02/22/16: Sony president Nicole Seligman exiting in March; Amy Adams set to star in drama series; ID takes on OJ


Good morning. It’s Monday February 22, 2016, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premiere:
Discovery: Street Outlaws: New Orleans at 9p

Tonight’s Finales:
Food: Kids Baking Championship at 8p
FOX: The X-Files at 8p
NBC: Superstore at 8p, Telenovela at 8:30p, The Biggest Loser at 9p
truTV: Fameless at 10p and 10:30p


Sony Entertainment and Sony Corp. of America president Nicole Seligman is leaving the company at the end of March. At Sony for a total of 15 years, Seligman was appointed to her post at the entertainment unit in 2014. Seligman said she was “excited and eager to explore new opportunities,” thanking Sony for her “deeply rewarding” time there.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart will host the 2016 MTV Awards, airing Sunday, April 10 at 8p. Johnson and Hart star in upcoming comedy Central Intelligence, due out in June.

Verizon FiOS is making changes to its Custom TV package, which drew accusations of violating carriage contracts – and a lawsuit from ESPN – when it launched last April. Customers now can select a Custom TV – Essentials package, with over 190 channels including the Big Four and Discovery, Lifetime, Fox News and AMC but no sports, or Custom TV: Sports & More, with 160 channels including ESPN and regional sports, plus TNT, CNBC and Cartoon. The move follows Verizon CFO Fran Shammo’s assurance last month that the company was altering its Custom TV package “to be in compliance with the contractual arrangements”

The season one soundtrack to The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was released Friday, with 25 songs, available in “both explicit and clean versions.” Said the show’s co-creator and exec producer Aline Brosh McKenna, “The level of inspiration and flat-out funny is amazing…They’re catchy and funny, and they might also break your heart.”

DirecTV HD subscribers will get HDNet Movies for free February 22-28, part of a free preview of their “HD Extra Pack.” Films will include The Hurt Locker, There Will Be Blood and Platoon.

WGN America’s Underground, centered on the journey of revolutionaries of the Underground Railroad, will be screened at the White House today as part of the White House Office of Public Engagement’s Black History Month event, “These Hallowed Grounds.” Series premieres for the rest of us Wednesday, March 9 at 10p.


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Amy Adams
is set to star in a drama series adapted from Gillian Flynn bestseller Sharp Objects, being shopped to cable and streaming services by Entertainment One and Blumhouse Productions. Marti Noxon (UnREAL) will exec produce with Flynn.

Multiple Oscar nominee Amy Adams has signed to star in a TV drama. Which other high-profile film actress would you like to see jump to the small screen? Let us know in the new Cynopsis poll: http://cynopsis.com/poll/.

Gail Mancuso (Modern Family) will direct ABC Shondaland pilot Toast, set at a wedding rehearsal dinner. Mancuso is also directing and exec producing Fox comedy pilot The Enforcers.

TV Land is developing a comedy created by and starring author Kelly Oxford (Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar) and Jimmy Kimmel Live co-head writer Molly Mcnearney, centered on best friends and their families.

Glenn Weiss will makes his debut as Oscars director when the Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 28 on ABC. Weiss’s live credits include the BET Awards, Peter Pan Live! and the American Music Awards, among others.

Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: February 19-21, 2016
Deadpool (Fox) $55.0 million (week 2), cume revenue $235.4 million
Kung Fu Panda (Fox) $12.5 million (week 4), cume revenue $117.1 million
Risen (Sony) $11.8 million, opening weekend
The Witch (A24) $8.7 million, opening weekend
How to Be Single (Warner Bros.) $8.2 million (week 2), cume revenue $31.8 million
Race (Focus) $7.3 million, opening weekend
Zoolander 2 (Paramount) $5.5 million (week 2), cume revenue $23.7 million
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Buena Vista) $3.8 million (week 10), cume revenue $921.6 million
The Revenant (Fox) $3.8 million (week 9), cume revenue $165.1 million
Hail, Caesar! (Universal) $2.6 million (week 3), cume revenue $26.2 million
Source: Rentrak Corporation


Deadpool came in first…
…and didn’t leave audiences disappointed. America’s favorite anti-hero scored big again at the
box office this weekend, giving
NCM a second-to-none 8.4 A18-49 rating.

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


Cuteness overload alert: Kate Winslet narrates PBS’s Nature: Snow Chick, airing Wednesday, February 24 at 8p. The film, showing the journey of a tiny penguin chick “from egg to independence,” trended number one on Twitter for over two hours when it aired in the UK.

Who’ll be slipping on dancing shoes this spring? The season 22 celebs competing on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars will be announced live on Tuesday, March 8 during  Good Morning America. Dancing premieres Monday, March 21 at 8p without Julianne Hough, who served as judge on for the past three seasons, but with Len Goodman, returning after a season off.

Rough Draft with Reza Aslan, focused on writers, debuts Sunday, February 28 at 8:30p on arts net Ovation. Norman Lear is the first guest.

Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House honors the legacy of the musician with performances by, among others, Usher, Demi Lovato, Yolanda Adams and Leon Bridges. The event tapes on February 24 for a Friday, February 26 broadcast on PBS stations nationwide and TV One (check local listings.)

ID documentary OJ Simpson Trial: The Real Story eschews modern interviews in favor of contemporaneous archival material to delve into the controversial criminal trial on Saturday, February 27 at 8p. FX dramatization The People v. O.J. Simpson is airing Tuesdays at 10p.

Univision’s Un Camino Hacia el Destino (The Path to Destiny) launches Tuesday, February 23 at 7p. Telenovela follows the lives of a widower and his two daughters. Plus a gardener, and a rocky road to love.


Hallmark Channel’s ad revenue was up 19 percent and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries ad revenue jumped 31 percent in 4Q15 – and CEO Bill Abbott says there’s more where that came from. In an earnings call Friday, Abbott reported first quarter scatter prices were up a hefty 37 percent for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and projected volume would increase for the rest of the quarter over 25 percent, “due to an invigorating programming strategy that includes both Winterfest and Countdown to Valentine’s Day.” As for Upfronts, “Account by account strategies have been established. Presentation materials have been designed and aggressive selling to target key advertisers has already begun,” said Abbott.

MediaCom is teaming with cross-cultural research firm The Hofstede Centre to update media and marketing research, including a survey of 60,000 consumers in 52 countries in partnership with Lightspeed GMI. The first set of data, designed to help multinational advertisers understand how different cultures respond to content and media, is expected to be published in May.

Thirty-second ads during The Academy Awards this year will average as much as $2 million, estimates Kantar Media, with total ad revenue for the broadcast hitting $120-135 million. Last year’s show hauled in $110 million.


Winners in television categories at the Cinema Audio Society awards in LA included Fargo for miniseries, Game of Thrones for one hour series, Modern Family for half-hour series and Live From Lincoln Center: Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton for special.

American Horror Story: Hotel came away the big winner at the Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild shindig, with 5 awards including Best Period/Character Hair Styling for TV Mini Series and Best Period/Character Make-Up for TV Mini Series. Dancing With the Stars and Game of Thrones each scored two awards.

TV One’s News One Now crew landed an exclusive interview with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when she made a surprise visit to the taping of gospel music’s 31st Annual Stellar Awards on Saturday. “I said I’m going to fit it in, no matter what,” said Clinton of her decision to attend. “What’s better than raising your voices to God and being able to connect that brings others along with you?” Two-hour telecast of the awards show premieres Sunday, March 6 at 6p on TV One, with encores at 8p and 10p.


ET scored 1.9 million engagements of its 360 Grammy videos on Facebook. The videos allowed users to choose the camera angle from their computer or mobile device to scan the carpet as if they were standing on it live. ET was also number two among entertainment news providers in in-platform engagement for the awards show, generating 2.7 million cross-channel engagements.

Bundle up: Dish’s Sling TV is offering ABC, its first Big Four broadcast channel, in select markets, part of the $5/month “Broadcast Extra” add-on package that also includes Univision and UniMas. ESPN president John Skipper said last week the ABC sib is in talks with Dish, too.


Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) and Andy Daly (Review) will co-star in ABC comedy pilot Chunk & Bean, focused on the friendship of a pair of misfits.

Tony Danza will star opposite Sebastian Maniscalco in NBC comedy pilot Sebastian, from CBS Television Studios and Amigos De Garcia Productions and based on Maniscalco’s life.

Chicago Law, the fourth in NBC’s Dick Wolf Chicago franchise, has found its lead in Philip Winchester (The Player).

American Crime’s Felicity Huffman will guest star on ABC drama pilot Presence, also created by John Ridley.

Arielle Kebbel (Ballers) landed a series regular role in NBC pilot Midnight, Texas. Supernatural drama is based on the bestsellers by Charlaine Harris.

Series regular roles also went to Sarita Choudhury (Homeland) and Karan Oberoi (NCIS) in Fox drama pilot Recon, about a rookie FBI agent who embeds herself in a suspected terrorist family.

NBC procedural comedy pilot The Trail has its lead: Nick D’Agosto (Gotham). John Lithgow, Sherri Shepherd, Jayma Mays and Steven Boyer were already onboard.

Golden Brooks (Girlfriends) will co-star opposite Damon Wayans Sr. in the Fox pilot based on the Lethal Weapon film franchise.


Endemol Shine Group’s Endemol Beyond has partnered with Viacom International Media Networks in Germany for a new multi-platform project as part of the ICON network, with brand partners ASOS. Lifestyle channel FLiP launched on Friday. ICON premiered in the US and UK in March 2015.
UK’s Channel 4 commissioned a two-hour special featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger from Zig Zag Productions.In Arnie’s 50 Greatest Ever Stunts, the former governor of California will take viewers through “stunts that have wowed audiences with their feats of strength, endurance, bravery and sometimes just dumb luck,” promises Zig Zag.


The finalists have been announced for the
Cynopsis Social Good Awards!

Our finalists are a vibrant group of engaged professionals who work hard and are committed to evolving the media industry, while giving back to the public through their profession. Join us on April 7th in NYC to celebrate their achievements.

Click to see the full list of finalists, and save your place at this year’s breakfast event: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/2016-sga-event/.


The week ending February 12, CBS This Morning earned its best morning news delivery in 22 years and is in the closest competitive position for a CBS morning news broadcast with NBC in 21 years. The show is up 16 percent year-to-year in viewers (4.17 million) and 10 percent in the news demo (1.1/8).

More good daytime news for the Eye Network: the entire daytime lineup grew the week ending February 14: Let’s Make a Deal (3.36 million), Let’s Make a Deal 2 (3.87 million), The Price Is Right (5.46 million), The Price Is Right 2 (6.22 million), The Young and the Restless (5.01 million), The Bold and the Beautiful (3.74 million) and The Talk (2.9 million) were all up in viewers week to week and year over year.

Anderson Cooper’s interview with Donald Trump on Thursday at 10p, part of CNN’s two-night town hall event, drew 3.4 million viewers and 989,000 among A25-54 for the hour, beating Fox News (1.86 million/445,000) and MSNBC (1.66 million/387,000). For the night, it was CNN (2.88 million/780,000), FNC (2.23 million/424,000) and MSNBC, which hosted Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders (1.46 million/314,000).

Premio Lo Nuestro placed Univision as the number two network on Thursday night among A18-34. The Latin music awards show delivered 7.3 million total viewers, 1.9 million A18-49 and 932,000 among A18-34.

Thursday’s Legends of Tomorrow rose 33 percent among A18-34 (.8/3) week to week, and 43 percent among M18-34 (1.0/5) for its best rating in the demo since the CW series’ premiere.

The basic cable premiere of Disney’s Frozen and sneak peek of upcoming original comedy series Stuck in the Middle on February 14 were the week’s top 2 TV telecasts among Kids 2-11 and Kids 6-11 and the top 2 telecasts across kid cable TV networks in total viewers and A18-49, based on Live+3 data.

Late Night Shows Weekly Average Ratings week of February 8 2016
NBC: Tonight Show, 3.411 million total viewers and .9/5 A18-49
CBS: Late Show, 2.71 million total viewers and
.55/3 A18-49
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel 2.43 total viewers and .58/3 A18-49
Source: Nielsen, NTI

Sunday Morning News Shows February 14, 2016
CBS: Face the Nation 4.36 million total viewers, and 1,187,000 A25-54
NBC: Meet the Press 4.00  million total viewers, and 1,141,000 A25-54
ABC: This Week 3.46 million total viewers, and 971,000 A25-54
FOX: Fox News Sunday: 1.87 million total viewers, and 596,000 A25-54
Source: Nielsen, NTI

Broadcast Morning News Shows Weekly Average Ratings week of February 8, 2016
ABC: GMA 5.12 million total viewers; 1.6/12 and 1.85 million A25-54
NBC: Today 4.89 million total viewers; 1.6/12 and 1.96 million A25-54
CBS: This Morning 4.17 million total viewers; 1.1/8 and 1.29 million A25-54
Source: Nielsen, NTI

Thursday A18-49 Analysis: FOX had the most A18-49 viewers Thursday with 2.0/7, 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 2.2/8 for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Fox’s American Idol was first at 9p with 2.1/6, versus 1.8/6 for ABC’s Scandal. It was ABC’s turn to lead at 10p with 1.5/5 for How to Get Away With Murder; Univision’s Premio lo Nuestro was a close second with 1.4/5.

A18-49: FOX 2.0/7, CBS 1.9/6, ABC 1.8/6, UNI 1.5/5, NBC 1.0/3, CW .7/2, TELE .4/1, ION .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, February 18, 2016  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
FOX: 5.0/8
American Idol 5.0/8
CBS 5.4/9
Big Bang Theory 9.4/16, Life in Pieces 5.7/9, Mom 5.5/9, 2 Broke Girls 4.2/7, Elementary 3.8/7
NBC: 4.0/7
You, Me & the Apocalypse 1.8/3, The Blacklist 3.8/6, Shades of Blue 3.5/6
ABC: 4.4/8
Grey’s Anatomy 5.4/9, Scandal 4.3/7, How to Get Away With Murder 3.5/6
CW: 1.1/2
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.4/2, The Hundred .8/1
ION: 1.1/2
Blue Bloods 1.0/2, Blue Bloods 1.2/2, Blue Bloods 1.1/2
Premio lo Nuestro 1.9/3
Quien es Quien .6/1, Eva la Trailera .6/1, Querida Centauro .8/1

This Day in History:
1819 – Spain ceded Florida to the U.S.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What series regular was the first to be listed as a “Special Guest Star” throughout the run of the show? Jonathan Harris on Lost in Space. Kudos to: Andrew Goldman-TVtibi/NYC, Tom Winiarski-NBCUniversal/NYC, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-Generate/Beverly Hills, Steve Rubin-Fast Carrier Pictures/LA, David Anderson-aHRc/LA, Charlie Conner-KOKI-KMYT/Tulsa, Andre Bormais-Sky by Night Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question  Best Friends Theme Week: How did Mary meet Rhoda on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)? 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 

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ABC: The Bachelor, Castle
CBS: Supergirl, Scorpion, NCIS: Los Angeles 
CW: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin
FOX: The X-Files [
f], Lucifer
NBC: Superstore [
f], Telenovela [f], The Biggest Loser [f]
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow [r], Independent Lens 
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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