CBS All Access Expands Kids Programming

SVOD platform CBS All Access Dec. 9 announced new product features for families and the addition of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. library programming, of its upcoming rebrand to Paramount+ in 2021.

The new family-friendly features include the ability to create up to six profiles per account and manage each profile using “Kids Mode,” which allows parents to create profiles that limit content to older children or younger children based on content ratings. The service’s existing parental PIN controls’ option for mature content, which locks access to certain content based on its content rating, will also still be available to use across profiles.

“With today’s new product enhancements, like ‘Kids Mode’ and multiple profiles, we can create customized experiences for each member of the household, while giving our subscribers even more opportunities to discover and watch family programming together, and allowing parents additional peace of mind with the ability to further customize what programming is available to their kids,” Rob Gelick, EVP and GM, streaming services and chief product officer, ViacomCBS Streaming, said in a statement.

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In addition, CBS All Access introduced nearly 800 more episodes of children’s programming to the service, including select past seasons of Nick Jr. favorites “Paw Patrol,” “Blaze and the Monster Machines,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Bubble Guppies,” “Dora the Explorer” and “Shimmer and Shine,” among others.

All Access children’s programming is available commercial-free. The new library content being added to the service joins an already robust roster of more than 1,000 episodes of library and original children’s programming, including the service’s previously launched original children’s series, WildBrain’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” Boat Rocker’s new “Danger Mouse” and new editions of “Lassie,” “George of the Jungle” and “Mr. Magoo” from DreamWorks Animation’s Classic Media.

Original children’s programming on the service will continue to expand with the first spinoff from one of ViacomCBS’s biggest global franchises, Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” when new series “Kamp Koral” premieres in early 2021. The service will also be the exclusive home to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, the upcoming feature film that follows “SpongeBob,” his best friend Patrick Star, and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event.

‘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.

Apple TV+ Bowing Kids’ Series ‘Doug Unplugs’ and ‘Stillwater’ This Fall

Apple TV+ will release two new kids’ series, “Doug Unplugs” and “Stillwater,” globally this fall.

“Doug Unplugs,” premiering Nov. 13, is from DreamWorks Animation and based on Dan Yaccarino’s “Doug Unplugged” book series. It follows a young robot named Doug who senses there’s more to life than just the facts. While other robots plug in for their daily download, curious Doug unplugs and journeys into the human world, and with his best friend Emma, experiences its wonders firsthand.

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“Stillwater”

“Stillwater,” premiering Dec. 4, is based on the Scholastic book series “Zen Shorts” by Jon J Muth and is produced by Gaumont and Scholastic Entertainment. It centers on siblings Karl, Addy and Michael, who are typical kids with typical kid challenges — meaning that sometimes even the smallest things can feel insurmountable. Fortunately for these three, they have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, stories and gentle humor, Stillwater gives the children a deeper understanding of their feelings as well as tools that help them face their own day-to-day challenges.

Also, following it 18 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and win for Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Programming, “Ghostwriter” will have its second season premiere on Apple TV+ Oct. 9, and the second season of “Helpsters” will premiere Oct. 16. Both series hail from the makers of “Sesame Street.”

Genius Brands International Names Former Fox Kids Network Executive Margaret Loesch Executive Chairman of Kartoon Channel!

Margaret Loesch

Genius Brands International has named Margaret Loesch Executive Chairman of Kartoon Channel!, the pending (June 15) ad-supported VOD platform available in more than 100 million U.S. television households and 200 million mobile devices. David Neuman, former president of Walt Disney Television, has been named chief creative officer of Kartoon Channel!, and will work closely with Loesch and GM Caroline Tyre.

Loesch was the founding president and CEO of Fox Kids Networks Worldwide, growing the channels across all metrics, where it was eventually sold to the Walt Disney Company for $5.5 billion. During this time, she launched a multitude of hit series, including “Power Rangers,” growing Fox Kids into the top children’s program service on television.

Prior to Fox Kids, Loesch served as president & CEO of Marvel Productions, and previously, president of The Jim Henson Company, and founding CEO of the U.S. Hallmark Channel and Crown Media U.S.

Most recently, Loesch served as president of the HUB, which was a joint venture between Hasbro Toys and Discovery Communications. Her resume includes launching some of the most successful animated children’s properties in the world, including “Batman,” “Spiderman,” “Steven Spielberg’s Animaniacs,” “Transformers,” “My Little Pony,” “X-Men,” “Muppet Babies” and “Fraggle Rock.”

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“I have known and admired Margaret and David for many years. There are no two more accomplished executives in our industry,” Andy Heyward, CEO of Genius Brands, said in a statement.