Cynopsis: 10th Anniversary Special Edition: "2002"
Greetings! It's Monday, September 17, 2007 and this is your Cynopsis Special Edition, taking a look back at the Year 2002.
This was definitely the year of Executive Moves - and high level moves at that - in the boardroom, in the newsroom and in late night. Also the year of several new network launches, or promises of launches. It was the year the world was introduced to the entire Osbourne family, The Shield, Monk, Dr. Phil, and if you weren't familiar with Enron, you were by year's end now.
THE NETWORKS: Univision's Telefutura launches Greta Van Susteren jumps from CNN to Fox News Fox launches The Chamber, ABC launches The Chair, both maneuver to get on the air first, both are cancelled. MTV and Showtime announce the development of a cable network for gay viewers. FX's new series Rampart is renamed The Shield and becomes a winner. Lisa Ling bows out of The View. Fox sublets Saturday mornings to 4 Kids Entertainment for an annual rental fee of $25.3 million for 4 years. Discovery Channel's Blue Planet: Seas of Life is magnificent. WB announces they'll expand their primetime lineup by 2 hours on Sundays ABC orders successful miniseries Dinotopia to a strip ... which is then cancelled.
NBC airs the Winter Olympics from Salt Lake City, and not without a little Olympic controversy -- remember the pairs ice skating?, and don't forget the NBC maneuver to air the first 30 minutes of non-skating nights commercial free, putting it in the 'sustained coverage' category and therefore not factored in with the rest of the evening's average. At the end of the day, NBC averages a 13.1 A18-49 rating for their full Olympic coverage.
ESPN airs its first original made-for: A Season on the Brink - the Bobby Knight story. Celebrity Boxing ... only on Fox, thankfully.
Let the bidding begin -- Letterman is on the block. Is Koppel on the chopping block and what about Bill Maher? Well, Maher is out. CBS renews Letterman for $31.5 million, a half million more than ABC. Koppel is still ticked though. Letterman's monologue announcing his decision to stick with CBS ends with: 'Whatever you [ABC] decide to do at 11:30, I wish you the very best. And my personal hope is that it will continue to be occupied by Ted Koppel and Nightline for as long as that guy would like to have that job; that is just the way it ought to be.' Class act.
USA orders 11 episodes of a new series called Monk MTV launches The Osbournes. Court TV premieres its first original made-for movie, Guilt by Association. Cable network Fine Living launches. After 32 years hosting Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser, Rukeyser's contract is not renewed - he goes to CNBC. Not enough watchers watching Watching Ellie and it's put on hiatus ... no wait, extended to more weeks ... and then, yes, on hiatus. And then back again for midseason 2003. And finally cancelled. Phil Donahue returns to television on MSNBC - head to head opposite O'Reilly and Chung. New series from NBC called ReRun recreates familiar classic episodes from the coffers of Columbia Tristar's extensive library, using current actors with the original scripts ... sounded like a good idea ... wasn't. 10,000th episode of General Hospital. ABC's One Life to Live goes live for five episodes. Broadcast upfront winds down at an estimated $7.7 billion. The Tennis Channel plans to launch by year's end and does. VH1 signs Liza and new husband David to an Osbourne-like show, and then cancels. Lawsuits follow. MTV celebrates 20 years. CBS Early Show gets a new anchor team, and there's a lot of them - Hannah Storm, Harry Smith, Rene Syler and Julie Chen. Charlie Gibson makes the best doggone Enchilada Casserole on the planet. Angie Martinez - new 4th judge for American Idol 2 - bows out quickly. Doesn't like being that mean. Cowell, Abdul and Jackson continue. DirecTV and NFL will launch an all-football-all-the-time cable network.
SYNDICATION: Oprah re-ups for two more years, through the 2005-06 season which will 'definitely' be her last. Sally Jessy Raphael ends her syndication run. Rosie ends, Caroline steps in. Whoopi leaves the center square. Richard Karn becomes new host of Family Feud. Jerry Springer gets his own weekly talk show in South Africa. Davey & Goliath make a comeback. Bill Clinton talk show host? Not this term. HBO gets into the syndication business with Scott Carlin heading up the effort along with Tommy Cerio. Dr. Phil is syndication's newest hit. The Michigan Court of Appeals overturns a lower court's $29 million jury verdict regarding the Jenny Jones Show (Telepictures) and the murder of Scott Amedure. ABC O&O group renew Wayne Brady for 2003-04 season. TNN picks up syndicated Blind Date. Dr. Phil signs for two more years thru 2005-06.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS: Viacom picks up KCAL for $650 million. News Corp. and Meredith make a trade -- KPTV/Portland in exchange for Meredith's WOFL/Orlando and WOGX/Gainsville. Benedek Comm. files for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. Gray Communications purchases Benedek's 22 local stations for $500 million. Acme picks up WHPN/Madison Wisconsin, sold at auction for $5.6 million. CBS and WJXT/Jacksonville don't renew affiliation agreement; CBS later signs WTEV. MTV buys College Television Network. NBC acquires Bravo. New York Times acquires 50% of Discovery Civilization Channel, later renamed to Discovery Times Channel. NBC acquires KNTV/San Jose. Tribune acquires WTTV/Indianapolis and WTTK/Kokomo for $125 million from Sinclair, and they're not done for the year yet. Fox O&Os KMSP and WFTC trade affiliations making KMSP the new Fox Affiliate in the market, and WFTX the UPN station. FCC okays merger between The Ackerly Group and Clear Channel Communications. Fox buys WPWR/Chicago for $425 million. Devaney leaves. FCC rejects DirecTV and Echostar deal. Emmis Communications will pick up WBPG/Pensacola from Pegasus for $11.5 million. TV Azteca America add four new affiliates giving the group 42% coverage of US Hispanic market. Dean Valentines buys Jim Henson Co., though others wait in the wings in case financing doesn't come through. CNN / ABC News deal paused. Tribune buys KPLR/St. Louis and KWBP/Portland from Acme for $275 million making Tribune the owner of 19 WB affiliates (26 stations total in the group).
etc ... Screen Actors Guild calls for a do-over and re-runs the election for President, Secretary and Treasurer. U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema denies motions for cameras in the courtroom for the trial of ZacariasMoussaoui. NATPE Convention finds most of the major studios setting up shop at a nearby hotel, leaving the convention floor to everyone else. Enron collapses. All nine miners amazingly get out safely. ALTV votes to shut down the organization. Six Boston broadcasters aren't wild about the new People Meters and withdraw their subscriptions to Nielsen Media Research before the May sweep. YES and Cablevision duke it out in the press and in the courtroom. Sesame Street airs its 4,000th episode. Robert Blake is arrested. The digital deadline for local stations comes and goes with only 30% in compliance; new plans and dates are set. Spider-Man kicks off opening weekend at $114 million setting a new record. Cynopsis: Kids! launches with writer Gwen Billings as Editor/Writer Lance Bass is a cosmonaut ... no he isn't .... yes he is ... no he isn't. Sesame Street introduces to the South African viewers an HIV Positive muppet. Advertising is launched on ATM machines. Washington DC Sniper makes for big cable news ratings. Considered perhaps a NATPE competitor, Syndicated Network TV Association gathering is set for NYC during the third week in February. Exxon Mobil bails on Masterpiece Theatre at end of '04. People Meter service in Boston receives official accreditation from the Media Rating Council (MRC).
EXECUTIVE MOVES: Susan Lyne upped to President/ABC Entertainment. Rich Ross named President/Entertainment for the Disney Channel. Richard Cook named Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. John Weiser upped to EVP/Columbia Tristar Domestic Television. Dawn Tarnofsky-Ostroff named President/UPN Entertainment. Carey Chase resigns from News Corp. Joel Berman named President/Paramount Worldwide Television Distribution; Garry Hart named President/Paramount Television Production. John Nogawski named President/Paramount Domestic Television. Brian Graden named President/Entertainment for MTV and VH1. Judy McGrath named President/MTV Networks. Peter Price named President of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Ever shy and demure Kevin O'Brien named head of Meredith Broadcasting, making friends and influencing others. Noreen O'Laughlin named EVP/GM of AMC. Michael Plant named EVP/Turner Sports. Johnathan Rodgers steps down as President/Discovery Networks US. Jeff Lucas named President/Ad Sales, USA Networks Inc. Mike Drexler is named CEO/Optimedia USA. John Sykes named Chairman/CEO of Infinity Radio. Jack Oken named General Manager/Local Services at Nielsen Media Research. Maureen Smith steps down as President of former Fox Family, acquired and renamed ABC Family. Angela Shapiro steps up. Robin Kent has been upped to Chairman/CEO of Universal McCann Worldwide. Jerry Nachman named Editor-in-Chief of MSNBC. Joe DiSalvo upped to President/Domestic Television Sales for King World Production. Bill McGowan upped to EVP/GM for Discovery Communications. Lauren Zalaznick named President/TRIO and EVP/Universal Television's Emerging Networks division. Billy Campbell named President/Discovery Networks US. Rand Stoll named EVP/Domestic Sales for Lions Gate Television. Hank Ratner has been appointed Vice Chairman of Rainbow Media Holdings. Tony Vinciquerra upped to CEO of the Fox Networks Group. David Nevins named President of Imagine Television. Dennis Swanson named EVP/COO of Viacom Television Stations Group. Robert Pittman resigns from AOL. Chris Albrecht upped to Chairman/CEO at HBO. Ibra Morales named President/Television Stations Group for Telemundo Communications Group. Steve Burke named President of merged AT&T and Comcast entity. Jon Miller named Chairman/CEO of AOL Time Warner's America Online. Bob Selwyn steps down as COO/Granite Broadcasting Corp.; John Deushane steps up. Joseph Abruzzese mails his address change from CBS to Discovery Networks, as President of Ad Sales. JoAnn Ross named President/Network Sales at CBS. Laura Desmond has been named CEO of MediaVest USA. Dennis FitzSimons upped to CEO/Tribune Company. Jeff Sagansky steps down from PAX Prez/CEO office.
Avery Schreiber ... Ted Demme ... Howard K. Smith ... Mary Stuart ... Thomas Leahy ... Pat Weaver ... Milton Berle ... Dudley Moore ... Billy Wilder ... Rosemary Clooney ... Ed 'No Relation' Turner ... Robert Urich ... Reginald Rose ... Jay Chiat ... Dave Berg ... Lew Wasserman ... Bob West ... Tony Oquendo ... Ann Landers ... Axel Petersen ... Rod Steiger ... John Frankenheimer ... Joshua Ryan Evans ... David Somerville ... Bruce Paltrow ... Adolph Green ... Sam Snead ... Richard Harris ... Jonathan Harris ... Merlin Santana ... James Coburn ... Joanna Bistany ... Nina Elias Bamberger ... RooneArledge ... Tex Henson ... William T. Orr ... Ken Tobey ... George Roy Hill ... Herb Ritts ... Charles Longenecker ... M.J. Ogden ... Joe Strummer ...
That's it for 2002. Next week at this time ... look for the 2003 Cynopsized edition. And check www.Cynopsis.com for all the Special Editions to date (under the Our Anniversary) tab.
Later -- Cyn
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