02/09/15: Brian Williams exits NBC News for “several days”; the other Rosie leaves The View; ABC picks up BattleBots reboot for summer


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Good morning. It’s Monday, February 9, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premiere:
Mundo Fox: Quien Mato a Patricia Soler? at 9p

NBC News anchor Brian Williams is taking time off from his newscast for “the next several days” in the wake of his claim, since retracted, that he was on a helicopter in Iraq hit by enemy fire, and canceled a Thursday appearance on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman. In a note to staff, Williams explained it has “become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions,” adding, “upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.” But can Williams recover from the scrutiny? “The controversy speaks more to the bigger issue of the entertainment-ization of all news,” network TV veteran Jim McKairnes, Verizon Chair at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, tells Cynopsis, “but trust means everything in those chairs.” Weekend anchor Lester Holt will fill in during Williams’ absence.


Rosie O’Donnell is leaving The View this week, six months after joining the ABC morning show. As she deals with the breakup of her marriage, O’Donnell – whose first, year-long tenure on the talker ended in 2007 – is putting “family and health first,” said her publicist. As for ABC, the net “has been wonderfully understanding and supportive of her decision to leave.” ABC promised O’Donnell will “return to The View often with her unique point of view and updates on her work and her family.” Just last week, co-executive producer Brian Balthazar left after six months on the job to join HGTV; co-host Rosie Perez, rumored to be exiting while she was on hiatus to rehearse for a Broadway play, remains on the show.

Unforgettable, canceled for the second time in October by CBS, will be picked up for a 13-ep season four by A&E, reports Deadline. Stars Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh are expected to return to the Sony Pictures Television drama.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick makes his first talk show appearance since his team’s Super Bowl victory with a Wednesday, February 11 visit to CBS’s Late Show With David Letterman. It will be Belichick’s second sit-down with Dave – the first was in 2004, after the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Gregg Seibert has been named vice chairman of Cablevision spinoffs AMC Networks and Madison Square Garden Company. He will continue in his role as vice chairman of Cablevision Systems Corp. “Gregg is an expert strategist with a keen understanding of the media industry, making him a valuable resource for AMC Networks senior management," said Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks. “We look forward to benefiting from his insights on strategic matters as we continue to focus on building shareholder value.” For his part, Seibert called AMC Networks “a cutting-edge company with a rich, 30-year history of providing quality programming and film content.”

ABC’s black-ish was the big winner at the 46th Annual Image Awards Friday, sweeping comedy categories with top honors for outstanding series, as well as stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne and Yara Shahadi. How to Get Away with Murder and its star, Viola Davis, won for drama, along with Scandal’s Joe Morton and Khandi Alexander and Criminal MindsShemar Moore. More winners here.

Winners of the 67th Annual Directors Guild Awards, handed out Saturday in LA, include Lesli Linka Glatter for Showtime’s Homeland, Jill Soloway for Amazon’s Transparent, Lisa Cholodenko for HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, Glenn Weiss for CBS’s telecast of the Tony Awards, Dave Diomedi for NBC’s Tonight Show and Anthony B. Sacco for Starz reality show The Chair. For a complete list, go here.

Do you think NBC NewsBrian Williams will be able to recover from the false Iraq story? Let us know in the Cynopsis poll here.

Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: February 6-8, 2015
Spongebob Squarepants (Paramount) $56.0 million, opening weekend
American Sniper (Warner Bros.) $24.2 million, cume revenue $282.3 million
Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros.) $19.0 million, opening weekend
Seventh Son (Universal) $7.1 million, opening weekend
Paddington (Weinstein Company) $5.4 million, cume revenue $57.3 million
Project Almanac (Paramount) $5.3 million, cume revenue $15.8 million
The Imitation Game (Weinstein Company) $4.9 million, cume revenue $74.7 million
The Wedding Ringer (Sony) $4.8 million, cume revenue $55.1 million
Black Or White (Relativity Media) $4.5 million, cume revenue $13.1 million
The Boy Next Door (Universal) $4.1 million, cume revenue $30.9 million
Source: Rentrak Corporation


2015 Cynopsis Boot Camp
Space is Limited. Register Your Team Today!
TOMORROW | Yale Club NYC| Sponsored by: TubeMogul

Featured Trainers:
Tom Maney, EVP, Advertising Sales, Fox Hispanic Media
Jacqueline Corbelli, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, BrightLine
Matt Wasserlauf, CEO & Co-Founder, Torrential
Andrew Stevens, VP, Strategy & Research, ShareThis

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


ABC picked up a reboot of Comedy Central’s 2000-2002 BattleBots. Series from Whalerock Industries and original creators Ed Roski and Greg Munson pitting homemade robots against each other will air as a six-ep summer series


The Artful Detective returns to Ovation TV for season eight Saturday, February 21 at 7p. Set in 1890s Toronto, series stars Yannick Bisson as a detective solving gruesome murder cases.

Auto restoration show Overhaulin’ wraps up its season with a flourish on Tuesday, February 10 at 9p. Mike Brewer from Wheeler Dealers and Richard Rawlings andAaron Kaufman from Discovery’s Fast N’ Loud are on hand to help bring a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air back to life in front of a live audience at the SEMA Show.

Season four of TLC’s My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding returns Thursday, February 26 at 9p with a custom wedding gown so large it requires an “audacious form” of transportation to get the bride to the venue. Bonus: Grandma threatens to sabotage a Sweet 16 party.

Lifetime limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles premieres Sunday, April 5 at 10p. Christina Ricci reprises her role as the murder suspect in the sequel to the last year’s Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (4.4 million total viewers), from Sony Pictures Television.


SNL alum Molly Shannon, Thomas Haden Church (Wings) and Talia Balsam (Mad Men) will co-star opposite Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) in HBO comedy pilot Divorce, about a middle-aged woman dithering over the idea of ending her marriage.

Colin Hanks (Fargo) landed a lead role in CBS pilot Life in Pieces. Comedy from 20th Century Television and Kapital Entertainment tells the story of the life of one family through the different prisms of each member.

Paul Scheer (The League) will recur on Fresh Off the Boat, as a host at the steakhouse. New ABC comedy airs Tuesdays at 8p.

Megalyn Echikunwoke (Mind Games) landed a recurring guest star role on Fox’s The Following as a beautiful drug user. Two-hour season three premiere airs Monday, March 2.

Lindsay Price (Lipstick Jungle), Chris Klein (Oz) and Jared Gertner (The Book of Mormon) hop aboard NBC comedy pilot How We Live, about a blogger and his wife who move to the suburbs.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent’s Courtney B. Vance stars as defense attorney Johnnie (“if it doesn’t fit you must acquit”) Cochran in FX miniseries American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.

Luke Mitchell (The Tomorrow People) has joined the cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC superhero drama returns with new season two eps Tuesday, March 3 at 9p.

CASTING CALL: Sean De Simone Casting and QVC are casting F/T Host. Relocation Req. Should have exp in hosting TV, web or live events. Intelligent, enthusiastic, commanding & curious about products a must. Candidates should be quick on their feet w/ability to improv & engage. Hosts should be friendly, credible, entertaining, sincere & sophisticated with an elevated sense of style & fashion. Contact HERE QVChostcasting@gmail.com (2/11)


There’s been plenty of chatter about which Super Bowl ads were most entertaining, but which actually achieved brand lift? A study by Bully Pulpit Interactive, reported by AdWeek, says GoDaddy (up 7 percent), Budweiser (up 5 percent), Esurance (up 5 percent) and Loctite (up 4 perent) had the biggest increases in brand favorability. Meanwhile, 10 percent of those surveyed recalled commercials from Audi or VW…neither of which were Super Bowl advertisers.

Staples launched a national ad campaign featuring the “Staples Guy,” aimed at showing how the company helps small business customers. The first of five 15-second spots in the  “Make More Happen” effort launched Sunday, and will air on nets including CBS, ABC, NBC, History, Discovery, Food and HGTV. The company recently announced plans to acquire Office Depot.

Discovery Digital Media was awarded the 2014 IAB Overall Sales Excellence Award for large sales organization at the opening night of the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix. Winners at the event were determined by surveys of agencies and advertisers.


Social Good Awards Breakfast
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 – 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Join us at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards Breakfast to celebrate social responsibility in the TV and entertainment industry. We will be honoring everything from sustainability partnerships and PSA’s to diversity campaigns, environmental initiatives, and more. This is the moment to shine a light on good works by brands, networks and digital entities, regardless of platform.
View the Finalists | Purchase Tickets
Industry Partner: The Cable Center


The Blacklist, moved from Monday to Thursday where it competes with ABC hit Scandal at 9p, delivered a 2.4/7 rating among A18-49, just one tenth below its fall finale. With 9.9 million total viewers, it was the net’s most-watched Thursday drama since ER’s 2009 series finale. Scandal drew a 3.2/10 among A18-49, but was second to Blacklist in total viewers.

The news for NBC wasn’t so rosy at 10p, where Allegiance debuted to 1.1/4 among A18-49. New Fox drama Backstrom fell 29 percent its third week, to 1.0/3.

Fox’s Glee hit a series low .5/2 rating Friday, according to early Nielsens, down 29 percent versus the week prior. Lead-in World’s Funniest Fails was down 27 percent, to .8/3.

Thursday A18-49 Analysis: ABC won the most A18-49 viewers Thursday with 2.7/9, according to Nielsen. CBS was first at 8p with an average 3.7/13 for Big Bang Theory and Mom, followed by 2.4/8 Fox’s American Idol. ABC’s Scandal topped 9p with 3.2/10, versus 2.4/7 for NBC’s The Blacklist. ABC kept the lead at 10p with 2.7/9 for How to Get Away with Murder; CBS’s Elementary was second with 1.5/5.

A18-49: ABC 2.7/9, CBS 2.4/8, FOX 1.7/5, NBC 1.5/5, UNI 1.3/4, CW .6/2, TELE .6/2, ION .2/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: February 5, 2015 – time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 6.3/11
Big Bang Theory 10.0/16, Mom 6.9/11, Two and a Half Men 5.8/9, Big Bang Theory [r] 5.1/8, Elementary 5.0/9
ABC: 5.8/10
Grey’s Anatomy 5.3/9, Scandal 6.4/10, How to Get Away with Murder 5.6/10
NBC: 4.2/7
Blacklist [r] 3.3/5, Blacklist 6.1/10, Allegiance 3.1/6
FOX: 4.0/6
American Idol 5.7/9, Backstrom 2.2/4
Mi Corazon Es Tuyo 1.8/3, Hasta Fin del Mundo 1.8/3Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No 1.5/3
ION: 1.1/2
Blue Bloods 1.0/2, Blue Bloods 1.1/2, Blue Bloods 1.1/2
CW: .9/1
Vampire Diaries 1.1/2, Reign .6/1
TELE: .8/1
Los Miserables .8/1, Tierra de Reyes .7/1, Duenos del Paraiso .9/2


Kary McHoul has joined ABC Family in the newly created role of Senior Vice President, Programming & Development Unscripted. Most recently, McHoul served as consultant for the Fine Brothers and DanceOn.


Writer and producer Robert Blees died January 31. He was 96. Blees’ numerous television credits include Bonanza, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Cannon. Motion Picture & Television Fund CEO Bob Beitcher, who served on the board with Blees, called him “a true gentleman.”

Veteran television executive Joe Voci died February 7 after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 51. As Vice President, Comedy Programming at CBS, Voci oversaw hits including Murphy Brown and Designing Women, before leaving to set up his own production company, JVTV.


25th Annual PRO Awards

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This Day in History: 1870 – The U.S. Army established the National Weather Service.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: On which 1980s drama did Helena Bonham Carter play a heroin addict? Miami Vice (1984-1989). Kudos to: Lizzy Evans-Citibank/NYC, Jim Ryan-A+E Networks/NYC, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL. Cynthia New-Charter Media/Cape Girardeau, MO, Stephanie Fitts-Standard Packing/New Orleans, Ken DuBow-Lightning Entertainment/Beverly Hills, CA, Cynthia Torrea-Lionsgate/Santa Monica, CA, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, Pat Brady-CESD/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Which sitcom character was played by an actor whose real-life father played his dad, and future wife played a girlfriend? (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

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

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JOB OPENING: ACCT EXEC. AD SALES/CSI SPORTS/NYC: NY Expanding Ad Dept. 70m+ Sports Net. 5+ yrs. TV ad sales exp. w Nielsen. Nat’l DR and Digital exp. preferred. Res/cvr to Rose: HERE (2/14)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES COORDINATOR/Estrella TV/NYC: Support sales & planning in all aspects of acct maintenance. Schedule changes, allocations, stewardship. Daily interaction w/traffic dept. Some admin. TV/Ent Media exp a + but not required. Resume HERE (2/14) 

JOB OPENING: INTEGRATED AD SALES MARKETING SPECIALIST/Discovery/NYC: Client oriented auto enthusiast to create & support dvlpmnt & execution of mktg & sponsorship initiatives for the Velocity ntwrk. 3-5 yrs mktg exp req’d. sports/auto exp a +. Full info/apply HERE (2/12)

JOB OPENING: ASSOC MGR, ON-AIR MEDIA STRAT/NAT GEO Channel/DC: point person for all On-Air promo initiatives for NGC & WILD. Manage strategic planning & execution of on-air. Full info/apply HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: SEGMENT PROD/MSNBC Shift/NYC: Determine and produce for assigned Shift programming, Communicate daily story development with Managing Editor, Participate in control room during live segments: Full info/apply HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER CASTING/UNIVERSAL CABLE PRODUCTIONS/Universal City, CA: Cast on-air talent for NBCU production group. Min. 5 years scripted casting experience required. Full info/apply HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER-EDITOR, CREATIVE SVCS/A+E Networks/NY: Edit & produce video deliverables and create broadcast graphics, to support marketing & promotional campaigns for Int’l division for both channels & program sales. Full Info/Apply: HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: EXEC ASST TO JOINT CEO’S/DC: Sched mtgs, travel & event planning, maintain key company records, wkly & mthly reports. 3 yrs EA exp in TV, Organized, quick thinker, positive attitude. Resume to janicem@halfyardproductions.com (2/11)

JOB OPENING: ASSOC WRITER PRODUCER/IFC/NYC: assist w/concepting, writing & producing IFC promos, stunts, show launches, digital/social content & integrated marketing campaigns. Must be plugged into comedy world & have strong copy writing. 2 yrs. exp. More info/Apply HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR, PROJECT LEADERSHIP/Scratch/NYC: Lead projects for external/internal partners. 10+ yrs. in consulting, strategy, rsrch, mktg/advertising (account mngmnt or account plan’g), brand mngmnt, media and/or tech pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL RESEARCH MGR/AZTECA AMERICA/NYC: Understand & present rsrch insights from ComScore, Google Analytics & other measures of dig. Traffic/consumption. 1+ yr exp in media co, brdcst station, rep. firm or advrtsng agency pref’d. Resume HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: COORD, AD SALES MARKETING/Pivot TV/NYC: Support Director and work across depts & with external clients to develop mktg programs & produce on-air content to promote advertisers on Pivot. BA & 1-2 yrs exp rq’d. Full info/apply HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: GSN/NY/AD SALES ASST: 1-2 yrs admin and/or advertising exp. Daily coord with GSN Traffic, admin duties, communicating changes in schedules. Strong written & oral comm skills/detail-orientation. Please send res and CL to tvcareers@gsn.com (2/11)

JOB OPENING: ON-AIR PROMOTIONS PLANNER/NBCU/Southeast/Southwest: Serve as promo liaison between on-air promotions and marketing, programming, traffic and sales. Manage on-air promotions inventory, assign and communicate traffic instructions Full info/apply HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER/SNI/KNOXVILLE: Produce content for top Lifestyle Networks. 7+ yrs brdcst producing a must. Strong field/writing skills. Lifestyle show exp, mgmt skills a plus. F/T w/benefits. Resume to: kconnor@scrippsnetworks.com (2/11)

JOB OPENING: INTEGRATED AD SALES MKTG MGR/Discovery/NYC: Client focused creative marketer to manage development & execution of ad sales on-air and online mktg opps. 5-7 yrs intgrtd mktg exp req’d. Full info apply HERE (2/11)

JOB OPENING: DIR MKTG/BBCA/NYC: Create/implement consumer promo strategies for BBCA channel. Dvlp/execute promos & off-channel mktg cmpgns w/focus on strategic media plan’g & brand strat. Lev cross-plat digital/social mktng initiatives. Full info/apply HERE (2/11)

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EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at Trish@cynopsis.com

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SITUATION WANTED: TRANSACTIONAL IP ATTORNEY/Greater NYC Area: Seasoned transactional IP attorney with content and technology licensing experience seeks full-time or consulting position. Experience includes entertainment and corporate law. Email: ipesqnyc@gmail.com (2/12)

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Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email Trish@cynopsis.com for specs.


ABC: The Bachelor, Castle
CBS: 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, Scorpion, NCIS: Los Angeles
CW: The Originals, Jane the Virgin
FOX: Gotham, Sleepy Hollow 
NBC: The Celebrity Apprentice, The Celebrity Apprentice, State of Affairs
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow, A Path Appears
Telemundo: Los Miserables, Tierra de Reyes, Duenos del Paraiso
Univision: Mi Corazon Es Tuyo, Hasta el Fin del Mundo, Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No

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