01/13/15: Colbert gets September start date; Nina Tassler talks “mystery sandwich” and Charlie Sheen at TCA; CNN drones on


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 13, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
AXS TV: The Big Interview at 8p, Discovering Lucy Angel at 9p
CNBC: Restaurant Startup at 10p
Discovery: Big Giant Swords at 10p
FYI: Married at First Sight: The First Year at 9p, Mikie Saves the Date at 10p
HLN: Jack Vale: Offline at 10p
NBC: Parks and Recreation at 8p
PBS: Genealogy Roadshow at 8p
Syfy: Troy: Street Magic at 10p
Telemundo: Duenos del Paraiso at 10p
TLC: Kate Plus 8 at 9p, My Big Fat Fabulous Life at 10p
Travel: Hotel Showdown at 10p
UniMas: Tiro de Gracia at 9p, La Esquina del Diablo at 10p
WGN: Wrestling with Death at 10p

Tonight’s Finales:
History: The Curse of Oak Island at 9p
Travel: Hotel Impossible at 9p

It’s a date: Late Show with Stephen Colbert premieres Tuesday, September 8 at 11:35p, from the Ed Sullivan Theater in NYC. Nina Tassler offered scant details at TCA: “We’re sitting back and waiting for him to come to us and say what he has in mind,” said the chairman of CBS Entertainment. Colbert’s take? “I have nine months to make a show, just like a baby,” said the Comedy Central alum. “So, first I should find out how to make a baby.” David Letterman, who announced his intention to retire last April, hosts his final broadcast Wednesday, May 20.


CBS newbies NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary and Scorpion all scored renewals for the 2015-16 season. “These freshman dramas have each made a big impact on key nights of the week,” said Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment. “Creatively distinctive, the series are backed by strong showrunners with amazingly talented casts, and have resonated with a big, broad audience.” NCIS: New Orleans is averaging 18.1 million total viewers, Madam Secretary 14.9 million and Scorpion 14.5 million. All are produced by CBS Television Studios. Fellow freshman Stalker and The McCarthys could still make the cut, said Tassler at TCA.

As for warhorse CSI, now in its 15th season, CBS “hasn’t determined what’s going to happen,” said Tassler. “The show continues to be a strong performer.” Two and a Half Men, however, is wrapping as scheduled after 12 seasons, on Thursday, February 19 at 9p – and may or not feature an appearance by Charlie Sheen, who had a bitter public breakup with the show. All Tassler would say was series creator Chuck Lorre promised to deliver a “mystery sandwich.”

Just hours after her Golden Globes win for Boyhood, Patricia Arquette was focused on her upcoming CBS series, CSI: Cyber, at TCA Monday. “We need to start asking questions like, do we need our phones to be Wifi-enabled? Do our coffeemakers need to be Wifi-enabled? We need to keep ourselves as low-tech as possible to avoid these unnecessary moments,” said Arquette, whose series premieres Wednesday, March 4 at 10p.

CNN reached an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration that will allow the net to use drones in its newsgathering and reporting. “Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System.”

Original cast member Steven R. McQueen is leaving his role as The Vampire Diaries’ Jeremy. “We felt like it was time for [Jeremy] to go out on his own and start a fresh life – with a twist,” exec producer Julie Plec told the Hollywood Reporter. CW drama airs Thursdays at 8p.

Al Jazeera America is cutting morning news programming, canceling its morning news report and Consider This with Antonio Mora, as well as its 4p news hour. What gives? “We are always looking at our scheduling calendar,” said a net spokesperson. “Increasingly we’re finding that viewers are coming to us for in-depth reporting and analysis of domestic and global news events, and our goal is to offer that around the clock.” Net president Kate O’Brian warned in an April email to staff that “resources will be recalibrated.”

What prompted Friends alum Matthew Perry take another crack at a sitcom? “I’m doing The Odd Couple because my attempt at being a movie star failed,” joked the actor at TCA. His CBS reboot, premiering Thursday, February 19 at 8:30p, puts Perry in front of an audience again, something he didn’t have in his previous series efforts. “It’s really fun,” Perry told reporters. “I hadn’t done that since 2004.”

Veteran So You Think You Can Dance judge Mary Murphy is leaving the Fox competition. “Mary has been a huge part ofSo You Think You Can Dance, from mentoring the dancers as a choreographer to inspiring fans as a judge,” said the network and producers dick clark productions and 19 Entertainment. “She will always be part of our Dance family, and we wish her continued success.”

The Teamsters Local 399 voted to strike the television commercial industry if the Association of Independent Commercial Producers doesn’t pony up. Responded the AICP, “We are disappointed that the members of 399 did not give full consideration to the positive impact that the terms of the mutually agreed to deal would have on the industry …. Furthermore, the mere mention of a strike, ashas been posted on their website, is a detriment to the industry and to the production infrastructure of Los Angeles.” Contract expires January 31….

Did Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hit the mark or go too far as Golden Globes hosts? Vote in our poll at Cynopsis.com.


2015 Cynopsis Boot Camp
February 10, 2015 | 8:30am – 3:30pm | Yale Club NYC

Featured Sessions
– How To Read Cross-Platform Ratings
– Programmatic Advertising for Buyers and Sellers
– Social Media: Quantifying & Monetizing Fans, Friends & Followers
– Luncheon Keynote: The New Media Ecosystem

Registration: Pete Romas; 203.899.8483 | Sponsorships: Mike Farina; 203.218.6480


CBC gave the green light to season two of Schitt’s Creek for 2016. Season one of the Eugene Levy comedy premieres on the Canadian net today, and on Pop Wednesday, February 11 at 10p.

Sunday’s AFC Divisional Playoff game on CBS was the second-highest rated in 19 years, with an average overnight HH rating/share in metered markets of 25.4/41. Tops was the Jets/New England matchup in 2011 (26.2/44).

Frantic Films landed a season two order for HGTV series Buy It, Fix It, Sell It, to air in spring 2015. Production is underway in the Toronto and Winnipeg areas.

Happyish, picked up by Showtime a year ago, then put on hold after the sudden death of series star Philip Seymour Hoffman in February, has been picked up again. New version will premiere Sunday, April 26. Shameless, airing Sundays at 9p, got a season six renewal.

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and d-rights are teaming to develop Battle of the Planets: Phoenix Ninjas (wt), a re-imagination of the Japanese hit Battle of the Planets, aimed at boys aged 6 to 11.


TV One is expanding its programming with the introduction of monthly original films, beginning in February. First up: White Water, about a child’s first encounter with racial tension during the civil rights era, on Saturday, February 7 at 8p. Black History Month also brings the season premieres of Unsung Hollywood and R&B Divas LA on Wednesday, February 11, at 8p and 10p; The 23rd Annual Trumpet Awards airs Saturday, February 21 at 8p.

The Brady Bunch’s Barry Williams launches a 1970s-style musical variety show in a docu-series premiering Thursday, February 5 at 9p on Great American Country. A Very Barry Branson – offers “a fun nostalgic ride through the grooviest decade,” said Williams. Bonus: Maureen McCormick (Marcia) shows up.

Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman, co-stars of upcoming film The Boy Next Door, re-team to co-host Oxygen’s Snapped marathon on Sunday, January 18 from 4p-9p. Eps all focus on younger men with older women, leading up to a new Snapped: Killer Couples ep and a preview of The Boy Next Door, in theaters Friday, January 23.

Accounts of close encounters with folk tale fiends return with the season three premiere of Monsters & Mysteries on Destination America. Prepare for stories of creepy “Men in Black” on Saturday, January 17 at 9p.

Animated comedy Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero is slated for a simulcast premiere Friday, February 13 at 9:45p on Disney XD and Disney Channel. But the stellar lineup of guest stars isn’t kid stuff: Garry Marshall (Happy Days), Beau Bridges (The Descendants), Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine), Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones) are among those on deck.


Who can catch the biggest gator in the swamp? There’s a $10,000 bounty that should help answer that question when History’s Swamp People, produced by Original Media, comes back Monday, February 2 at 9p.

Dual Survival returns to Discovery with two men from different backgrounds joining forces to battle the elements. And sometimes each other. New season of the production, also from Original Media, launches Wednesday, January 21 at 9p.

Sewee Entertainment’s Andrew Young Presents, a series of 1-hour events exploring civil rights history and current issues, will return for an eighth season in broadcast syndication, renewed in over 80 percent of the U.S. Sponsors include Abbott Labs, Chevron, Coke, Delta and McDonalds.


A new study from Nielsen, “Must See TV: How Twitter Activity Ahead of Fall Season Premieres Could Indicate Success,” analyzed 42 broadcast and cable premieres for four-week periods, and found tweet activity about programs before launch could help predict the size of a show’s eventual audience – info that would help agencies and networks decide where to place their bets. “Our current and recent research efforts increasingly indicate that Twitter TV activity and reach data can help networks and agencies make superior, data-driven advertising and program marketing decisions,” said Nielsen.

CNN All Screen, using both in-home and out-of-home TV viewing data culled from Nielsen samples, got the okay from the Media Ratings Council. “We look forward to using the MRC’s evaluation to implement changes to improve All Screen, and to Nielsen’s efforts to build upon this methodology and create a syndicated service that includes all out-of-home viewership in national television measurement,” said Howard Shimmel, chief research officer of Turner Broadcasting System. Last week, fellow news net CNBC announced plans to drop traditional Nielsen measurement for its daytime audience in favor Cogent Reports, which it is counting on to rope in news viewers at trading desks and country clubs.


And the winner is…Rochester. The upstate NY city was named “The Most Hyped Hometown in America” as part of Pepsi’s “Hyped for Halftime” Super Bowl program. Residents of the chilly city get a concert starring Nico & Vinz, with Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins on hand as a guest, on Sunday, January 16. Residents will have the chance to win tickets to the big game, and be treated to surprises including a mobile Hype Squad, and vending machines offering a chance at VIP passes and meet-and-greets. Super Bowl airs Sunday, February 1 on NBC.


Distribution 360 announced multiple sales of its hit lifestyle and factual properties including all of Si Entertainment’s home renovation catalogue, with Tackle My Reno, Leave it to Bryan, House of Bryan and Disaster DIY. That’s in addition to a true crime documentary about convicted killer Luka Magnotta and other sales from D360’s slate ahead of NATPE.

Peace Point Rights sold two programs to Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic. Unscripted family series Bulloch Family Ranch landed at DLA/USH’s Hispanic network Discovery Familia, and will air on one of their networks in Latin America; Food Truck Face Off will also air on one of DLA/USH’s nets in Latin America.


NATPE’s next week, and Cynopsis is talking to some of the players to get a handle on what to expect at the 3-day Miami Beach market. Jon Rutherford, EVP, Distribution & Business Development, Tricon Films & Television, has high hopes.

Will business be busier than last year? Definitely. Our team this market has grown to 7 people, which is the largest for NATPE to date. Schedules are full and everyone is expecting a very productive market.

Any major announcements? We’re building on the previous announcement of a second season for SensitiveSkin and we’re launching The Divide in Latin America, which is now available in Latin American Spanish/Brazilian Portuguese.

What shows do you think look particularly good? Tricon’s lifestyle slate has some new additions:We’re very excited to launch the new series Off the Map with Shannen & Holly which just started airing on Great American Country and we’re also launching new home/reno show The Expandables, which just had its season premiere on HGTV.


Kyle MacLachlan will reprise the role of Agent Dale Cooper in Showtime’s Twin Peaks, premiering in 2016, 25 years after the original wrapped. Creators David Lynch and Mark Frost are also both onboard.

Colm Meaney (Hell on Wheels) and Charlotte Nicdao (Camp) have joined the cast of Syfy miniseries Childhood’s End, based on the Arthur C. Clarke science fiction novel.

Billy Dee Williams will reprise his Star Wars role in an episode of Disney XD’s animated series, Star Wars Rebels, airing Monday, January 19 at 9p.


Want to find out what shows are online and when?

Check out the Watcheroo Digital Programming Guide

Organized by show name, date, and platform, we have everything you’ll need to be caught up on digital premieres, ongoing programs, live-streamed events and integrated series.


Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s third and final at bat hosting the Golden Globes on NBC delivered a 12.7/19 rating in metered markets, down 9 percent from last year’s show, which had the best in MM number since 2010.

Bravo’s Top Chef earned a season high 1.9 million total viewers and 1.1 million P18-49 (1/7/15), according to Nielsen Live+3 data, up 14 percent in P18-49 and 9 percent in total viewers over the prior episode (December 17). Beginning Wednesday, January 21, the series moves to 9p, leading in to new cooking competish Best New Restaurant.

TV One’s News One Now finished 2014 as the top cable news show in its timeslot among all African American viewers and P25-54 and W25-54. Including broadcast television, the show was second in the demos only to NBC’s Today.

Broadcast Morning News Shows – Weekly Average Ratings week of December 29, 2014 
ABC: GMA 4.6 million total viewers; 1.4/12 and 1.64 million A25-54
NBC: Today 4.24 million total viewers; 1.2/11 and 1.49 million A25-54
CBS: This Morning 3.14 million total viewers; .8/6 and 932,000 A25-54

Sunday Morning News Shows – January 4, 2015
CBS: Face the Nation 3.72 million total viewers; .7 and 874,000 A25-54
ABC: This Week 3.12 million total viewers; .9 and 1.1 million A25-54
NBC: Meet the Press 3.03 million total viewers; .7 and 866,000 A25-54
CBS: Face the Nation-2 1.91 million total viewers; .4 and 464,000 A25-54
FOX: Fox News Sunday 1.13 million total viewers; .3 and 348,000 A25-54
Source: Nielsen, NTI

SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of January 5, 2015
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), % Facebook, % Twitter, % Instagram
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
(Warner Bros.) 7358, 38.46, 4.55, 56.99
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
4977, 33.19, 2.48, 64.33
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)
1756, 99.19, .01, .8
Today Show (NBC)
1706, 82.99, 2.2, 14.81
American Idol (FOX),
1179, 85.51, 3.0, 11.48
Good Morning America (ABC),
943, 96.19, 1.12, 2.69
Empire (FOX),
779, 87.28, 1.36, 11.36
Entertainment Tonight (CBS/synd.)
851, 95.31, 1.99, 2.70
Glee (FOX),
773, 72.46, 12.52, 15.02 
Fox & Friends (FOXN),
748, 98.77, .99, .24
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. % actions metric notes the portion of actions (likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments) attributable to a platform.

TV Playback Rank, based on the difference between Nielsen’s first-reported Live + Same Day rating and the final Live + 7 Day rating for the week of December 22, 2014 (note: there was minimal regular, original programming during Christmas week)
Program, Live+SD A18-49 US AA%, Live +7 US AA%
) 1.4, 2.4
The Mentalist (CBS) 1.4, 2.1
State of Affairs (NBC) 1.0, 1.6
Mike & Molly (CBS) 1.7, 2.2
20/20 Saturday (ABC) .9, 1.0
The OT (FOX) 5.1, 5.2
Source: The Nielsen Company. Based on original telecasts only.

Friday A18-49 Analysis: ABC had the most A18-49 viewers Friday with 1.6/5, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. CBS’s Undercover Boss was first at 8p with 1.5/5, followed by an average 1.45 for ABC’s Last Man Standing and Cristela. Shark Tank jumped to the top spot at 9p with 1.9/6, versus 1.5/5 for CBS’s Hawaii Five-0. At 10p it was a tie for first, ABC’s 20/20 and CBS’s Blue Bloods sharing 1.4/5.

A18-49: ABC 1.6/5, CBS 1.5/5, UNI 1.2/4, NBC .7/2, TELE .7/2, FOX .7/2, ION .2/1, CW .2/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Friday, January 9, 2015  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 6.8/12
Undercover Boss 5.3/9, Hawaii Five-0 7.0/12, Blue Bloods 8.0/14
ABC: 4.4/8
Last Man Standing 5.3/9, Cristela 4.2/7, Shark Tank 4.7/8, 20/20 3.9/7
NBC: 2.3/4
Grimm [r] 1.6/3, Dateline 3.7/6, NBC News: Golden Globes 1.7/3
Mi Corazon Es Tuyo 1.8 /3, Hasta Fin Del Mundo 1.7/3, Malquerida 1.5/3
FOX: 1.5/3
Glee 1.6/3, Glee 1.4/2
Los Miserables .7/1, Tierra de Reyes .7/1, Senora Acero 1.3/2
ION: .6/1
Law & Order: C! .6/1, Law & Order: C! .6/1, Law & Order: C! .6/1
CW: .5/1
Hart of Dixie [r] .6/1, Whose Line Is it Anyway [r] .5/1, Masters of Illusion .4/1


Javier Morgado has been promoted Executive Producer at CNN’s New Day. Morgado joined CNN in 2011 as Senior Broadcast Producer.

Amy Winter is joining Up, effective February 1, in the newly created position of Executive Vice President and General Manager. Previously, Winter was EVP/General Manager of TLC.


British screenwriter Brian Clemens died January 10. He was 83. Honored by the Queen in 2010 for services to broadcasting and drama, Clemens wrote numerous series, including The Avengers, The Protectors and Danger Man.

This Day in History:
1962 Happy birthday, Julia Louis-Dreyfus!

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What were the title characters’ jobs when Kate & Allie (1984-1989) premiered? Kate was a travel agent and Allie was a homemaker. Kudos to: Anne Thomason-Initiative/Atlanta, Cynthia New-Charter Media/Cape Girardeau, MO, Lorrie Shilling-El Segundo, CA, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg/M and S Entertainment/LA, Cammie Buerry-Station Casinos/Las Vegas.

Today’s Trivia Question: Which TV cops had the radio call sign, “Zebra Three”? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.).
Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey

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ABC: Shark Tank, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Forever
CBS: NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Person of Interest
CW: The Flash [r], Arrow [r]
FOX: MasterChef Junios, New Girl, The Mindy Project
NBC: Parks and Recreation [
p], Parks and Recreation, Marry Me, About a Boy, Chicago Fire
PBS: Geneology Roadshow [
p], Klansville, USA: American Experience, Frontline
Telemundo: Los Miserables, Tierra de Reyes, Duenos del Paraiso [
Univision: Mi Corazon Es Tuyo, Hasta el Fin del Mundo, La Malquerida

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