01/20/17: Farewell to actor Miguel Ferrer; A&E reopens Cold Case Files; Jane Lynch scores key Discovery role


Good morning. It’s Friday January 20, 2017 and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premiere:
HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher at 10p

Tonight’s Finale:
ID: Wives with Knives at 10p

Sunday’s Premieres:
CBS: Hunted at 10p
PBS: Mercy Street at 8p, Secrets of the Six Wives at 10p
RFD-TV: Cooking Outdoors with Johnny Nix at 4p

Sunday’s Finales:
ID: On the Case With Paula Zahn at 9p
Weather: That’s Amazing at 9p


Veteran actor Miguel Ferrer, who worked on NCIS: Los Angeles until his death, passed away yesterday of cancer. He was 61. Ferrer was a series regular on the CBS drama, playing NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger. Ferrer also will be seen in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks revival on Showtime, which is set to premiere May 21, reprising his role as FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield.

Broadcast TV is making its Sundance premiere this year with ABC’s decision to premiere web series turned network comedy Downward Dog at the Robert Redford-founded fest on Saturday, January 22. It’s the first network comedy to screen at Sundance.

While the viewing of television content has changed radically, “our approach to measurement has not evolved,” says Ashwin Navin, CEO and co-founder, Samba TV and a speaker at next week’s Ratings Master Class. “While the currency for media transactions will likely refer to panel measurement of reach for the foreseeable future, media buying decisions will be shaped by device level insights, that enable precise audience segmentation and programmatic buying, allowing you to reach your target audience with the right message, at the right time, on the right screen.” For insights and strategies from Navin, as well as Nielsen, Turner, Media Rating Council and many more, register for the January 25 Ratings Master Class here: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/2017-cynopsis-ratings-master-class/.

Susannah Grant will receive the WGA West’s 2017 Paul Selvin Award for her Emmy-nominated Confirmation script. The award, named for the guild’s late general counsel, recognizes a work that “best embodies the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere,” according to the Guild.

Casey Affleck, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Lucas Hedges, Taraji P. Henson, Brie Larson, Janelle Monae, Viggo Mortensen and Octavia Spencer joined the presenters circle for the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, slated to air live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 29 at 8p.

Several new updates to the Trumpet Awards, airing on Bounce on Sunday, January 29 at 9p, were announced. They include Martin Luther King III being presented with the Impact Trumpet Award and a gospel tribute featuring Shirley Caesar, Erica Campbell, Jekalyn Carr, Le’Andria Johnson, Travis Greene and Derek Minor.


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Endemol Shine North America signed a development deal with multimedia personality and author Angie Martinez. As part of the agreement, Endemol Shine North America will develop unscripted and scripted content with Martinez for both traditional and digital platforms. Martinez is a prolific voice in media with more than 20 years of on-air hosting experience across a variety of platforms.

ABC drama pilot aficionado Michael Offer will helm yet another high-profile pilot for the network and ABC Studios – the untitled crime drama from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry that stars Reba McEntire. The first ABC drama pilot ordered by ABC this season centers on Ruby Adair (McEntire), the sheriff of colorful small town Oxblood, KY, who finds her red state outlook challenged when a young FBI agent of Middle Eastern descent is sent to help her solve a horrific crime. Offer recently directed two Shondaland/ABC drama pilots that went to series: How To Get Away With Murder, and upcoming tentatively titled Still Star-Crossed.

Midway through the first season, Food Network picked up 13 additional episodes of new primetime series Ginormous Food, starring comedian and food fanatic Josh Denny traveling the country sampling the greatest and biggest dishes and learning about the stories and people behind them. To date nearly 7.6 million people have tuned into Ginormous Food.

Keshet International and Chile-based television net MEGA are in a co-development deal to create a new entertainment series. The companies will co-develop the concept over the next year for initial broadcast in their respective territories and KI will retain worldwide distribution rights.


MTV is going for ridiculous again, beginning Friday, January 20 at 8p when it brings back Ridiculousness for a ninth season. New season will feature two-hour taking “Ridiculousness Fridays” blocks every week with back-to-back episodes.

A&E Network is reopening Emmy-nominated true crime series Cold Case Files, beginning Monday, February 27 at 9p. The genre-defining series originally premiered on A&E in 1998 and ran for nearly 10 years spanning 125 episodes. The reboot will explore new cases that have gone cold for years and chronicle the journeys of the detectives who reopened them. It’s helmed by Emmy- and Peabody-winning studio Blumhouse Television (The Jinx) and indie production studio, Ample.


History will air Trump: Path to the White House tonight at 9p. The special is produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions.

John Legend will make a special appearance during The NHL100 Gala, hosted by Jon Hamm, on January 27 at Microsoft Theatre. Additionally, in a gesture honoring his late father Alan Thicke, musician Robin Thicke will give remarks and introduce John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting), who will perform and pay tribute to the late members of the 100 greatest players. The event will be broadcast live at 6:30p PT on NBCSN, Sportsnet and TVAS.

CBS is brightening its Grammy spotlight. The net will air the half-hour Grammy Red Carpet Live, hosted by Nancy O’Dell and Kevin Frazier (Entertainment Tonight), prior to its Grammy Awards broadcast, Sunday, February 12 at 7:30.

TNT will debut Players Only, a new NBA Monday night franchise featuring five consecutive weeks of doubleheader action through the unique lens of the professional basketball player, beginning Monday, February 27 at 7p. All commentators – including Derek Fisher, Grant Hill and Chris Webber – will be former professional basketball players, including those in more traditional play-by-play, studio host and reporter positions.

“We Stand with Women,” a day of programming, airs on Fuse Saturday, January 21 from 10a-9:30p. Included are episodes of Moesha (Brandy), Sister Sister (Tia and Tamara Mowry), Catwoman (Halle Berry) and Machete (Michelle Rodriguez) as well as pop up facts about women’s issues, great moments inwomen’s history, and fun facts about some of Fuse’s favorite women in the stunt. 


Discovery Channel cast Golden Globe and two-time Emmy winner Jane Lynch (Glee, Hollywood Game Night) as former US Attorney General Janet Reno in its upcoming scripted series Manifesto, set to air this year. Production on the series begins in Atlanta on January 30.

Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) has been cast as a regular on Claws, TNT’s dark- comedy drama starring Niecy Nash that recently got a series pickup with a 10-episode order. Norris will play a Dixie Mafia crime boss who is deeply Catholic and actively bisexual.

Stephen Rea (The Honourable Woman, V for Vendetta, The Crying Game), Richard Schiff (The Affair, Ballers, The West Wing) and Sarah Bolger (Agent Carter, Into the Badlands) have joined the Starz original series Counterpart as recurring guest stars.
Barry Watson (Samantha Who?, 7th Heaven) will star and Raquel Welch will have a recurring role in comedy Date My Dad, set to premiere in June on UP. Also cast in the 10-ep series are Zenia Marie Marshall (Summer of Dreams), Lilah Fitzgerald (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) and Audrey Smallman (Family for Christmas). Watson stars as Ricky Cooper, a single dad raising three daughters.


In anticipation of the upcoming season premiere of Scandal, ABC is launching six-part digital series Scandal: Gladiator Wanted. Produced by Shondaland and ABC Studios, the series features Huck (Guillermo Diaz), Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.) on a tangled quest to find an intern for Olivia Pope & Associates. Series regular Darby Stanchfield makes her directorial debut with the series, which is written by Juan Carlos Fernandez and also stars George Newbern. The season premiere of Scandal is Thursday, January 26 at 9p.


Discovery Communications signed new distribution deals with TDC, expanding distribution in Denmark and Norway for Discovery and Eurosport content.


How to Monetize Around Live Video

If video is hot, then live video is on fire, allowing brands to engage with audiences in a way that’s immediate, unscripted, unedited and therefore, undeniably (buzz word alert!) authentic. If you’re a marketer and/or content producer you won’t want to miss our 1/31 webinar. Hear from The Coca-Cola Company, Brandlive, Roker Media, Shareablee & Tool North America about which activations work best, which platforms deliver optimal results, & how marketing can augment the business model.

Find out more here.


Discovery’s new survival series The Wheel scored a 1.13 A25-54 rating and averaged 2.01 million Total Viewers P2+ on Friday, January 13 in Live +3. It ranked No. 1 in its cable time period among A25-54 and M25-54. Among A25-54, The Wheel was the best Friday series premiere on all of cable since the premiere of Discovery’s own Treasure Quest: Snake Island in July 2015.

History’s scripted military drama series Six premiered on Wednesday to a combined 2.6 million total viewers across History, A&E and LMN, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals (Live+SD). Across the three networks, the series delivered 1.1 million A25-54 and 912,000 A18-49, positioning it within the top 5 scripted ad-supported cable drama new series launches of 2016-17 to date among key demos.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 time period averages.
Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD
CBS: 7.4/13
NCIS 9.4/18, Bull 6.8/11, NCIS: New Orleans 5.9/11
NBC: 4.8/9
Wall 3.9/7, This Is Us 5.9/10, Chicago Fire 4.6/9
ABC: 2.7/4
The Middle 4.7/1, American Housewives 3.3/6, Fresh Off the Boat 2.4/4, The Real O’Neals 1.7/3, Marvel Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D 1.3/2
FOX: 1.6/3
New Girl 1.5/3, The Mick 1.7/3, Bones 1.9/3
Univision: 1.1/2
Despertar Contigo 0.9/1,
Vino el Amor 1.2/2, El Color de la Pasion 1.2/2
TELE: .9/2
La Fan 0.8/1, La Dona 0.9/2, El Chema 1.1/2
CW: 0.5/1
Flash 0.6/1, No Tomorrow 0.4/1

Tuesday A19-49 Analysis: ABC 1.2/4, FOX 1.0/4, NBC 1.9/7, CBS 1.5/5, UNI 0.7/3, TELE 0.7/2, CW 0.3/1
Source: Nielsen


IM Global Television announced two hires on the heels of launching its unscripted division headed by Phil Gurin. Betty Chen joins the company as SVP of business affairs of international distribution and co-productions, and Tyler Massey joins as VP of international distribution and co-productions. Chen most recently was VP of business affairs at ITV Global Entertainment; Massey returns to IM Global Television, where he first worked as a consultant.

Music Choice promoted Nadine Santos to director, programming & artist relations. Since 2016, Santos has been successful in creating artist integration programs with acts including Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Coldplay and Bruno Mars.

Matthew Kearns and Dan Hadl each signed new long-term agreements and were promoted to EVPs of business affairs for Lionsgate. Kearns supervises business affairs for Greenleaf, Graves and The Royals, along with the upcoming special event miniseries American Lion. Hadl recently handled negotiations for Lionsgate’s TV and film franchise The Kingkiller Chronicle and spearheads business affairs for Orange is the New Black, Nashville and Casual, among others.

Indie production/distribution house Tinopolis Group appointed David Mortimer to the new role of director of content. Mortimer hails from NBCUniversal, where he was SVP of factual & entertainment, overseeing unscripted production companies in the UK, Australia, Canada and Asia.

David Brownfield has joined The Mark Gordon Company as EVP. Brownfield, who comes from Eleven Stitches Productions, where he served as Executive Producer, will supervise all production activities for TMGC’s current series as well as work closely with the company’s creative team in developing premium television content.


Talent agent Monty Silver died yeterday of bladder cancer in East Hampton, NY. He was 83. Silver started the Monty Silver Agency in NY in the ‘50s and kept working until only a few years ago. During the 1990s, he took on partners Robbie Kass and Donna Massetti to open an LA office and launch SMS Talent. Among those Silver worked with are Jon Voight, Fyvush Finkel, Roy Scheider, Frank Langella, Peter Boyle, Louis Gossett Jr., Kelsey Grammer and Laurence Fishburne.

Friday Fun Fact:
The abortion rate in the US in 2014 fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion in 1973, according to research group the Guttmacher Institute.

This Day in History: 1885 – The roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Which Bachelor called his final pick “Monkey”? Matt Grant, in 2008. Kudos to: Faye Kulik-Fox Networks Group/NY; Marion Z Murphy-GroupM Direct/NY; Brienne Chance-G/O Digital/Phoenix; Tom Moore -Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question: Which US President’s inauguration was the first to be televised? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: A limit of four correct answers from each time zone will be selected.).

Classic TV show anagram: Had Dame Lift Yams (Email [email protected]; first three respondents with the correct answer who aren’t in trivia – will be posted along with the answer on www.Cynopsis.com.)
Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey: Editorial Director @Lynn_Leahey
reported by Cathy Applefeld Olson

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

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ABC: Last Man Standing, Dr. Ken, Shark Tank, 20/20
CBS: Change and Challenge: The Inauguration of Donald Trump, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods
CW: The Vampire Diaries, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
FOX: Rosewood, Sleepy Hollow
NBC: Grimm, Emerald City, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week, Charlie Rose – The Week, Alicia Keys: Landmarks Live In Concert, American Masters
Telemundo: La Fan,
La Dona, El Chema
Univision: Despertar Contigo, Vino el Amor, El Color de la Pasion

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