05/05/15: Al Jazeera America comes out swinging; USA’s Mr. Robot takes an early dip in the streaming pool; poof! The Magicians goes to series at Syfy



This Upfront
offers its MOST ROBUST slate of shows for A18-34 EVER!

The Walking Dead|Better Call Saul|Talking Dead|Comic Book Men
Humans|Fear the Walking Dead|Into the Badlands |Preacher

AMC Something More


Good morning. It’s Tuesday May 5, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
BBC America: Nature’s Weirdest at 9p
Great American Country: Building Alaska at 10p
Showtime: Inside Comedy at 11p
TLC: The Wills Family at 10p
truTV: truTV Top Funniest at 9p
Velocity: Chasing Classic Cars at 10p

Tonight’s Finales:
ABC: Forever at 10p
CBS: Person of Interest at 10p
FOX: New Girl at 9p, Weird Loners at 9:30p
HGTV: Mark & Derek’s Excellent Flip at 11p and 11:30p
Lifetime: Dance Moms at 9p


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Al Jazeera America took critics to task in a statement released on Monday. “The recent attacks on us as being anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-American are absurd,” said CEO Ehab Al Shihabi, after a former employee accused the company of discriminatory practices in complaint filed in New York Supreme Court. “Al Jazeera America’s values are based on the highest ethical standards and professionalism.”Responding to backlash regarding recent programming changes, net president Kate O’Brian said, “The changes we’ve made have resulted in more focused programming and expanded field reporting. The way we report the news to our audience and our ability to do that reporting has not been affected.” AJA was launched in August 2013.


The pilot episode of USA hacker drama Mr. Robot, making its linear premiere Wednesday, June 24, will be available for streaming four weeks earlier, on May 27. “It is more important than ever to push boundaries in order to break through the clutter and reach new audiences,” said Chris McCumber, net president. The series will be simulcast on USA sister NBC Universo, with subtitles.

AMC Networks reported a higher-than-forecast 27.5 percent rise in revenue last quarter versus 2014, with net income of $122 million. U.S. nets (AMC, WE tv, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV) were up 25.4 percent, with a big assist from ad sales for AMC’s Walking Dead and Better Call Saul; International Networks saw a 38.9 percent lift.

Roots is getting a reboot at A+E Networks. What other classic miniseries would you to see remade? Let us know in the new Cynopsis poll.

News from NCTA’s INTX, the Internet & Television Expo: Comcast X1 customers can now live-stream videos over the Internet from a smartphone to their TV or to the TV of another X1 customer via the just-announced Xfinity Share app.… TiVo technology is headed to Arris-made set-tops and video gateways as part of a new integration deal between the two companies that opens new possibilities for TVE and other multiscreen video services… Among yesterday’s preshow highlights was a gala celebrating this year’s class of Cable TV Pioneers. The execs feted at the Palmer House included Patricia Jo Boyers (Boyers Cablevision), John Dahlquist (Aurora Networks), Larry Eby (Vast Broadband), Thomas Gorman (opXL LLC), Andrew T. Heller (Turner Broadcasting Systems), Kenneth L. Klaer, David Lorenzi Jr., Bob Ryan and Andrew McCarthy (Comcast Corp.), Mary “Sam" Klosterman (SNL Kagan), Douglas W. McCormick (Rho Capital Partners), Josh Sapan ( AMC Networks), Mark Stephan (Mediacom), Joseph Schramm (Schramm Marketing Group) and Alex Swan (Arris).

ABC Television Group has teamed with DoSomething.org for a National Foster Care Awareness Month campaign, “School Insider,” to help make new students feel welcome and accepted. Through May 31, young people can sign up at dosomething.org/beinspired.


Honoring the best in Kids Programming & Marketing

There’s still time to enter!
Late submission deadline May 15, 2015

Please click here to visit the awards webpage for information on eligibility, categories & how to enter.


Syfy greenlit The Magicians to series. Based on the best-selling books set in a secret university that specializes in magic, drama will be exec produced by Groundswell ProductionsMichael London and Janice Williams. John McNamara (Aquarius) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural), who wrote the pilot, will serve as exec producers; studio is Universal Cable Productions.

Hallmark Movies & MysteriesJesse Stone: Lost in Paradise, the ninth installment of the detective movie series starring Tom Selleck, is starting production in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Brandman Productions, Jesse Stone Productions and TWS Productions produce in association with Sony Pictures Television.

HBO placed a series order for comedy Video Synchronicity (wt) from David Fincher (House of Cards), according to the Hollywood Reporter. Charlie Rowe (Red Band Society) stars, replacing Tyler Ross (The Killing) as a college dropout who works for a company that makes music videos.

Revenge is sweet for Erin Simon and Kim Karp, who sold a script for 101 Ways to Kill Your Ex to IFC. Comedy focuses on a man and woman who team up to get back at their cheating former lovers.


Fox renewed The Simpsons for seasons 27 and 28. The comedy still has gas in the tank, averaging 2.7 million among A18-49 and 6 million total viewers on Sundays.

Velocity opens season eight of Chasing Classic Cars tonight at 10p with a one-hour premiere, as collector Wayne Carini crosses the Atlantic to participate in a car run in a 1903 Ford.

Season two of survival series Fat Guys in the Woods bow Sunday, June 7 at 9p, preceded by a season one marathon that starts at 1p.

AHC is shooting for season two with Gunslinger. Docudrama from Castle Pictures, the net’s top original series in Prime delivery among P25-54 (213,000) and M25-54 (151,000), returns in July. 

Nickelodeon gave the go-ahead for a 20-ep second season of live-action daily strip Make It Pop, from DHX Media. Since its launch, the musical comedy series has been Nick’s top show with K6-11 and G6-11.


Animal Planet’s number one series, River Monsters, winds up season seven with two-hour special River Monsters: Jurassic-Sized Prehistoric Terror on Monday, May 25 at 8p. Net promises super-sized piranhas, fanged swamp sharks  and a “buzz-saw” killer.

History is launching four new series this summer. Auto-focused Lost in Transmission (Adjacent Productions) gets into gear Thursday, May 7 at 10p; event series Texas Rising (A+E Studios and ITV Studios America with Thinkfactory Media) launches Monday May 25 at 9p; car renovation docu-series Leepu & Pitbull (Raw TV) bows Tuesday, June 16 at 10p, and survival experiment Alone (Leftfield Pictures) sets out Thursday, June 18 at 10p.

A two-part Keeping Up With the Kardashians special on E! shares conversations with Bruce Jenner and his family about his gender transition, as well as home video memories. Part one airs Sunday, May 17 at 9p, followed by part two the next day, same time.

It’s rap versus rock fans in a special episode of GSN’s Idiotest. Host Ben Gleib offers up the brain teasers Wednesday, May 13 at 8p.

Hitler: 7 Days That Made the Monster explores events in Adolf Hitler’s early life that might explain how he turned into a brutal monster. One-hour special airs on AHC Monday, May 11 at 10p.

Jewish Life Television premieres two-hour documentary Jews in Germany Today on Wednesday, May 6 at 9p. It’s the eleventh installment in JLTV’s Air, Land & Sea travel franchise.

Former law enforcement officer turned reality and news producer Scott Weinberger talks about what TV gets right – and wrong – when it comes to the crime genre in today’s Cynsiders.

Leading up to the primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, RFD-TV is launching Rural Town Hall. The political series will press presidential candidates for answers about issues important to rural Americans, farmers, ranchers and senior citizens on Mondays at 8p, starting in June.


Save the dates for Hallmark Channel’s “June Weddings Month”: Love Again (formerly Last Resort) on Saturday, June 20 at 9p; The Perfect Match (formerly A Perfect Wedding) on Sunday, June 21 at 9p and Home & Family Primetime Special Wedding Event on Monday, June 22 at 8p. 

TCM’s “Summer of Darkness” is back Friday, June 5, with weekly marathons of film noir titles in June and July. Set the alarm – programming stunt launches at 6a.

Who’s the smartest of them all? Among the diverse slate of celebs on deck for Jeopardy’s “Celebrity Week” are Debra Messing (The Mysteries of Laura), astronaut Mike Kelly, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and CNN anchor John Berman, among others. Stars play for charity  and no one goes home with less than $10,000 for their favorite cause.

Sound reveille! Sony Movie Channel celebrates Memorial Day with a military movie marathon starting Monday, May 25 at 6:45a. First up: Jack Lemmon in The Wackiest Ship in the Army.


Just in time for Upfronts, CBS shared third-party, single-source data from Nielsen and Rentrak showing that consumers across a wide range of categories, including movies, electronics and auto, are more likely to watch most-viewed CBS than any other network. “Delivering an audience that is heavily loaded with proven consumers is a very compelling proposition for an advertiser,” said David F. Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corporation and President, CBS VISION.


Electus signed a deal with SIC Portugal for over 200 hours of content, including seasons of Mob Wives, Swamp Pawn, Dating Naked, House of DVF and Fashion Star, among other series.


Pivot TV: What you watch does make a difference

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Lifetime movie Cleveland Abduction averaged 3.1 million total viewers and 1.2 million among A18-49 on Saturday. Post-show Behind the Headlines: Cleveland Abduction kept the momentum going with 2.9 million viewers and 1.1 million A18-49.

Opposite boxing hoopla on HBO and Showtime, NBC’s Saturday Night Live scored a 3.4 HH rating in metered markets, down from 3.8 for the sketch comedy’s last original episode on April 11.

Days after its cancellation by ABC, Revenge had a 20 percent boost among A18-49 (1.2/4) in Sunday, per early Nielsens. Series finale (“Someone has to pay!”) airs May 10.

April was the 42nd consecutive month of year-over-year delivery gains for Velocity among Households and Men 18+ in primetime. The gains were driven in part by new series Junkyard Empire, which debuted as the net’s most watched series launch ever for M18-34, M18-49, P18-34 and P18-49. Across all ad-supported cable, Velocity’s 21 percent increase among M18+ boosted the network six spots in the cable rankings, to number 44.

Destination America had its highest-rated month ever in Prime among HH, P2+, P/W25-54, and W18-49, and recorded its best month ever among W25-54/18-49 in Prime delivery. With the help of Mountain Monsters, Ghost Asylum and Impact Wrestling, Destination America is up 3 percent in Prime ratings year-over-year, according to Live+3.

TV PLAYBACK RANK, based on the difference between Nielsen’s first-reported Live + Same Day and the final Live + 7 Day rating for the week of 4/13/15
Program/Live+SD A18-49 US AA%/Live+7 US AA
Big Bang Theory
(CBS) 3.9, 6.0
Scandal (ABC) 2.4, 3.9
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 2.1, 3.5
Criminal Minds (CBS) 2.1, 3.5
Scorpion (CBS) 1.9, 3.1
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) 1.6, 2.7
NCIS (CBS) 2.0, 3.1
Gotham (FOX) 1.5, 2.6
Once Upon a Time (ABC) 1.7, 2.7
Elementary (CBS) .1.3, 2.3
Last Man on Earth (FOX) 1.4, 2.4
Source: The Nielsen Company DVR playback rankers, based on the difference between Nielsen’s first-reported Live + Same Day and the final Live + 7 Day ratings (for regular, original programs only).

SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of 4/27/15
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
(Warner Bros./synd.) 8285, 100, 82, 72650
Today Show (NBC)
3229, 502, 6, 7925
Good Morning America (ABC),
1798, 540, 3, 7225
The Tonight Show (NBC),
1559, 189, 8, 8543
Entertainment Tonight (CBS/synd.)
1343, 462, 3, 4113
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
1339, 184, 7, 7114
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)
1065, 52, 20, 7696
Fox & Friends (Fox News)
960, 355, 3, 1660
The Voice (NBC)
946, 288, 3, 17153
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each TV property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers for each property as of February 22, 2015.

NIELSEN TWITTER TV TOP TEN for the week of 4/27/15
Program, Date, Unique Audience (000), Tweets (000)
2015 NFL Draft
(ESPN, NFL Network), 4/30, 10338, 2720
2015 NFL Draft (ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network), 5/1,
7582, 987
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 4/30,
2962, 230
Game of Thrones (HBO, HBO Latino) 5/3,
2470, 77
The Voice (NBC) 4/28,
2226, 1065
Premios Billboard de La Musica Latina (NBCUniverso, Telemundo), 4/30,
2085, 181
Dancing With the Stars (ABC) 4/28,
1873, 44
The Voice (NBC) 4/27,
1840, 105
WWE Monday Night RAW (USA) 4/27,
1429, 142
Dancing With the Stars (ABC) 4/27,
1429, 84
Source: Nielsen. Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before through three hours after broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to a program from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. Sports Events include those on Broadcast and National Cable Networks only across all day parts. For multicast events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks.

Friday A18-49 Analysis: ABC won the most A18-49 viewers on Friday with 1.4/6, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. ABC topped 8p with 1.6/7 for Shark Tank, followed by 1.1/5 for CBS’s Amazing Race, and kept the lead at 9p with 1.6/6 for spinoff Beyond the Tank; 1.2/4 earned CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 and Univision’s Hasta Fin del Mundo a tie for second. CBS was tops at 10p with 1.3/5 for Blue Bloods; Univision landed in second with 1.2/5.

A18-49: ABC 1.4/6, CBS 1.2/5, NBC 1.0/4, UNI 1.0/4, FOX .7/3, TELE .7/3, CW .2/1, ION .1/1

Live+Same Day Household Ratings: Friday, May 1, 2015 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated.
CBS: 5.4/10
Amazing Race 3.6/7, Hawaii Five-0 5.5/10, Blue Bloods 7.3/13
ABC: 3.7/7
Shark Tank 4.4/9, Beyond the Tank 3.9/7, 20/20 2.8/5
NBC: 3.4/6
Grimm 2.7/5, Dateline 3.7/7
FOX: 1.6/3
Movie: Taken 1.6/3
Amores con Trampa 1.2/2, Hasta Fin del Mundo 1.7/3, Que te Perdone Dias …Yo No 1.2/2
Avenida Brasil .6/1, Tierra de Reyes .7/1, Senor de lose Cielos 1.3/2
ION: .6/1
Cold Case .7/1, Cold Case .5/1, Cold Case .5/1
CW: .4/1
Barber Battle .5/1, Whose Line Is it Anyway? .4/1, Messenger .4/1


Hal Rosenberg was promoted to the newly-created position of Executive Vice President Content Distribution and Affiliate Marketing at UP TV. Rosenberg had served as Senior Vice President, Affiliate Sales since 2013.

Crown Media Networks upped Lisa Barroso to Senior Vice President of Distribution. Based in Chicago, Barroso reports to Laura Lee, Executive Vice President of Distribution.

Andrea Schrager has joined UM Studios as Vice President. Schrager had been a Sr. AOL Business Development executive for video production and strategic partnerships.


Actress Grace Lee Whitney died May 1. She was 85. Among numerous television roles, Whitney appeared as Yeoman Janice Rand on Star Trek.

This Day in History: 1925 – John T. Scopes was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What was the name of the summer camp DJ, Stephanie and Michelle attended on Full House? Camp Lakota. Kudos to: David Woolfson-Screenvision/NYC, Joe Norskov-Red Arrow Industries/Knoxville, TN, Doug Hochstadt-ABC/NYC, Stefania Scarfo-CraveTV/Toronto, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA/LA.
Today’s Trivia Question: Which pet wound up frozen on Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005)? (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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ABC: Dancing With the Stars, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Forever [f]
CBS: NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Person of Interest [f]
CW: The Flash, iZombie
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen, New Girl [
f], Weird Loners [f]
NBC: The Voice, Undateable, Chicago Fire 
PBS: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History [r], Frontline
Telemundo: Avenida Brasil, Tierra de Reyes, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Amores con Trampa, Hasta el Fin del Mundo, Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No

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