03/26/15: Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson canned; Science Channel plans live Space launch; HBO cancels Looking


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Good morning. It’s Thursday March 26, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
GSN: It Takes a Church at 8p
UP: The Holderness Family at 10p

Tonight’s Finales:
truTV: Breaking Greenville at 10:30p
UP: Bringing Up Bates at 9p


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Women 25-54 regard ID as more intelligent than Bravo, A&E, USA & TNT. 1
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ID is the #1 network in all of television for Length of Tune. 2 Click here for source.

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Popular Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is out, following his March 10 suspension for a “fracas” with a show producer. BBC Director General Tony Hall announced the decision, acknowledging, “The BBC must now look to renew Top Gear for 2016. This will be a big challenge and there is no point in pretending otherwise.”


Space Launch Live: NASA’s One-Year in Space airs live on Science Channel on Friday, March 27 at 3:35p.NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and crew take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the International Space Station (ISS). Kelly and a Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut are scheduled to spend one year living and working aboard the ISS. The mission’s goal: understand how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space.

Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Reba, George Strait, Taylor Swift and Brooks & Dunn will be honored with the Academy of Country Music’s 50th Anniversary Milestone Award. Co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, April 19 at 8p.

UP’s Shannon & Sophie, a new docu-series exploring the relationship between Shannon Tweed-Simmons and daughter Sophie Tweed-Simmons, premieres Thursday, April 16 at 10p.Gene Simmons and son Nick will be popping up during the show’s run.

There’s more news on the horizon for Al Jazeera America. From 6a until 12p each weekday beginning Monday, March 30, the net will present a live morning news block hosted by a rotating roster of the channel’s anchors and reporters. The updated morning news offers viewers an additional two hours of content from Al Jazeera America’s headquarters in New York City, interwoven with live news broadcasts from Al Jazeera studios in Doha and London, the network’s 82 bureau locations and field reporters around the world.

HBO canceled Looking, but we haven’t seen the last of the dramedy. “After two years of following Patrick and his tight-knit group of friends as they explored San Francisco in search of love and lasting relationships, HBO will present the final chapter of their journey as a special,” said HBO. “We look forward to sharing this adventure with the show’s loyal fans.”

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and The Talk will exclusively reveal the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards nominations live on Tuesday, March 31 at 2p on CBS. Encores of the special episode will air that night on Pop at 8p and 11p. The Talk will also host the Daytime Emmys fourth annual “After Party,” honoring some of the night’s biggest winners on Monday, April 27.


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NBC ordered six episodes of The Island, starring Bear Grylls. Based on the hit UK series, the show follows 14 American men abandoned on a deserted island. Left with only the clothes on their backs and minimal survival tools, they’ll find out if they have what it takes to stick it out.

BET Networks signed a first-look, multi-year deal with producer Jesse Collins, the man behind its awards franchises and the series Real Husbands of Hollywood. Under the pact’s terms, Collins will develop new projects through his Jesse Collins Entertainment banner.

Saturday Night Live alum Nasim Pedrad has inked a deal with 20th Century Fox TV and FOX to create and write a comedy in which she’ll star. Pedrad will also exec produce the project, eyed for the next development cycle, with 3 Arts Entertainment.

Woodcut Media and award-winning online collective History Bombs have been commissioned by the BBC to produce a new short form series about the UK’s National Health Service for the broadcaster’s iWonder digital factual and educational portal. The new series, How Did Britain Build the NHS?, is presented by historian and broadcaster James Holland.

OWN ordered two new original series, including an untitled spin-off of Iyanla: Fix My Life featuring Jay Williams, who claims to have fathered 34 children by 17 different women. The show, debuting in September, follows Williams as he works to put his life and relationships in order. Docu-series Evelyn (wt), slated to premiere in July, follows the lives of Evelyn Lozada (Basketball Wives) and her 21-year-old daughter Shaniece.

Join us on Thursday, April 23 at the Astor Center in NYC for The Cynopsis Digital Business Summit. Hear speakers from Citi, GroupM, IAB, Marriott, Alex and Ani, NBCUniversal, Rebelmouse and others will be on hand for an information-packed day of learning, networking and discovery. Register by March 27 to receive the early bird rate: http://j.mp/CynDMS


GSN dishes out the laughs on the Season 2 premiere of Idiotest on Wednesday, April 1 at 8p. “The second season of Idiotest premieres with two back-to-back episodes on April Fools’ Day, the worst possible day to premiere a show because nobody believes when we tell them that’s when they should tune in. But they should. Because our second episode that day features the very lovely Brooke Burns, who I thought was lovelier until she showed up and tried to steal my job. You’ll have to watch to see what I mean. On April 1st. I swear,” says series host Ben Gleib.

WE tv premieres Watchit with Kendra and Hank on Friday, March 27 at 9p. The show will air every Friday at 9p with original content and never-before-seen footage from season three of Kendra On Top.

SundanceTV premieres Behind the Story with the Paley Center on Tuesday, April 7 at 8p. The six-episode series, composed of footage from The Paley Center for Media’s PaleyFest 2013 and PaleyFest 2014 television festivals, features discussions with stars, writers and producers, including Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Jon Hamm (Mad Men).

Impractical Jokers: Practically Live! follows the guys as they embark on a cross-country bus tour, featuring 16 shows in 16 days. “Seeing the Impractical Jokers live on tour proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that best friends are the worst,” series star James Murray tells Cynopsis. “We traveled the country on a tour bus performing in front of thousands of fans and driving each other nuts. We’re friends without benefits.” Hour-long special airs on truTV tonight at 9p.

Oprah’s Master Class returns for a fifth season on OWN later this year. Celebs on deck include Ellen DeGeneres, Robert Duvall, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Smokey Robinson.

Smithsonian Channel special Lincoln’s Last Day, a one-hour documentary that retraces the events leading up to the fatal shot, premieres on Monday, April 13 at 8p, one day before the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

The Burden of Addiction, a CBS interfaith special, looks at how the prescription drug and heroin epidemic is affecting communities in America. Special airs Sunday, April 12 (check local listings for time).


Showtime set summer premiere dates for Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex. Both series return Sunday, July 12, at 9p and 10p, respectively. Upcoming Ray Donovan guest stars include Ian McShane, Katie Holmes and Elliott Gould.

Season three of The Big Interview debuts on AXS TV with seven new episodes on Tuesday, April 14 at 8p. Dan Rather’s first guest: country star Trisha Yearwood, followed by Vince Gill on April 21, Fleetwood Mac vocalist Lindsey Buckingham on April 28 and Josh Groban on May 5.

OWN picked up a second season of Deion’s Family Playbook, the highest-rated freshman docu-series in the network’s history. Look for the show, starring athlete Deion Sanders and his girlfriend Tracey Edmonds, to return on Saturday, May 9 at 9p. In addition, OWN ordered additional episodes ofFlex & Shanice and Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.


Emily Bergl (Shameless) plays Cyrus’s (Jeff Perry) ex-wife on the Thursday, March26 episode of ABC‘s Scandal. The character will appear in a flashback.

Mark Addy (Still Standing) nabbed a co-starring role in CBS pilot Super Clyde. He’ll play Clyde’s (Charlie McDermott) sidekick, Randolph.

CSI: Miami alum Rex Linn is joining ABC‘s Nashville in a recurring role. He’ll portray William "Bill" Lexington, Will’s (Chris Carmack) macho dad.

Chris McDonald (Boardwalk Empire) joined the cast of FOX pilot Fantasy Life  as Chuck, a legendary ex-football player/coach. He replaces James Caan, who left after the table read.

Former Project Runway model Dre Davis landed a recurring guest spot on ABC Family‘s Pretty Little Liars. She’ll play tomboy Kimberly Brown.

Madison Lintz (Parental Guidance) has been upped from recurring to series regular in Season two of Amazon police procedural Bosch.


Blue Ant International acquired eight new titles totaling 38 hours of programming. Factual series include Paranormal Survivor, Cabin Truckers, Reno My Reno and Wild Ride; documentaries include Dino Hunt, How We Got Gay, Different Drummer: Celebrating Eccentrics, and Every Child Counts.


Dick Clark Productions and Jukin Media greenlit 20 half-hour episodes of the second international season of Fail Army. Unscripted comedy series, based on Jukin’s successful YouTube channel FailArmy, has been sold in six international territories including TV2 Norway, Spike UK, Rogers Media Inc. in Canada, TV3 New Zealand, Foxtel Australia, and Sky Italia.

Banijay International acquired entertainment format Treasured Tunes from Iceland production company, Sagafilm. The studio-based primetime format attempts to find a country’s best loved song, as voted for by the viewers, with all songs reinterpreted and rearranged by hit recording artists.


Cynopsis Webinar:
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ABC Family‘s spring finale of Pretty Little Liars boasted season highs across all target demos, delivering its most-watched telecast in over a year in A18-34 (1.2 million/1.7 rating), W18-34 (1.0 million/3.1 rating) and A18-49 (1.6 million/1.3 rating), and was the series’ number one regular telecast in 19 months in W18-49, ranking among the drama’s Top 10 telecasts of all time in W18-49.

OWN posted its most-watched night in network history on Tuesday, garnering 3.5 million viewers for the season finale of The Haves and the Have Nots and a record 2.9 million viewers for the new season premiere of If Loving You is Wrong. The dramas, both from Tyler Perry, were Tuesday night’s top two cable telecasts among the network’s key W25-54 demo.

Tuesday A18-49 Analysis: CBS won the most A18-49 viewers Tuesday with 1.8/6, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. NBC led at 8p with 2.8/10 for The Voice, followed by CBS’s NCIS with 2.2/7. CBS took over the top spot at 9p with NCIS: New Orleans at 1.8/6. ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D was second with 1.5/5. CBS closed out the night at number one with Person of Interest at 1.5/5. Univision’s Que te Perdone Dios… Yo No and NBC’s Night Shift tied for number two with 1.0/3.

A18-49: CBS 1.8/6, NBC 1.6/7, ABC 1.2/4, UNI 1.2/4, CW 0.9/3, FOX 0.9/3, TELE 0.8/3, ION 0.4/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 8.3/14
NCIS 10.1/17, NCIS: New Orleans 9.0/15, Person of Interest 5.7/10
NBC: 3.9/7
The Voice 7.2/12, Undateable 3.4/6, One Big Happy 2.5/4, Night Shift 2.7/5
ABC: 2.7/4
Fresh Off the Boat [r] 3.0/5, Repeat After Me [r] 2.1/3, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D 2.7/4, Forever 3.0/5 [r]
Mi Corazon es Tuyo 1.9/3, Hasta Fin del Mundo 1.6/3, Que te Perdone Dios… Yo No 1.5/3
CW: 1.6/3
The Flash 1.9/3, iZombie 1.2/2
FOX 1.5/3
Hell’s Kitchen 2.2/4, New Girl [r] 1.0/2, The Mindy Project 1.3/2
Telemundo: 1.0/2
Los Miserables 1.0/2, Duenos del Paraiso 0.9/2
ION: 0.8/1
Criminal Minds 0.8/1, Criminal Minds 0.9/1, Criminal Minds 0.8/1


Veteran TV agent Babette Perry has joined Innovative Artists to create and run a broadcast/alternative TV division. Perry was previously at IMG.

Day in History:
1955 – The Ballad of Davy Crockett became the #1 record in the US.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Which chess-playing, Shakespeare-quoting mercenary gunfighter, a graduate of West Point, liked opera, fine wine and smoking jackets? Paladin, on Have Gun, Will Travel (1957-1963). Kudos to: Howard Leib-BrainCamp/Ithaca, NY, David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NYC, Brad Stern-Bellavia Blatt/Mineola, NY, Kathy Alexander/Cleveland, OH, Tom Boyd-WGN/Chicago, IL, Larry Hutchings/Nipomo, CA, Lindsay Garber-Splash Entertainment/Woodland Hills, CA, Dan Haberer, Creo Entertainment, Playa del Rey, CA, Jerry Jones-jj Event Sales/San Francisco, CA.

Today’s Trivia Question – TV Western Theme Week: In what state did Alias Smith and Jones’ Hayes and Curry grow up? (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: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
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JOB OPENING: DIR, PROGRAMMING (Orig. Movies)/Crown Media/LA: Development current original movies, current programs/oversees assigned projects from start to finish. Seeks out programming for HC’s scripted needs. Min.7 yrs. develop/production exp.. Apply HERE (4/1)

JOB OPENING: ART DIRECTOR/REVOLT Media & TV/NY: Support ad sales/integrated mktg initiatives by designing internal/external content & design materials. BA graphic design & 3-10 yrs exp in graphic design for a design studio/agency/in-house creative dept. Resume HERE (4/1)

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JOB OPENING: EVENT MARKETING MGR/NYC/CT: Mng integrated mktg campaigns to attract audience for events. BA Deg/Mktg & 2-4 yrs mktg exp. Exp using social media tools & able to devise/execute a plan in support of events. Full info/apply HERE (3/26)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/CBS/NYC: Marketing exp pref’d. Help track/analyze the audience for CTD barter programming Knwlg Nielsen software, MRI & Wrap Sweeps is pref’d, as is exp in marketing and presentation writing. Resume to: Suzy.saddik@cbs.com (3/26)

JOB OPENING: DIR, RESEARCH/PBS/VA: Research consult & proj mgmt for Brand Strat., Mktg, & Promos. Mng staff allocated to nat. Nielsen rsch. 7+ yrs in advertising, mktg or audience research. Info/apply HERE  (3/26)

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ABC: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, American Crime
CBS: 2015 NCAA Basketball Tournament
CW: The Vampire Diaries [r], The Flash [r]
FOX: Bones, Backstrom
NBC: Dateline NBC, The Blacklist, The Slap
PBS: This Old House Hour, PBS Previews – Best of Drama [r], PBS Previews – Best of Drama [r], Antiques Roadshow [r]
Telemundo: La Biblia, 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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