleased to announce the well-deserved promotion of Jon, in recognition of his significant contributions to the rapid growth and success of our hit kid’s streaming platform, Kartoon Channel,” Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Genius Brands, said in a statement.

Kartoon Channel! delivers content across multiple platforms, including Comcast, Cox, Dish, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV, Android Mobile, Google Play, Xumo, Roku, Tubi, Samsung Smart TVs and LGTVs.

“Viewer rankings have put Kartoon Channel! above all other services, including Netflix, Disney+, and You Tube Kids, in both the Apple and the Google app stores,” Ollwerther said in a statement. “In addition, I am extremely proud to announce that ‘Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten’ has just surpassed 21 million views on Kartoon Channel!, over 3.6 million per episode, since the initial launch just over one month ago with six episodes now released.  We believe ‘Superhero Kindergarten’ has risen to the ranks of one of the most highly viewed new cartoon launches in history, as we are building an evergreen production that will entertain generations of children, while attracting both advertisers and consumer product licensees.

“In addition to the recently launched hit, ‘Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,’ starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, we will be rolling out ‘KC Pop Quiz!’next quarter. It is a lightning fast-paced daily game show based on pop culture where kids win cool prizes. Think Jeopardy meets HQ Trivia! Shortly thereafter, we will introduce our third original product, Shaquille O’Neal’s first animated series, ‘Shaq’s Garage,’ created by Joel Cohen, the co-writer and creator of Toy Story. Additionally, we will now be launching season three of our hit series ‘Rainbow Rangers’ with an exciting new twist.

“I am honored to take on this new role with Genius Brands, as I truly believe we are curating the very best combination of original, exclusive, and commercially acquired product within the kids’ entertainment industry.”

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Prior to joining Genius Brands, Ollwerther served as VP of media, arts and entertainment for Measure, the nation’s leading Drone as a Service company. Working with clients across the country and around the world, Ollwerther has an extensive credit list of collaborations with brands and advertising agencies to create unforgettable experiences.

Genius Brands Appoints Harold Chizick President

Genius Brands International, a creator and licensor of multimedia entertainment content for children, has appointed Harold Chizick president, overseeing the global content sales, consumer products and marketing business.

Chizick is co-founder of ChizComm Ltd. and ChizComm Beacon Media, subsidiaries of Genius Brands.

He reports to Genius Brands’ chairman and CEO Andy Heyward.

Chizick, who will continue to run ChizComm Ltd. and ChizComm Beacon Media, will be responsible for driving global strategies across licensing, distribution and marketing for Genius Brands’ growing portfolio of brands, including “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; “Shaq’s Garage,” starring Shaquille O’Neal; “Stan Lee’s Universe”; “Rainbow Rangers”; “Llama Llama”; and more, as well as the company’s streaming platform Kartoon Channel!

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“Since acquiring ChizComm and ChizComm Beacon Media earlier this year, I have experienced firsthand the level of expertise, creativity and passion that Harold brings to the business,” Heyward said in a statement. “As we continue to build our team and focus on the brands we are bringing to market, I know that Harold and our executives are in a position to dramatically drive the growth of Genius Brands in the coming years.  His expertise and relationships in the toy and game world in particular are unmatched.”

“It is an incredible time to play an integral role in building Genius Brands presence on a global scale, and I look forward to working with Andy and the executive team to take the company to the next level as we rollout new brands to the content and retail marketplace this year,” Chizick said in a statement.

Chizick has more than 20 years of experience in public relations, social media, promotions, events and product launches. At the helm of ChizComm, founded in 2013 by Harold and Jennifer Chizick, “he brings a collaborative, inventive approach to marketing for partners and clients,” according to a Genius press release.

‘Dinosaur Train’ Movie, New Volumes of ‘Molly of Denali’ and Other Series Streaming on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in March

PBS Distribution in March is adding a “Dinosaur Train” movie, along with new volumes of “Wild Kratts,” “Elinor Wonders Why” and “Molly of Denali” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

While learning basic scientific thinking skills, young viewers join their favorite dinosaur friends who travel beneath the Earth’s crust in Dinosaur Train: What’s at the Center of the Earth? streaming March 12. In this one-hour special, Mr. Conductor takes the Pteranodon family on a very special journey with the help of a new invention — the drill engine train. This amazing machine gives its passengers a front row seat as they dive deep into the Earth’s crust. With Mr. Conductor at the helm, the drill train makes several stops in their once-in-a-lifetime quest to find the perfect place for an underground train station. In each location, Buddy and his siblings — Shiny, Tiny, and Don — explore and discover fascinating qualities about layers, fossils, and minerals.

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Volume 20 of “Wild Kratts” also streams beginning March 12. In this volume, Chris and Martin Kratt bring viewers along on new adventures as they explore wildlife from around the globe. When a coyote pup sneaks into the Tortuga, the Wild Kratts want to learn why this creature is so adaptable in “Adapto the Coyote.” In “Creature Tail Fail,” the Kratt Brothers find out what happens when a stowaway red squirrel gets loose on the African Savanna. Then, in “Tardigrade Xtreme,” the gang wonders if there’s life on other planets, so they head to space to look for clues. Back on Earth, Jimmy discovers a tardigrade, a microscopic creature that can survive in extreme and other-worldly conditions. The Wild Kratts then cruise across the African savanna in the Tortuga when a gust of wind blows a piece of paper out of Aviva’s hand and into an ostrich nest, in “Uh-oh Ostrich!”

Volume 5 of “Elinor Wonders Why” starts streaming March 19. Elinor ignites the curiosity of children ages 3-5, encouraging them to find answers using science inquiry skills. A mystery is afoot at Elinor’s school when one of the class plants grows in a zig zag shape. Elinor wonders why the plant has been growing this way in “Zig Zag Plant/Butterfly Drinks.” Then, in “Frozen Fish/Pirate Treasure,” Elinor and her friends wonder what happens to fish during the wintertime, after they see a lake that has frozen over. They don’t understand how the fish can survive and eventually learn about what happens to aquatic animals when the temperature drops. Plus, Elinor explores the desert with her grandmother and comes across a small, peculiar looking owl in “Burrowing Owl Girl/Olive’s Tree.”

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New episodes of “Molly of Denali” debut March 26. In Volume 8, kids join Molly Mabray and her friends and family on adventures in Alaska. Tooey becomes worried when one of his sled dogs, Cali, isn’t feeling well. After he takes her to a vet, he receives some surprising news in “Puppy Palooza Part 1/Puppy Palooza Part 2.” Then, in “Going Toe to Toe with a Dinosaur/Sassy Ladies on Ice,” Molly and Vera join scientists as they visit a dinosaur fossil excavation site. Molly invites Oscar to go mountain climbing with her and Grandpa Nat in “Climb Every Mountain/Happy Trails,” and Molly and Tooey organize a funny face contest with their friends and family in “Big Sulky/The Funny Face Competition.”

‘Molly of Denali’ Episodes and ‘Sid the Science Kid’ Movie Among Titles Coming to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in December

New volumes of “Molly of Denali,” “Let’s Go Luna” and “Pinkalicious & Peterrific,” as well as a “Sid the Science Kid” movie, will be coming to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in December.

The subscription rate for the PBS KIDS Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Volume six of “Let’s Go Luna” debuts Dec. 4. In four new episodes, Luna continues traveling the globe with her group of friends from Juneau, Alaska, to Barcelona, and the group learn many life lessons along the way. In the episode “Nature Calls/Story Story,” Leo is nervous about wild animals wandering around Juneau, but he realizes animals need their own space and that we must all learn to live together. Then, Carmen wants to find a book to share with her mom, and during the process learns to appreciate the tradition of Native Alaskan spoken-word storytelling. In “More Than All That Jazz/Swamp Pals,” Carmen discovers that the joy of music doesn’t just come from fancy instruments. In “Lost and Found/Time of Goodbye,” Señor Fabuloso has lost his creativity and searches for it in his hometown of Barcelona.

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In volume seven of “Molly of Denali,” coming Dec. 11, kids join the curious Molly Mabray and her friends on adventures around Alaska learning about traditional Alaska Native values along the way in five new episodes. Auntie Midge loves to emcee the Spring Carnival, but a hurt hip takes her out of commission, so Molly and Tooey work to figure out a way that will allow her to get around in the snow in “Spring Carnival/Tooey’s Hole-i-day Sweater.” Molly and Tooey try to fix a hand-me-down Christmas sweater knit by Tooey’s Grandma before she arrives for the holidays. Then, in “King Run/The Native Youth Olympics,” it’s salmon season and the first order of business at fish camp is to help Grandpa Nat fix the broken fish wheel.

In Sid the Science Kid: The Movie, due Dec. 17, Sid and his pal Gabriela have won a contest to explore the brand new Super Ultimate Science Museum. However, while they’re on their tour, Bobbybot, the state-of-the-art robotic tour guide of the future, completely malfunctions. Then, it’s up to Sid and Gabriela, along with the other winners, YangYang and NiuNiu from China, to fix Bobbybot and save the museum.

Four episodes of “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” come out Dec. 18. In volume nine of the series, the Pinkertons are shocked to find their house is suddenly swarming with Flutterbugs and everyone is wondering what could possibly be drawing them into their home in “Invasion of the Flutterbugs/Ballet of the Bells.” Then, Pinkalicious and Peterrific are thrilled to meet a real-life pirate in “Treasure Hunt/Cheer Up, Archie” and the three of them join hands to search for a long-lost buried treasure. Plus, Pinkalicious decides to create polka dot art and Lila learns that her new glasses aren’t anything to be embarrassed about in “PinkaPolka Dotty/Lila Gets Glasses.”

Netflix Announces New CG-Animated Series ‘My Dad the Bounty Hunter’

Netflix has announced the new CG-animated series “My Dad the Bounty Hunter.”

The series is created by Academy Award-winning director Everett Downing (“Maya and the Three,” “Hair Love”) and Patrick Harpin (Hotel Transylvania 2, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation).

The action-comedy series follows the toughest bounty hunter in all the galaxy, a man with razor sharp skills but also a secret — his family on Earth has no idea what he does for a living. So when his two kids accidentally hitch a ride into outer space and crash his latest mission, they discover that their average Dad’s job is anything but boring. Dodging dangerous aliens and laser fights galore, family bonding time goes to the extreme.

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The series will star Russell Hornsby (“The Hate U Give”), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure”), Priah Ferguson (“Stranger Things”), Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community”), JeCobi Swain (Troop Zero), Leslie Uggams (Deadpool), Rob Riggle (The Hangover) and Jim Rash (“Community”).

Everett Downing and Patrick Harpin will serve as creators and executive producers.

“We can’t wait to share our brainchild with the world. My Dad the Bounty Hunter is a love letter to animation, science fiction, and Black families rolled into a crazy action-comedy,” said Downing and Harpin in a statement. “We threw everything we love about sci-fi into this show, but it’s the family at the center of the story that we’re most excited about.”

‘The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special’ Addressing Racism to Stream on HBO Max, PBS Kids Oct. 15

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” will address racism — and model how children can stand up to it — in The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special to stream on HBO Max and PBS Kids starting Oct. 15.

Designed as a co-viewing experience for children and families, the special will also debut on PBS stations the same day and will re-air throughout October and November on PBS stations and the PBS Kids 24/7 channel.

“‘Sesame Street’ has the ability to entertain children while explaining complex issues like no other program and equips families and caregivers with the support they need to have empathetic conversations,” Kay Wilson Stallings, EVP of creative and production at Sesame Workshop, said in a statement. “We believe that this moment calls for a direct discussion about racism to help children grasp the issues and teach them that they are never too young to be ‘upstanders’ for themselves, one another, and their communities.”

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The Power of We features Elmo and Abby Cadabby, who are joined by 6-year-old Muppet Gabrielle and her cousin, 8-year-old Tamir, as they learn how to become “upstanders” to unfair treatment based on skin — or fur — color. Current and former “Sesame Street” human cast members Alan, Charlie, Chris, and Gordon take part in the special alongside celebrity and musical guests Yara Shahidi, Christopher Jackson and Andra Day. The Power of We includes two new songs, “How Do You Know?” and “Listen, Act, Unite!,” the latter written and performed by Jackson and featuring Day.

Sesame Workshop has also created a companion guide for families and caregivers to use as they discuss the special with children, available at SesameStreet.org/PowerofWe.

‘PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails’ and ‘Berenstain Bears’ DVDs Available in May From PBS

The DVD titles PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails, with multiple episodes from popular PBS shows, and a third volume of “The Berenstain Bears” are available in May from PBS Distribution.

The 15-episode PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails features episodes from “Arthur,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Molly of Denali” and “Nature Cat,” among others. Kids learn about responsibility, compassion and caring for others with stories on everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and turtles. In “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” Daniel and his classmates release their classroom pet named Ducky after he’s grown too big in “Duckling Goes Home,” and in “Wild Kratts,” Chris and Martin unpack from an adventure, only to discover a wolf pup in their bag in the “Little Howler!” episode. “Winter Champions,” a special bonus episode from “Molly of Denali,” is also included.

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In The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3 children join Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Sister and Brother for more adventures. When Sister must write about a bear she admires the most for a school project in “The Giddy Grandma,” she quickly learns just how many awards and trophies Grizzly Gran won in her younger years. Then, in “Car Trip,” the cubs are excited about going on a family trip — until they find out the destination isn’t Grizzlyland, but instead a tour of Bear Country’s national parks.

Finally, the cubs are sad when they hear that their friends down the street are moving away in “Moving Day.” Brother and Sister learn about the positive side of moving — new adventures and new friends.

HBO Max Inks Deal With Children’s Author Mo Willems

HBO Max has inked an exclusive, multiyear deal with children’s author Mo Willems, an Emmy-Award winning writer, New York Times bestselling author and illustrator.

Willems is HBO Max’s very first artist in residence, according to the SVOD service, launching at $14.99 a month in May.

As part of the two-year deal, HBO Max has acquired streaming rights to Willems’ first live-action special Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! from Greg Silverman’s media company StampedeVentures, which will produce all additional content under the deal. HBO Max has committed to additional live-action “Storytime” specials, as well as multiple animated specials based on Willems’ children’s books. The first animated special will be based on the New York Times bestseller Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.

“Mo is a special talent with a profound ability to connect with children and families alike,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS and truTV, said in a statement. “We are so happy Mo and Stampede Ventures chose to partner with us at HBO Max.”

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“We are so lucky to be able to work with the multi-talented Mo Willems, whose work is authentic, inspiring and truly impactful,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original non-fiction and kids programming at HBO Max, said in a statement.

“HBO Max is the perfect home for me to work on fun and experimental ways to bring my book characters and theater work to the screen because we share the goal of creating exciting shows and series that bring families together,” Willems said in a statement. “My focus is making stuff that amuses, entertains and sparks creative play after the screen is powered down. Having the creative teams of HBO Max and Stampede Ventures with me means that we’ll get to create meaningful work and have fun doing it. We’re so excited we even created a new logo for the occasion. Banana!”

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Previously announced and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime!, shot over the summer at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., is a live-action family comedy special featuring Willems and the “Story Time All-Stars,” a group of celebrities, comedians and actors, performing live readings and sketch comedy inspired by Willems’ work, as well as musical guests. Celebrity guests include Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”), Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community’) and Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”).