Cynopsis Media Presents The Best of the Week: February 2-6, 2015

Skip a newsletter last week? “In Case You Missed It” rounds up the top stories in each of our three daily editions, so you can be up on the latest news, Cynopsis-style, in the worlds of linear, digital, sports and kids television. Enjoy!

FLAGSHIP

Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal is stepping down from her position, but will remain on the lot as a producer. “I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures and I am energized to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home,” said Pascal of the venture, financed by SPE. “I am happy to say that Amy’s decision is not the end of her relationship with the studio but the start of a new and exciting chapter in her extraordinary career that promises to be mutually beneficial,” said Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton. The announcement comes three months after the computer hacking scandal linked to the movie, The Interview.

Kevin Reilly’s making changes at the top. The new president of TBS and TNT and chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment is splitting the networks’ original programming team into two units: Sarah Aubrey has been tapped to serve as EVP of original programming for TNT, while Brett Weitz was promoted to EVP of original programming for TBS. Sandra Dewey is being elevated to president, TNT and TBS Productions and business affairs, running the expanded in-house production arm supplying the two networks. “Over the next couple of years, we will continue to sharpen and evolve our brands by doubling down on original programming and being tenacious about our networks’ value proposition,” said Reilly. “These leadership appointments are the important first step in that direction.”

Season four of Lab Rats, Disney XD’s number one comedy series, premieres with a one-hour episode and a new name, Lab Rats: Bionic Island, on Wednesday, March 18 at 8:30p.  

DIGITAL
Twitter’s Q4 earnings were a mixed bag. The company bested analyst projections, posting Q4 adjusted earnings of 12 cents per share, compared with 2 cents a year earlier. Revenue shot up to $479 million, from $243 million in Q4 2013. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings close to 6 cents per share on $453 million in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters estimate. Ad revenue hit $432 million, a 97 percent increase from the prior year. But its people numbers were a different story. Twitter added 288 million monthly active users (below projections) but only 4 million monthly adds since the prior quarter—a scenario company execs blamed in part to the release of Apple’s iOS 8 operating system
Sasha Spielberg and Emily Goldwyn (Steven Spielberg and John Goldwyn’s daughters) are starring in the first Snapchat original series called Literally Can’t Even. Written by the duo, the show revolves around comedic versions of Spielberg and Goldwyn and their fictional life in Los Angeles. As part of the new Discover feature on the app, Snapchat premiered the series on Jan. 31 on the Snap Channel with a new episode out every Saturday. In line with the app’s current format, episodes disappear after 24 hours.

SPORTS

Records all around for NBC and the NFL as Super Bowl XLIX became the most-watched television program in US history, according to Nielsen fast nationals. Overall, data shows that the game saw 114.4 million tuning in with a rating of 47.5, which marks the best in 30 seasons, and a 71 share. Post-game coverage also was up, with 72.5 million viewers in the mix. Katy Perry also delivered for the network, with the halftime show garnering a 48.2/72 household rating, marking the highest-rated halftime show featuring entertainment ever. Boston topped all markets, drawing a 61.0/85, followed by New Orleans, Phoenix, Detroit and Norfolk.

Meanwhile, the newly relaunched NBC Universo (which debuted yesterday to replace mun2) peaked at 457,000 viewers with 368,000 average viewers throughout the telecast for the contest, marking its most-viewed program outside of soccer in channel history. The company’s live stream of the game also saw record traffic, setting Super Bowl records for average viewers per minute (800,000), concurrent users (1.3 million) and total minutes (213 million), according to Adobe Analytics.

FOX Sports unveiled its programming plans for its first year as the USGA’s principal domestic media partner, lining up more than 300 hours of coverage spanning eight championships. Coverage begins in May with the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship May 5-6 from The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Overall, the company slated around 320 hours of USGA championships and related programming in 2015 across its linear and digital platforms. “This is an exciting time as the USGA begins its long-term association with FOX Sports,” said USGA President Thomas J. O’Toole Jr. “Our broadcast partner has made a tremendous commitment and is dedicated to enhancing our national championships. Both players and fans will benefit from the expanded coverage.”

As for the 115th U.S. Open Championship, the company will offer 38.5 live hours of coverage from Thursday through Sunday on FOX and FOX Sports 1, marking a three-and-a-half hour increase from a year ago with 22.5 slated for the broadcast channel. In addition, FOX Deportes carries three hours of U.S. Open coverage on both Saturday and Sunday in Spanish, a first in the championship’s storied history. 

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