01/29/15: E! drama gets Super-Bowl-sized promo; Rita Moreno onboard Jane the Virgin; Univision grabs Miss Universe rights



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Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 29, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
DIY: American Rehab: Detroit at 9p
Food: Duff Till Dawn at 10:30p
Pivot: Fortitude at 10p
Syfy: Close Up Kings at 11p
truTV: Impractical Jokers at 10p, Breaking Greenville at 10:30p

Tonight’s Finales:
NBC: The Biggest Loser, Parenthood


America’s Cable Channel for Latinos
Mas Deportes, Series, Acción
Exclusive Spanish-language broadcast of SUPER BOWL XLIX
Feb 1, 2015

E!’s first scripted drama, The Royals is getting a Super Bowl-size push ahead of its Sunday, March 15 debut. Elizabeth Hurley and the cast will appear in what the net calls a 30-second “mini movie” during the game, promoting the series about a scandal-plagued royal family.


A new study from Beta Research asked a national sample of cable operators which of 18 emerging/digital nets (less than 50 million subscribers) they most want to carry. Among total operators, Sony Movie Channel topped the list with 30 percent interested, followed by Fusion (21 percent), Fox Sports 2 (20 percent) and BBC World News, Crime & Investigation Network, Cloo and Lifetime Real Women, each with 19 percent interest. The survey was done pre-Sony hacking scandal – will that help or hurt SMC? Andrew Klein, president, Cable TV Division, tells Cynopsis, “After the heavy media coverage, operator interest and awareness of Sony Movie Channel are likely to increase further.” As for runner-up Fusion, “Results suggest that Fusion is likely to achieve significant increase in carriage in the next 12 months.”

Rita Moreno (West Side Story) is joining the cast of CW’s Jane the Virgin. TVLine reports the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner will play Jane’s paternal grandmother, “Glam-ma.”

After Sunday’s competition averaged a best-ever 2.7 million viewers on Telemundo,
Univision Communications and NBCUniversal struck along-term partnership with Donald Trump and Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, for Spanish-language television and digital rights for the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants. Univision will co-produce.

Oxygen’s new competition series Street Art Throwdown is getting into the Super Bowl spirit ahead of its Tuesday, February 3 at 9p premiere. Today and tomorrow, Oxygen is hosting a fan-driven interactive activation outside the convention center at theNFL Fan Experience. Street artists are creating football-themed murals every day leading up to the game, culminating with a live-painting of a large Super Bowl XLIX-themed mural on Saturday. “Working with the NFL and NBC Sports is a perfect fit for Street Art Throwdown,” Justin BUA, host, exec producer and co-judge tells Cynopsis. “Street art, like football, is high-octane visually arresting poetry. Both are supremely competitive and at the same time require a ridiculous amount of talent. This activation is going to not only represent the best of these worlds, it’s also going to be fun and inclusive.”

Cynopsis Exclusive: Roberto Ruiz has been named anchor of Azteca America’s two flagship nightly newscasts, Hechos Nacional Tarde, at at 6:30p, and Hechos Nacional Noche, at 11p. Both newscasts will be aired exclusively in the United States, focusing on news and events that affect U.S. Hispanics. Prior to this new role, Ruiz was news anchor for Azteca America’s national news program Azteca America West Coast. “Roberto has been a tremendous asset to Azteca America since he first joined our network,” said Manuel Abud, President, CEO, Azteca America.“He has a clear understanding and passion for the news and events that are important to our viewers, especially those that now call the U.S. their home.

I Am Juli, from TIA Productions, was the winner of The International Fusion Documentary Challenge, a competition that asked young filmmakers to create docs no longer than 7 minutes in five days from start to finish.


Thinkfactory Media announced the launch of Incufactory, a new branch offering pod deals to executive producers/showrunners. “Thinkfactory Media will be able to offer a highly incentivized deal to producers,” EVP Adam Reed, who’s overseeing the project, tells Cynopsis. “The ultimate goal is to create a mutually beneficial partnership that provides producers with the necessary tools to launch their own companies off of the backbone of our collective success as a team. Infucatory will be a true incubator, wherein we can help foster the growth of other businesses as opposed to solely being focused on our own.”

Code Black has a put pilot commitment from CBS. Drama from ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios, based on the Ryan McGarry doc, is set in LA County Hospital’s ER. The net also ordered divorced dad comedy The Half of It, written and exec produced by Mike Gibbons, co-exec producer of CBS’s coming-in-March Late Late Show With James Corden.

HBO ordered comedy pilot Brothers in Atlanta, exec produced by Lorne Michaels and written by, exec produced and starring Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’s Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. SNL alum Maya Rudolph and Jaden Smith (After Earth) will guest star. Riddle and Salahuddin were writers on Rudolph’s Michaels-produced NBC variety special, The Maya Rudolph Show.


As couch coaches ponder the physics of pigskin leading up to the Super Bowl, Science Channel is jumping in with a timely episode of How It’s Made.
“Through all of the Deflate-Gate press conferences, conspiracy theories, explanations, analysis and posts one thing has been overlooked – the assembly and creation of footballs,” Rita Mullin, Science GM, tells Cynopsis.“Here’s to hoping Science Channel can lend some much needed clarity to football fans during this inflated controversy.” The special also takes a look a beer helmets and mascots, starting tonight at 10p, airing again Saturday, January 31 at 1p and 6:30p, and Sunday, February 1 at 11a, 5p and 10p.

Nat Geo WILD is playing “Would You Rather?” with viewers, putting February’s Wednesday programming up for a vote on Facebook (Facebook.com/NatGeoWILD) and Twitter (@NatGeoWild). Starting February 4, from 811p the winning theme programming goes live. “We created a stunt that gives our viewers a real chance to play with us in a totally fun, more engaging, and socially switched on way than ever before,” Geoff Daniels, EVP & GM, tells Cynopsis. “Viewers want more control of their television experiences and this lets them choose exactly which animals they want to see the most and…go wild.”

But first, there’s Groundhog Day. Monday, February 2 features the special American Beaver airing each hour of the day starting at 7a.

Oxygen offers “Two Weeks of Real Love” heading into Valentine’s Day. Starting Monday, February 2 at 6p, romance-themed movies will air every night through Saturday, February 14. First up: Good Luck Chuck.

Families in hock are the focus of Family Takeover, picked up by Spike TV for a fall debut. Reality series from Ugly Brother Studio features a Fortune 500 business expert working to bring fiscal chaos under control – a scenario that could bring shudders to either sex. And that’s pretty much the point. “Family Takeover is extremely relevant to our growing gender-balanced audience,” said Sharon Levy, EVP, original series. “Financial distress can happen to any family.”

WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson shop for wedding dresses in the first of two back-to-backs episodes of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta on Friday, January 30 at 10p. It’s no slam dunk, though: the bride’s “worst fears are realized” at the fitting.

Maury Povich pops into syndicated The Steve Wilkos Show on Thursday, February 5th (check local listings), doing what he does best. Topic: Are you or are you not the father of that child?


Perilous rescue missions continue in season four of Coast Guard Alaska, back on The Weather Channel Sunday, February 23 at 9p. Produced by Al Roker Entertainment, the show “has been a signature series” for the net, said Lauren Frasca, senior director of original programming.

Season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race launches Monday, March 2 at 9p. Logo TV series adds two new judges: Carson Kressley (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) and Ross Matthews (Chelsea Lately).

HBO comedy Togetherness was renewed for a sophomore run. “We began our love affair with HBO in our parents’ living room in 1983,” said creators Jay and Mark Duplasse, “and to have these brilliant creative people put a ring on our fingers with a second season of Togetherness is a real-life dream come true.”

Season two of Discovery Networks International’s Extreme Car Hoarders launches in over 220 countries and territories in April. 6 x 60’ series is produced by Discovery Studios.

Supernatural thriller Salem returns to WGN America on Sunday, April 5 at 10p. Season two features Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) and Stuart Townsend (Betrayal) as recurring as guest stars.

TLC‘s Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor is back for a third round Thursday, February 26 at 10p. What’s new? Along with gossip, drama and romance is a new theme song,“Rock This Trailer Park,”byJelly Roll.


The first group of presenters announced for the NAACP Image Awards includes Common, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Laurence Fishburne, Sharon Leal, David Oyelowo, Gina Rodriguez, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Larenz Tate, Kerry Washington and Oprah Winfrey. Ceremony, hosted by Anthony Anderson, airs Friday, February 6 on TV One at 9p.

Musicians paired for “Grammy Moments” on this year’s music awards show include current nominees Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga; nominees Hozier and Annie Lennox; nominee Jessie J and Tom Jones, and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine with fellow season 7 of The Voice coach, Gwen Stefani. Ceremony airs Sunday, February 8 at 8p on CBS.


GoDaddy didn’t get the chuckles it hoped for when it released its Super Bowl ad early. Toying with Budweiser’s precious puppy theme, the ad features Buddy, a plucky golden retriever separated from his family who finds his way home – only to be sold via his owner’s website. Responding to outrage from animal lovers, GoDaddy quickly decided to yank the commercial. “You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh,” said a post on the company website. As for Buddy? “He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer. He’s been adopted permanently by one of our longtime employees.” Bud’s puppy spot, on the other hand, will air – complete with Clydesdales.

During a soft 4Q14 for ad spending, cable nets added an average 7 percent more commercials during the period, according to a MoffettNathanson report. Cable groups increasing commercial supply included Viacom (13 percent), A&E (10 percent) and Discovery Communications (9 percent), according to TiVo research data.


Tyler James (The Walking Dead) joins Gary Sinise in the Criminal Minds planted spinoff focused on a division of the FBI that helps American citizens abroad. James will play a tech analyst.

CASTING CALL: ABC’s hit series Extreme Weight Loss is back for season 6 and seeking celebrities who want to use their influence to nominate & support a friend, relative or even a fan along their weight loss journey. If you are a public figure and want to pay it forward, contact Casting Director, Lindsay at [email protected] (2/5)


Beyond Distribution is launching Game of Homes, a renovation competition series from Great Pacific Media. Host Cameron Mathison (All My Children) oversees teams charged with transforming derelict houses into dream homes.

Amazon struck a licensing agreement with Starz Digital Media that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription streaming home in the U.S. for Starz miniseries The White Queen. “We’re excited that this new agreement allows us to continue to grow our relationship with Amazon, while expanding exposure to one of our miniseries,” said Mara Winokur, SVP, Digital at Starz.


Cynopsis Sports Media Awards

Late Deadline: January 29, 2015
Awards Event: April 16, 2015 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities & FAQs.
Questions? Contact Pete Romas at 203.899.8483


Discovery’s Gold Rush was the number one program in all of television among M25-54, M18-49 and M18-34 delivery for the fourth consecutive week on Friday, based on Nielsen’s Live +3. Alaskan Bush People delivered a series-high 2.54 among P25-54 and 4.83 million total viewers P2+, making Discovery the top television net on Friday in Primetime among Men.

Dr. Phil was back on top of the syndicated daytime talkers the week ending January 18, up 3 percent to 3.3. Runner-up Live With Kelly & Michael dipped 3 percent to 3.2, but was still up 7 percent versus last year. Freshman The Real saw a 9 percent lift to hit a season high 1.2.

The only syndie magazine to get a lift was Access Hollywood, up 5 percent to a season high 2.0. 

On the rise for four consecutive weeks, Modern Family delivered 4.5HH, its highest-rated syndicated week since March 2014.

A special Tuesday airing of CSI delivered a season best 1.6/5 among A18-49. The procedural wraps up season 15 next month in its normal Sunday berth.

Monday’s weather drama helped The Weather Channel boost viewership to nearly 21 million P2+ in Total Day, the highest reach in cable. Morning show AMHQ drew 3.9 million viewers, second in cable only to Fox News.

HGTV’s ready to dance – Ellen’s Design Challenge was the net’s top-rated program on Monday, with a .72 rating among viewers P25-54, a 50 percent improvement versus the prior 13 week time period average.Over 3.9 million total viewers tuned into the premiere of the furniture competition series from Ellen DeGeneres’s A Very Good Production.

The conclusion of History miniseries Sons of Liberty drew 3.3 million total viewers, 1.3 million A25-54 and 1.1 million A18-49 at 9p. It was the top show of the night on cable among total viewers.

ID got a sweet anniversary gift: seven years to the day after its launch, the net broke its record for best telecast ever with Murder Book. Tuesday’s ep delivered over 1.5 million P2+ at 9p; for the night, ID ranked seventh for delivery of P25-54 and W25-54 in all of ad-supported cable.   

NIELSEN TWITTER TV TOP TEN for the week of 1/19/15
Program, Date, Unique Audience (000), Tweets (000)
Sate of the Union
(TV event), 1/20, 9724, 2598
Miss Univers Pageant (NBC, Telemundo), 1/25,
6317, 665
Screen Actors Guild Awards (TNT), 1/25,
5179, 252
The Bachelor (ABC), 1/19,
1825, 152
WWE Royal Rumble (PPV) 1/25,
3275, 601
2015 Pro Bowl Draft (NFL) 1/21,
2544, 47
WWE Monday Night RAW (USA), 1/19,
2450, 244
American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX), 1/21,
2131, 139
Pretty Little Liars (FAM) 1/20,
1684, 146
Empire (FOX) 1/21,
1467, 253
Source: Nielsen. Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before through three hours after broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to a program from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. The data includes new/live primetime and late fringe programming only and excludes sports events. For multicast events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 1/12/15 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Judge Judy (CTD) 7.4AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 7.2AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 7.1AA
Family Feud (2/T) 6.6AA
Big Bang Theory (WB) 6.4AA
Modern Family (2/T) 4.5AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 3.6AA
Dr. Phil Show (CTD) 3.3AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 3.3AA
Live with Kelly & Michael (DAD) 3.2AA
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Top 11 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 1/12/15 ranked in order by A18-49 Rtg
Big Bang Theory (WB) 3.1AA
Modern Family (2/T) 2.6AA
Family Feud (2/T) 2.2AA
Family Guy (2/T) 1.7AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 1.7AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 1.5AA
How I Met Your Mother (2/T) 1.5AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 1.3AA
Two and a Half Men (WB) 1.3AA
Seinfeld (SPT) 1.2AA
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Tuesday A18-49 Analysis: CBS won the most A18-49 viewers Tuesday with 1.6/5, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. Fox topped 8p with 1.7/5 for MasterChef Junior, followed by 1.6/5 for CBS’s NCIS. CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans took the lead at 9p with 1.6/5, versus 1.3/4 shared by ABC’s Marvel’s Agent Carter and Univision’s Hasta Fin del Mundo. CBS’s CSI special topped 10p, followed by 1.2/4 for Uni’s Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No.

A18-49:CBS 1.6/5, UNI 13/4, ABC 1.1/3, FOX 1.2/4, NBC 1.1/3, CW 1.0/3, TELE .7/2, ION .5/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Tuesday, January 27, 2014  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 7.3/12
NCIS [r] 8.0/13, NCIS: New Orleans [r] 7.4/12, CSI Special 6.6/12
ABC: 2.8/5
Shark Tank [r] 3.6/6, Marvel’s Agent Carter 2.9/5, Forever [r] 2.0/3
FOX 2.1/3
MasterChef Junior 3.1/5, New Girl [r] 1.3/2, Mindy Project [r] 1.1/2
NBC: 2.0/3
Parks and Recreation 2.2/4, Park and Recreation 1.8/3, Marry Me 1.5/2, About a Boy 1.9/3, Chicago Fire [r] 2.3/4
CW: 1.8/3
The Flash 2.3/4, Supernatural 1.3/2
Mi Corazon es Tuyo 1.9/3, Hasta Fin del Mundo 1.8/3, Malquerida 1.5/2
ION: 1.0/2
Criminal Minds 1.0/2, Criminal Minds 1.0/2, Criminal Minds 1.1/2
Telemundo: .9/1
Los Miserables .9/1, Tierra de Reyes .8/1, Senora Acero 1.0/2


Paul Pastor has been named Executive Vice President of Network Strategy, Revenue and Operations for Discovery Channel. Previously, Pastor was Senior Vice President, Strategy and Consumer Analytics for the Disney/ABC Television Group.

Vancouver-based Rainmaker Entertainment promoted Kylie Ellis to the newly created position of Vice President of Production at the Mainframe Entertainment television division. Ellis had been Director of Production.

John Reiss was named Executive Producer of NBC’s Meet the Press. Reiss had been serving as Acting Executive Producer.

Nickelodeon appointed Amy Hyland as Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Ad Sales  New York, and Justin Nesci to the position of Senior Vice President, Ad Sales Strategy and Technology Sales. Previously, Hyland had been Executive Vice President of Ad Sales Strategy and Planning; Besci was formerly Senior Vice President of Nickelodeon Digital Sales.

Univision Communications appointed Lincoln Lopez as Vice President and General Manager of Social Media. Previously, Lopez worked with Turner Broadcasting as vice president of Social and Digital Media for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies.

San Francisco-based creative agency Eleven hired Jeremy Gibney as a Creative Director and Rob Esmundo as an Associate Creative Director. Prior to Eleven, Gibney led the creative concept and development of brand user experiences at Gap.


Want to find out what shows are online and when?

Check out the Watcheroo Digital Programming Guide

Organized by show name, date, and platform, we have everything you’ll need to be caught up on digital premieres, ongoing programs, live-streamed events and integrated series.

This Day in History: 1958 – Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Which Hollywood A-lister once starred in a short-lived sitcom about a high school freshman who once had to take over for the injured school mascot? Tobey Maguire, in Great Scott! (1992). Kudos to: Mindy Bodenstein-ABC Family/NYC, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA/LA, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA.

Today’s Trivia Question: What was the name of the body of water Al bought on Married with Children 1987-1997) that turned out to be a toxic waste dump? (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: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder
CBS: Big Bang Theory, Mom, Two and a Half Men, The McCarthys, Elementary
CW: The Vampire Diaries, Reign
FOX: American Idol, Backstrom
NBC: The Biggest Loser [
f], Parenthood [f]
PBS: This Old House Hour, Maseterpiece Mystery! [r], Antiques Roadshow [r]
Telemundo: Los Miserables, Tierra de Reyes, Duenos del Paraiso
Univision: Mi Corazon Es Tuyo, Hasta el Fin del Mundo, Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No

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