02/02/21: Anthony Fauci gets his close-up


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read


Tuesday February 2, 2021

Today’s Premieres
BritBox: “The Pembrokeshire Murders”
discovery+: “Beachfront Bargain Hunt,” “Hawaii Life,” “Island Life,” “Mexico Life”
HGTV: “Home Again with the Fords” at 9p
Netflix: “Kid Cosmic,” “Mighty Express”


A+E Networks Ad Sales will transact on a Total Audience currency leading into 2021 upfront negotiations. “By recognizing and engaging with all audiences, brands can finally plan media more holistically – to leverage every audience across every platform and to tap into the receptivity and buying power of the critically undervalued 55+ viewer,” said Peter Olsen, President, Ad Sales. “With Total Audience, we’re upending traditional demos for bigger impact.” The network group – including A&E, Lifetime and The History Channel – has scheduled its virtual upfront for Wednesday, March 3, with a presentation outlining new primary audience guarantees against Adults 18+. A+E noted that one in three adults in the US are 55+, account for $3.4 trillion in annual spending and are twice as likely to recall brands and messages from TV ads versus 18-to-34-year-olds.

New MSNBC President Rashida Jones announced a realignment of breaking news and analysis/opinion shows. “By aligning our programming seven days a week, we will create more opportunities for collaboration and develop stronger pipelines across our entire brand,” wrote Jones in a note to staff. Dan Arnall has been named SVP of News Programming, and Greg Kordick will serve as SVP of Perspective/Analysis Programming. Arnall had been executive editor, MSNBC, and Kordick was previously executive producer of “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.” A head of documentary acquisitions will be named soon.

Gray Media is acquiring Quincy Media in a $925 million deal that will give it the top-ranked stations in 77 markets, and stations in 102 markets reaching 25% of US households. Gray will divest Quincy stations in markets where it owns overlapping stations.

Whit Johnson and Linsey Davis will anchor the weekend broadcast of ABC’s “World News Tonight,” Johnson on Saturday, and Davis on Sunday. Johnson has been one of ABC News’ lead reporters covering the pandemic, while Davis has been anchoring ABC News Live’s evening newscast. They replace Tom Llamas, who is reportedly taking a job at NBC News.

The finalists are here! Now it’s time to let the celebrations begin. On Thursday, February 25, you can learn the winners across 40+ categories at the Best of the Best and Rising Stars virtual gala. Secure your complimentary pass now.



See who’s leading the charge in media excellence.

The Cynopsis Best Of The Best Awards Luncheon

Featuring Media’s Rising Stars
Thursday, February 25 at 1 PM ET




Magnolia Network greenlit two new pilots to series:

“Ranch to Table,” featuring cattle rancher and entrepreneur Elizabeth Poett, and “Van Go” with Austin-based Chewy Design Co. owner Brett Lewis. Single-episode previews will debut on discovery+ in February. Ranch to Table is produced by Conveyor Media; Van Go comes from Rabbit Foot Studios. Starting Friday, February 5, new Magnolia Network original content will debut weekly throughout the month of February as part of the Magnolia Network Preview on discovery+.

Netflix, SEGA of America, and WildBrain announced a new animated Sonic the Hedgehog series, “Sonic Prime,” set to premiere worldwide in 2022. The 24-episode animated adventure features the “Blue Blur” of video game fame.

Disney signed Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) and his Proximity Media to a five-year overall deal that includes a Wakanda TV series project for Disney+. Proximity will also develop projects for ABC, Freeform and Hulu.

The rights to the life of drug trafficker Mario Tabraue, who appeared in Netflix’s “Tiger King,” have been acquired by The Traveling Picture Show Company, which is partnering with Anonymous Content to develop a limited series, reports Deadline. Adam Penn (“Mr. Robot”) is writing.

Nancy Kanter has jumped from Disney, where she was EVP, Content and Creative Strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide, to Netflix. Kanter will develop and produce animated and live-action projects via her Available Light Productions. Kanter announced her plans to exit Disney last April, but stayed for a lengthy transition period.

Infectious disease specialist and unlikely icon Dr. Anthony Fauci will be the focus of a feature documentary from National Geographic Documentary Films, “Fauci,” from John Hoffman (“The Weight of the Nation”) and Janet Tobias (“Unseen Enemy”), and Dan Cogan (“Icarus”) and Liz Garbus (“The Farm: Angola, USA”). “There is only one Dr. Fauci, and it is an incredible privilege to bring his inspiring, lifelong quest to cure disease and prevent outbreaks, to viewers around the world,” said Hoffman and Tobias. “This film will be an unprecedented, intimate portrait of our nation’s greatest public servant, whose relentless pursuit of truth and devotion to science has never been more important.”

A planted pilot spin-off of CW’s “All American” will air as an episode in the current season three. “All American: Homecoming” stars Geffri Maya, reprising her role as Simone, for a young adult sports drama set at an HBCU.

Fred Rogers Productions has received a $3 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for Donkey Hodie, the multiplatform puppet series for preschoolers that launches May 3 on PBS KIDS. The funding agreement covers series production, digital content, station engagement, and promotional activities.

Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”), Nicole Beharie (“Monsters and Men”), Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker”), Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”), and Constance Wu (“Fresh Off the Boat”) will star in the new Amazon Original dramatic anthology series “Solos,” from executive producer and showrunner David Weil (“Hunters”). The anthology series exploring the meaning of human connection will premiere later in 2021 on Amazon Prime Video.

Cynopsis is searching for experts in sports media who can help us curate a list of the most qualified work in the industry across more than 40 categories. Do you have what it takes? Apply to judge the Sports Media Awards now.


Season 20 of NBC’s “The Voice” will premiere Monday, March 1 at 8p. Battle advisors include Luis Fonsi for coach Kelly Clarkson; Darren Criss for Nick Jonas; Brandy for John Legend; and Dan + Shay for Blake Shelton.

“Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer” examines the science and medical innovations that have doubled life expectancies across the globe. The four-parter from Nutopia is set to air Tuesdays, May 11-June 1 at 8p.

Bio series “Subete A Mi Moto,” based on the story of the Menudo Band, will have its US premiere on EstrellaTV on Sunday, February 14 at 9p. The series chronicles the story of the Puerto Rican boy band as told by its creator.

The AIMS team offers commentary on episodes of “Mountain Monsters” in “Mountain Monsters: By the Fire,” launching Sunday, February 21 on discovery+. “Paranormal Caught on Camera” begins streaming Friday, February 26.


Five young filmmakers turn their cameras on themselves in HBO film “Covid Diaries NYC,” debuting Tuesday, March 9 at 9p. The film shines a light on the plight of essential workers and their families during the early days of the pandemic.

The second installment of HBO concert series “Havana Street Party Presents” features Spanish singer-songwriter Beatriz Luengo taking the stage in Cuba for an acoustic special, premiering Friday, February 12 at 9:30 on HBO Latino and HBO Max.

Short series “Motek” (“sweetheart” in Hebrew) premieres on It’s a Short on Valentine’s Day, February 14 at 9p. The love story, set in London during the pandemic, features the logline, “the more perfect the couple, the more terrifying their secrets from each other are.”

In the biggest Egyptian excavation ever attempted, a team of archaeologists are going into the Western Valley of the Kings to uncover a new chapter in Ancient Egypt history in “Valley of the Kings: The Lost Tombs,” a two-hour special streaming March 1 on discovery+.


Univision Communications is kick-starting its upcoming AVOD, PrendeTV, with the acquisition of VIX, Inc., an independent ad-supported streaming service that offers VOD content to US Hispanics and consumers in Latin America. VIX will be integrated into PrendeTV in the US, bringing immediate scale to Univision’s video streaming business with a content library, management talent and distribution via more than 30 mobile and connected TV platforms.


HBO Max has launched its Black History Is Our History spotlight page, highlighting content in honor of Black History Month. The collection celebrates visionaries, and promotes and supports the telling of stories from the Black perspective with curated programming including films, documentaries, biopics, original programming and animation that focus on the Black experience.

Yahoo’s “Make Space for Black Voices” campaign honors Black History Month with a celebratory Yahoo logo, new video series and on-air interviews celebrating Black changemakers, as well as a livestream event featuring different industry leaders. Through an emphasis on e-commerce, the campaign will also spotlight Black-owned businesses with virtual pop-up shops, dedicated hubs, and articles and videos on Black owners, brands and products. The coverage will last throughout the year.

BET has two new projects timed to Black History Month under its media-focused initiative, “Content for Change.” “BET and CBS News Present: Boiling Point,” exploring dramatic flashpoints in American History, premieres Sunday, February 21 at 8p, followed at 9p by “Disrupt & Dismantle,” following Soledad O’Brien as she tackles injustice across America.

AMC Networks has launched its 8th annual Black History Month Public Service Announcement campaign, in partnership with the NAACP and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The spots will air across the company’s networks, including AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and streaming service ALLBLK and run throughout February. Exclusive social media content featuring CBC members, AMC Networks’ show talent, and Derrick Johnson, President of the NAACP, will also be showcased.

TV One marks Black History Month with a slate themed “Represent the Movement.” The network will celebrate the young, “uplifted” and Black leaders of the New Civil Rights Movement and what they hope for the future. Each activist will reflect and give their point of view on causes such as women’s rights, criminal justice reform, freedom of speech, LGBTQ rights, racism, immigration and gun control.

Ovation TV is celebrating Black artists with PSAs and a curated on-demand programming line-up during Black History Month. The Stand For The Arts public service announcements honor local artists who enrich lives through the power of art, such as Genesis Tramaine, a self-proclaimed urban evangelist painter, and LeRone Wilson, an artist who specializes in beeswax art.


TikTok and WPP entered into a partnership that gives WPP’s media clients early access to the social media company’s adverting products in development, including marketing API integrations. “Our clients want new and innovative ways to reach consumers,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP. “TikTok has quickly demonstrated the power of mobile video and the many opportunities that exist for brands to engage in meaningful and creative ways on its platform.”


ITV Studios announced a new Production Trainee program that will fast-track new and diverse talent into a variety of roles, and offer 12-month contracts to successful candidates. Placements are on offer at 10 of the labels and indies who are part of ITV Studios in both scripted and unscripted, in roles including trainee researchers, script editors and assistant script editors.

THEMA América’s Kanal D Drama is adding new markets in Latin America, including Colombia with Kanal D Drama, and in Costa Rica on the Digital, HD, and ONE tv digital packages on channel 774.

NENT Studios UK is partnering with producer Dong Tay Promotion that will see three of its entertainment formats, “The Generation Show,” “12 Stars,” and “Married to a Celebrity: The Survival Guide” remade in Vietnam for broadcast on VTV and HTV.

CJC and TheGrid Networks will be available in Romania, Hungary, Italy, Central and Eastern Europe, starting February 14 on HedexTV.

Nippon TV has secured sales for “Tsukimichi-Moonlit Fantasy,” the first international anime series to be produced by the recently inaugurated Anime Department. The company has secured sales with Crunchyroll for worldwide distribution excluding Asia, along with TV stations and platforms throughout Asia.

Sinking Ship Entertainment announced “Odd Squad” has been licensed to Tencent. It is the first time the live action/CGI series has been sold to China.

Media Ranch format incubator Horsepower is returning for a third edition, along with new partners La Fabrique des Formats, an innovation and training cluster in the format field, and France’s TF1.

Honoring the Best in Sports Media
[ ENTER BY 2/10]

Now’s the time to make your mark on the industry.

There are over 40 categories up for grabs. Winners will have their names and work boasted across Cynopsis’ website, emails, newsletters, and social feeds.





Shareablee Top 10 TV Shows for the week of January 25
Program, Network, Total Actions, Total Content, Actions per Content, Fans & Followers
Riverdale (The CW Network), 6.6M, 52, 126,728, 16.6M
Ellen Degeneres (WB/Syndicated), 4M, 68, 58,923, 205.9M
Hannity (Fox News) 2.8M, 316, 8,944, 10.2M
The Daily Show (Comedy Central), 2M, 114, 17,623, 27.6M
Entertainment Tonight (WB/syndicated), 1.7M, 601, 2,878, 9.2M
Today Show (NBC), 1.7M, 934, 1,783, 13.8M
Saturday Night Live (NBC), 1.6M, 46, 14,182, 14.2M
Good Morning America (ABC), 1.3M, 816, 1,613, 14.2M
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS), 1.2M, 80, 15,526, 8.1M
Fox & Friends (Fox News), 1.2M, 71, 16,789, 4.6M

Shareablee Top 10 Streaming Shows for the week of January 25
Program, Platform, Total Actions, Total Content, Actions per Content, Fans & Followers
Cobra Kai (Netflix), 1.5M, 36, 41,001, 2.6M
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix), 1.2M, 21, 57,329, 2.8M
On My Block (Netflix), 792K, 5, 158,417, 1.8M
Get Organized With The Home Edit (Netflix), 771.9K, 38, 20,313, 5.3M
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix), 403.3K, 2, 201,652, 873.4K
The Grand Tour (Amazon Prime), 318.1K, 11, 28,922, 5.8M
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix), 213.5K, 25, 8,540, 2.9M
The Wilds (Amazon Prime Video), 203.7K, 30, 6,791, 121.7K
Attack on Titan (Hulu), 198.3K, 5, 39,61, 2.1M
The Mandalorian (Disney+), 198K, 2, 98,969, 2.4M

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Friday, January 29
Show, P2+ millions, (A18-49)
ABC: “Shark Tank” 3.75 (0.6), “20/20” 2.91 (0.4)
CBS: “MacGyver” 3.55 (0.3), “Magnum P.I.” 3.92 (0.4), “Blue Bloods” 4.44 (0.4)
CW: “Whose Line Is It Anyway” 1.08 ( 0.2), “Whose Line Is It Anyway” 0.91 (0.2), “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” 0.82 (0.1)
FOX: “WWE Friday Night SmackDown 2.30 (0.6)
NBC: “The Blacklist” 3.43 (0.4), “Dateline NBC” 3.36 (0.4)
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos” 1.03 (0.3), “La Suerte de Loli”1.14 (0.3), “Buscando a Frida” 0.94 (0.3)
Univision: “Vencer al Desamor” 1.54 (0.4), “Imperio de Mentiras” 1.51 (0.4)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


Crown Media Family Networks announced the promotion of Casey Gould to SVP, Ad Sales and Advanced Advertising. In the newly created role, Gould is charged with leading the development and execution of strategic advanced advertising opportunities, in addition to his current digital and linear sales management responsibilities.

Grace Wu has been promoted to the newly created position of EVP, Casting, Entertainment Content at NBCUniversal. Wu was previously EVP, Scripted Casting. Tomii Crump has been elevated to the role of SVP, Head of Unscripted Casting and Talent, Entertainment Content.

WWE appointed Christine Lubrano as SVP, Creative Writing Operations. Lubrano was previously SVP, Original Programming at IFC.

YouTube Originals named Craig Hunter as Global Head of Preschool Content. Hunter joins from Sony Pictures Television, where he served as Director of Kids Networks.


Pioneering network executive Jamie Tarses passed away February 1 of complications from a cardiac event she suffered last fall. She was 56. Tarses was the first woman to run a network entertainment division, becoming President of ABC Entertainment at age 32, and was instrumental in the development of hits like “Friends” and “Frasier.” More recently, Tarses produced shows including “My Boys” and “The Wilds.”

Producer/screenwriter Allan Burns died January 30. He was 85. Burns was best known for co-creating and co-writing “The Munsters,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda.” “As much of a legend as he was, and as diverse of a career as he enjoyed, the most remarkable thing about Allan Burns was how kind he was to so many people,” said producer and friend Dan Pasternack.

Actor Dustin Diamond died February 1 of cancer. He was 44. Diamond was best known to TV audiences for playing Screech on “Saved by the Bell.”

Television writer Marc Wilmore died January 30 from complications of COVID-19. Wilmore was best known to TV audiences for his work on “F Is For Family” and “In Loving Color.” His brother, comedian and talk show host Larry Wilmore, said, “My brother was the kindest, gentlest, funniest, lion of an angel I’ve ever known.”

This Day in History
1974 – Barbra Streisand had her first #1 hit, “The Way We Were.”

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What was Jennifer Aniston’s first series regular role? Courtney Walker, in “Malloy” (1990). Kudos to: Rev. Mark Wajda/Clermont, FL, Charles Lore/NYC, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, Charlie Conner-KOKI/KMYT/Tulsa, OK, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Productions Rentals/Burbank, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA

Today’s Trivia Question
On which series did David Schwimmer first land a recurring role? (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

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

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


Win Revenue– prospect, connect with, and secure partnership from agency-led and client-direct branded partners. Educate the media market on the Team Whistle product line and generate revenue via selling video, branded content, and white-label solutions. Experience selling branded content, familiarity within the larger sports/entertainment media landscape, and 5+ years partnering with ad agencies and clients directly required. Full info HERE (2/12)

Manages all aspects of the News Department (other than Production), plans and manages staffing, training, and performance evaluations for the News Department. Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and work-related experience required. Full info HERE (2/12)

Digital content strategist to drive distribution and revenue for video content across key digital platforms, primarily A&E’s YouTube Channel. Strong project manager who will leverage data to drive decision making. 3-5 years’ experience working with digital video strategies at the brand/publishing level. Full info HERE (2/11)

Procure talent – research, invite and secure the highest-level speakers/panelists and moderators; book and produce unique and influential programs. 10+ years of programming experience securing high profile talent for industry, entertainment, sports and media programs and other special events on time and within budget. Full info HERE (2/10)

National Linear Buyer, negotiate and strategize to obtain maximum ROI. Collaborator with strong analytical skills, media relationships and buy management. At least 3 years relevant prior work experience in National Media. Full info HERE (2/9)

FIRST MEDIA/NYC: Sales Planner, manages and executes the completion and fulfillment of RFPs, works cross-divisionally to help fulfill client requests and compiles, maintains, and distributes weekly booked business report. At least 2 years relevant prior work experience in the advertising industry and Analytical and able to take a strategic approach when creating proposals required. Full info HERE (2/5)

NBCUNIVERSAL/NYC: Lead and manage a team of Data Scientists in the development of high-impact tools for ad hoc projects and on-going operational analytic platforms, partner with business leaders across NBCUniversal to identify, build, and implement capabilities to leverage advanced data science. Advanced Degree (PhD strongly preferred) with a specialization in Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Mathematics, Operations Research, or other equivalent quantitative fields. Full info HERE (2/4)

UPTV/NYC: Work with advertising agency contacts and other advertising sales personnel to ensure that administration aspects of accounts are in order, build, revise and maintain all sales proposals for AEs. Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university; at least 1+ years related cable experience preferred. Full info HERE (2/4)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Dynamic digital marketer to drive growth in A+E’s Digital business by acquiring OTT, mobile, and website video streamers for A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime brands. Leverage owned, earned, and paid marketing tactics. 5 years’ experience with direct response digital marketing. Full info HERE (2/4)

MY SOFTWARE TUTOR: MST offers three levels of real-time, online courses in Excel with a live instructor: Fundamentals, Basics, and Intermediate. These courses deliver practical, functional business skills to increase your marketability. Use promo code CYNOPSIS20 to unlock a 20% savings. Full info HERE (2/3)

AROUND ROBIN PRODUCTION COMPANY/WASHINGTON, DC: Looking for a Media Executive Consultant who can connect a content creator with distribution partners. Will be tasked with consulting production company on strategy of selling content. Must have experience in sales, traditional and digital media, and distribution strategy Full info HERE (2/3)

Looking for a passionate designer, enthusiastic about working on creative and conceptual design projects. The designer will work within a team of Art Directors and Designers to create high impact key art, and streaming platform product art. Candidates should be well versed in design principles for both print and digital deliverables. 7+ years agency experience, background in entertainment design preferred. Full info HERE (2/3)

ABC: “To Tell the Truth,” “black-ish,” “mixed-ish,” “Big Sky”
CBS: “NCIS,” “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted”
CW: “Two Sentence Horror Stories,” “Two Sentence Horror Stories,” “Trickster”
FOX: “The Resident,” “Prodigal Son”
NBC: “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “This Is Us,” “Nurses”
PBS: “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”, “The Jazz Ambassadors,” “Frontline”
Telemundo: “Exaton Estados Unidos,” “La Suerte de Loli,” “Buscando a Frida”
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor,” “Imperio de Mentiras,” “Dulce Ambicion”



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