02/10/17: Paramount changes in store for Spike; The Return of American Idol?; CBS gains new ‘Wisdom’



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Good morning. It’s Friday February 10, 2017 and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
A&E: The First 48: Deadly Dealings at 8p
Animal Planet: Tanked: Celebrity Scoop at 8p
The CW: Reign at 9p

Tonight’s Finales:
Bravo: Married to Medicine at 8p
Food: Ginormous Food at 8p
INSP: State Plate at 9p

Saturday’s Finale:
Animal Planet: The Guardians at 10p

Sunday’s Premieres:
AMC: The Walking Dead at 9p
AHC: How the World Ends at 10p
HBO: Girls at 10p
HGTV: Island Life at 10p
Smithsonian Channel: The Weapon Hunter at 9p
Starz: Missing at 8p
TLC: Long Lost Family at 9p
Weather: Weather Hacks at 10p

Sunday’s Finale:
Cooking: Unique Sweets at 10p


A rebranding of Spike into a general entertainment network with new moniker The Paramount Network is part of a Viacom turnaround strategy put forth yesterday by Viacom CEO Bob Bakish. Backish said during an earnings call the rebranded net will be one of the six core domestic channels in the company’s cable portfolio, behind which the company is putting its “full power.” They are: BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount. The transition will take place during the next year, with launch eyed for early 2018. Spike president Kevin Kay addressed his staff yesterday in a memo noting the “watershed moment for us at Spike,” with Paramount Net focusing on “building distinctive, high-quality scripted and non-scripted original programming  with dramas, comedies, documentaries, movies, sports and tentpole events. It will also incorporate third-party programming, as well as films from other studio’s libraries.” In related news, MTV will be down two. The net opted not to renew freshman comedy series Loosely Exactly Nicole and Mary + Jane for second seasons.

Passing the torch: Bob Costas is ending a record 11 Olympics as NBC primetime host. Former ESPN anchor Mike Tirico will step into the hosting shoes for the Pyeongchang winter games. “It has been both a privilege and an incredible personal and professional experience to have been part of NBC’s Olympic coverage all these years,” Costas said. “I’m especially appreciative of all the talented and dedicated people I worked for and with on those broadcasts.” Costas, who has been with NBC for 37 years, made his Olympic debut in 1988 and will continue to have roles in NBC Sports and NBC News programs.

Special counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway got some counseling herself after she peddled Ivanka Trump merch yesterday from a White House briefing room. Asked to weigh in on Donald Trump’s tweet after Nordstrom dropped his daughter’s clothing line, Conway offered, “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff… I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during a later briefing, “Kellyanne has been counseled and that’s all we’re going to go with. She has been counseled on that subject  and that’s it.”

Less than a year after it finished its run on Fox, American Idol is now eyeing a comeback – on NBC. Producer FreemantleMedia North America and creator Simon Fuller started pitching a new Idol installment before the series wrapped its final season last April. Talks with NBC ensued, according to initial reports from Variety, with sources indicating the possibility for a new season of Idol to launch on NBC as early as next season.

Brand integration is a highly effective solution to TV’s ad-blocking challenge, but what kind of content is catnip to advertisers? In a recent Beta Research study, ad execs ranked Scripps Networks and Discovery Networks among the best at providing creative/innovative multi-platform opportunities. Experts from both nets will be on hand,along with the VP of branded integration for BEN, to offer insights and case studies at the February 28 Cynopsis webinar, "Winning Strategies for Branded Content." For details on creating the kind of content viewers can’t wait to share, go here.

fuboTV has launched in Beta, bringing subscribers to its entry-level bundle access to local sports carried by NBCU and Fox Networks Group’s owned-and-operated stations and regional sports networks, for a discounted price of $34.99/month. The launch comes ahead of the Champions League Round of 16 soccer games, the Daytona 500, the UFC 208 prelims and more, plus entertainment programming including Alec Baldwin’s record 17th time hosting Saturday Night Live and the new season of A&E’s Bates Motel, among other entertainment offerings.


The best content is so good viewers aren’t just happy to view it – they want to share it. But how do you create the kind of seamless experience that both engages audiences and gives brands meaningful, monetize–able exposure? On 2/28 experts from BEN and Discovery Communications will offer case studies and insights into the kinds of creative, innovative experiences you need to bring to the table to appeal to both your audience and brands.
Sign your team up today!


CBS gave pilot order to Wisdom of the Crowd, a drama from former The Good Wife writer/producer Ted Humphrey and Keshet Studios. Written by Humphrey, the series is about a San Francisco tech innovator who creates a cutting edge crowd-sourcing hub to solve his daughter’s murder. It’s pulled from the Israeli series of the same name. Humphrey exec-produces with Keshet’s Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan, Dror Mishani and Shira Hadad. CBS Television Studios, where Humphrey is under an overall deal, produces in association with Universal Television, where Keshet has a deal.

Syfy ordered third and fourth seasons of Nick Antosca’s horror anthology series Channel Zero ahead of its season 2 debut. Antosca also signed an overall deal with series producer Universal Cable Productions, under which he will develop and produce scripted programming for both NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and external networks and streaming services.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion Hope Solo announced a production and development agreement with Brant Pinvidic’s TV and film production house INvelop Entertainment to develop and produce original unscripted content. Solo and Hope and her manager Tiffany Shine will serve as executive producers together with INvelop Entertainment. The first project under the partnership will be a new season of the sports medical series The Cutting Edge, with Solo attached to host.

Edison, a half-hour dark musical comedy series about a small-town real estate broker, is in development at HBO. Series stars John Roberts (Bob’s Burgers) and is loosely based on his life. It hails from Paper Kite, Amy Poehler and Brooke Posch’s Universal TV-based production company. Roberts, H. Jon Benjamin (Archer), Poehler, Posch and 3 Arts’ Dave Becky are exec-producing for Universal TV.


The second season of anthology series Missing premieres on Starz this Sunday, February 12 at 8p with a new case, new characters, and new locations. Season 2 follows parents Sam (David Morrissey) and Gemma Webster (Keeley Hawes), whose daughter Alice went missing in 2003 and seems to mysteriously return to her German hometown 11 years later.

Cesar Milan takes on a new role as rescuer and rehabilitator in new Nat Geo Wild series Cesar Milan’s Dog Nation. The series, premiering Friday, March 3 at 9p, also features Milan’s son Andre Milan as the two road-trip across the US to help dog owners with their canine troubles and share inspirational stories.

In other Starz news, the network announced its limited series The White Princess, the follow-up to its miniseries The White Queen, will premiere on Sunday, April 16 at 8p. Set in 15th century England, the drama is drawn from the novel of the same name by Philippa Gregory and part of The Cousins’ War book series.


ABC is chilling with the Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion Shall We Dance on Ice special, airing this Saturday, February 11 at 3p. The journey of dance through the ages with both skating and dance performances is hosted by Kristi Yamaguchi and Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec, and will include performances by ice dancers and 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White and Sinead Kerr-Marshall & John Kerr, and a musical performance by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Weather Hacks, a two-episode special featuring Al Roker, will air Sunday, February 12 at 10p on The Weather Channel. In the episodes, Roker gives practical tips, tricks, hacks and advice on what to do before, during or after a major weather event that could do everything from saving money to saving your life.

Spanish-language movie channel Cinelatino is celebrating the month of love with a selection of romantic comedies beginning on Saturday, February 11 and culminating with a full day of the network’s greatest heart-warming love stories on Tuesday, February 14, beginning at 7a.

When We Rise: The People Behind the Story, a one-hour documentary that complements the ABC miniseries When We Rise, chronicles the personal and political struggles, setbacks, and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBTQ people who helped pioneer the US Civil Rights struggle. The doc, which airs Thursday, March 2 on the network, will recount the true stories and history of the gay rights movement through the voices of the people who inspired the miniseries.

Den of Thieves is returning for the third year to produce the Radio Disney Music Awards, and TV director Sandra Restrepo Considine is onboard for this year’s fifth anniversary event. Considine is the first female director of the RDMAs; she’s directing this year’s Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony this Sunday, February 12, and at last year’s Grammys, she directed the live televised musical performance from Hamilton. “I am very excited and happy to be directing the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards,” she tells Cynopsis. “I look forward to being part of such a wonderful event that the whole family can enjoy together.”


Ali Liebert (Bomb Girls) snagged a recurring role as a detective opposite Kyra Sedgwick on new ABC new straight-to-series drama Ten Days in the Valley. Series, from Tassie Cameron and Skydance Television, revolves around an overworked TV producer and single mom whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night.

Ellie Ariaza (The Bridge) booked a recurring role in Legion, FX’s X-Men-universe drama series.


Sinking Ship Entertainment is in a new development deal with Corus Entertainment for the half-hour comedy series 4Player. Created by Vivieno Caldinelli and Mark De Angelis, 4Player is a sitcom aimed at 812 year olds about a rag-tag group of teenage gamers who triumph at video games, but are seemingly “all thumbs” with everything else in life.

Cartoon Network is giving a season 2 order to its cross-platform series Mighty Magiswords and launching a complementary mobile game, Surely You Quest. Mighty Magiswords follows the adventures of a sibling team of “warriors for hire” who embark on heroic quests using funny swords.



Join CYNOPSIS and your peers on THURSDAY, MARCH 2 in New York City at our 3rd Annual SOCIAL GOOD AWARDS BREAKFAST as we honor everything from sustainability partnerships and PSA’s, to diversity campaigns, environmental initiatives, and more. Last year’s event sold out so book your company’s table today!.


The season 3 premiere of Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet on Animal Planet attracted 1.4 million viewers on Saturday, February 4 at 9p in Live+3, up double-digits (+15%) versus the program’s season two premiere (1.2 million). The episode pushed Animal Planet into ad-supported cable’s Top 10 among total viewers (No. 6) in its timeslot.


Nancy Kanter’s star continues to rise at Disney. The Mouse House promoted her to the expanded role of EVP, content and creative strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide, in addition to her maintaining her role as GM, Disney Junior Worldwide. The new role will broaden Kanter’s responsibilities to include the content creation strategy that guides the development of original live action and animated programming for K6-12 on Disney Channel and Disney XD, in addition to all creative content for K2-7 on Disney Junior. Kanter joined Disney Channel in 2001. 

Richard Horrmann has been elevated to the role of VP, communications for ABC Entertainment. Prior to this promotion, Horrmann served as executive director, communications, Disney ABC Television Group.

Telemundo promoted Richard Borjas to the newly created position of VP, production. Borjas has been with Telemundo for five years, and has launched and exec-produced productions including La Voz Kids and Suelta La Sopa.

Z Living hired Jay Schnitzer as VP of brand partnerships, and Giannina Miranda as director of ad sales and partnerships. Schnitzer most recently was an account executive for AMC Networks; Miranda joins from Scripps Networks Interactive, where she served as ad sales planner since 2012.

Turner Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) named Marc Goodchild as its head of digital content strategy & product for EMEA. Goodchild joins Turner this month after a period working with UK startups where he pioneered a new second-screen system for kids shows, and most recently a family app gifting platform.

Friday Fun Fact: The lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth came from Russia’s Vostok Station, where records show the air plunged to minus 128.6 degrees F (minus 89.2 degrees C) on July 21,1983, according to the USGS.

This Day in History: 1967 – The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified to require the appointment of a Vice President when that office became vacant and instituted new measures in the event of presidential disability.

Answer to Our last Trivia Question: Which Survivor contestant was first to be voted out first in two different seasons? Francesca Hogi. Kudos to: Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach, FL; Galina Plutova-NYC Media/NY; Paul Blutter-Hollywood Depot Rentals/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Luke Swinney-TIJAT/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: What was the name of the cab company the gang worked for in Taxi (1978-83) (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.).

Docu-series Anagram: Learn The Tap (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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JOB OPENING: CHANNEL BRANDING SYSTEMS COORDINATOR/ION/Clearwater FL: Real-time graphics coordinator responsible for assisting in design, scheduling, organization of graphics for real-time play-out on ION TV, ION Life, Qubo. Bach Degree req. 3+ yrs in graphics department, TV exp pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (2/16)

JOB OPENING: REGIONAL SALES MGR/HULU/Chicago: Help impact & mng the direction of our sales organization. Exp in managing account execs & have strong knowledge of the Midwest marketplace. 3+ yrs of mngmnt exp 8-10 yrs of exp digital online media/TV sales/advertising sales. Full info/apply HERE (2/16)

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JOB OPENING: SR PROD COORD/GSNTV/Santa Monica: 3+ yrs. prod/finance exp. Coord. of all materials/info. for the prod. of outside prod companies on a ntwrk level.Working knwldg of budgets for non-scripted in studio & field TV pilots/series. Knwldg of prod crew, staff positions & rates +. Send res/CL: [email protected] (2/15)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR MANAGER, ENG & IT/East Coast: Candidate must have advanced capability in the design, implementation and management of broadcast Engineering and IT technologies and operational models within local news. Full info/apply HERE (2/15)

JOB OPENING: DR/PP SALES ASSISTANT/UP/NYC: Asst AEs, Sales Plners & Pricing/Inv. Edit PowerPt presentations & excel spreadsheets. Work w/agency buyers. Maintain order entry, inv moves & prod allocations. Effective verbal skills. Strong attn to details. Prior internship exp at TV ntwk pref’d. Send res: HERE (2/15)

JOB OPENING: PUBLICIST/TCM & FILMSTRUCK/Turner/ATL: Generate publicity & network/brand buzz. Pitch & establish relationship w/media; manage media lists, press clips & press site; asst w/network events & on-air shoots. 3+ yrs entertainment and/or film PR exp. Full info/apply: https://www.turnerjobs.com/job/atlanta/publicist/1174/3892753 (2/14)


ABC: Be My Valentine Charlie Brown, Shark Tank, 20/20
CBS: MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods
CW: The Vampire Diaries, Reign
FOX: Rosewood, Sleepy Hollow
NBC: Grimm, Emerald City, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week, Charlie Rose – The Week, Smokey Robinson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song
Telemundo: La Fan, La Dona, El Chema
Univision: Cita con Cupido, Vino el Amor, El Color de la Pasion

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