01/08/21: Facebook bans Trump posts


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read


Friday January 8, 2021

Today’s Premieres
Apple TV+: “Dickinson”
CW: “Whose Line Is It Anyway” at 8p
Disney+: “Marvel Studios: Legends”
HGTV: “Self-Made Mansions” at 8p
Netflix: “Pretend It’s a City,” “Mighty Little Bheem: Kite Festival,” “Lupin,” “Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons”
Up TV: “800 Words” at 9p

Saturday’s Premieres
AMC +, Shudder, Sundance Now: “A Discovery of Witches”
Oxygen: “Florida Man Murders” at 7p and 8p

Sunday’s Premieres
BYUTV: “Holly Hobbie” at 7:30p
HBO: “Tiger” at 9p
PBS: “All Creatures Great and Small on Masterpiece” at 9p
Showtime: “The Circus” at 8p
Starz: “American Gods” at 8p
Travel Channel: “Mountain Monsters” at 10p
The Weather Channel: “Highway Thru Hell” at 8p


Facebook is blocking President Trump’s accounts through at least the end of his term. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post. “Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.” Facebook, along with Twitter, first blocked the president’s accounts on Wednesday, after the storming of the Capitol; on Thursday, streaming platform Twitch disabled Trump’s account, and Shopify closed its online stores tied to Trump.

The E.W. Scripps Co. has closed its acquisition of Ion Media Networks in a deal that combines Ion with the Katz networks and Newsy. “This is a historic and transformational moment for Scripps that strengthens our leadership position in broadcasting and accelerates our multiplatform strategy,” said Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson. “Bringing our networks together with Ion will create a formidable national television business focused on connecting with audiences and advertisers in the rapidly evolving media landscape while fueling our company’s future growth.”

NBCUniversal and Charter Communications struck a multi-year distribution deal for the NBCU portfolio that gives Spectrum broadband and video subscribers a free trial for Peacock Premium. Charter will also distribute the Peacock app through its Spectrum Guide platform in the future.

The American Advertising Federation introduced a new brand identity with the slogan, “The unifying voice for advertising.” The move is aimed at giving the 115-year-old trade association a “new outlook and direction,” said President/CEO Steve Pacheco.

The news industry was slammed with 16,160 job cuts across broadcast, digital and print in 2020, according to a study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas – almost 200% more than the year prior, and 13% higher than the previous high in 2008. May saw the biggest cut, with 8,091 layoffs.

The deadline for submissions for the Producers Guild of America’s Innovation Award, honoring the production of a noteworthy, impactful new media program that significantly elevates the audience’s viewing experience, is February 28. Programs released between January 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 are eligible.

Entries Are Now Open: Sports Media Awards
[ ENTER BY 1/27 ]

The 9th Annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards are back!

You’ve worked hard all year, in front of and behind the cameras, it’s time for you to get the recognition you deserve. This awards program spotlights the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans over the past year.




NBC has put in development “Ties That Bind,” a drama based on Seven Studios’ Australian miniseries “Secret Bridesmaids’ Business,” from writer Deirdre Shaw (“Bluff City Law”), Keshet Studios and Universal Television. In the soapy thriller, three women make a promise to one another that leads them to embark on dangerous secrets that threaten to implode their lives.

A comedy based on Norwegian format “The Games” is in development at CBS. The series, centered on a family whose daily life is commented on by sideline sports reporters, comes from Dan Kopelman (“Me, Myself & I”), Kapital Entertainment, Michael Strahan and his SMAC Entertainment, New Media Vision, Red Arrow Studios International and CBS Studios.

Courteney Cox is returning to Facebook Watch for season three of her weekly docuseries about pregnancy, “9 Months with Courteney Cox.” The social experiment from AMPLE Entertainment and Cox’s Hopper Productions features a diverse group of people self-documenting their pregnancy journeys.

Casting notes: Chris Mason (“Broadchurch”) is joining the season five cast of CW’s “Riverdale,” as the controlling and jealous husband of Veronica. He’ll be introduced in Episode 4…Rebekah Graf (“S.W.A.T.”) will recur in CW’s “Walker.”

redknot, a joint venture between Nelvana and Discovery, has greenlit season two of “Agent Binky: Pets of the Universe.” Production on the new season of the animated preschool show begins in spring 2021, for launch on Treehouse in Canada and Discovery Kids in LATAM.


Struum, a streaming service expected to launch in early spring 2021, aims to create a simpler way for people to discover programming in the crowded streaming space. “With our platform, we will help viewers uncover new content and platforms, but also provide all SVOD services with the opportunity to be more easily, and frequently discovered by fans,” said company CEO Lauren DeVillier. Formed by former Disney+ and Discovery executives, Struum is backed by Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company with an investment from Firstlight Media.

Music video platform Vevo is now available on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex. To access the Vevo app, X1 and Flex customers can say “Vevo” into the Xfinity Voice Remote. “Music video viewership in the living room is rising, especially as families stay at home and watch TV together,” said Kevin McGurn, President of Sales and Distribution, Vevo. “Joining Xfinity’s entertainment library delivers our premium and brand-safe content to millions of fans when, where, and how they want it.”


Tegna and FreeWheel, a Comcast Company, announced a new multi-year deal aimed at enhancing Tegna’s business operations, including using FreeWheel’s Strata platform to process electronic orders through ePort, an automated platform that enables purchasing ads from local television stations. Tegna currently connects with agencies through FreeWheel’s ePort platform, enabling its sellers to receive electronic orders from buyers, send makegoods back to the buying platform, and receive revisions electronically. CTV/OTT ad platform Premion, launched by Tegna in 2016, will continue to use FreeWheel’s Strata ad management platform to enable more than 1100 agencies access to Premion’s video inventory.

In a redesign, Facebook dropped the “like” button from pages used by creators and public figures. “We are removing Likes and focusing on Followers to simplify the way people connect with their favorite Pages,” explained the social media company. Changes also include a new look updated navigation and a new Q&A format.

Vislink, focused on collection, delivery and management of live video, announced the launch of its IP Link 3.0. The ATSC 3.0 advanced Studio-Transmitter Link system is aimed at enabling broadcasting service platforms to access new avenues for monetization. “The ATSC 3.0 advanced visual standard allows audiences to enjoy a media-rich TV broadcast system with game-changing video and audio quality improvements, as well as a pathway for exciting features like interactivity and participation,” said Sean Van, Product Manager, Live Production. “The IP Link 3.0 allows broadcasters to easily upgrade to ATSC 3.0 and carry the higher quality IP video data out from the studio to transmitter sites over RF links.”

Nexstar Inc. has integrated a custom Gaming Hub from VENN, the live 24/7 streaming network for gaming and entertainment, across Nexstar Inc’s websites and mobile apps. It’s the first content to come from the companies’ new partnership, announced in October. “It’s no secret that gaming and esports are booming this year, and VENN sits at the center of that trend,” said Karen Brophy, President of Nexstar Inc.’s Digital Division. “This partnership enables us to bring new content and advertising opportunities to our consumers and advertisers.”


Blockbuster film “Captain Marvel” makes its television debut on Sunday, January 10 at 8p on TNT. Leading up to the premiere, TNT will air a DC movie marathon including “Justice League,” “Suicide Squad,” “Batman Begins,” “Wonder Woman,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Man of Steel.”

Season three of TV One true crime series “ATL Homicide” kicks off Monday, January 25 at 9p, following homicide detectives David Quinn and Vince Velazquez tackling killer cases in the Peach State.

Fuse’s “True Dating Stories” recreates real-life dating disasters starting Tuesday, February 9 at 11p.

The transformations of pint-sized beauty queens are revealed in discovery+ three-part special, “Toddlers & Tiaras: Where Are They Now,” starting Thursday, January 21. The original series aired on TLC from 2009-2013.

ThrillerBlack Water: Abyss” will be exclusively available for free on Crackle beginning Thursday, January 21. The film centers on a group of thrill-seeking friends in Australia trying escape killer crocodiles.

Cozi TV remembers the late Tanya Roberts with a three-hour special on Saturday, January 9 at 3p, with “Charlie’s Angels” episodes featuring the actress. Roberts passed away January 4 at age 65.


ITV Studios announced new deals for Warp Films’ dramaLittle Birds.” Starzplay acquired the six-parter for Belgium, Brazil, France, Luxembourg, Spain, French-speaking Switzerland, the Netherlands and Latin America. Little Birds has also been acquired by the premium SVOD service STAN in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand, Lionsgate in India, KT Corporation in Korea and PCCW Media Limited in Hong Kong, as well as RTL in Germany, MORE.TV in Russia and IPTV and Satellite TV operator COSMOTETV in Greece.

Cineflix Rights struck deals for Channel 5’s “Our Yorkshire Farm, selling internationally as “My Big Family Farm,” to CBC (Canada), Nine Network (Australia), Discovery Networks (New Zealand), TV2 (Denmark), YLE (Finland), NENT (Norway and Sweden), Manoto (Iran), TRT (Turkey), Tanweer Alliances for ERT Channel (Greece), and First HDTV (CIS and Baltic states).

The Cynopsis Membership Program is here to provide the insights + research to make you the smartest person in the (virtual) room.

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CNN had its most-watched day ever on Wednesday, topping the charts with its coverage of the storming of the US Capitol. The news net drew 8.2 million viewers in primetime on Wednesday, followed by 7.4 million for MSNBC and 5.8 million for NBC. In Total Day, CNN averaged 5.2 million viewers.

Live with Kelly and Ryan, with appearances by Mariah Carey and Alanis Morissette on its “Home for the Holidays” episode December 22, finished first in talk for five weeks in a row the week ending December 27 with a 2.1HH rating. In second and third place were Dr. Phil (1.5, down 21%) and Kelly Clarkson (1.0, down 17%).

Its annual “Countdown to Christmas” event made Hallmark Channel the most-watched entertainment cable network among W18+ in Q4 for the seventh consecutive year. Hallmark Channel was also the most-watched among W25-54. For the full year, the network ranked as the #2 most-watched entertainment cable among Women 18+ and Total Viewers in Total Day, ranking #1 on weekends.

CBS Sports’ telecast of “Major League Fishing” on December 13 delivered more than 1.8 million total viewers P2+, increasing its average audience impressions by more than 300,000 in the demo compared to its December 15, 2019 telecast.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of December 20 ranked in order by HH Rtg
“Judge Judy” (CTD) 5.4 AA
“Family Feud” (CTD) 5.2 AA
“Jeopardy!” (CTD) 4.6 AA
“Wheel of Fortune” (CTD) 4.6 AA
“The Big Bang Theory” (WB) 2.4 AA
“Inside Edition” (CTD) 2.1 AA
“Live With Kelly and Ryan” (DAD) 2.1 AA
“Entertainment Tonight” (CTD) 1.9 AA
“Modern Family” (DAD) 1.7 AA
“Last Man Standing” (DAD) 1.7
Source: Nielsen. These are individual program ratings and do not include umbrellas.

Top 10 Streaming Shows for the week of December 7
Program (SVOD), # episodes/minutes (millions)
“The Office” (Netflix), 192, 1279
“The Mandalorian” (Disney+), 15, 1042
“Virgin River” (Netflix), 20, 948
“The Crown” (Netflix), 40, 932
“Manhunt: Deadly Games” (Netflix), 10, 827
“Supernatural” (Netflix), 327, 774
“Greys Anatomy” (Netflix), 365, 698
“Criminal Minds” (Netflix), 277, 681
“Big Mouth” (Netflix), 39, 622
“Schitts Creek” (Netflix), 80, 621
Source: Nielsen

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, January 5
Show, P2+ millions, (A18-49)
ABC: “The Lion King” 3.66 (0.7), “Your Voice, Your Vote” 2.06 (0.41)
CBS: “NCIS” 5.69 (0.61), “FBI” 4.91 (0.55). “FBI: Most Wanted” 3.44 (0.42)
CW: “World’s Funniest Animals” (0.86) 0.14, “World’s Funniest Animals” 0.88 (0.14), “Masters of Illusion” 0.54 (0.08), “Masters of Illusion” 0.46 (0.06)
FOX: “Gordan Ramsey’s American Road Trip” 1.79 (0.46)
NBC: “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” 3.01 (0.52), “This Is Us” 5.20 (1.01), “Nurses” 2.55 (0.33)
Telemundo: “Domo del Dinero” 0.88 (0.2), “Todo Por Mi Hija” 1.60 (0.5), “Falsa Identidad” 0.93 (0.3)
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor” 1.61 (0.5), “Imperio de Mentiras” 1.32 (0.4), “Dulce Ambicion” 1.08 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages


Estrella Media appointed Arya Towfighi as EVP, General Counsel. Towfighi joined the company in 2019 as SVP.

44 Blue Productions promoted Andrew Paskoff to the role of EVP of Production and Operations, and Shirley Jackson to Co-Executive in Charge of Production. Paskoff joined 44 Blue in 2019 as SVP of Production; Jackson has line-produced multiple series for the company over the last 12 years.

This Day in History
1835 – The US national debt was $0.

Friday Fun Fact
Firefighters use wetting agents to make water wetter.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
The only friend of which sitcom character was a stuffed bunny? Jack Malloy, on “Unhappily Ever After” (1995-99). Kudos to: Heather Allen-WWE Corporation/Stamford, CT, Charles Lore/NYC, Ed Goode-Connolly Partners/Boston, Scott Deaner-DAX, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Andrea P. Fuller-Cal State Northridge/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question
Which Fox series was the first to win an Emmy? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four.)

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Mike Farina

Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day


Lead and manage a team of Data Scientists in the development of high-impact tools for ad hoc projects and on-going operational analytic platforms, partner with business leaders across NBCUniversal to identify, build, and implement capabilities to leverage advanced data science. Advanced Degree (PhD strongly preferred) with a specialization in Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Mathematics, Operations Research, or other equivalent quantitative fields. Full info HERE (1/25)

THE WEATHER GROUP/ATLANTA: Create effective sales positioning, develop a strategic plan to leverage research and insights. 8-10 years’ experience in TV, Digital and Social media ad sales research required. Full info HERE (1/21)

UPTV/NYC: Work with advertising agency contacts and other advertising sales personnel to ensure that administration aspects of accounts are in order, build, revise and maintain all sales proposals for AEs. Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university; at least 1+ years related cable experience preferred. Full info HERE (1/21)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Dynamic digital marketer to drive growth in A+E’s Digital business by acquiring OTT, mobile, and website video streamers for A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime brands. Leverage owned, earned, and paid marketing tactics. 5 years’ experience with direct response digital marketing. Full info HERE (1/21)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Critical role in media acquisition team as tech liaison for suppliers/production teams to intake content and shepherd through to air. Project leadership + Media Supply Chain tech exp (camera technology/NLE workflows/content acquisition/QC). Act as technical consultant on prod/post prod. workflows across all A+E formats-scripted/non-scripted/live/movies/episodic series. 4+ yrs hands-on technical exp.(Post-Prod Sup./Online/Finishing Prod. Full info HERE (1/20)

Concept, write, produce and execute best-in-class creative launch campaigns for Peacock Originals for use on all platforms. Minimum 7 years of experience in writing, producing and video editing, experience leading 360° Originals creative campaigns in television or entertainment and Expert in digital video file formats. Full info HERE (1/19)

Looking for a Data Engineer who will be directly responsible for developing efficient data ingestion processes and automated management; develop and operationalize of machine learning models; and building robust data platforms to enable scaling of our products. 4+ years’ experience processing large amounts of structured and unstructured data in a cluster-computing environment required or similar experience in academia. Full Info HERE (1/19)

THE JIM HENSON COMPANY/LA: Collect and track pertinent data and information from production, talent, and license contracts, assist with negotiating terms and conditions of contracts and draft initial contracts and revise as needed. Minimum of two years’ experience in a law firm, network, or studio. Experience with guild agreements and/or Paralegal training and certification a plus. Full info HERE (1/19)

Provide strategic legal counsel to Crown Media executives, on matters of the highest profile, impact, complexity or sensitivity and leads the attorney and legal specialist team members. Substantive experience handling and advising on entertainment network legal issues within a broadcast/cable/digital in-house environment is sought. HERE (1/18)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Ensure Ads are compliant with A+E’s policies and federal guidelines during content and advertising review. Liaise with internal Ad Sales executives and external Ad Agencies. 5+ years experience, preferably at a network working in Ad Standards & Practices/Commercial Clearance. Strong familiarity with rules including FDA, FTC and FCC regulations, indecency and trade libel. Full info HERE (1/17)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Creative point in print, promotion, and marketing from concept to development across A&E, History & Lifetime projects. Must be well versed in managing design principles for both print and digital deliverables. Demonstrated hands-on ability to create key art and design projects from conception to completion. Expert in Adobe Creative Suite software and industry standard programs and software. 5 years experience working for network, film or other entertainment outlets. Full info HERE (1/17)

ABC: “Shark Tank,” “20/20”
CBS: “MacGyver,” “Magnum P.I.”, “Blue Bloods”
CW: “Whose Line Is It Anyway” [p], “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”
FOX: “WWE Friday Night Smackdown”
NBC: “Mr. Mayor,” “Mr. Mayor,” “Dateline NBC”
PBS: “Washington Week,” “Firing Line With Margaret Hoover,” “Frontline”
Telemundo: “El Domo del Dinero,” “Toro Por Mi Hija,” “Falsa Identidad”
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor,” “Imperio de Mentiras,” “Dulce Ambicion”



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