02/16/16: Anderson Cooper heads for GOP Town Halls; good news on TV ad front; NBC orders Maya Rudolph/Martin Short series


Good morning. It’s Tuesday February 16, 2016, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premiere:
HBO: Gonzaga: The March to Madness at 10p

Tonight’s Finale:
BET: Zoe Ever After at 10:30p


Anderson Cooper will host back-to-back Town Halls ahead of the February 20 South Carolina primary. Dr. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio will appear Wednesday, February 17, followed by John Kasich, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush on Thursday, February 18. Events will air live from 8p-11p on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Espanol, as well as online on CNNGo.

Reports of the death of television have been greatly exaggerated, writes Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Weiser in a new report. The national TV ad marketplace rose as much as 7 percent in 4Q15 and as much as 2 percent for calendar 2015, contradicting predictions that the increase in media options and the erosion of TV ratings would lead to a decline in the ad marketplace. “These results reinforce our view that changes in viewing and ratings have only a limited effect on ad spending,” said Wieser in the study, “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The TV Advertising Funeral.” “For advertisers, ad budget decisions focus on least-bad alternatives,” added Wieser. “For those seeking broad reach, sight-sound-and-motion and brand awareness, traditional TV still utterly dominates all alternatives despite the growth of digital media owners and increasing consumption of video on internet-connected devices.”



Join Cynopsis on Tuesday, March 1st at 1:30-3:30PM (ET) for the latest webinar New Social Media Strategies to Reach the Young Demos to get the tools you need to engage young viewers and drive tune-in.

For more information visit: http://www.cynopsis.com/?p=53548 or contact Trish Pihonak..


greenlit to pilot thriller Prototype, centered on three cohorts who stumble upon an invention that challenges the nature of quantum physics. Story comes from Tony Basgallop (24: Live Another Day). Escape Artists Productions will exec produce with director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Esposados) and Basgallop.

NBC gave the go-ahead for a variety show hosted by Maya Rudolph and co-hosted by Martin Short, exec produced by another SNLer, Lorne Michaels. Maya and Marty in Manhattan (wt) is slated for a late May premiere.

Fox ordered a pilot for Lethal Weapon, based on the Mel Gibson/Danny Glover buddy-cop movies, starring Damon Wayans Sr. in the Glover role. McG (Charlie’s Angels) will direct the pilot from Warner Bros. Television.

Laura Dern is attached to star in and exec produce an untitled drama in development at HBO about a court-appointed psychiatrist tasked with deciding if death row inmates are sane enough to be killed. Filmmaker Alex Gibney is writing and directing as well as exec producing with Dern.

Nancy Cartwright, voice actress on The Simpsons, has launched film and television production company Spotted Cow. First project: coming of age drama In Search of Fellini, written by Cartwright and Spotted Cow president Peter Kjenaas, and The Institute, with James Franco. “We see ourselves as a new kind of company, one that is looking to create a slate of films and television projects with compelling stories for a diverse global audience,” said Cartwright.

Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: February 12-14, 2016
Deadpool (Fox) $135.0 million, opening weekend
Kung Fu Panda (Fox) $19.7 million (week 3) cume revenue $93.9 million
How to Be Single (Warner Bros.) $18.8 million, opening weekend
Zoolander 2 (Paramount) $15.7 million, opening weekend
The Revenant (Fox) $6.9 million (week 8), cume revenue $159.2 million
Hail Caesar! (Universal) $6.6. million (week 2), cume revenue $21.4 million
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Buena Vista) $6.2 million (week 9), cume revenue $914.8 million
The Choice (Lionsgate) $5.3 million (week 2), cume revenue $13.6 million
Ride Along 2 (Universal) $4.1 million (week 5), cume revenue $82.7 million
The Boy (STX) $2.9 million (week 4), cume revenue $30.8 million
Source: Rentrak Corporation


Deadpool’s ratings very much alive
‘s ratings felt the love from Deadpool this Valentine’s Day Weekend,
delivering a whopping 9.3 A18-49 rating.

Premium, first-run programming every week –
only on America’s Movie Network.


Live after show Talking Saul, which followed Better Call Saul’s season two premiere on Monday on AMC, will also air after the season finale on Monday, April 18 at 11p. Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead) hosts the hour-long dissection of twists and turns.

Legal docu-series Sisters in Law debuts on WE tv Thursday, March 24 at 10p. Eight-parter set in Houston follows a close-knit group of elite black female attorneys “with egos as big as Texas,” tackling tough cases in a white, male-dominated field.

It was just a matter of time, wasn’t it? Bravo debuts The Real Housewives of Dallas on Monday, April 11 at 10p, featuring southern socialites with “big wallets, big hearts and even bigger drama.” It appears the Wives aren’t outstaying their welcome – the debut of newcomers Real Housewives of the Potomac delivered over 2.5 million total viewers and scored the highest ratings in all key demos for a franchise premiere, while season ten of the original Orange County crew was its most-watched, with 2.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen Live+3.

Showtime’s Roadies, written, created, directed and exec produced by Cameron Crowe, is slated for a Sunday, June 26 launch. Luke Wilson and Carla Gugino star in the series focused on backstage workers for an arena-level rock band.

The Price is Right goes primetime with three reality TV-themed episodes celebrating The Amazing Race, Survivor and Big Brother. In each CBS special, airing later this year, former players team with super fans for prizes.

The first part of PBS two-part series A Year in Space, adapted from TIME’s original digital video series about astronaut Scott Kelly, whose current 12-month stay on the International Space Station is laying the groundwork for a manned mission to Mars, is slated for Wednesday, March 2 at 8p (check local listings). The episode is timed within a day of Scott’s planned return to Earth. Second installment is scheduled to air in 2017.

Are you ready for the next must-have app for Gen Z? “Blend is on the brink of becoming one of the latest necessity apps,” says Jamie Stewart, media director at redpepper. “Group messaging apps have long been popular among this demo and Blend does an excellent job of improving on vertical flagships like WhatsApp and GroupMe.” Hear more from Stewart, as well as experts from AMC, ShareThis, Convince & Convert and Octagon at the March 1 Cynopsis webinar, New Social Media Strategies to Reach the Young Demos. Details are here.


Mattel/Hit Entertainment’s animated Little People debuts Monday, March 7 on Sprout. Musical comedy series is based on the original Fisher Price characters.


Integrating Netflix into the user experience benefits TV operators, determined IHS Techology. In a new report, “Netflix on Pay TV: A Marriage of Convenience,” the research firm’s Ted Hall, Research Director, said that while there is no meaningful revenue-generating opportunity, “Many of the operators working with Netflix have seen customer satisfaction ratings improve under the partnerships, which have helped foster positive operational performance…Collaborating with the streaming service is necessary for many operators positioning their platforms as one-stop-shop ecosystems for TV and video content.”

On the hunt for new talent, NBCUni’s new comedy streaming service Seeso is partnering with the New York Television Festival to offer the Seeso Comedy Award, a chance for independent TV creators to develop a series. It’s the NYTVF’s first OTT teaming for original content.

Subscription streaming services account for 65 percent of online viewing, according to a new report from RealityMine, while video sharing sites like YouTube have a 19 percent share of total viewing. Based on a panel of 7673 Americans, 80 percent of online videos accessed on a TV set come from SVOD services. Among A18-24 who watch TV, 89 percent watch live TV, according to the report, while Mom and Dad (55-64) hit at 96 percent.

Morris Network will syndicate E.W. Scripps OTT video news service Newsy across six of its local TV websites. Morris Network is a division of Morris Multimedia, which owns and operates 14 network affiliate stations. “Newsy offered us a way to deliver stimulating video content and generate additional revenue on our websites above and beyond direct selling,” said Chris Carlton, director of Digital for ChartLocal and Morris Network.


William Jackson Harper (Broadway’s All the Way) joins Kristen Bell and Ted Danson on NBC’s straight-to-series comedy Good Place, about a woman who decides to turn over a new leaf.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Franklin & Bash) stars opposite Kylie Branbury in Fox baseball drama pilot Pitch, about the first woman to play in the major leagues.

Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead) landed a role in ABC drama pilot Conviction, starring Hayley Atwell as the ne’er-do-well daughter of a former president.

Andrea Martin (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) nabbed a lead role in NBC’s Tracey Wigfield comedy pilot from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Universal Television project focuses on a mother who interns at her daughter’s workplace.

Angus Sampson (Mad Max: Fury Road) joins Hulu original series Shuteye, focused on the world of LA psychics, as a series regular.

Natalie Martinez (Secrets & Lies) will play the female lead in Fox drama pilot A.P.B., about a tech billionaire who purchases a New Orleans police precinct.

A&E’s The Infamous added Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie) as co-star. Hip hop crime drama pilot is set in 1990s LA.

CASTING CALL: Sean De Simone Casting and the UK’s #1 award winning skin care brand Elemis is casting a female Brand Rep to sell on QVC.In search of Beauty Expert, TV Host or performer/personality with strong beauty background/interest. National Casting. Photo, Resumes and links to [email protected] (2/19)


Malaysia’s Primeworks Studios and Hokuriku Asahi Broadcasting Co. of Japan have collaborated to produce four special episodes of Mad Markets Ishikawa: Japan Specials, a travelogue that covers the Ishikawa Prefecture.


Cynopsis Digital Programmatic TV Summit

Featured Speakers Include:
Dan Ackerman, Head of Programmatic TV – AOL
Tara Maitra, SVP & GM, Content & Media Sales – TiVo
Paul Haddad, SVP & GM, Advanced Data Analytics – Cablevision
Patrick Rubin, Director, Advanced TV Strategy & Investment – Dentsu Aegis Network

Thursday, March 24 | New York City | REGISTER NOW.


CBS’s Big Bang Theory Valentine’s episode on Thursday rose one tenth versus last week among A18-49, to 3.8/14. ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder dipped 22 percent from its fall finale, to 1.8/6.

CBS’s “Did they really just say that?” Republican debate on Saturday was the most-watched (13.51 million) and highest-rated among A25-54 (3.0) of 2016, according to Nielsen fast nationals.

Thursday’s Democratic Primary Debate, simulcast on CNN and PBS, drew just over 8 million viewers. 4.1 million went to CNN, while 3.9 million landed at PBS. Among A25-54, PBS scored 1.2 million in the demo while CNN drew 1.1 million. That’s down from 15.2 million for CNN’s October debate, but outpaced the 4.5 million viewers MSNBC’s Democratic face-off attracted on February 4.

Thursday A18-49 Analysis: FOX and ABC tied for the most A18-49 viewers Thursday with 2.1/7, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. CBS topped 8p with Big Bang Theory (3.8/14) and Life in Pieces (2.1/7), followed by 2.4/8 for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. ABC’s Scandal was first at 9p with 2.2/7; Fox’s Idol was right behind with 2.1/7. ABC  maintained the lead at 10p with 1.8/6 for How to Get Away With Murder, versus 1.1/4 for CBS’s Elementary and NBC’s Shades of Blue.

A18-49: ABC 2.1/7, FOX 2.1/7, CBS 1.9/6, NBC 1.1/4, UNI .8/3, CW .7/2, TELE .5/2, ION .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, February 11, 2016  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
FOX: 5.2/9
American Idol 5.3/9
CBS 4.8/8
Big Bang Theory 9.8/17, Mom Life in Pieces 5.7/9, Mom 5.1/8, Big Bang Theory 4.1/7, Elementary 3.9/7
ABC: 4.8/8
Grey’s Anatomy 5.6/9, Scandal 4.7/8, How to Get Away With Murder 4.1/8
NBC: 3.2/5
You, Me & the Apocalypse 1.9/3, The Blacklist 4.1/7, Shades of Blue 3.5/6
CW: 1.2/2
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.5/2, The Hundred .8/1
ION: 1.1/2
Blue Bloods 1.0/2, Blue Bloods 1.1/2, Blue Bloods 1.0/2
Antes Muerta Lichita 1.0/2, Pasion y Poder 1.3/2, Hotel de los Secretos 1.1/2
Quien es Quien .7/1, Eva la Trailera .7/1, Querida Centauro .8/2


Jane Henriksen has joined Mark Myers as partner of CSP Management, the new division of Citizen Skull Productions. Henriksen is former president of Henriksen Talent Management.

AccuWeather Network appointed Sarah Katt as Vice President of Network Product Development & Operations. Most recently, Katt worked at Verizon Communications, overseeing their multi-platform video distribution strategy.

Raycom Media promoted Lee Coble to Vice President of Broadcast Marketing and Jamie Sawyer to Vice President of Digital Marketing. Both joined the company in 2012.

This Day in History:
1923 – The burial chamber of King Tutankhamen’s tomb was unsealed in Egypt.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What television criminal has the same prison number as Jean Valjean  24601 – in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables? The SimpsonsSideshow Bob (partial credit for South Park’s Cartman, who had the number briefly but wasn’t really a criminal). Kudos to: Elizabeth Korda-Turner, NYC, Gloria L. Price-CBS News/NYC, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank, Linda Grillo-Viacom/NYC, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, Allison Boon-Orion Entertainment/Littleton, CO.

Today’s Trivia Question Which sitcom family had a neighbor named Thorny? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).

Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey: Editorial Director @Lynn_Leahey

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

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
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JOB OPENING: AFFILIATE SALES MGR/beIN SPORTS/Miami: Dist sales leader to champion/promote ntwk sales across all platforms both traditional/non-traditional. Min 5-7 yrs exp strategic sales for US Cable/Satellite/Telco dist ind. Prior commercial Hotel/Public viewing dist/sales of tier one sports w/soccer emphasis fundamental. Resume: [email protected] (2/19)

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JOB OPENING: SR MGR, DIST. & MULTIPLATFORM ANALYTICS/A+E Networks/NY: Serve as corp. expert in VOD analytics, Dvlp viewership models & evaluate the performance of our brands. Manage working relationship with STB and advanced analytics data providers Full Info/Apply HERE (2/19)

JOB OPENING: DIR. / SR. DIR., ADV. ANALYTICS & DATA STRAT./A+E Networks/NY: Evaluate methodologies, data quality & best analytics practices that will help advance A+E Networks data capabilities on both traditional TV & cross platformsides of our business.FullInfo/Apply HERE (2/19)

JOB OPENING: MARKETING COORDINATOR/NYC: Organized driven multitasker in executing multiplatform media plans, building promo events, managing marketing budgets. Full info/apply HERE (2/19)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST (2 positions)/Screenvision/NYC: Resp. for research inquiries, crafting presentations, analyzing info, MRI research & Nielson report exp, 1+ years ad sales and/or media research exp, strong writing skills, love of movies: Full info/apply HERE (2/19)

JOB OPENING: MANAGING PRODUCER/LINE PRODUCER/TWIN CITIES PBS/St Paul MN: Negotiate agreements; oversee budget & timelines for a multi-partner & vendor (nat’l & int’l) project. Min 10+ yrs media prod prod &/or project mngmnt exp. Digital savvy a must. Full info/apply HERE (2/19)

JOB OPENING: MEDIA PLANNER/BUYER/Mahwah, NJ: Leading kid media buyg/plng agency looking for 5+ yrs nat’l media planning/buying exp. needed in kids/adult media to steward nat’l TV buys. Strong comm; excel; analytic skills. Resumes to: [email protected] (2/19)

JOB OPENING: MEDIA ASSIST/Mahwah, NJ: Leading kid media buyg/plng agency looking for media plng assist with 2+ exp; inputter, & day-to-day maint of nat’l buys. EXCEL WIZ A MUST; DIGITAL EXP +. Great bnfits. Resumes to: [email protected] (2/19)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, MEDIA SALES/MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL/St. Petersburg FL: Lead nat’l sales efforts for MiLB Media Properties. Min 7 yrs exp & est. sr client & agency relationships required. Self-starting & passionate individuals desired. 25-40% travel. Resume HERE (2/18)

JOB OPENING: INTEGRATION, PRODUCER FN & CC/NYC: Dvlp/write organic integrated concepts that drive ratings & rev + achieve advtsr goals. Lead prod of integrated content from start to finish. A mix of prod, prgrmng + branded ent highly desired. 5+ yrs. Resume to: [email protected] (2/18)

JOB OPENING: ANALYST, CONSUMER INSIGHTS/Nickelodeon/NYC: 1-2 yrs work exp (mkt rsch exp pref’d). BA/BS degree w/outstanding academic track record – business, statistics, comms, psychology, or mkt rsch deg a +; Grad Rsch Work(optional). Full info/apply HERE (2/17)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES ASSISTANT/BounceTV/NYC: Support Adsales Planning: executing client skeds, wkly allocs, securing traffic, preventing discreps. Interacting with AE’s & clients. 1+ yr AdSales or Rsch exp. & use of WideOrbit a +. Resumes/cvr: [email protected] (2/17)

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SITUATION WANTED: Italian Brazilian script analyst with TV experience offers report for your story development, upgrades your screenplay for emotional Latin audiences Contact: [email protected]

SITUATION WANTED: MARKETING EXECUTIVE/NYC: I’m inquisitive, ambitious, detail oriented, a fast learner, & a self-starter w/the ability to multitask in a fast paced envir. 2 yrs exp working in media ind w/a strong knwldg of integrated mktg & social media analytics Contact me: [email protected] (2/19)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.


ABC: Fresh Off the Boat, The Muppets, Marvel’s Agent Carter
CBS: NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Limitless
CW: The Flash, iZombie
FOX: New Girl, Grandfathered, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Grinder
NBC: Hollywood Game Night, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire
PBS: Finding Your Roots, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution – Independent Lens [r] 
Telemundo: Quien es Quien?, Eva la Trailera, La Queridda del Centauro
Univision: Antes Muerta que Lichita, Pasion y Poder, El Hotel del los Secretos

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