01/05/15: Huckabee chucks Fox to mull Presidential bid; longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott dies at 49


Good morning. It’s Monday, January 5, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
ABC: The Bachelor at 8p
Food: Best. Ever. at 10p
HGTV: Love It or List It at 9p
PBS: Antiques Roadshow at 8p
TV One: Fatal Attraction at 10p

Is Yahoo getting into the cable TV business? The Internet company considered scooping up Scripps Networks Interactive after entering into talks to acquire Food Network, a source tells Business Insider. (Scripps had no comment.) While Insider also speculates Yahoo could be eyeing CNN, no talks have been reported with the news net.


The biggest winner of the inaugural College Football Playoff semi-finals? ESPN, which logged 28.2 million viewers for the Rose Bowl at 5p and 28.3 million for the Sugar Bowl at 9p on New Year’s Day – the two most-watched cable telecasts ever. Championship game is January 12.

Mike Huckabee announced during Saturday’s edition of his Fox News show, Huckabee, that it would be his last, calling exiting "the honorable thing to do" as he mulls a 2016 presidential run. "I have never had so much fun in my life," said the former Arkansas governor, "but I also realize that God hasn’t put me on Earth just to have a good time." Huckabee held his FNC seat for six and a half years. Was he smart to give up his Fox job for another shot at the White House? Vote in our poll.

Sony Pictures struck deals with a variety of VOD providers, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Dish and DirecTV, for controversial film The Interview. Not in on the action: Sony-owned streaming site Crackle, which does not charge for content. 

James Corden, set to take over The Late Late Show on March 23, was one of the entertainers named as an Office of the Order of the British Empire, for drama. “I feel very lucky to be born in a country where creativity is both encouraged and valued,” said Corden, currently on the big screen in Into the Woods. Joan Collins (Dynasty) was recognized for her charity work.

Nominees for the American Cinema Editors’ 65th Annual ACE Eddie Awards include nods for True Detective, House of Cards, 24, Mad Men, Madam Secretary, Sherlock, Silicon Valley, Veep and Transparent, among others. For a full list, go here. Awards will be handed out January 30.

HBO’s Game of Thrones was the most pirated TV show for the third year in a row, reports Torrent Freak, with over 8 million downloads via BitTorrent for the season finale. AMC’s Walking Dead was next with an estimated 4.2 million downloads.

In more Thrones news, HBO will air a behind-the-scenes special Sunday, February 8 at 7:30p, ahead of the yet-to-be scheduled premiere of season five. And rumors that the drama is readying another mix tape were confirmed by Anthrax’s Scott Ian. The guitarist posted pics of the band recording, with the hashtag #CatchTheThrone; in an interview with Metal Hammer, Throne fan Ian said he had approached series co-creator Dan Weiss about contributing. Last year’s tape, with songs inspired by the series, was released for free on Soundcloud.

Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: January 2-4, 2015
Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Warner Bros.) $21.9 million, cume revenue $220.8 million
Into the Woods (Disney) $19.1 million, cume revenue $91.2 million
Unbroken (Universal) $18.4 million, cume revenue $87.8 million
Woman in Black 2: The Angel of Death (Relativity Media) $15.1 million, opening weekend
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (20th Century Fox) $14.5 million, cume revenue $89.7 million
Annie (Sony) $11.4 million, cume revenue $72.6 million
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) $8.1 million, cume revenue $30.8 million
Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Lionsgate) $7.7 million, cume revenue $323.8 million
The Gambler (Paramount) $6.3 million, cume revenue $27.6 million
Big Hero 6 (Disney) $4.8 million, cume revenue $211.3 million
Source: Rentrak Corporation

Want to find out what shows are online and when? Check out Watcheroo, Cynopsis’ Digital Programming Guide. Organized by show name, date, and platform, here is everything you’ll need to be caught up on digital premieres, ongoing programs, live-streamed events and integrated series.


Discovery Family Channel launches two new series Tuesday, January 6. Hand Made History, telling the stories behind everyday objects, premieres at 8p, followed by demolition show Explosive! at 9p.

It’s not getting older – it’s getting stranger. Season six of TLC’s My Strange Addiction returns Wednesday, January 7 at 10p. What’s in store? One woman who drinks air freshener 50 times a day, another “married” to a carnival ride and a brick-eater who chewed a two-foot hole in the wall of her house. But women aren’t the only weirdos. Kicking off the new season: one-hour special My Strange Addiction: Men in Doll Suits.

Season three of TV One’s Fatal Attraction launches tonight at 10p. The real-life crime series from Jupiter Entertainment promises more stories than previous seasons, and “the organic discussion that developed among viewers will deepen via #FatalMondays,” D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s SVP of programming and production tells Cynopsis, “where our audience can connect socially around the hot-button issues the show generates.”

TV One take two: the net’s Unsung returns with four new eps starting Wednesday, January 14 at 8p. The story of notorious “King of Punk Funk” Rick James kicks things off, with family and friends shedding light on a different side of the chart-topper.

BBC America’s two-part Top Gear Patagonia Special premieres Monday, January 12 at 8:30p. The grueling road trip through South America kicks off a new season of the car show.

Season seven of Up’s Heartland returns with new eps Wednesday, January 7 at 9p. Included in the action: a rush to the hospital.


Camera crews for Fisher-Price were on the spot in 11 hospitals around the globe to capture the births of some of the first New Year’s babies, for the company’s new “Wishes for Baby” campaign. The first video aired as a paid integration on Good Morning America; that video, as well as shorter versions, are now running online.

Program Call: Cynopsis Media will be producing our annual NATPE Shopping Guide, posted on Cynopsis.com Thursday, January 15, 2015, the week before NATPE Market and Conference 2015 opens at the Fontainebleau Resort, Miami Beach. If your company is an official exhibitor at NATPE 2015, please email Lynn Leahey at: [email protected] with up to five listings which must be in the following format: Company name, booth location and email address, followed by each program name, date available, how many episodes, length, genre and terms. Deadline is January 7.


Stars aligned for the BBC and Weinstein Co.’s War and Peace include Paul Dano (12 Years a Slave), Lily James (Downton Abbey) and James Norton (Happy Valley). Six-hour miniseries will be directed by Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders).

Kim Dickens (Sons of Anarchy) landed the female lead in AMC’s Walking Dead prequel project, opposite Cliff Curtis (Gang Related).

Paul Rudd will return for two episodes during the seventh and final season of Parks and Recreation, reports EW. Rudd guested during season four.

CASTING CALL – NYC area: Animal Planet’s – My Cat From Hell: Is your cat out of control? Expert behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy can help transform your cat back to the feline you love! Email the issues you are experiencing and include your name, age, city, contact number and cat’s age, breed and photos. Email ASAP: [email protected]


How can you deepen your relationship with Generation Edge?

Join us on Thursday, February 26, 2015 for a Cynopsis webinar, Generation Edge: Catching the New Wave of Viewers, offering insight into this diverse, wise-beyond-their years demo and strategies for connecting with a savvy, surprisingly sophisticated group of influencers.

To register for this webinar, please contact TrishPihonak.


CBS topped broadcast in viewers Thursday night with an average 5.3 million for an evening of reruns, according to Nielsen. Univision matched CBS’s winning demo rating: 1.0/3. ABC, NBC and Fox each scored .6/2 among A18-49.

Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest (10-11p) on ABC was the number one program in primetime with 12.8 million viewers and 3.8/14 among A18-49, up 5 percent in viewers and even in the demo year-to-year.

Eight of the top ten syndicated talk shows rose in the ratings the week ending December 14, with Jerry Springer taking the biggest jump (up 18 percent to 1.3). Also on the rise: Steve Wilkos (up 8 percent to 1.4), Dr. Oz and Rachael Ray (up 7 percent to 1.6 and 1.5, respectively), Maury and Wendy Williams (up 6 percent to 1.9 and 1.7), Steve Harvey (up 5 percent to match a 2.0 season high) and Ellen (up 3 percent to hit a season high 3.0).

TLC’s 90 Day Fiance: The Couples Tell All hit a record 2.1 million P2+ viewers, and earned its highest rated ever among W25-54.

CBS’s The 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on Tuesday had its best total viewer delivery since 2010, with 9.2 million, and best among A18-49 since 2013, with 1.2/4.  

CBS was top of the ratings heap the week ending December 21, according to Nielsen, up versus the prior year 16 percent in viewers (to 10.2 million), 29 percent in A18-49 (to 2.2/7) and 26 percent among A25-54 (to 2.9/8).

The week of December 15, ABC Family’s 17th annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming event helped make it the number one cable net in Prime across A18-34, W18-34, A18-49, WW18-49, Viewers 12-34 and Females 12-34, second in total viewers (2.55 million) to ESPN (2.66 million).

TruTV boasted 47 percent primetime growth among A18-49 the ninth week after its brand and programming refresh in October, including a primetime audience that’s five years younger (median age: 38).

OWN reported a third consecutive year of double digit growth in total viewers, up 15 percent, and in 2014 ranked for the first time as a top 30 (number 29) network for W25-54. The Haves and the Have Nots was the top original cable series for African-American women, and the fifth ranked original scripted series among ad-supported cable nets in W25-54 for the year, averaging over 3 million viewers.

IFC is up 20 percent in primetime among A18-49 in 2014 versus 2013, while rebranded WE tv saw a 37 percent jump in prime viewership in 2014 versus the year prior.

2104 was Bounce TV’s most-watched year yet, up 42 percent among HH (to 159,000), 22 percent among P18-49 (84,000) and 29 percent among P25-54 (94,000) in primetime. The net’s most-watched original series, Family Time, finished its 10-week season in December with an average delivery of 150,000 HHs, 96,000 among A18-49 and 108,000 among A25-54.

Fox News held onto the lead in cable news for the 13th straight year, up 300,000 among A25-54 for the year (through December 22), and down 1 percent in total primetime viewers, to 1.75 million. CNN (down 1 percent) beat MSNBC (down 17 percent) in the news demo, 181,000 to 169,000. Among total viewers, MSNBC’s 589,000 (down 8 percent) beat CNN’s 515,000 (down 9 percent).

Top 11 Broadcast Programs among A18-49 rating/share for the week of 12/22/14
Sunday Night Football 6.6/19
FOX: The OT 5.1/16
NBC: Football Nt America Pt 3 3.6/11
FOX: The Simpsons 2.3/7
ABC: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated) 1.9/7
CBS: Undercover Boss 1.8/5
ABC: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (film) 1.8/6
CBS: 60 Minutes Presents 1.7/5
CBS: Big Bang Theory 1.7/6
CBS: Mike & Molly 1.7/5
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Galaxy Explorer, Live + SD Data

Broadcast Evening News Shows  Weekly Average Ratings (week of December 22, 2014)
NBC: Nightly News9.43 million total viewers; 1.8/7 2.16 million A25-54
ABC: World NewsTonight8.38 million total viewers; 1.7/7 and 2.06 million A25-54
CBS: Evening News 7.30 million total viewers; 1.4/5 and 1.62 million A25-54
Source: Nielsen, NTI Total Viewers and A25-54 Live+SD

Broadcast Morning News Shows  Weekly Average Ratings week of December 15, 2014
ABC: GMA 5.45 million total viewers; 1.7/14 and 2.07 million A25-54
NBC: Today 5.12 million total viewers; 1.7/13 and 1.99 million A25-54
CBS: This Morning 3.24 million total viewers; .8/7 and 984,000 A25-54
Source: Nielsen, NTI

Top Ten Basic Cable Network Performance among Total Viewers for the week of: 12/22/2014
Primetime(000)/Total Prog. Day (000)
4278/ESPN 1647
FAM 2632/DSNY 1322
TNT 1927/FAM 1269
TBSC 1874/NICK 1201
USA 1762/TOON 1163
DSNY 1697/USA 1154
HALL 1555/ADSM* 1147
HIST 1438/TNT 1067
AMC 1315/ HALL 964
ADSM 1217/TBSC 924
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe of
116,400,000 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+SD. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and demographic performances.

Top Ten Basic Cable Network Performance among A18-49 for the week of: 12/22/2014
Primetime (000), Total Prog. Day (000)
1536/ESPN 673
FAM 1270/ADSM* 640
TBSC 876/FAM 589
USA 739/USA 478
TNT 721/TBSC 477
ADSM 615/TNT 432
FX 610/FX 381
HIST 477/NAN* 356
CMDY 439/CMDY 328
LIFE 425/TOON 323
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe
116,400,000 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+SD. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and demographic performance.

Top 10 Basic Cable Programs among A18-49 (000) for the week of: 12/22/2014
(ESPN) 6505
Nebraska/USC (ESPN) 2189
NBC Between Games Show (TNT) 2087
Sportscenter (ESPN) 2055
LA Lakers/Chicago (TNT) 1980
Elf (FAM) 1976
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (FAM) 1808
The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo) 1783
Golden State/LA Clippers (TNT) 1622
WWE Entertainment (USA) 1602
Source: Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data.?All ratings based on Total US Television Universe
of 116,400,000 homes; Ranked by Delivery (000); Preliminary: Live+SD

Top 10 Basic Cable Networks Performance (000) for 2014 (12/30/13-12/28/14), final Live+7 blended with Preliminary Live+SD
Primetime (000), Total Prog. Day (000)
2276/NICK 1606
USA 2179/DSNY 1396
TNT 2039/ADSM* 1238
DSNY 1943/USA 1150
TBSC 1869/TOON 1067
HIST 1857/FOXN 1055
FOXN 1732/TNT 1049
FX 1447/ESPN 1016
DISC 1414/NAN* 968
AMC 1355/HIST 863
Source: Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data.?* + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day.

Top 10 Basic Cable Networks among A18-49 (000) for 2014 (12/30/13-12/28/14), final Live+7 blended with Preliminary Live+SD
Primetime (000), Total Prog. Day (000)
990/ADSM* 702
TBSC 932/ESPN 505
USA 908/USA 459
FX 767/NAN* 434
TNT 740/NICK 432
ADSM 680/TNT 391
DISC 657/TBSC 378
AMC 656/FX 357
HIST 643/DSNY 316
FAM 613/TOON 316
Source: Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data.?* + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. 

TV PLAYBACK RANK, based on the difference between Nielsen’s first-reported Live + Same Day and the final Live + 7 Day rating for the week of 12/08/14
Program/Live+SD A18-49 US AA%/Live+7 US AA
Big Bang Theory
(CBS) 3.9/6.3
Modern Family (ABC) 3.1/5.4
Criminal Minds  (CBS) 2.1/3.7
(CBS) 2.1/3.5
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) 21.7/3.0
Once Upon a Time (ABC) 1.7/2.9
Black-ish (ABC) .2.3/3.5
Elementary (CBS) 1.4/2.6
Stalker (CBS) 1.4/2.5
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.4/2.5
Source: The Nielsen Compan
.y DVR playback rankers, based on the difference between Nielsen’s first-reported Live + Same Day and the final Live + 7 Day ratings (for regular, original programs only).

SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of December 22
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), % Facebook, % Twitter, % Instagram
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
(Syndicated/Warner Bros.) 3734, 38.59, 1.07, 60.34
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
1330, 56.48, 35.38, 8.14
Today Show (NBC)
1006, 79.56, 4.67, 15.78
Good Morning America (ABC),
851, 83.86, 4.96, 11.19
Fox & Friends (FOXN),
710, 97.16, .2.3, .53
The Kelly File (FOXN),
658, 99.77, .23, 0
Entertainment Tonight (Syndicated/CBS),
581, 90.05, 9.02, .92
Steve Harvey (Syndicated/NBCUniversal)
536, 88.29, 1.05, 10.66
Live with Kelly and Michael (Syndicated/Disney-ABC),
401, 62.04, 2.84, 35.12
Love and Hip Hop (VH1),
394, 98.55, 1.45, 0
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. % actions metric notes the portion of actions (likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments) attributable to a platform.

Top 11 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 12/8/14 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 7.2AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 7.1AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 6.9AA
Family Feud (2/T) 6.3AA
Big Bang Theory (WB) 6.0AA
Modern Family (2/T) 4.1AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 3.4AA
Dr. Phil Show (CTD) 3.2AA
Live with Kelly & Michael (DAD) 3.1HH
Two and a Half Men (WB) 3.1HH
Inside Edition (CTD) 3.1HH
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Top 11 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 12/8/14 ranked in order by A18-49 Rtg
Big Bang Theory (WB) 3.0AA
Modern Family (2/T) 2.5AA
Family Feud (2/T) 2.0AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 1.7AA
Family Guy (2/T) 1.6AA
How I Met Your Mother (2/T) 1.6AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 1.4AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 1.4 AA
Two and a Half Men (WB) 1.4AA
Seinfeld (SPT) 1.1AA
Cleveland Show (2/T) 1.1AA
Source: Nielsen Media Research


Emmy-winning actor Edward Herrmann died December 31 of brain cancer. He was 71. Herrmann’s TV credits include St. Elsewhere, The Practice and Gilmore Girls. “Besides being an accomplished actor, Ed was also a true gentleman and a scholar, as well as being an incredibly kind and decent man,” said Herrmann’s manager, Robbie Kass.

Sportscaster Stuart Scott died January 4 after a long battle with cancer. He was 49. The veteran ESPN anchor, known for catchphrases including “As cool as the other side of the pillow,” “didn’t just push the envelope,” said sports radio host Dan Patrick, “he bulldozed it.”

CEO of Lighthearted Entertainment Howard Schultz died December 29 while on vacation with his family in Maui. He was 61. Said Mike Darnell of the creator of Dating Naked and Extreme Makeover, “No matter how crazy or irreverent a concept was, he would go at it full force and with no regrets. He was an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Veteran British actor David Ryall died December 25. He was 79. Ryall had roles in numerous UK TV shows, including The Singing Detective, Prime Suspect, Foyle’s War and The Village.

Producer Howard G. Barnes died December 8. He was 100. Barnes’ television work included Route 66, Twilight Zone and The Danny Kaye Show.

Heather Hicks Ervin, Coordinating Producer at KoMut Entertainment, died suddenly on December 22. She was 39. “We’ve lost so much more than the woman who ran the daily operations of our company for the last 12 years,” said David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. “We lost a surrogate mother, a moral compass, a joyous presence, a sharp and organized thinker, a drinking buddy, a truly funny person, and a deeply kind, deeply loving soul.”

Voice actor Christine Cavanaugh passed away on December 22. She was 51. Cavanaugh’s characters included Dexter in Dexter’s Laboratory, for which she won an Annie Award in 2000 for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting.

Actress Donna Douglas died January 1 of pancreatic cancer. According to the NY Times, she was 82. Douglas was best known for her role as Elly May Clampett in the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies.


What does it mean to win a Sports Media Award?

Here are just some of the benefits:
-Crystal award trophy
-Recognition at awards luncheon in New York
-Editorial coverage in Cynopsis Sports eNewsletter and on Cynopsis.com
-Award logo to use on your site and for marketing
-And most importantly: winning a Sports Media Award positions your program & your people as industry leaders.

This Day in History:
1914 – Henry Ford introduced a minimum wage of $5 per day.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: On Sex and the City where did Charlotte get the money to lend Carrie to purchase her NY apartment? She sold her engagement ring from Trey. Kudos to: Anne Loescher-Bounce TV/Atlanta, Tamera Mellish-Mindshare/NYC, Suzanne Semilof-CNBC/Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Smiti Kumar-Merrill Lynch/Bank of America/NYC, Jessica Jennings Harris-NCC Media/Chicago, Tena Hawkes-University of Arizona/Tucson, Lisa Vance-GDAH/Lake Village, AR, Jody Newberg-CBS Television Stations/Minneapolis, Margie Albert-Focus on Customer Success/Phoenix, Amy Burrows-Charter Media/St. Louis, MO, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Marsha Hallager-NBC Universal/Universal City, CA, Joslyn Paul-The Queen Latifah Show/LA, Maria Shuckahosee-Al Jazeera America/San Francisco, Amy Manchester Borg-Portfolio Entertainment/Toronto.

Today’s Trivia Question: Which actress was the first to play a divorcee in a sitcom? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.).
Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

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ABC: The Bachelor [p]
CBS2 Broke Girls Mike & Molly, Scorpion, Scorpion, NCIS: Los Angeles
CW: The Originals [r], Jane the Virgin [r]
FOX: Gotham, Sleepy Hollow 
NBC: The Celebrity Apprentice, State of Affairs
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow [r], Independent Lens
Telemundo: Los Miserables, Tierra de Reyes, Senora Acero
Univision: Mi Corazon Es Tuyo, Hasta el Fin del Mundo, La Malquerida

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