Movie Moments, Preschoolers & Their Toys, Gen X in Latin America: April Insights

by Christian Kurz, Global Consumer Insights, Viacom

Welcome to the April issue of the Viacom Global Insights Digest, bringing you Viacom’s latest consumer insights from around the world.

This month, we look at “movie moments,” preschoolers and their toys, Generation X in Latin America, and how teens and young adults are looking beyond the West for culture.

As always, the English version of our blog is home to these stories and many more. All stories are available in Spanish (LatAm) and Portuguese (Brazilian).

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Spike Continues Documentary Excellence With Story of Heath Ledger

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

In the wake of its powerful six-part Time: The Kalief Browder Story docu-series scorching the American prison system, Spike is returning with another riveting documentary.

I Am Heath Ledger explores the life and tragic death of a rising Hollywood talent. The film, produced and directed by Derik Murray, is an astonishing posthumous profile of the fiercely talented and energetic actor stitched together from previously unseen footage shot from Ledger’s own cameras.

The actor died in 2008, long before the rise of the smartphone dropped a camera in everyone’s pocket, yet the film underscores the centrality of the device to Ledger’s life.

“There were always cameras around,” said model Christina Cauchi – one of many friends, family, and industry peers interviewed for the documentary – in the recently released trailer. “A videocamera or a Polaroid camera or the film camera. That’s the only way that I think of him, with the camera in his hand.”

“He was always a director,” said musician Ben Harper in the same video. “Acting was just a way to get there.”

Watch the full trailer below:

Ledger’s talents as an actor were considerable, however, and included the role of gay cowboy Ennis in 2005’s Brokeback Mountain and an Oscar-winning performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

“Before Brokeback Mountain came out, it would have been unthinkable to have romantic tragedy involving two gay cowboys,” said actor Ben Mendelsohn. “This is one of the biggest heartthrobs on Earth taking on that character. That’s an artist.”

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YOUTH IN FLUX Shows MIPTV How Global Youth React To Today’s World

Viacom’s Christian Kurz presented YOUTH IN FLUX, the latest study from the Viacom Global Consumer Insights group, to industry professionals at MIPTV, a leading international TV industry event taking place in Cannes right now.

The research examined the new reality of youth around the world, their individual and collective goals, and the life strategies they use to survive and thrive in a difficult world.

After speaking with more than 7,000 individuals ranging from 16 to 24 years old across 14 countries, including Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and the United States, the group released its findings about how youth see themselves in the world today. Here are some of their findings:

It’s not easy being young: An incredible 93 percent of youth aged 16 to 24 feel it’s hard to be young today.

What makes it so hard?

For one, only one-fifth (21 percent) of youth have no trouble blocking out bad news, and half (53 percent) say they have a love/hate relationship with social media. This means they understand social media doesn’t accurately reflect reality, but just can’t seem to quit.

Youth are uniquely themselves – and they love it: The vast majority (96 percent) of youth surveyed globally say feeling comfortable in their own skin is important, and most (95 percent) also believe in following their heart versus their head.

Youth are optimistic about a more inclusive future…but also realistic: Almost all (97 percent) of those surveyed are guided by the words, ‘live and let live.’

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Viacom Explores August Wilson’s Pittsburgh with Broadway Cast of Jitney

In January 2017, the late August Wilson’s play Jitney made its Broadway debut. A period piece set in the late 1970s, the play is about gypsy cab drivers in an African-American Pittsburgh neighborhood. Despite the city’s economic slump, these drivers are thriving and making an honest living—all because regular cabs at the time did not want to service black neighborhoods.

Like Fences—Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play that evolved into Paramount’s Oscar-winning smashJitney provides an authentic portrayal of the African-American experience in a particular time and place. The characters are flawed, embroiled in racial tensions and poverty, yet their humanity shines through.

Jitney is part of Wilson’s Century Cycle, a collection of 10 plays set in historically African-American neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and Chicago throughout each decade of the 20th century.

To celebrate Black History Month, The BEAT (Viacom’s employee resource group focused on the African-American experience) hosted a panel discussion at Viacom’s Times Square headquarters with five Jitney cast members.

View the slideshow:

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Nick Grabs 18 Daytime Emmy Nominations, MTV Adds 1 for 19 Total Viacom Nods

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Behind an outstanding slate of animation, young children’s programming, and special activations, Nickelodeon locked in 18 nominations for the 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards, a rousing affirmation of the net’s broad impact and influence on the television landscape. MTV’s Transformation, which documents the struggles of young transgender individuals, grabbed an additional nomination, bringing Viacom’s total to 19.

Nick’s Peter Rabbit earned a trio of nominations, while Pig Goat Banana CricketDino Dan: Trek’s AdventuresMutt & Stuff, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, and Bubble Guppies each snagged two. Harvey Beaks and Wallykazam! also grabbed one nod apiece, while nominations for the 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards (one nomination), Kids Pick the President (two), and the Ultimate Hallowen Haunted House 360 Challenge (one) underscore the strength of the network’s special programs and initiatives.

Congratulations to all of the nominees. The National Academy of Arts & Sciences will announce the winners of the 44th Annual Daytime Emmys on April 30.

Scroll down the page to check out all of Viacom’s nominations and watch clips from select programs.

MTV 

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS SPECIAL

MTV Docs: Transformation 

Director: Melissa Johnson

Producer: Katelyn Howes

NICKELODEON

OUTSTANDING PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN’S SERIES

Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures

Executive Producers: J.J. Johnson, Blair Powers

Co-Executive Producers: Matthew J.R. Bishop, Christin Simms

 

Mutt & Stuff

Executive Producers: Marty Krofft, Sid Krofft, Cesar Millan, Bradley Zweig

Co-Producers: Bob Aniello, Leigh Hale, Deanna Krofft Pope, Jacob Moffat

Producer: Irene Oncley

 

OUTSTANDING PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN’S ANIMATED PROGRAM

Wallykazam!

Executive Producer: Adam Peltzman

Co-Executive Producers: Koyalee Chanda, Dave Palmer

Supervising Producer: Laura Barbera

Line Producers: Sara Kamen, Ian Murray

 

OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE – ENHANCEMENT TO A DAYTIME PROGRAM OR SERIES

Nickelodeon’s Ultimate Halloween Haunted House 360 Challenge

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The Stars, Stunts, and Slime of Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards

Orange blimps invaded Los Angeles, along with a deluge of slime, stars, and surprises, for the 28th annual Kids’ Choice Awards earlier this month.

Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards juxtaposed beloved mainstays (green goo, orange blimps, and celebrity guests) with cutting-edge elements. Stars shot out of an orange slide to get onstage. A drone circled the audience at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center, affixed to an orange blimp, snapping shots of fans and posting them to a second screen in the arena. A “live set” of real kids posing as stage props capped off the ultimate fans-first experience.

WWE star John Cena hosted the extravaganza, getting the chance to flex his muscles in an arm wrestling contest with the cast of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn. This was one of many stunts chosen by the kids watching at home on Nick’s multiplatform, digital voting system.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11: The cast of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn armwrestle with host John Cena onstage with Dj Khaled at Nickelodeon's 2017 Kids' Choice Awards at USC Galen Center on March 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/KCA2017/WireImage)

The cast of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn arm wrestle with host John Cena and Dj Khaled at Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/KCA2017/WireImage)

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Viacom & Hot Sugar Are Innovating Music With Virtual Reality

Viacom’s newest virtual reality (VR) project is an exploration unlike any other. The Melody of Dust transports you to a castle-like world where every object you encounter (a rose found in a bedroom; a dove descending from the heavens) has a distinct melody to discover and unlock. It blends music, video and gaming into an immersive, interactive experience so groundbreaking that Rolling Stone dubbed it a “new art form.”

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MTV + Movies + Television = The MTV Movie & TV Awards

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Since Demi Moore announced Terminator 2: Judgement Day as Best Movie from a Burbank stage in June of 1992, the MTV Movie Awards have celebrated the best of Hollywood’s explosive, moving, heart-pounding annual slate – with an MTV-appropriate musical touch delivered by the big name performers of the day (that inaugural show included En Vogue, Ugly Kid Joe, and Arrested Development).

After 25 years of Golden Popcorn statues and hijinks that have included Jim Carrey crashing the stage as an anonymous hippie, Rainn Wilson gearing up in nothing but a Teddy bear, and lots of surprise makeout sessions, MTV is taking a great thing and making it even better, with the inclusion of television in its award categories. The network has officially renamed the show the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

MTV Movie and TV Awards

“We’re living in a golden age of content, and great storytelling and characters resonate regardless of whether you’re watching it in a theater or on TV,” said MTV President Chris McCarthy. “The new MTV Movie & TV Awards will celebrate even more of the brightest, bravest, funniest and most shared films and TV shows resonating across youth culture.”

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3 Days, 5 Stages, Over 50 Comedians and Bands: Everything You Need to Know About Comedy Central’s Festival Behemoth

For festival fanatics, March means narrowing down your summer wish-list. Coachella, Firefly, or Mysteryland? Should you purchase a one-day pass, or go full-throttle and get the four-day VIP experience? How much time can you take off work to devote to camping in a desert?

Now there’s a new contender: Comedy Central Presents Colossal Clusterfest.

Comedy Central’s inaugural festival is, as its name implies, focused on comedy. But the San Francisco event’s lineup is full of more than just laughs. This entertainment bonanza features music, branded attractions and delectable cuisine from local restaurants and wineries.

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