01/26/22: CBS is seeing more “Ghosts”

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday January 26, 2022

Today’s Premieres
CBS: Let’s Make a Deal Primetime at 8p
Peacock: American Rock Stars
Syfy and USA: Resident Alien at 9p, Astrid & Lilly Save the World at 10p

Today’s Finale
PBS: Animals With Cameras: A Nature Miniseries at 8p


NBCUniversal is hosting a “symphony of interconnected events” for advertisers this spring, wrote Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Global Advertising and Partnerships, in a letter to NBCU’s partners. That includes an Upfront event at Radio City Music Hall, home to many a splashy NBCU presentation, on May 16. After two years without live Upfront shows, not all companies are returning to familiar venues. Fox is moving its NYC event from its longtime home at the Beacon Theater to downtown’s Vesey, and Disney is forgoing Lincoln Center for a location TBA.

Talk about teamwork: NBC and Fox will simulcast the first game of new spring football league USFL. “The first game played in any new league is itself historical and having the USFL’s inaugural game simulcast by NBC and Fox makes it even more so,” said Fox Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks. “It’s rare when two competitors can come together and see how cooperation can lead to long-term benefit.” NBC Sports will take care of pregame, halftime and postgame coverage for the matchup on Saturday, April 16, while Fox will produce the game coverage. The same commercials will run on each network.

Two thirds (64%) of Latinx consumers surveyed feel the media plays a big role in helping change stereotypes, according to Horowitz Research’s FOCUS Latinx: Consumer Engagement 2021 report. The study finds that diversity in lead actors and having positive portrayals of diverse communities are both major drivers for choosing to watch a show or movie, with six in ten Latinx, and seven in ten younger Latinx viewers, saying this would make them more likely to watch. But while four in ten Latinx feel they are seeing more positive portrayals of Latinx characters and communities in scripted TV shows, almost half say that what they are seeing in scripted content is the same or worse than they were before. Similarly, over four in ten feel that coverage of Hispanic/Latinx communities and people in the news has improved, but a similar percentage of Latinx feel things haven’t changed or have gotten worse when it comes to news coverage.

Verizon lost 69,000 Fios TV customers in 4Q21, for a total drop of 281,000 residential customers in 2021. The total video subscriber base was down 7.3% year-over-year, to 3.573 million. On the flip side, Fios Consumer revenue rose 5.6% year-over-year to $2.9 billion, thanks to Fios Internet growth.

Bravo cut Jennie Nguyen from the cast of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” over insensitive social media posts she shared in 2020. “We recognize we failed to take appropriate action once her offensive social media posts were brought to our attention,” said the network. “Moving forward, we will work to improve our processes to ensure we make better informed and more thoughtful casting decisions.” Nguyen apologized last weekend for the posts, which “Real Housewives” executive producer Andy Cohen on his podcast called “disgusting and upsetting.”

Syfy is launching its first members-only club, Syfy Insider. The destination for sci-fi superfans features videos, sneak peeks, interviews and Q&As with talent, sweepstakes and watch parties.

Current “Jeopardy!” champ Amy Schneider extended her winning streak this week to rack up the second-most consecutive wins in the show’s history, after Ken Jennings. She displaced Matt Amodio, who she’ll face in “Jeopardy!”’s Tournament of Champions.

In a letter to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee expressed concerns about the influence the Chinese Communist Party may have over NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Games, and asked NBC how it plans to use its “investment in the Games to shed light on China’s history of human rights abuses.” Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Bob Latta wanted to know whether, as part of NBC’s rights to broadcast the Games, the network is “in any way precluded by the IOC or CCP from coverage that would be critical of the government of the PRC.”


To better understand and influence where the $80 billion TV ad spend market will spread, join us at First Look: OTT Virtual Conference on Tuesday, March 8th at 1pm ET.



The Workshop Content Studio and One Bowl Productions have entered into an agreement to co-produce programming the the multimedia marketplace, with a mission to develop and produce Native American content. Additionally, the Iroquois Nationals Board and One Bowl Productions with The WorkShop Content Studios have reached an agreement to document the story of the Iroquois Nationals, the only professional sports team belonging to an Indigenous nation.

Disney+ has ordered “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” an adventure series based on the best-selling books by Rick Riordan. Riordan and Jon Steinberg (“Black Sails”) will write the pilot with James Bobin (“The Mysterious Benedict Society,” “Dora and the Lost City of Gold”) directing. Steinberg will oversee the series with his producing partner Dan Shotz. Steinberg and Shotz serve as executive producers alongside Bobin, Rick Riordan, Rebecca Riordan, Bert Salke, Monica Owusu-Breen, Jim Rowe and Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, D.J. Goldberg. The Disney Branded Television series is produced by 20th Television.

Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”) and producer Dani Melia have launched a production company, Local Time, focused on championing emerging storytellers. Through a first-look deal with Amazon Studios, they will executive produce television projects.

Bruce Miller (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) inked a new overall development deal with ABC Signature and Hulu. The agreement calls for Miller to develop projects through his White Oak Pictures.

Jorja Fox will not rejoin spinoff “CSI: Vegas” for season two. Season one starred original “CSI” star William Petersen, who only agreed to appear for one season and will continue as an executive producer, along with Fox, whose contract gave her the option to return. “I personally just can’t split Sara and Grissom up again,” posted Fox on Twitter. “So goes Grissom… So goes Sara. Wherever they go, they belong together.”

Casting notes: Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) landed the lead in CBS’ “FBI: Most Wanted,” following the exit of Julian McMahon. McDermott has been recurring on another Dick Wolf series, NBC’s “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”…Annaleigh Ashford (“Impeachment: American Crime Story”) has joined the cast of Hulu’s “Immigrant” (wt), playing the wife of the founder of Chippendale’s….Flula Borg is joining Adam Devine, her castmate from the “Pitch Perfect” film franchise, for Peacock’s TV spinoff.

Apax Capital Group, a New York-based film and media group, has signed a deal with entrepreneur Mike Amoia to join the European Consortium created by Apax and provide full music coverages services to films and TV shows made through Apax. Amoia will provide a total coverage of 100 million Euro in the next 10 years through his entertainment company Mibe Music.


CBS renewed freshman comedy “Ghosts,” as well as “The Neighborhood” and “Bob Hearts Abishola.” Along with “Young Sheldon,” the shows are the most-watched comedies this season.

Also coming back is HBO’s “The Righteous Gemstones,” for season three. “After a season of literal fire and brimstone, blood, sand, and rollerblading, who wouldn’t come back for more?” said Amy Gravitt, EVP, HBO Programming. “The Gemstone family makes us laugh like nobody else.” Season two concludes February 27.

Amazon Prime comedy “Smothered” has been greenlit for a second season. Co-stars Jason Stuart (“The Birth of a Nation”) and Mitch Hara (“Mutant Olive”) wrote and produced the series, and are in preproduction to play Ralph and Randy, a neurotic, bickering gay couple fresh out of jail and back in therapy.

“American Rust” has been canceled by Showtime after one season. Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney starred in the drama, an adaptation of the novel by Philip Meyer.


Houston will be the setting for season 19 of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” returning Thursday, March 3 at 8p. With the city being home to the largest Nigerian population in the country, the chefs will be put to the test for a quickfire spotlighting Nigerian cuisine and an elimination challenge tasking them to feed Houstonians at an Asian Night Market.

VH1’s hit “Black Ink Crew” franchise is set to return with back-to-back season premieres of “Black Ink Crew: New York” and newcomer “Black Ink Crew: Compton” on Monday, February 21 at 8p.

ABC’s “To Tell the Truth returns Tuesday, February 22 at 10p, with celebrity panel Cynthia Erivo, Gary Owen and Donald Faison.

“Shenmue the Animation” premieres Saturday, February 5 on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll. The anime adaptation, which started as a SEGA video game, follows a man’s quest to become the ultimate martial artist.


Two specials commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27) will feature interviews with Holocaust survivors and their families. “Hearing directly from these survivors puts the atrocities they experienced in sharp focus and should inspire us to fight against all forms of hate and bigotry in the future,” said George Cheeks, President and CEO, CBS. “The Hate We Can’t Forget: A Holocaust Memorial Special” airs Wednesday, January 26 at 10p on Smithsonian Channel, and . “Undeniable: The Truth to Remember” airs Saturday, January 29 at 8p on CBS and Monday, January 31 at 10p on MTV.

Reelz has two music specials on the way. “Jon Bon Jovi: Frontman” premieres Saturday, February 5 at 8p, followed the next night by “Iron Maiden: Breaking the Band.”

“STEAM! The Musical,” described as “a Western musical short with an LGBTQ spin,” will air Friday, January 28 at 9p on Revry, the LGBTQ-first streaming media network.

AccuWeather special “Forecasting Phil – The AccuWeather Spring Preview” airs Friday, January 28 at 10p. Punxsutawney Phil and Stephen Tobolowsky (“Ground Hog Day”) are guests.

The theme for digital channel Journy’s February lineup is “Trekking Africa.” Anchoring the programming: travel docuseries “On Safari,” available Tuesday, February 1.


Google is replacing its FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) proposal with a new solution, Topics API, as the end of third-party cookies draws near. Google will determine a user’s interests based on their past week’s browsing history, helping advertisers decide which ads to show. Topics are kept for three weeks before being automatically deleted, and Chrome users can see and remove their topics, or disable the feature. Google says topics are “thoughtfully curated” by humans and “will not include potentially sensitive categories, such as gender or race. A developer trial is launching on Chrome by the end of 1Q22.

Twitter introduced three new free products, Site Visits Optimization, Aggregated Measurement, and Events Manager, aimed at improving campaign performance to drive traffic to a company’s website. The products support measurement and optimization solutions launched in 2021.


The proportion of US households who have a video subscription rose to 85% in 4Q21, according to data from Kantar, up 2% points quarter-over-quarter after two consecutive quarters of decline. But with so much content available to viewers, it will be harder for any single platform to retain their attention. What does this mean for streaming king Netflix? “As stacking grows, consumers will only have so much money they’re willing to spend on streaming. This will be contributing to the growth of AVOD and FAST services while SVOD is relatively flat YoY,” said Hannah Avery, Kantar Entertainment on Demand analyst. “There’s less risk associated with spending little or no money to watch content…Platforms with multiple tiers available are the ones seeing growth in Q4 ’21. Netflix, which does not have tiers based on ads, can’t benefit from this trend.”

The world’s most in-demand TV show of 2021 was the Japanese anime series “Attack on Titan,” currently in its fourth and final season, according to Parrot Analytics global TV demand data. The most in-demand series debut and the most in-demand “revolutionary” title, defined as a new series based on entirely original IP, is Netflix’s “Squid Game.” The most in-demand comedy series was “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “The Walking Dead” topped the drama category.


China’s iQIYI and WildBrain have signed a partnership to create “Jonny Jetboy,” a kids’ series from Keith Chapman “PAW Patrol”). iQIYI will produce in collaboration with WildBrain as its supervisor. The animation production will be done by China’s WingSing Animation Studio.

BBC Studios has a new slate of kids, factual entertainment, drama, comedy, and documentary titles heading to the US sales market. Among the offerings: “Nova Jones,” following a teen pop star; “Louis Theroux: Forbidden America” (wt), centered on sometimes troubling content creators; and comedy “Alma’s Not Normal.”


Join us on February 24th at 1pm for our exciting virtual event honoring the insiders who make it all happen, from innovative programming to impactful campaigns and beyond. Plus, you can help us celebrate our Rising Stars!



Monday’s premiere of A&E docuseries “Secrets of Playboy” was watched by 1.4 million total viewers, making it the #1 unscripted cable launch of the 2021-22 television season and A&E’s most-watched series premiere in more than 2 years.

Basic Cable Nielsen Top 5 for the week of January 17
Show, P2+ 000s
Prime Time
Fox News: 2427
ESPN 1934
MSNBC 1187
HGTV 1123
Hallmark Channel 952
Total Day
Fox News 1513
ESPN 699
HGTV 649
Hallmark Channel 537

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, January 24
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Bachelor 3.61 (0.8), Promised Land 1.89 (0.2)
CBS: The Neighborhood 6.39 (0.7), Bob Hearts Abishola 5.86 (0.6), NCIS 7.79 (0.6), NCIS: Hawai’I 5.41 (0.5)
CW: March 0.29 (0.0), 4400 0.36 (0.0)
Fox: 9-1-1: Lone Star 5.39 (0.7), The Cleaning Lady 3.22 (0.5)
NBC: Kenan 1.82 (0.3), Kenan1.29 (0.3), That’s My Jam 1.98 (0.4), Ordinary Joe 1.41 (0.2)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.03 (0.3), Hercal: Amor y Venganza 1.28 (0.4), Malverde: el Santo Patron 0.85 (0.3)
Univision: Soltero con Hijas 1.98 (0.6), Vencer el Pasado 1.94 (0.6), Madre 1.76 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


Keith Bowen has been named President of Altice News & Advertising, assuming the role from Jon Steinberg, who will depart the company in the spring. In addition, Kristin Malaspina has been named General Manager of Cheddar News & SVP, Distribution, Altice News.

Beatriz Pineda has joined SSIMWAVE as Senior Director, Product Strategy. Pineda was most recently Senior Director, Non-linear Distribution and New Technologies for HBO Latin America.

Vivaldi Group has appointed Mauricio Andujar as a senior partner. Andujar was co-founder and CEO of Liquid.

Friend MTS has named James Caselton as Head of Product. Previously, Caselton was Marketing Director, EMEA at Dolby Laboratories.

David Squellati has joined DISQO as General Counsel. Squellati was previously at Blue Jeans Network.

London Alley has promoted Matthew Kauth to Commercial Executive Producer and hired Sarah Morrison as Head of Production. Morrison joins from Serial Pictures

This Day in History
1838 – Tennessee enacted the first prohibition law in the US.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which primetime medical drama ran for three seasons, then was turned into daytime soap opera? “The Nurses” (1962-65). Kudos to: Mark A. Prince Jr.-dentsu Media/NYC; Charles Lore/NYC; Rev. Mark Wajda/Clermont, FL; Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC; Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question
What was Hallmark Channel’s first original scripted series? 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.)

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director

Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe
VP/Group Publisher

Executive Director of Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

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

BLUE ANT MEDIA/NYC: Build and implement strategic and results-driven trade marketing and PR plans with a focus on the U.S. and U.K. markets. Execution on all announcements from the production and distribution teams. Writing and routing releases, Op-eds and written interviews and manage PR agency relationships. Minimum eight yrs of experience in a media relations role. Full info HERE (2/9)


Manage assigned portfolio of video providers in alignment with company goals. Develop & maintain strong corporate, division/regional & system relationships. Achieve content distribution & marketing goals across account portfolio. Min of 2-5 yrs’ B2B sales & client relationship management exp; exp in cable television distribution a plus. Full info HERE (2/8)


Maintain agency accounts including upfront and scatter order entry, inventory moves, and product allocations and Electronic Data Interchange, flowcharts, change notices, handling program changes, booking billboards for marketing sponsorships. Communicate daily with Traffic Department. BA in Communication or equivalent from a four-year college. Full info HERE (2/8)


Oversee day-to-day management of campaigns and ensure brand consistency. Develop social media campaigns; drive brand awareness, and engagement. Work with brand managers to create and implement social media strategies monthly. Proven track record of using social platforms to drive conversation and conversion. Full info HERE (2/8)

FUSE MEDIA INC/NYC, NY: Create and manage national sales proposals, monitor on-air schedules on a daily basis, prepare post analysis for clients and resolve contract discrepancies. Obtain, organize and analyze research and competitive information. Monitor stewardship of all accounts. 2-4 years of experience in a media sales company, or advertising agency preferred. Full info HERE (2/6)

Shoot and produce digital video content. Operate as a one-person band getting your own video, audio, and necessary coverage. Act as the primary liaison with our subjects and must always represent the core values of our brand in the field. Credits in digital/doc/reality programming & experience shooting on the Sony FS-7 or adjacent models. Full info HERE (2/6)

Manage a team of producers/shooters, and editors. Impart technical expertise of shooting and editing equipment to team members. Oversee serialized content from casting through picture lock. Direct large projects and live events. At least 6+ years of video production experience on long-form content. Full info HERE (2/6)

Create and edit original mid-from and long-form video feature stories for Overtime’s YouTube page and social platforms, using creative storytelling and editing to produce the best possible video. Ensure we’re creating the best video content up to Overtime standards. Credits working in long-form doc/reality programming. Full info HERE (2/6)

CLEAR CHANNEL/NYC: Prepare ideas & strategy for sales pitches. Develop strategic marketing plans that identify & direct marketing activities toward opportunities for revenue growth. Serve as an expert in media strategy, research insights & product innovation. 3-5 yrs of Marketing and/or Advertising experience. Business Acumen, Results Focus, and Problem Solving req. Full info HERE (2/5)


Communicate the value and brand strength to advertisers and agencies. Create compelling presentations and proactively keep clients informed of pertinent account and network information, as well as marketplace conditions. Make in-person visits to advertisers and agencies. Minimum 4+ years national advertising sales or equivalent sales experience. Full info HERE (2/4)


Maintain client relationships and process client requests. Negotiate client rates and provide weekly budget reports. Provide quarterly agency/account budget tracking reports and summaries. Analyze and report average unit rates on a weekly/monthly basis. Min of 2 yrs of relevant advertising/media and min one yr direct response experience required. Full info HERE (2/2)

Primary contacts for AKC.tv & AKC productions. Manages the production calendar, including national broadcasts, livestream events, weekly shows, & studio productions. Tracks & monitors the process with AKC clubs for televised events, including contracts & payments. 2+ yrs of exp in broadcast management, communications, marketing, or related field. Full info HERE (1/28)

Provides leadership for the broadcast/digital sales teams. Makes decisions regarding hiring, evaluating, promoting and terminating of employees. Manages recruitment, Training, evaluation, and development of sales professionals. Develops and cultivates client relationships alongside Account Executives. 3+ yrs exp in selling TV, Video and Digital. Full info HERE (1/28)


Report & evaluate existing metrics, develop new metrics and reports, & provide strategic recommendations to assist with driving decision-making & measuring performance for key stakeholders. Perform analyses for network programming & competitive analysis for programs on other networks. Minimum 3+ yrs Media and/or TV audience research experience. Full info HERE (1/27)

VIACOMCBS/LOS ANGELES: Forecast & develop delivery schedules & confer with creative teams, management & production company production personnel to handle special requests & production scheduling issues. Collaborate daily with program suppliers to coordinate the delivery of program content. Min 3 yrs in acquisition and delivery of media assets used to produce marketing. Full info HERE (1/27)


Development, as well as enhancement, of workflows for a linear broadcast, and FAST/AVOD OTT channel. Establish the goal setting and success of the long-term programming analysis and moving Circle Media towards a “rated” channel and ensure successful and timely program delivery. Point of contact for all live events in the Linear and OTT feed. Full info HERE (1/26)


Focus on international commercial transactions, including content sales, program license, output agreements as well as international compliance, regulatory matters. Provide counsel on formation, structuring, maintenance, of JVs and partnerships. 7+ yrs legal exp including IP, domestic/int. content licensing, linear/on-demand rights and distribution. Full info HERE (1/26)

REELZ, NY: Create/revise upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Should be comfortable presenting and cultivating agency relationships. A min. 5 yrs ad sales/agency exp. Strong written and verbal communication skills, strong media math skills. Proficient in Wide Orbit, MS Suite. Full info HERE (1/26)

Create upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Maintain agency accounts including upfront and scatter order entry, campaign changes, and product allocations. Assist Account Executives and work closely with the Director of Inventory Control. A min 2 yrs ad sales/agency exp. Proficient in Wide Orbit, MS Suite. Full info HERE (1/26)

ABC: The Goldbergs, The Wonder Years, The Conners, Home Economics, The Chase
CBS: Let’s Make a Deal Primetime, The Amazing Race, Good Sam
CW: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman
FOX: I Can See Your Voice, Next Level Chef
NBC: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D.
PBS: Animals With Cameras: A Nature Miniseries [f], NOVA, Big Pacific
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Hercal: Amor y Venganza, Malverde: el Santo Patron
Univision: Soltero con Hijas, Vencer el Pasado, Madre


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