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Cynopsis: 10th Anniversary Special Edition "1997 "
Greetings! It's Monday, April 16, 2007 and this is your first Special Edition from Cynopsis, taking a look back at the Year 1997.
Cynopsis launched on April 2 of that year, and what follows is a recap of those events over the course of 8 months (Apr-Dec) which in some way continues to affect how we do business today, items of particular note in the day, and a few bits from Cynopsis that were just ... well, curious. You will see below some items in quotes - those are direct quotes from Cynopsis editions.
So settle back and let's review what 1997 brought ...
ABC shows a whole week of 3D programming in the May sweep; and launches a black and yellow consumer campaign that had everyone talking tho not all in a good way
The big Ellen episode airs - draws a 29.6/39 in New York city overnights and a 19.3/43 in the A18-49 demo nationally
WB announces its fourth night of programming with be on Tuesdays, and the inaugural shows will be Dawson's Creek and Three, beginning January 1998 (up to now, WB only programmed Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays)
Rumors abound over UPN's new fall lineup with some suggesting one of its new comedies makes Homeboys from Outer Space look like a poster child for political correctness ...
Vice President Al Gore says on a radio interview that broadcasters should provide parents with program content ratings (V, S and L designations). Talks about same among those at the NAB, NCTA and MPAA come to a grinding halt, citing the VP's unwarranted intervention in the process. A couple weeks later, all broadcasters except NBC are on board with the new ratings
ESPN's X Games in San Diego has run afoul of the Audubon Society who claims the games barefoot water skiing and wakeboarding events endanger the off shore breeding grounds of the California least Tern bird
Upfront closes with broadcasters taking in a total of $6 billion, a new record. NBC brought in $2.1 billion, with rates up 14%; ABC at $1.5 billion up 6%; CBS $1.25 billion, up f12%; Fox $1.1 billion, up 11%. Numbers for WB and UPN were not available.
Susan Lucci loses for the 17th year in a row
ABC announces its daytime replacement for Caryl & Marilyn -- The View
Jamie and Paul Buchman had a baby girl in their season finale ... the premiere episode the following fall featured picking the baby's name and 25 million tuned in
Jamie Tarses backpedals after an interview with the New York Times Sunday Magazine in which she said she wished ABC would just fire her and get it over with. Shortly after the story appeared, she held a press conference and said all was well and happy with her and her job at ABC.
New kids TV rules go into effect with local station required to air 3 hours of educational programming each week
ER broadcasts live on two coasts and earns a 45 HH share
Nickelodeon says it will push back its evening program lineup by an hour, and begin Nick-at-Nite at 9p
Fox is interested in carrying NFL Sunday night cable games for FX and will bid against ESPN and TNT. FX does not meet the NFL's minimum requirement of reaching 65 million homes and therefore the NFL may not permit Fox to bid
Seinfeld says this will be his final season
Syndication hopefuls include Keenan Ivory Wayans, Quincy Jones' Vibe, Magic Johnson, Howie Mandel, Roseanne, Meshach Taylor, Donny & Marie (again), The Dating Game with Chuck Woolery and the Newlywed Game with Bob Eubanks (again), Terry Bradshaw in The Home Team, Mills Lane, Pamela Anderson, Vincent Bugliosi; Judge Joe Brown; Robert Urich, E. Jean Carroll; Forgive & Forget slated to launch in June; Jordan Chance (the Coca Cola commercial stud). Most of these didn't see a full season, most never saw a second season. One exception: Judge Joe Brown.
Third Rock from the Sun also goes into syndication and is being touted as the single largest group acquisition for a single show in syndication history when it was sold to the Fox O&O group of 22 stations at an estimated $2 million per episode. Other off-nets going into syndication included The Nanny, Moesha, Drew Carey, In the House, Spin City.
Maury moves from distributor Paramount to Universal, which then renews the show for an additional three years in 20 of the top 25 markets
Oprah signs for two more years; Friends reupped thru its 6th season - 1999-2000
Columbia Tristar says it will change the direction of the Ricki Lake show to become more advertiser friendly
Saban is getting out of the kids syndication business, and instead will focus on syndication of movies and long form projects
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
News Corp went on a buying spree:
Chancellor buys Katz Media for $373 million; GGP Sports bought by Int'l Management Group; Hicks Mused offers to buy purchase LIN TV after bidding war with Raycom; Pearson TV buys All-American Television for $509 million; Sinclair acquires Max Media Properties for $225 million
Barry Diller is launch a local Miami station in 1998 called CityVision (originally called View) and plans to have 12 hours of network quality entertainment shows, news and sports. Shortly thereafter, a separate announcement reveals Diller and HSN have purchased USA Network and Sci Fi Network from seagram for $4.1 billion; and after that he and HSN put in an offer to purchase half of Ticketmaster Group Inc.
No matter the rumors, Oprah will not be buying the Chicago Bears
Nielsen Media Research announced it will be measuring TV viewership aboard cruise ships beginning in September 1997, tho which DMA that viewing will be attributed is anybody's guess
"Later - Cyn" first used on May 12, 1997
First Trivia Question: "What was Wheezie & George's son's name?" You can ask easy questions like that when there are only 25 or so readers on the list!
Iditarod sled dog winner of 1995, Doug Swingly, is charged with possession of an illegally killed moose.
"Autumn Jackson is Guilty ... Carroll O'Connor isn't, and Vinny the Chin isn't nuts but he is guilty."
Nielsen adds two more overnight markets - Greensboro in 4/98 and Jacksonville FL in 6/98
Disney will launch a chain of restaurants based on its ESPN Cable sports network - the first two will be in Chicago and Baltimore
Meinhardt Raabe, aka the Munchkin Coroner from Wizard of Oz, has spent the last 30 years as the driver of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and playing the role of Little Oscar, World's Smallest chef
The New York Times declares WB's 7th Heaven is showing signs of being an "emerging hit"
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"Preston Padden resigns from Fox! Padden was head of affiliate relations and with his delighted demeanor and unchecked abounding charm, he successfully alienated most of the affiliate body. ... he was heading up the Fox effort to acquire Echostar" and to do that he needed to get the support of the broadcast affiliate body, which he couldn't get. With him now gone, the negotiations can continue between Echostar and Fox. No worries tho, Padden later named President of ABC Television Network where he will again oversee affiliate relations as well as several other departments.
"Lucy Salhaney quits UPN!"
Jerry Springer gets bounced off WMAQ Chicago news where he was supplying the nightly commentary at the end of the local news. He started on a Monday, when the news had a 14 share; by Wednesday it had dipped to a 9.
Keith Olbermann is jumping from ESPN as a sportscaster to news anchor for MSNBC
Nancy Glass leaves American Journal and will be replaced by the brother/sister Perez act; Maureen O'Boyle returns to co-anchor Extra
Joan Lunden leaves Good Morning America after 20 years ... conversations begin with Willow Bay, Elizabeth Vargas, Cynthia McFadden and Connie Chung after learning DreamWorks would not be bringing out the Connie Chung & Maury Povich show. As to Charles Gibson, rumors suggest he may be leaving as well - later Jim Nantz reportedly turned down joining GMA and prefers to re-sign with CBS sports and head to Japan for the Olympics
Charlie Gibson being courted by CNN and a decision is expected before year's end .. at the same time speculation is he'll stay (of course this sort of speculation 10 years later is pretty easy to come up with!)
With that said, news came the next day that Jeff Greenfield will make a move from ABC News to CNN
Peter Lund quits CBS ... Mel Karmazin who oversees the radio division, will now also oversee the television group
Tony Vinciquerra leaves CBS TV Station Group where he was EVP; Leslie Moonves upped to President of CBS Television; Margaret Loesch named Vice Chairman of Fox Kids Worldwide as of September and resigns in November; Dean Valentine named new head of UPN Network; David Hill named Chairman and CEO of Fox Broadcasting; Scott Sassa will replace John Rohrbeck as Prez of NBC Station Group; Tom Nunan named EVP/Entertainment at UPN; Paxson Comm names Dean Goodman to President of the station Group; Rich Cronin named Pres/CEO of Fox Kids Network and Family Channel; Bud Carey resigns from WCBS, Jonathon Klein to become new GM; Rick Kaplan named President of CNN
Romper Room's Miss Nancy, aka Nancy Claster; actor Brian Keith; George Fenneman; Gerald Levin's son Jonathan, a Bronx school teacher, was fatally attacked in his NYC apartment; George Newi; Brandon Tartikoff; Princess Diana; Burgess Meredith; John Denver; and Bob Bell aka Bozo
And that was 1997. Next month - 1998, all 12 months.
Later - Cyn
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