12/14/15: Willard Scott leaving Today; Charlie Ergen relinquishes Dish title; Fox orders timely event series Shots Fired


"Syfy Raises Its Game" – TV Guide

"…a worthy binge watch…" – Forbes
Special 3 Night Event | CHILDHOOD’S END |8/7c

"…Game of Thrones in space" CNET
Two Night Series Premiere | THE EXPANSE |10/9c
Syfy is part of the NBCUniversal Entertainment Group


Good morning. It’s Monday December 14, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
HGTV: Tiny House Hunters at 10p
Syfy: Childhood’s End at 8p, The Expanse at 10p

Tonight’s Finales:
AXS TV: The X Factor UK at 8p
Food: Cake Wars: Christmas at 9p
FX: Fargo at 10p


Willard Scott, 81, announced on Friday that he is retiring from Today, after 35 years at the morning show and 65 years at NBC. Scott semi-retired in 1996, passing the weather reporting baton to Al Roker. Scott will get a proper send-off Tuesday, December 15. “He is literally my second dad. I love that man,” tweeted Roker.

NBC ordered five more episodes of Chicago Med, for a first season of 18 installments. The drama has averaged a time period-winning 2.0 among A18-49 and 8.9 million viewers in Live+SD.

In a move intended to “align its business to more fully respond to the dynamic pay-TV environment,” Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen is handing his President title and day-to-day control to Erik Carlson, until now EVP of Operations. Carlson is also now COO, a title taken from Bernie Han, now EVP strategic planning. Both continue to report to Ergen. Carlson “has a clear vision for how Dish will deliver the best customer experience and claim share in our category,” said Ergen. 

At its analyst day on Friday, Nielsen shared plans to build an “enterprise marketing platform” that “connects some of our analytics together to help our clients advertise,” said Mitch Barns. The CEO added that the company’s acquisition of data management platform eXelate signified a fundamental shift for Nielsen, and while the company would remain the media industry’s currency provider, more of its revenue growth would come from “data as service” and “software as service” thinking.

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel has presidential candidate Donald Trump in the late night hot seat on Wednesday, December 16, the day after CNN’s GOP debate. Trump owed Kimmel one, having canceled a scheduled appearance the night before he was supposed to show in October.

And in this corner, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will appear in an episode of Amy Poehler-exec-produced Broad City. Season three launches on Comedy Central Wednesday, February 17 at 10p.

Chuck Todd announced on Meet the Press Sunday that NBC is teaming with fact-checking website PolitiFact to fact-check moments on the campaign trail, and put statements made on Meet the Press to its Truth-O-Meter test. An analysis of the assertion of yesterday’s guest Marco Rubio that only three or four countries are taking significant military shots at ISIS can be found here.

A helicopter headed to a location shoot in Argentina for MTV reality show The Challenge crashed on Saturday, killing the pilot and a technician, the only two people onboard. In March, 10 people connected to French reality show Dropped perished in a helicopter crash in Argentina.

CBS‘s Mike & Molly has been canceled after six seasons, according to castmember Rondi Reed. The actress, who plays Mike’s mother, Peggy, posted on Facebook Sunday, "Other venues were explored by WB and Bonanza Productions (Chuck Lorre) after CBS announced their intentions, but did not turn up a future for our show." Reed said the season would be cut to 13 episodes, with taping ending January 27.

Good news (pun intended) – the entries are still open for the Cynopsis Social Good Awards! Submit by the late deadline of this Thursday, December 17 for the chance to be recognized among your industry peers: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/2015-sga/


Cynopsis Top Women in Digital
Honoring those who excel in digital content, marketing, advertising, social media, and online

Final Deadline: January 12, 2016 at 11:59pm!

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQ’s.


The revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is on. The project has raised $6.3 million, including a record $5.76 from Kickstarter, enough for Joel Hodgson and Shout! Factory to produce 14 episodes. The cult comedy about space travelers forced to watch bad movies formerly appeared on previous iterations of Comedy Channel and Syfy.

Fox ordered event series Shots Fired, following the aftermath of a racially charged shooting. Drama from Gina Prince Bythewood (Love & Basketball) and Brian Grazer (Empire) is slated for a 2016 debut.

Two projects from Temple Hill landed script commitments with penalty from Fox: A dance show, written and exec produced by Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King) and exec produced by Julianne Hough (Dancing With the Stars), and a medical drama from Tom Fontana (Oz). 20th Century Fox Television will produce.

Seven Bucks Productions (Ballers), co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, and Left/Right (Mob Wives) are teaming with sports agency Athletes First to produce an untitled docu-series about college football players and their intense preparation for the NFL Draft. “As a former high school All-American football player and collegiate National Champion at University of Miami, I know how determined and relentlessly hard these athletes work and we’re inspired to share their stories,” said Johnson.

Fox isn’t saddling up Urban Cowboy to series. The pilot from Paramount Television and 20th Century Fox Television was based on the 1980 movie starring John Travolta.

What 1980s movie would you like to see made into a TV series? Let us know in the new Cynopsis poll: http://cynopsis.com/poll/.

CBS is developing comedy Bob’s Your Uncle, written by Survivor: Caramoan winner John Cochran. The Millers creator Greg Garcia, who hired Cochran for that CBS comedy, will exec produce.

Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: December 11-13, 2015
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (Lionsgate) $11.3 million (week 4), cume revenue $244.5 million
In the Heart of the Sea (Warner Bros.) $11.0 million, opening weekend
The Good Dinosaur (Buena Vista) $10.5 million (week 3), cume revenue $89.7 million
Creed (Warner Bros.) $10.1 million (week 3), cume revenue $79.3 million
Krampus (Universal) $8.0 million (week 2), cume revenue $24.2 million
Spectre (Sony) $4.0 million (week 6), cume revenue $190.8 million
The Night Before (Sony) $3.9 million (week 4), cume revenue $38.2 million
The Peanuts Movie (Fox) $2.7 million (week 6), cume revenue $125.0 million
Spotlight (Open Road Films) $2.5 million (week 6), cume revenue $20.3 million
Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) $2.0 million (week 6), cume revenue $14.3 million
Source: Rentrak Corporation


Don’t be Mythinformed
routinely scores top program ratings, like this past weekend’s 3.8 A18-49. But some analysts question if the silver screen can continue to deliver a golden opportunity for marketers.
Click here to read popular myths about moviegoing, and why you should ignore them.

NCM – America’s Movie Network.


Hallmark will keep the ball rolling with seasonal programming after its “Countdown to Christmas” stunt ends its successful run. The net’s inaugural “Winterfest” event, with premiere original movies every Saturday in January, launches January 2 at 9p with Luke Perry in Love in Paradise.

Raiders, raptors and rebels, oh my! Science Channel is celebrating eye-popping scenes on Star Wars and other films on Wednesday, December 16 at 8p with George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic. Mark Hamill narrates the one-hour behind-the-scenes special.

Hello again: The season 12 finale of The X Factor UK, airing on AXS TV tonight at 8p, features a performance by Adele, along with performances by Coldplay and X Factor alums One Direction.

T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) will host the 21st Annual Critics’ Choice Awards, broadcast live on A&E, Lifetime and LMN on Sunday, January 17 at 8p. This year, the TV and Movie awards have been combined for one three-hour event.

Viewers can party commercial-free with Fuse New Years Eve. Playlist includes hits from Beyonce, Fetty Wap, Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars and Jidenna, among others on Thursday, December 31 from 9p-1a.

There’s been a lot of talk about the future of television, but Matt Smith, Chief Evangelist for platform solution company Anvato, says it all boils down the “the C’s” – change, choice and contraction. Hear more from Smith in the new Cynsiders here.


Elizabeth McGovern hosts season two of Million Dollar American Princesses, focused on the real-life American heiresses who, like McGovern’s Downton Abbey character, relocated to Europe. Four-parter debuts Sunday, January 3 at 8p.

Comedian Roy Jackson headlines the season four premiere of Bounce TV’s Off the Chain. Season three debut of the stand-up series was seen by over 1.7 million people.

Legendary AAA Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio surprised fans on Saturday during taping of El Rey’s Lucha Underground. Mysterio will join the freestyle wrestling series for season two, launching Wednesday, January 27 at 8p.


Discovery Life’s Shock Trauma: Edge of Life follows critically-injured patients at a major medical center, starting Friday, January 1 at 10p. Docudrama is produced by MedSchool Maryland Productions.

Team Ninja Warrior premieres on Esquire Tuesday, January 19 at 8p. The American Ninja Warrior spin-off has the ninjas competing in squads of three, two males and one female.

AXS TV expands its music programming with Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar Presented by Mercury Insurance, bowing Sunday, January 24 at 9p. The night’s rock block also includes concert series Live From Red Rocks at 8p and competition series Breaking Band at 9:30p.


Add Fox to the broadcasters cheering scatter market results. The net is up nearly 60 percent in scatter spending for broadcast prime time and Sunday NFL games this fall versus the last two years, reports AdWeek, and has seen scatter price increase growth of about 20 percent. “A lot of advertisers who value flexibility chose to modify their spending upfront and make some decisions later,” Toby Byrne, president, advertising sales, Fox Networks Group, told Adweek. “With those decisions, unlike the last couple years, where scatter wasn’t as strong and they either chose to put those flexible numbers to the bottom line or to spend them in new opportunities or new media, the dollars have found their way into the premium television marketplace.”


Twenty million active users in 187 countries – double the number of people six months ago – are sharing Whispers every month, posted CEO and co-founder of the anonymous app, Michael Heyward, on Friday. The number one most-searched and most-used word? It’s “love,” actually.

Just hours after a New York State Supreme Court judge on Friday ordered daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings to stop taking bets from consumers in New York, upholding an earlier order, an appellate court judge gave the sites an emergency injunction allowing them to remain open for business in the Big Apple. Barring the sites could take a bite out of possible TV ad revenue – they accounted for 3 percent of total advertising across 14 broadcast and cable nets in September.

Only 13.6 percent of pay-TV households have adopted TV Everywhere, according to a report form Adobe Digital Index, up just 8 percent year-over-year. The issues: overall awareness of TVE and apps, and getting consumers comfortable with accessing authenticated services with usernames and passwords. As for stalls due to long-term contracts between content providers and pay-TV providers, “As more of those contracts renew, we will see digital rights associated with content be more favorable toward the TV Everywhere product,” Jeremy Helfand, VP of Adobe Primetime, told the Wall Street Journal. 

For more digital media news, subscribe to the Cynopsis Digital newsletter at www.cynopsis.com.


Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order) will co-star opposite Queen Latifah in a Fox pilot from Lee Daniels (Empire) about a girl group reaching for the stars in the music industry.
Add Zoe Kravitz to the cast of HBO limited series Big Little Lies, from David E. Kelley. Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon star in the small screen adaptation of the Liane Moriarty bestseller.

Miles Doleac (Banshee) landed a recurring role on upcoming CW drama Containment, about a deadly epidemic in Atlanta.


Outdoor Channel inked a five-year carriage agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative, including provisions for VOD and TV Everywhere. Outdoor also recently completed a carriage deal with Dish.


Join us for the 15th anniversary of the
Holiday Rock & Roll Bash
A benefit for The Lustgarten Foundation
in support of pancreatic cancer research

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 | New Location: TAO DOWNTOWN NYC

Presented by Cablevision Systems Corporation
With the support of Cablevision, 100% of every dollar raised goes directly to research.

Contact 914-579-1000 or holidaybash@buckleyhallevents.com for sponsorships and tickets.


NBC’s Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors on Thursday drew 12.84 million viewers and 1.8/6 among A18-49, the most-watched TV movie on broadcast since May 2012.

Telemundo announced its Monday-Friday primetime ratings in 2015 were the highest in its history among total viewers (1.67 million, +9% versus 2014) and A18-49 (828K, +9% versus last year), according to Nielsen.

The Sunday, December 6 episode of AMC freshman Into the Badlands saw its highest-yet time-shifting gains, up +49% among P2+, +56% among A18-49, and +54% among A25-54. Adding in 3 days of playback, episode 104 delivered 3.6 million P2+, 2.1 million among A18-49, and 2.3 million among A25-54.

The week of their crossovers, CW’s The Flash rose to a season high 2.08 among A18-49 and a season high 5.47 million viewers in Live+3 numbers, while Arrow hit the mark with season highs of 1.89 in the demo and 3.76 million viewers.
Season three of Bounce TV’s Family Time delivered over 4.5 million viewers and 3.3 million homes across all plays, to become the net’s most-watched original series ever. Across the 10-episode premiere telecasts, season three had increases among HH (264,000, +76%), P18-49 (164,000, +71%) and P2+ (391,000, +85%).

Discovery’s Alaska: The Last Frontier drew four million viewers on Sunday, December 6 and was the most watched telecast, #1 on cable, in total viewers P2+ in Sunday Prime Time in L+3. The episode was the most watched of the series to date, up 17% week to week, and hit season highs in M25-54 (1.76) and M18-49 (1.31).

Thursday A18-49 Analysis: CBS had the most A18-49 viewers Thursday with 1.8/6, according to Nielsen. CBS was first at 8p with 3.8/14 for Big Bang Theory and 1.9/7 for Life in Pieces, followed by 1.2/4 for NBC’s Michael Buble’s Christmas in Hollywood. NBC grabbed the top spot at 9p with 1.8/6 for the first half of TV-movie Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors, versus CBS’s 1.6/5 for Mom and 1.5/5 for 2 Broke Girls. Dolly kept NBC in the lead at 10p with 1.9/7; ABC’s Toy Story was second with 1.1/4.

A18-49: CBS 1.8/6, NBC 1.6/5, ABC 1.0/3, FOX .9/3, UNI .8/3, TELE .7/2, CW .5/2, ION .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, December 10, 2015  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
NBC: 7.1/12
Michael Buble’s Christmas in Hollywood 4.8/8, Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors 8.3/14
CBS: 4.9/8
Big Bang Theory 9.2/16, Life in Pieces 5.0/8, Mom 4.3/7, 2 Broke Girls 3.7/6, Elementary 3.4/6
FOX: 2.8/5
Bones 2.9/5, Bones 2.8/5
ABC: 1.9/3
Toy Story at 20 2.1/4, Toy Story 1.8/3
Antes Muerta Lichita 1.1/2, Pasion y Poder 1.2/2, Yo No Creo en Hombres 1.2/2
ION: 1.1/2
Blue Bloods 1.2/2, Blue Bloods 1.1/2, Blue Bloods 1.0/2
Celia 1.0/2, Bajo el Mismo 1.0/2, Senora de Acero 1.1/2
CW: .7/1
Vampire Diaries .8/1, Originals .6/1


Veteran television producer Matthew Vafiadis has joined Discovery as Vice President of Current Production. Previously, Vafiadis was Senior Vice President of Production and Development at Relativity Television’s Ellen Rakieten Entertainment.


Actress Rose Siggins died on December 12 from complications of kidney stone surgery. She was 43. Siggins played Legless Suzi in season four of American Horror Story.

Actress Marjorie Lord died of natural causes on November 28. She was 97. Lord was best known to television audiences for her role opposite Danny Thomas in Make Room for Daddy.


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This Day in History: 1993 – Colorado’s voter-approved ban on gay rights laws was struck down in court.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What miniseries adaptation of a novel featured Gary Sinese playing a character named Stu Redman? The Stand (1994). Kudos to: Alessandra Kroeff-Cornell University/Ithaca, NY, Beth Chandler-Shinebox, Inc./Nazareth, PA, Erica Childs-Viamedia/Bethlehem, PA, Michael Strocko-Paul,Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison/NYC, Tena Hawkes-University of Arizona/Tucson, Barry Poles-WDAM/Hattiesburg, MS, Andy Nelson-Heartland Industries/Richland, IA, Rosemary Cunningham-Weigel Broadcasting/Chicago, Jeff Adams-Usablenet/Santa Monica, CA, Mike Petrocelli-Friend MTS/LA, Alan Perris/Beverly Hills, Cammie Buerry-Sation Casinos/Las Vegas

Today’s Trivia Question: On which short-lived sitcom was a couple’s honeymoon disrupted when their island was taken over by rebels?(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.)

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JOB OPENING: SALES ASSOC, DEMAND/WO PROGRAMMATIC: Candidate to connect w/high quality leads. 1+ yrs exp selling ad solutions or software to Advertisers, Agencies or DSP’s. BA/BS req’d or equivalent exp w/in advrtsng tech ind. NY, SF, LA, Chic, ATL. Full info/apply HERE (12/16)

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JOB OPENING: DIR, AD SALES/Edge Media/NYC: 2 Positions; Multi-platform ad sales for natl sports/entertainment properties. Seek 1 Natl & 1 DR sales pro; 3+ yrs natl tv or digital exp req; excel comm skills; self-sufficient; self-motivated sellers; resumes to gdolce@edgets.com (12/15)

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ABC: The Great Christmas Light Fight, The Great Holiday Baking Show
CBS: Supergirl, Scorpion, NCIS: Los Angeles 
CW: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show [r], Jane the Virgin
FOX: Gotham [r], Bones [r]
NBC: The Voice, Adele Live in New York City
PBS: Antiques Roadshow [r], Antiques Roadshow [r], Independent Lens
Telemundo: Celia, Bajo el Mismo Cielo, Senora Acero
Univision: Antes Muerta que Lichita, Pasion y Poder, Yo No Creo en los Hombres [r]

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