Good morning.It’s Friday, February 14, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Saturday’s Premieres:
Pivot: Chance of a Lifetime at 10a
Travel: Ghost Adventures at 9p
Sunday’s Premieres:
Nat Geo: Wicked Tuna at 9p
Univision: Nuestra Belleza Latina at 8p

Sunday’s Finales:
Disney: Good Luck Charlie at 8p
HGTV: Hawaii Life at 9p and 9:30p

Monday’s Premieres:
CW: Star-Crossed at 8p
Food Network: Worst Cooks in America at 9p
HGTV: Love it or List it at 9p
NBC: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35p
VH1: Basketball Wives at 8p
Weather: Raging Nature at 8p

Monday’s Finales:
ID: Murder Comes to Town at 9p
Telemundo: La Reina del Sur

Comcast struck a deal on Thursday to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion or $158.82 per share, roughly what TWC had demanded. Combined, the company would have almost 30 percent of the U.S. pay TV market. As for regulatory issues, “We believe this transaction is approvable,” said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. “It is pro-consumer, pro-competitive, and strongly in the public interest.” As for broadcast and cable nets, BTIG media analyst Richard Greenfield predicts “one-time pain they will suffer as a result of the step-down in fees as Time Warner Cable deals reset to Comcast’s terms,” but adds that at the end of the day, a Comcast/TWC combo, “will still need to reach agreements with the major networks their subscribers demand.”


Not a fan of the Comcast/TWC merger? Writers Guild of America West. After the deal was announced, the Guild issued a statement saying a merger would be “bad for everyone… As writers know all too well, media consolidation leads to already powerful companies limiting competition. The WGAW will fight to stop this ill-conceived merger.” 

The sixth and final season of Lucasfilm‘s Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be available on Netflix starting Friday, March 7. The first five seasons, which aired on Cartoon Network, can also be binge-watched on the streaming service, along with director’s cut eps. Disney canceled the show last year after its acquisition of Lucasfilm, but advised fans to “stay tuned” for more content.

Academy Awards Show host Ellen DeGeneres told her audience on Thursday that her talk show the day after the March 2 Oscars telecast will air live. “I will be delirious from staying up all night long. Not really sure what condition I’ll be in,” the host warned. “I may be in my pajamas. I sleep naked.” Ellen’s on a roll: The Ellen DeGeneres Show delivered a 3.3HH rating the week beginning January 27, its best in series history.

The CW issued early renewals to five series: Arrow for season three, The Vampire Diaries for a sixth run and Supernatural for a tenth season, as well as freshman dramas The Originals and Reign. Shows on the bubble? Hart of Dixie, The Tomorrow People, Beauty & the Beast and The Carrie Diaries.

Weather Channel partnered with digital media company Blue Chalk for a video linking Valentine’s Day to the weather (spoiler alert: it’s all about the roses). The video will air online, on TV and on social.

Bravo Media launched the first annual Real Housewives Awards, honoring “the most unforgettable, dramatic and watercooler moments” from the franchise. Fans can vote on categories like Best Fight Locale and Most Memorable Outfit at bravotv.com/rhawards, or access the Bravo app from now until March 21. Winners will be announced Sunday, March 23 throughout the evening’s lineup.


Jim Parsons hosts the first post-Olympics Saturday Night Live show on March 1. It will be the Big Bang Theory Emmy winner’s debut on the NBC late-nighter; musical guest is Beck.

Lifetime‘s Drop Dead Divas returns for a sixth and, the net announced, final season with a two-hour premiere event. Colin Egglesfield (The Client List), Virginia Williams (How I Met Your Mother) and Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) will guest on the opener, Sunday, March 23 at 9p; Rick Springfield (“Jessie’s Girl”) will turn up later in the season and perform. Divas had been dropped after season five, too, but got a reprieve.

Sting: The Last Ship, featuring the musician playing songs from his new album and upcoming Broadway musical, airs Friday, February 21 at 9p on PBS (check local listings). 

MOVIES! plans a tribute to the late Shirley Temple Black, who passed away Monday at age 85, with a marathon of the iconic former child star’s films. 1940’s The Blue Bird leads the slate at 8a on Sunday, February 16.

Bravo relives its franchises’ most memorable getaways in Bravo’s Top Ten Vacations, featuring Housewives aplenty, on Wednesday, February 19 at 9p.

The war between lobster hunters and thieves determined to pillage their catch is chronicled in Sportsman‘s new docuseries, Bahama Lobster Pirates. (At least they don’t have to shovel snow.) Premiere is Saturday, February 15 at 8:30p.

MTV celebrates the Olympics in its second retro theme week. On “Retromania: Team USA”, the music net has current and former athletes revisiting their favorite pop culture moments. Every day from February 17-February 21, the segments will run as interstitials between programming.

Lifetime‘s retrospective special, Army Wives: A Final Salute airs Sunday, March 16 at 9p. Plans for the two-hour show were announced when Army Wives was canceled after seven seasons in September.

AXS TV announced it will be the official broadcaster of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. StubHub returns as its official broadcast partner. The net is planning over 24 hours of live coverage from Thursday, May 1 through Sunday, May 4, as well as a “Best Of” special from the 2013 event on Sunday, February 16 at 8p.

Season five of Food Network‘s Worst Cooks in America debuts Monday, February 17 at 9p, featuring stuffed French toast, spice-infused grilled chicken and… rock climbing!

Arts net Ovation is partnering with Red Bull Media to broadcast a global breakdancing competition. The Red Bull BC One Final has its television premiere Saturday, February 22 at 12p.


Juliette Lewis has been cast opposite Ryan Phillippe in ABC drama pilot Secrets & Lies. Lewis will play a detective on a murder case in the ABC Studios/Kapital Entertainment project.

Vivica A. Fox (Indpendence Day) and Mark McGrath (The Neighbors) join the cast of Syfy sequel Sharknado 2: The Second One. Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch, Andy Dick and Judah Friedlander will cameo in the TV movie from The Asylum, scheduled to surface in July.

Krista Allen (Baywatch) announced via Twitter that she landed a guest spot on ABC‘s Mistresses, posting, “Ohhhhh… This is gonna be fun!”


Global production company Argonon, based in London, has acquired TV producer Windfall Films (Railroad Alaska), building on Argonon’s offering in the specialist factual genre.

David Ellender, formerly of FremantleMedia, has launched Slingshot Global Media, developing scripted shows for the multi-platform U.S. market on a straight-to-series model.


Music notes: U2 will perform Oscar-nominated “Ordinary Love,” which the group wrote for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, on the Academy Awards Show Sunday, March 2 on ABC. It will be the first time the band performs the song live. Karen O will perform her nominee, “The Moon Song,” from Her.

Oprah Winfrey presents a tribute to Nelson Mandela during the 45th NAACP Image Awards, airing Saturday, February 22 at 9p on TV One.


NBC‘s Olympic coverage took a dip opposite Fox‘s American Idol Wednesday night. According to Nielsen overnight numbers, the Games delivered 20.8 million total viewers, down 12 percent from Tuesday, and a 5.6 rating, down 15 percent. Versus the comparable (but live) night in Vancouver in 2010, the Olympics scored 29 percent fewer total viewers and 37 percent less among A18-49. Idol delivered 11.4 million viewers and averaged a 3.4 rating in A18-49 for the night.

Jay Leno’s last week as Tonight Show host averaged 8.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen, the most since 1993, when Cheers went off the air. Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night handed NBC it biggest week since 1992, with an average 4.2 million viewers.

Dexter is killing it in the ratings for NUVOtv. The net reports the show increased its A18-49 audience by 221 percent over year ago time periods, leading to gains of 33 percent in the demo versus its 2013 overall primetime average. In December, NUVOtv announced it had acquired the rights to air the Showtime hit in its first syndication window on basic cable.

Dish Nation rose 133 percent year-to-year in New York among A18-49 (.7), and 40 percent in Los Angeles (.7) the week of February 3, as well as 33 percent in HH (1.2) in both markets. The pop culture entertainment mag was recently renewed through 2015. 

Broadcast Morning News Shows  Weekly Average Ratings(week of February 3, 2014)
ABC: GMA 5.98 million total viewers; 2.0/14 and 2.37 million A25-54
NBC: Today 5.81 million total viewers; 2.0/14 and 2.39 million A25-54
CBS: This Morning 3.35 million total viewers; 1.0/7 and 1.16 million A25-54
Source: Nielsen, NTI


Discovery Communications promoted Irene Kuhlman to Vice President of Communications for Investigation Discovery and American Heroes Channel. Previously, Kuhlman had been Senior Director of Publicity at the networks.

Bravo and Oxygen Media promoted Emily Yeomans and Chloe Ellers to Vice President, Communications. Yeomans, who had been Senior Director for Oxygen, will lead the East Coast teams for Bravo and Oxygen. Eller, who had been Director, Bravo Media, will lead the West Coast teams.

The Television Academy upped Julie Shore to the position of Vice President of Awards. Shore had been Director, Primetime Awards.


Writer/producer Eric Bercovici died February 9. He was 80. Bercovici wrote for numerous series, including I, Spy and Hawaii Five-0, as well as miniseries Shogun and Noble House with author James Clavell.




Award categories range from Best App to Video Game for a TV Series, from Best Tweens 9-14 Series to
Marketing Campaign for a Toy or Game.
To see the complete list of categories,
click here.

Entry deadline is March 14 – Submit your Entry Today.

Friday Fun Fact: The oldest known valentine still in existence was written in 1415.

This day in history: 1889 – The first trainload of oranges left Los Angeles, bound for the East Coast.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question:On Lost (2004-2010), how often did the button have to be pushed in the hatch? Every 108 minutes. Kudos to: Anthony Fields-Discovery Communications/Silver Spring, MD, Marni Gold/Westwood, NJ, Tom Winiarski-Turner Entertainment Series/NYC, Christine Jones-m2 Pictures/Hampton, VA, Tom A. McDonald-Lakeshore Productions/Chicago, Tena Hawkes-University of Arizona/Tucson, John Amato-Good Day L.A./KTTV/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA/LA, Daniel Haberer-Creo Entertainment/Playa del Rey, CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: What fictional holiday did 30 Rock’s (2006-2013) Valentine’s Day-averse Liz Lemon celebrate on February 14?(Email trivia@cynopsis.comwith 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.).



The Exploding World of Kids’ Tablets: The New Way to Build Your Brand Webinar

Save The Date:March 20th, 2013|1:30-3:00 pm EST

Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey

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ABC: Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, Shark Tank [r], 20/20 
CBS: Hawaii Five-0 [r], Hawaii Five-0 [r], Hawaii Five-0 [r]
CW: Whose Line Is it Anyway? [r], Whose Line Is it Anyway? [r], The Originals
FOX: Bones [r], Enlisted [r], Raising Hope [r]
ION: Psych, Psych, Psych
MyTV: Monk, Monk 
NBC: Winter Olympics: Figure Skating, Alpine Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Skeleton
PBS: Washington Week, Charlie Rose, Great Performances
Telemundo: La Impostora, La Reina del Sur, Santa Diabla
UMA: Stardust, Detention
Univision: Por Siempre Mi Amore, Lo Que la Vida Me Robo, Que Pobres Tan Ricos

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