06/16/15: A&E crazy for Bates Motel; FX shows dino-might; Ellen DeGeneres has Designs on HGTV


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Good morning. It’s Tuesday June 16, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Esquire: Knife Fight
FX: Tyrant at 10p
ID: Cry Wolfe at 10p and 10:30p
TBS: Clipped at 10p
TNT: Rizzoli & Isles at 9p, Proof at 10p

A&E ordered 20 more episodes of Bates Motel, to air over two seasons starting in 2016. Production begins later this year. Seasons four and five will “witness the next stages of Norman’s transformation into the most notorious psychopath in cinematic history,” said Rob Sharenow, EVP and GM of A&E and Lifetime. Not coming back: freshman drama The Returned.


FX snatched worldwide television rights to Jurassic World. The Universal blockbuster, which just had the biggest film opening ever with a U.S. take of $208.8 million, will air exclusively on FX, FXX and FXM. FX has already grabbed Taken 3, Pitch Perfect 2 and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Ellen’s Design Challenge is returning to HGTV for a second season in January 2016. Produced by Ellen DeGeneresA Very Good Production, and A. Smith & Co. in association with Telepictures, the show consistently ranked among the top 10-rated cable programs among A25-54 in its time period during its first run. “I’m so excited to be doing season two of Ellen’s Design Challenge,” said the talk show host.“We have a new motto this season: Watch Ellen’s Design Challenge, where the furniture stays together longer than any couple from The Bachelor.”

The shocking Game of Thrones season five finale (spoiler alert – read no further if you’ve not seen Sunday’s episode) may have viewers wailing on social media, but according to his portrayer, Jon Snow is most sincerely dead. Kit Harrington told EW of his grisly end on the HBO drama, “I’ve been told I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season.”

CBS All Access subscription service lives up to its name, offering Big Brother viewers live feeds, the ability to watch on Roku players for the first time and access to every episode from every season; a live stream of houseguests’ first interviews will be available Tuesday, June 16 at 11a. Season premieres on CBS Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25 at 8p and Big Brother After Dark launches on Pop Thursday, June 25 at 12a.

Disney/ABC Television Group has launched “Summer of Creativity,” an initiative to “help inspire youths to change the world.” Programming and PSAs will highlight how creativity and action can lead to a better future, and grants will be awarded to youth-led community service projects. During the week of July 13, non-profits will be featured on ABC shows including Good Morning America.


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Production for season two of E!’s The Royals began yesterday in London. Series creator Mark Schwahn wrote and is directing the first episode, slated for a November premiere. “Mystery, drama, scandal, sex, mayhem, murder and ridiculously pretty people,” said Schwahn. “And also me.”

John Ridley (American Crime) sold detective drama pilot Presence to ABC. Ridley will write, direct and exec produce through his International Famous Players Radio Pictures Corporation with Michael McDonald via his Stearns Castle; ABC Studios will produce.

GSN has started production on Steampunk’d, tasking 10 contestants with making futuristic designs. Series launches later this summer.


It’s never too soon for holiday cheer, especially at Hallmark. Hallmark Channel original movie Family for Christmas, starring Lacey Chabert (Party of Five) as a single career woman who one day wakes up as a mother of two, premieres Saturday, July 11 at 9p. The romantic comedy is part of the net’s 10-day Christmas Keepsake event.

Chef Michael Symon (The Chew) takes a summer road trip on Food Network’s Burgers, Brew & ‘Que, premiering Friday, July 17 at 10:30p. Over six episodes, Symon crosses the country sampling All-American grub.

Billed as “a one-of-a-kind survival series,” History’s Alone launches Thursday, June 18 at 10p, and as a synchronized global event in over 200 countries. Ten hard-core survivalists are sent alone into the Vancouver Island wilderness with just what they can carry in a backpack, self-documenting the experience in the hopes of lasting long enough to grab the $500,000 prize.

Comedian Jordan Carlos (Guy Code) headlines a one-hour special as part of Bounce TV comedy Off the Chain, tonight at 9p. The season three debut of Off the Chain was seen by over 1.7 million viewers during its premiere week.

USA announced the 13 competitors for reality series WWE Tough Enough, premiering live Tuesday, June 23 at 8p. Cast was chosen from over 11,000 submissions.

Arts net Ovation will present the premiere of the 2015 Actors Hall of Fame induction special on Saturday, October 10. The celebration honoring exceptional film, television and theater actors “will not be a ‘traditional award show,’” said Rusty Citron, president of The Actors Hall of Fame Foundation. “There are enough of those already!”

Al Jazeera America’s Honor Delayed: A Soledad O’Brien Special Report centers of the journeys of servicemen overlooked for the Medal of Honor for reasons of race or ancestry who finally received the overdue honor. Special airs Sunday, June 28 at 10p.

The bounty hunters are back with a new season of CMT’s Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, premiering Saturday, July 18 at 9p and 10p. This time around, the couple’s 22-year-old daughter, Cecily, is along for the ride.

(Un)Glamorous: The Naked Truth About Male Models airs Tuesday, June 16 at 9p on Fusion. Special is hosted by Brazilian journalist and former model Pedro Andrade.


Morgan Spector (Boardwalk Empire) will star in USA pilot Paradise Pictures. Drama from Universal Cable Productions is exec produced by Suits Aaron Korsh and Rick Muirragui.

There’s a new dashing doc checking into Grey’s Anatomy. Martin Henderson (Off the Map) has been cast in season 12 of the ABC medical drama, left McDreamy-less by the departure of Patrick Dempsey.


Presenting new research at the Advertising Research Foundation conference Monday, CBS Corp. chief research officer David Poltrack made the case that television remains far and away the most effective medium when it comes to reach. Among brands studied, the average target reach for campaigns was 67 percent, with 53 percent seeing only television ads. “It’s clear that reducing commitment to TV advertising does not make sense and can hurt a brand’s performance,” said Poltrack, who advocated using digital as a “supplemental element.” Poltrack, who took home the ARF’s Erwin Ephron Demystification Award, honoring his ability to communicate complex insights and lead organizations through challenging scenarios, will be on the panel for Wednesday’s Cynopsis measurement webinar – for details go here.

U.S. product placement marketing grew 12.8 percent over 2013 and is expected to rise 13.2 percent for 2015, according to PQ Media’s “Global Branded Entertainment Marketing Forecast.” Faced with viewers turning to time-shifted viewing to avoid ads, “Product placement has strengthened its position in the multimedia campaign mix,” said the report. “In addition, U.S. marketers have become savvier about integrating brands and products into program content instead of settling for less expensive brand or product cameos.”

Comedy is more than a laughing matter, according to a new study from TruthCo., “Cracking the Comedy Code.” Comedy has become “a multi-cultural, boundary-pushing platform for many voices to be heard on a wide variety of issues,” said TruthCo. CEO Linda Ong, making it “important for brands and marketers to understand when, how and why to use comedy in today’s culture.”


New live-action preschool series Mutt & Stuff, from Sid and Marty Krofft and Bradley Zewig premieres on Nickelodeon Friday, July 10 at 10a. Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan and his son Calvin Millan star with canines both real and imaginary.

Four-night reality competition Soccer Superstar kicks off Wednesday, July 8 at 9p on NicktoonsNickSports TV block. Search for the next best teen female player is hosted by three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather Mitts.

On the heels of its pickup of Teletubbies, Canada’s DHX Television announced new stop-motion kids series Twirlywoos will appear on soon-to-be-rebranded Family Jr. this fall.

9 Story Media Group entered into an agreement with media company Beijing Sunshine Culture and Communication Co. giving Sunshine all rights within the territory for preschool series Peg + Cat and Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood. Both series are co-productions of The Fred Rogers Company for PBS Kids.


NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution has sold Crazy Talk in 99 percent of the country, for a national syndication debut on Monday, September 14. The daily comedic half hour will air on most stations in a back-to-back pattern including WWOR-TV New York, KCOP-TV Los Angeles and WPWR-TV Chicago, where the show will air in early fringe.

TVS announced Small Town Big Deal, airing in first run syndication this fall, has been picked up by stations from station groups including ABC O&O’s, Sinclair, Hearst, Gray, Media General, Tribune,Scripps, Cordillera, and Mission. Larger station clearances include WABC, NY;WPVI, Philadelphia, and WSB, Atlanta.


GRB Entertainment struck deals for the sales of several OWN series to M-Net, including Raising Whitley, Deion’s Family Playbook, Blackboard Wars, Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, Flex and Shanice and 2 Fat 2 Fly, as well as special Knight Life with Gladys.


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ABC’s 2015 NBA Finals scored its biggest audience yet Sunday, with a commanding 20.5 million total viewers, and 7.5 rating among A18-49, according to Nielsen fast nationals – up 15 percent versus last year in viewers and 10 percent in the demo.

Bolstered by on-demand viewership, American Horror Story: Freak Show has become FX’s most-watched program ever, with an average 12.64 million viewers. The anthology series drew 10.73 viewers in Live+7 and 1.91 million from VOD and streaming.a

Based on Live+3 data for last Monday, ABC’s The Whispers grew 60 percent over its L+SD A18-49 rating (1.0 to a 1.6), up from a 53 percent jump for its week-earlier premiere.

Season four of TNT’s Major Crimes launched to 7.0 million viewers in Live+3 delivery, including nearly 2 million A25-54 and 1.4 million A18-49, with 48 percent from time-shifted viewing. Murder in the First began season two with 4.7 million viewers in Live+3 for its premiere and encore, with 1.3 million A25-54 and nearly 1 million A18-49. Time-shifted viewing has accounted for 47 percent of the audience. Series air Mondays at 9p and 10p.

Wednesday’s Baby Daddy on ABC Family also saw a Live+3 boost, setting 5-month highs in A18-34 (541,000/.8), A18-49 (789,000/.6) and W18-49 a(556,000/.9) and posting over 4-month highs in total viewers (1.14 million) and viewers 12-34 (637,000/.7).

Sci-fi drama Humans, from AMC and Channel 4, premiered in the UK Sunday to 4 million viewers and an 18.3 share, the net’s biggest original drama series launch ever.

SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of 6/8/15
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
(Warner Bros./synd.) 5049, 59, 86, 75730
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
4905, 228, 22, 19246
Today Show (NBC)
1990, 465, 4, 8116
Good Morning America (ABC),
1817, 668, 3, 7393
Game of Thrones (HBO)
1156, 48, 24, 18719
The Tonight Show (NBC)
1084, 202, 5, 9202
Fox & Friends (Fox News)
789, 519, 2, 1716
Bones (FOX)
754, 137, 5, 12622
Steve Harvey TV (NBCU/synd.)
726, 199, 4, 6963
Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1)
724, 74, 10, 3956
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.

NIELSEN TWITTER TV TOP TEN for the week of 6/8/15
Program, Date, Unique Audience (000), Tweets (000)
Game of Thrones
(HBO), 6/14, 5120, 436
2015 CMT Music Awards (CMT), 6/10,
3974, 191
The Bachelorette (ABC) 6/8,
2092, 85
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) 6/9,
1918, 177
WWE Money in the Bank (PPV) 6/14,
1738, 268
WWE Monday Night Raw (USA) 6/8,
1549, 143
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) 6/9,
1220, 12
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) 6/11,
1116, 20
Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out (MTV2) 6/10,
968, 37
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1) 6/8,
879, 130
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: FOX had the most A18-49 viewers on Friday with 1.3/7, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. Fox’s FIFA game was first at 8p with 1.6.8, followed by .9/4 for ABC’s Shark Tank. Fox’s match rose to 2.0/9 to win 9p, versus 1.1/4 for ABC’s What Would You Do?. ABC took at turn at the top at 10p with 1.1/4 for 20/20; NBC’s Dateline and Telemundo’s Senor de los Cielos shared second with 1.0/4.

A18-49: FOX 1.3/7, ABC 1.0/4, NBC .9/3, UNI .8/3, CBS .6/3, TELE .6/3, CW .3/1, ION .2/1

Live+Same Day Household Ratings: Friday, June 12, 2015 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated.
ABC: 3.3/7
Shark Tank [r] 3.1/6, What Would You Do? 3.1/6, 20/20 3.6/7
CBS: 3.2/6
Undercover Boss [r] 2.6/5, Hawaii Five-0 [r] 3.3/6, Blue Bloods [r] 3.9/8
NBC: 2.7/5
America’s Got Talent [r] 2.4/5, Dateline 3.4/7
FOX: 2.0/4
FIFA USA vs. Sweden 2.0/4
Amores con Trampa 1.1/2, Lo Imperdobable 1.2/2, Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No 1.3/2
Avenida Brasil .5/1, Tierra de Reyes .7/1, Senor de los Cielos 1.1/2
CW: .7/1
Whose Line Is It Anyway? .8/2, Whose Line Is it Anyway? [r] .8/2, Messengers .5/1
ION: .5/1
Flashpoint .6/1, Flashpoint .5/1, Flashpoint .4/1


Rhonda Bitterman was named Vice President, Agency Partnerships and Development at The Weather Company. Bitterman joins from Pandora Radio, where she established the company’s Agency Strategic practice.

Entravision promoted Jose M. Villafane to the newly created position of President of Entravision National Sales. Previously, Villafane was Executive Vice President of Entravision Solutions.

BBC Worldwide North America appointed Susana Voets as Vice President, Communications & Events. Voets had been working as a publicity and talent relations consultant, following a 14-year career at Sony Pictures Television.

Maria Fischer and Chandler Hayes have joined Crown Media Family Networks as Directors of Network Program Publicity. Fischer was previously at FerenComm, while Hayes was most recently Publicity Director at ABC Entertainment Group.

Entertainment One tapped Pancho Mansfield to serve as President of Global Scripted Television for eOne Television. Mansfield had been executive producing upcoming A&E series Damien and USA’s Queen of the South.


Art director Jack Crosby died June 14 of complications from Alzheimer’s. He was 88. Crosby joined General Hospital in 1963 as the serial’s first art director, a post he held for 17 years.

This Day in History:
1829 – Apache leader Geronimo was born.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: On which series did future Trapper John, M.D. stars Gregory Harrison, Pernell Roberts and Charles Seibert appear in the same episode? Barnaby Jones (1973-1980). Kudos to: Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Which 1980s series featured a recurring, donut-eating intelligence officer who was killed off but returned as a ghost? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).
Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey

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ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live, NBA Countdown, NBA Finals
CBS: NCIS [r], NCIS: New Orleans [r], 48 Hours [r]
CW: The Flash [r], iZombie [r]
FOX: 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
NBC: America’s Got Talent, I Can Do That
PBS: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History [r], Frontline [r]
Telemundo: Avenida Brasil, Tierra de Reyes, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Amores con Trampa, Lo Imperdonable, Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No

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