Cynopsis Media Presents: The Best of the Week, September 22-26, 2014

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


The Hub Network relaunches as Discovery Family Channel effective October 13, its focus broadening to serve families in primetime as well as children during the day. Tom Cosgrove has been appointed GM. “While the trend is for family members to scatter at home to pursue different interests, we believe television can actually be an inspiration for bringing families together,” said Discovery group president Henry Schleiff, who will oversee the transition and to whom Cosgrove will report. “Our goal for Discovery Family Channel is to curate and program content that will grab entire families.”
CBS switched its game plan for upcoming Monday nights. The net will air back-to-back eps of Big Bang Theory (the second a repeat) for the next three weeks at 8p, instead of following the hit comedy with Mom, which was to have had its season two premiere September 29 at 8:30. The Millers premieres in the 8:30p slot October 20, with Mom premiering Thursday, October 30 at 8:30p, when Bang makes its move back to Thursdays with the exit of Thursday Night Football.


ESPN dropped the hammer on Bill Simmons, announcing a three-week suspension after a recent podcast reportedly featured Simmons calling NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar and daring the company to punish him for it. ESPN issued a statement on the punishment, “Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards. We have worked hard to ensure that our recent NFL coverage has met that criteria. Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks.” SI reports that the suspension applies to all mediums for Simmons, including Twitter.
YouTube is changing its role with the NASCAR crew, and – for the first time ever – will offer race fans the opportunity to view full-length replays of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on NASCAR’s official YouTube channel for free. Complete race replays of each Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race broadcast will be offered the week following the event. Fans may visit the playlist entitled, “Full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Replays  2014” on the channel’s landing page to access the videos.  “Enhancing the fan experience through NASCAR’s digital properties is at the core of everything we do, and providing free, full-length race replays on YouTube gives our fans another easy way to interact with the sport,” said Colin Smith, managing director of NASCAR Digital Media.


Multi-channel network MiTu and Maker Studios announced a partnership to create content for brands that want to reach U.S. Hispanic millennials online. Maker will work with MiTu’s Hispanic talent to produce “culturally relevant” programming that will be short-form and meant for English and Spanish-speaking audiences. MiTu’s networks pull in 55 million subscribers across its channels, and 470 million views per month. Spanish media company Televisa made a similar deal with MiTu in August. MiTu investors include The Chernin Group, Series B and others.

Otter Media, the joint venture between The Chernin Group and AT+T, bought a majority stake in multi-channel network Fullscreen. As reported in July, Otter Media’s pending deal will put Fullscreen’s value between $200-$300 million. FS founder and CEO George Strompolos made the announcement in a blog post yesterday, noting that all of FS’s management team will continue with the MCN. “Together, we will expand Fullscreen from a powerful network of online creators to a major player in the future of “over the top” video; focused on programming with and for today’s young adults,” Strompolos said. Fullscreen is known for its talent The Fine Brothers, Grace Helbig and O2L.



Saban Brands formed a new internal unit to directly manage global distribution of the company’s properties including Power Rangers, Julius Jr., Emojiville, Popples, the upcoming Cirque du Soleil Media property and Digimon Fusion. The division will be headed by Frederic Soulie, SVP of global distribution, who will work closely with Leila Ouledcheikh, VP of distribution, EMEA. The new unit marks the return of Saban to the television distribution space. MarVista Entertainment had served as the exclusive international television distributor of the company’s properties for the past several years and will continue to manage television distribution for Saban properties throughout Latin America. “The content distribution business is changing and evolving faster than ever before,” says Saban president Elie Dekel. “We are embracing this new dynamic marketplace by growing our content and talent to lead in this space.”
Nickelodeon will debut the live-action, buddy-comedy series Max & Shred on Monday, Oct. 6, at 7:30p. The series, produced by Breakthrough Entertainment with the financial participation of Shaw Rocket Fund, chronicles the unlikely friendship between celeb snowboarder Max Asher (Jonny Gray) and Alvin “Shred” Ackerman (Jake Goodman), a science whiz-kid, who become roommates and instant “bros” when Max moves to Colorado to train for the Winter Cup. The series airs Monday-Friday at 7:30p on Nick; it will premiere on YTV Canada on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 7p. Max & Shred is created by writing partners Ben MacMillan and Josh Greenbaum, and exec-produced by George Doty IV.
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