01/24/23: “Accused” debut breaks ratings records

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Tuesday January 24, 2023

Today’s Premieres
Fox: 9-1-1: Lone Star at 8p
Hulu: How I Met Your Father
ID: Body Cam: On the Scene at 10p
NBC: American Auto at 8:30p
Netflix: Physical: 100
TLC: I Am Jazz at 10p


HBO’s “The Last of Us” has hit a new milestone. Debuting as the most-watched season premiere in over 10 years on the channel, viewership for episode two rose 22%, to 5.7 million viewers. That’s the largest two-week growth ever for an HBO Original drama series. The premiere now has 4x its early audience, with around 18 million viewers.

TBS has canceled “Rat in the Kitchen” after one season. The reality series, following cooks competing to win cash prizes, premiered in March 2022.

Fox’s Adam Klotz opened up about being attacked on a New York City subway. The meteorologist for Fox News, Fox Business and Fox Weather was assaulted by a group of four teenagers on Sunday. He suffered bruised ribs, two black eyes, cuts and other wounds. After watching the New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles game at a bar in Manhattan, Klotz witnessed a group of teens allegedly light a man’s hair on fire, before the group turned on him. Klotz said in a video posted to Instagram, “I want there to be something done.” Two 15-year-olds and a 17-year-old were arrested and charged with assault, and were later released to their parents after being charged as juveniles.

SCAD TVFest will honor Sarah Michelle Gellar with its Icon Award. “Sarah Michelle Gellar is a trailblazer in the field of television,” said Christina Routhier, executive director of SCAD TVFest. “An actor who speaks to many generations, she epitomizes what it means to be a television icon.”

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Fireworks Media Group has partnered with Aaron Sagers on a supernatural slate. The production company founded by Jesse Fawcett will collaborate with the paranormal pop culture storyteller on a series of upcoming projects. The first title under production, “Shadow Vortex: Path of Evil,” will follow paranormal researchers attempting to prove the possibilities of time travel.

Jen Casey and Nick Gilhool of Wonderburst have launched a production company. The duo behind “Captive Audience” and “Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy” will develop One Traveler with All3Media to create and produce documentaries and unscripted series for broadcast, cable, streaming and digital.

Stephen Falk is developing comedy “Get Buckets.” Starring and executive produced by Allen Maldonado, Darrell Britt-Gibson and Brandon Mychal Smith, the single-camera series will center on three brothers who inherit a professional basketball team following their father’s unexpected death.

Disney+ series “Star Wars: Skeleton Crew” with Jude Law has wrapped filming. Directed by Jon Watts and Christopher Ford, the sci-fi spinoff series is slated to premiere later this year exclusively on the streaming platform. Watts described the series as focusing on “a group of kids who are about ten years old who get lost in the Star Wars universe” but adds that it is “not a kids’ show.”

FilmRise and Blue Ant International will co-produce “Killers: Caught on Camera.” The 10-episode true crime series, co-developed by BAI and back2back productions, will show raw footage and analysis of criminal decisions on security footage.

Manga-inspired series “Drops of God” is in development at Apple. From writer Tadashi Agi and artist Shu Okimoto, the French-Japanese eight-episode series starring Fleur Geffrier and Tomohisa Yamashita follows a girl left with her deceased father’s fine wine collection.

STARZ announced seven series regulars joining Katherine Langford in its upcoming drama series “The Venery of Samantha Bird”: Finn Jones (“Iron Fist”), Francesca Reale (“Stranger Things”), Embeth Davidtz (“The Morning Show”), Brenda Strong (“Unprisoned”), Adam Faison (“Hellraiser”), Shalini Bathina (“Little Voice”) and Tyrone Marshall Brown (“Power”). Additionally, Larysa Kondracki (“Power,” “Better Call Saul”) has been added as executive producer and will serve as director on four episodes, including the pilot, and Nicole Jefferson Asher (“P-Valley,” “The First Lady”) has joined as co-executive producer.


“The Watchful Eye” will have a double premiere on Freeform on January 30 at 9p. Starring Mariel Molino, the series centers on a young woman with a complicated past in Manhattan.

Tubi is launching its first original unscripted cooking series, “Kitchen Commando,” on after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 12. From Gordon Ramsay via his Studio Ramsay Global and FOX Alternative Entertainment, the series will see former US Army Master Sergeant and White House Chef, Chef Andre Rush take on a new mission: to save struggling restaurants and reignite their passion for the service industry.

Love comes to Gotham: “Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special” debuts on February 9. The HBO Max Original features the voices of Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk and more. The animated special’s official synopsis reads, “As Harley goes to obsessive lengths to ensure that her first Valentine’s Day with Ivy is the best ever, Bane’s efforts to impress an unexpected date go horribly awry. Meanwhile, after an unfortunate online dating encounter, Clayface engages in some self-love.”


Spotify head of content Dawn Ostroff is one of the employees leaving the company as it cuts 6% of its workforce. “To bring our costs more in line, we’ve made the difficult but necessary decision to reduce our number of employees,” wrote CEO Daniel Ek in a memo to employees. “While I believe this decision is right for Spotify, I understand that with our historic focus on growth, many of you will view this as a shift in our culture. But as we evolve and grow as a business, so must our way of working while still staying true to our core values.” Ek praised Ostroff, who will remain to assist with the transition as Alex Norstrom assumes her duties, as having “made a tremendous mark not only on Spotify, but on the audio industry.”


Lucy Hale and Raul Esparza have joined “The Answers” from FX. The two actors round out the casting for the series adaptation of the Catherine Lacey novel. Set in the near future, a brokenhearted woman (Hale) joins an experiment to “hack” love.

Judy Reyes (“Scrubs,” “Succession”), Rita Volk, Jack Davenport, Annika Boras and Sandra Andreis are onboard Peacock’s “Dr. Death.” The five will recur in season two of the anthology series following the “Miracle Man” storyline. Previously it was announced that Luke Kirby, Ashley Madekwe and Gustaf Hammarsten were also cast in the sophomore season.


The San Francisco 49ers-Dallas Cowboys game averaged 34.4 million viewers on Sunday, January 22. After their 19-12 victory, and 12th consecutive win, the 49ers will play in the NFC Championship this Sunday at 3p for the third time in four seasons.

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“The Price of Glee” paid off: ID’s new three-part series ranked as the top cable network airing without sports among P25-54 and W25-54 on January 16. With more than 3.4 million total viewers, the series averaged a .43 live plus three-day rating, with increases of 54% and 88% over the prior six weeks.

“Accused” was the top-rated and most-watched debut on any network in three years. The Fox drama posted a 2.0 live and same day rating among A18-49 and 8.4 million viewers. Now the highest-rated scripted telecast of the season to date, “Accused” joins “Alert: Missing Persons Unit” as a top two drama debut of the 2022-23 season among A18-49.

“1000lb Sisters” was the highest-rated season premiere on TLC across key demos. The season four opener earned a 1.64 W25-54 rating, a 1.17 P25-54 rating and a total of 2.5 million P2+ viewers, and marked the network’s seventh consecutive week as the top cable program on Tuesday nights among W25-54.

On Tuesday, Food Network’s “Chopped: Casino Royale XL” tournament posted a .6 P18+ / .8 W18+ L3 rating, up from the prior six-week benchmarks (+7% and +13% respectively) as well as up vs. YAGO (+18% and +24% respectively), and ranked as the #2 non-news/sports cable program in its timeslot among W18+.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, January 19
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Celebrity Jeopardy! 4.16 (0.54), The Parent Test 2.08 (0.36), The Chase 2.31 (0.27)
CBS: Young Sheldon 4.92 (0.40), Ghosts 4.21 (0.37), So Held Me Todd 3.36 (0.28), CSI: Vegas 2.69 (0.26)
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen 2.16 (0.41), Welcome to Flatch 0.79 (0.18), Call Me Kat 0.76 (0.17)
NBC: Law and Order 2.53 (0.45), Law and Order: Special Victims Unit 3.41 (0.43), Law and Order: Organized Crime 2.44 (0.31)
Telemundo: La Casa de los Famosos 1.25 (0.36), El Señor de los Cielos 1.62 (0.67), Amor y Traición 0.97 (0.29)
Univision: Vencer la Ausencia 1.65 (0.49), Mi Camino es Amarte 1.74 (0.51), Cabo 1.49 (0.44)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


Hallmark Media appointed Stefanie Nimick as SVP of portfolio content distribution and platform marketing. Nimick will report to EVP of Distribution and Content Strategy Judi Lopez, who said in a statement, “[Nimick] is a seasoned leader with an outstanding track record of driving growth and revenue.”

A+E Networks hired Deborah K. Bradley as EVP of global content sales. Bradley will oversee the team responsible for licensing original and existing content to the network’s global streaming partners and US linear and nonlinear platforms.

Tesha Craword is the new SVP of global scripted series at Universal International Studios. London-based Crawford will report to UIS President Beatrice Springborn at the Universal Studio Group division, and will work to expand the studio’s scripted slate in the UK and Europe.

UPtv announced seven promotions: Bridget Collins to VP, Direct Response and Paid Programming; Frank Novo to VP, Network Operations; Hector Campos to SVP, Content Acquisitions and Strategy; Greg Madsen to SVP, Distribution; Heather Symmes to SVP, Distributor Marketing; Gina Henschen to VP, Legal and Business Affairs; and EB O’Neill to VP, Direct to Consumer Growth and Relationship Management.


Yoshio Yoda of “McHale’s Navy” died at 88. The actor behind Fuji, the prisoner of war and friend of American sailors during World War II, died on January 13 in Fullerton, CA.

This Day in History
1927 – Alfred Hitchcock released his directorial debut, “The Pleasure Garden.”

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which town did Marianne and Connell of “Normal People” (2020) grow up in? Carricklea. Kudos to: Heather Allen-WWE Corporation/Stamford, CT, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./New York, David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which TV series did Rue binge-watch in season 1 of “Euphoria” (2019-)? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four answers per time zone.)

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HEARST MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP/CHARLOTTE, NC: Focus on FCC compliance, brand integrity for all current series and day-to-day business affairs for development and production. Strategize with management and outside counsel on business issues, and draft, review and execute various short-form business documents. Legal background and/or related experience is preferred. Full info HERE (2/5)

TELEVISION ACADEMY/LOS ANGELES, Hybrid: Develop, build, and execute member acquisition plans (monthly, quarterly, and annual) with measurable targets, optimize program performance and deliver strategic plans to achieve/exceed specific campaign KPIs. Identify and implement A/B tests & tactics, innovating & continually seeking to drive and improve. Min 4 yrs’ exp. in an acquisition role. Full info HERE (2/1)

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ABC: The Rookie, The Rookie: Feds, Will Trent
CBS: FBI, FBI: International, FBI: Most Wanted
CW: The Winchesters, The Winchesters
FOX: 9-1-1: Lone Star [p], Accused
NBC: Night Court, American Auto [p], America’s Got Talent: All-Stars
PBS: Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr., American Masters, American Masters, POV Shorts
Telemundo: La Casa de los Famosos, El Señor de los Cielos, Amor y Traición
Univision: Vencer la Ausencia, Mi Camino es Amarte, Cabo


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