03/12/15: Did Will Ferrell pitch a winner to HBO?; Showtime streaming service on the way; Fox News tops cable ratings


W18-49, W25-54, AND P18-49


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Good morning. It’s Thursday March 12, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premiere:
Nat Geo: Life Below Zero: Ice Breakers at 9p

Tonight’s Finale:
Syfy: Wizard Wars at 10p


Is having a MONSTROUS March!
IMPACT WRESTLING Putting The Fight in Friday Night!

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Will Ferrell will appear at five Arizona spring training baseball games and play nine positions today, in a stunt for a Funny or Die special airing later this month on HBO. Ferrell Takes the Field, in partnership with Major League Baseball, honors Bert Campaneris’ feat 50 years ago of playing every position on the field; the special will also be dedicated the fight against cancer. “This latest collaboration is one of those things only Will could pull off,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO programming.


The Federal Trade Commission has charged DirecTV with deceptive advertising, accusing the provider with misleading consumers about the cost of its satellite services and cancellation fees. “DirecTV sought to lock customers into longer and more expensive contracts and premium packages that were not adequately disclosed,” said FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez. Countered DirecTV, “We go above and beyond to ensure that every new customer receives all the information they need, multiple times, to make informed and intelligent decisions.”

The CW announced season finale dates, including Monday, May 11 for The Originals and Jane the Virgin; Wednesday, May 13 for Arrow; Thursday, May 14 for The Vampire Diaries and Reign; Tuesday, May 19 for The Flash and Wednesday, May 20 for Supernatural. All seven shows have been renewed.

The Weather Channel was “surprised” to learn they were pulled from Verizon FiOS’ lineup, “particularly after such an extreme winter in which viewers saw the value of our network every day. In fact, our severe weather coverage helped make The Weather Channel the only major cable network to grow in February,” Jennifer Dangar, chief strategy officer and president, distribution for The Weather Company, tells Cynopsis. “We are disappointed that we can no longer serve Verizon subscribers, especially since our crews got to spend so much time in their communities this winter and they depended on us to be there.” TWC was dropped from Verizon on March 9, at th contract’s expiration.

They’re keeping the Kardashians (at least for three more seasons), but the E! docu-series following Bruce Jenner’s transgender journey has been put on hold, TMZ reports. The former Olympian’s show had never been given a premiere date.

Over 40 percent of U.S. homes have SVOD service, according to Nielsen’s new Total Audience Television Report, up from 36 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. The average adult watched four hours and 51 minutes of live TV each week, down 13 seconds from 4Q13. But Internet viewing is on the rise, jumping 38.5 percent to over ten hours a month, while viewing on smartphones increased 27 percent, to 43 minutes.

ESPN host Keith Olbermann is Team Brian. NBC News anchor Brian Williams was “the guy who would get the most personally hurt when there was a mistake, a factual error on the air…his correction was longer than the actual mistake was,” Olbermann (returned from his own suspension for a Twitter fight with Penn State fans) told David Letterman Tuesday night.

Ready, set, stream: CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said Showtime will offer a standalone online streaming service “in the not too distant future.” Speaking at an investor conference Wednesday, Moonves acknowledged that Tuesday’s announcement of the HBO Launch Now hastened the proceedings. “I think the floodgates are now open,” said the exec.

The “fracas” that got Jeremy Clarkson suspended from the BBC2’s Top Gear involved allegedly punching a producer, according to BBC News. Two of three remaining episodes in the season were pulled from the schedule. Clarkson, who has hosted the popular auto show since 2002, broke his finger in 2004 taking a swing at Piers Morgan. But to many, all is forgiven – an Change.org petition calling for Clarkson’s reinstatement was signed by hundreds of thousands of fans in a matter of hours.

Should Jeremy Clarkson be reinstated on Top Gear? Let us know what you think in the new Cynopsis poll.

IFC is returning to SXSW, with a fairground featuring live music, rides, food and giveaways. And we’re all invited! Event takes place March 19, 20 and 21 from 4p-10p in Austin’s Palm Park.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and DirecTV join returning partners Delta Air Lines, Citi and Bonhams as supporters of the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival, set for March 26-29 in Hollywood. Delta is a founding partner, beginning with the first festival in 2010. 

Univision Communications launched a multi-platform campaign Wednesday to inform and empower Latino small business owners. Under the company’s “Univision Contigo” platform, the campaign will include nationwide events, PSAs across Univision networks throughout March, a digital platform with personal stories from Hispanic entrepreneurs and a suite of financial empowerment tools.


15th Annual Horowitz Cultural Insights Forum

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | Edison Ballroom, NYC | REGISTER NOW

Audience Matters: Engaging the Multicultural, Multiplatform Millennial
Ad Effectiveness in an Increasingly Multi-Platform World: The Latest Data from ESPN Advertiser Analytics
Multichannel Matters: Acquisition and Retention in a Competitive Media Space


NBC gave a 6-episode order to an untitled comedy inspired by the life of comedian Jerrod Carmichael, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The show from Universal Television was developed last season, and reshot.

We know that you’re busy, so we’re asking for just one hour of your time to join Cynopsis on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 for a webinar that will get your team up to speed on how to effectively sell digital assets. At the How to Sell Digital Advertising in a Fragmented Media World webinar you will learn the difference between display and mobile phone ad unit format and the role data is expected to play in the programmatic playground. Register your Sales team here.


Watch out, HGTV: Nature three-parter Animal Homes has ecologist Chris Morgan playing realtor, explaining how and why animals build their homes (location, location, location!). Series runs Wednesday, April 8, 15 and 22 at 8p on PBS (check local listings).

Season four of Food Network’s Chopped All-Stars premieres Tuesday, April 28 at 10p. And more than bragging rights are at stake for the celebrated chefs – the grand prize is $75,000 donated to the charity of their choice.

Smithsonian docu-series Boomtowners follows the daily lives of people who work in the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, transformed – for better and worse – by the oil boom. Six one-hour eps launch Sunday, April 26 at 9p.

Galavision, a Spanish-language cable network in the U.S. and part of Univision Networks, will premiere the Spanish reality series Los Reyes del Trueque (Barter Kings), produced by A&E and broadcast in Spanish on Wednesdays at 8p starting March 18.

The 50th Academy of Country Music Awards is lining up the talent for the upcoming CBS spectacle. Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Reba, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line and hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan are among those who’ll be strutting their stuff Sunday, April 19 at 8p.


Pat Sajak and Vanna White, hosts Wheel of Fortune, and Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy!, have renewed their contracts with Sony Pictures Television through the 2017/18 season. Wheel, which averages 11.4 million viewers daily, is currently is season 32, while Jeopardy!, 31 years young, hauls in 10.7 million viewers.


Linda Gray (Dallas) will play mother of the groom on Hallmark Channel movie A Perfect Wedding (wt). The premiere will be part of the net’s June Wedding Month celebration.

Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford landed the lead in ABC pilot Boom, joining Don Johnson and Delroy Lindo.

Dylan Walsh (Unforgettable) will recur on CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans as a friend of Special Agent Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula). NCIS: NO airs Tuesdays at 9p.

Danny Trejo (Machete) and Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) are onboard the sophomore season of El Rey’s From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, currently in production in Austin. Trejo, who appeared in the film franchise as Razor Charlie, will play The Regulator, a “horrifying agent of evil.” Evigan plays a tattoo artist/passport forger.

Actress/singer Christina Milian has been cast opposite John Stamos in Fox’s Grandpa, about a longtime bachelor who discovers he’s a father and a grandfather.

Matt Bennett (Victorious) will guest star as Howard’s (Simon Helberg) half-brother on the April 9 episode of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. Carol Ann Susa, who voiced the role of Harold’s mother, died November 11 at age 62.


Zombies are headed for Rio. AMC Networks International is launching AMC in Brazil on April 1, debuting on satellite pay-TV operator SKY, among other subscription television platforms. The network will feature the exclusive premiere of the yet-to-be-titled Walking Dead companion series later this year; episodes will air within 24 hours of their U.S. premiere.

DCD Rights secured new deals for The Slap with Hulu in the US, Societe Radio Canada and Kino Polska. Rake went to Fox Africa. At MIP-TV, DCD Rights will debut drama The Principal, from Essential Media, currently in production for SBS TV.


Cynopsis Media Announces
A second edition… coming out at 6 P.M. Tuesday thru Friday during the 2015 Upfronts

That’s right! We’ve got the Upfronts covered Day and Night!

Backstage at the Upfronts: The People. The Parties. The Buzz.

Our Upfront editions sell out early, so please contact Mike Farina to make sure your space is reserved.


Fox News was the week’s number one cable channel last week in primetime with 1.93 million viewers, despite a lack of breaking news. Unless you count host Bill O’Reilly, under fire for allegedly embellishing news stories. The O’Reilly Factor hit a 2015 high 3.38 million viewers on Tuesday, up 40 percent among A24-54 versus the prior year.

ABC boasts it’s the only net up this season among A18-49, with a 7 percent rise on total viewers (to 7.9 million) and a 5 percent boost in the demo (to 2.2/7).

Tuesday A18-49 Analysis: NBC won the most A18-49 viewers Tuesday with 3.2/10, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. NBC landed in the top spot at 8p with 3.6/12 for the first hour of The Voice, followed by 2.2/7 for CBS’s NCIS. The Voice won 9p with 4.0/12, versus 1.6/5 for CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans. NBC maintained the lead at 10p with 2.1/7 for Chicago Fire; CBS’s Person of Interest was next with 1.5/5.

A18-49:NBC 3.2/10, CBS 1.8/6, ABC 1.2/4, UNI 1.2/4, FOX 1.0/3, TELE .6/2, CW .3/1, ION .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: March 10, 2015  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 7.8/13
NCIS 10.0/17, NCIS: New Orleans 7.8/13, Person of Interest 5.5/10
NBC: 7.2/12
The Voice 8.1/13, Chicago Fire 5.5/10
ABC: 2.4/4
Fresh Off the Boat 3.2/6, Repeat After Me 2.2/4, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.4/4, Forever 2.0/4
Mi Corazon es Tuyo 2.0/3, Hasta Fin del Mundo 1.8/3, Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No 1.5/3

FOX 1.6/3
Hell’s Kitchen 2.2/4, New Girl [r] .9/2, Mindy Project 1.1/2
Telemundo: .8/1
Los Miserables .7/1, Tierra de Reyes .8/1, Duenos del Paraiso 1.0/2
ION: .7/1
Criminal Minds .7/1, Criminal Minds .7/1, Criminal Minds .8/1
CW: .7/1
Flash [r] .8/1, Supernatural [r] .5/1


BBC Worldwide North America promoted Christine Black to Senior Vice President, Communications and Events.Black joined the company in 2004 as Director, Public Relations for BBC America.

Bristol-based factual producer Icon Films has expanded Exec Producer Stephen McQuillan’s role to encompass Head of Development. McQuillan joined the company in 2013.

High Noon Entertainment upped Brad Miller to Executive Vice President of Operations. Miller joined High Noon in 2012.

Half Yard Productions elevated Janice Mezzetti to Vice President of Production and Operations, Cameron Young to Director of Post Production and Technical Operations, and Deniz Bicioglu has been appointed to the newly created role of Head of Production for Half Yard Production’s Bethesda, MD office.


Webinar: What You Need to Know Now About Programmatic Ad Buying
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – 1:30PM to 3:00PM

Jason Lopatecki, Chief Strategy Officer for Tubemogul
– Lon Otremba,
CEO for Bidtellect
– Brendan Condon,
CEO for Media Properties Holdings
– JoAnna Foyle,
SVP of Client Services & Operations at Adap.tv (a division of AOL Platforms)

REGISTER NOW.| Sponsored by: TubeMogul

This Day in History:
1912 – The Girl Scouts of America (then called Girl Guides) was founded.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: When Lisa on Green Acres (1964-1971) was playing psychologist, why did Eb bring her his goat? The goat quacked like a duck. Kudos to: Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-Angst Entertainment/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA/LA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Cynthia New-Charter Media/Cape Girardeau, MO, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Besides Jeannie, what roles did Barbara Eden play on I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970)? (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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JOB OPENING: DIR, SCHEDULING/WE tv/NYC: Strategic prog planning & sched for WE tv linear & non-linear pltfrms. Oversee stunt initiatives, content & metadata. Identify needs & make recommendations for acquisitions. 5+ years exp. Full Info/Submit resume HERE (3/19) 

JOB OPENING: DIR DEV/NYC or LA: Prod co seeks self-starting Dir w/hustle & vision for industry trends. 5+ yrs creds & prev exp req’d. Create content, sizzles, casting tapes, presentn reels, support sales process. Resume HERE (3/19) 

JOB OPENING: VP FINANCE/Tribune & WGN/LA: Analyze/present business results & initiatives, building & aggregating long term financial data to support the continued growth of our business. BA/finance. 7+ yrs resp exp working at major ent co. Full info/apply HERE (3/19)

JOB OPENING: MGR INT’L CONTENT DISTRIBUTION/Viacom/NYC: Resp for driving rev w/new & existing digital & Affil /Commercial partners thru dist of Viacom Internat’l Media Networks. 3-4 yrs exp w/VOD, mobile, tablets and/or other dig. platforms. Full info/apply HERE (3/19)

JOB OPENING: SR COMMS MANAGER/Discovery/MD: Manage corp comms & program pub for Discovery Nets International. Develop original written content, track corp facts/figures, event planning, exec visibility, media relations. 5-7 yrs exp, TV exp +. Full info/apply HERE (3/19)

JOB OPENING: SR DIR AFFIL RELATIONS & MGR ADMIN (2jobs)/NYC: In srch of exp’d self-starters. Public TV & Japan or Int’l TV exp a +. Sr Dir Affil needs mktg exp. Admin to run office, billing, conf sponsorship set up. Travel req’d. List job title sub line. Res HERE (3/19)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SALES PLANNER/Discovery/San Fran: Team oriented sales professional to support Digital AE/team. Help to deliver proposals, ensure campaign’s success, and meet client’s needs. 2+ yrs media ad sales exp. Full info/apply HERE (3/18)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/SCRIPPS NETWORKS/LA: Highly motivated ad sales professional, min 2 years media sales planning. For more detail, click here (3/18)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL ART DIRECTOR/NBCU/NYC: Exp. w/UX/UI, resp. for online branding. 100% digital. 5+ yrs of design exp., (digital + new media) agency or in-house. Mac Creative Suite CS5/CS6. Full info/apply HERE (3/17)

JOB OPENING: SR DESIGNER/NBCU/NYC: Conceptualize and execute creative. 5+ yrs relevant exp. Proficiency w/Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Microsoft PPT/presentation experience a must. Full info/apply HERE (3/17)

JOB OPENING: EVENT MARKETING MGR/NYC/CT: Mng integrated mktg campaigns to attract audience for events. BA Deg/Mktg & 1-3 yrs mktg exp. Exp using social media tools & able to devise/execute a plan in support of events. Full info/apply HERE (3/17) 

JOB OPENING: SR COORD, DIGITAL OPS/NBCU/NYC: Looking for a senior digital trafficker to join the Telemundo team. 1+ yrs exp; bilingual a plus. Exp. w/DFP & Freewheel a plus. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/17)

JOB OPENING: DIR INTEGRATED SALES MARKETING/ION/NY: Provides marketing support for Network Sales to help achieve additional revenue for ION. Manage executions. Create client proposals. Min. of 5 years exp marketing required. EOE Resume to: [email protected] (3/14)

JOB OPENING: MGR, TALENT/LA: identify and create opportunities within the existing and with new members of the talent network. 4-8 yrs exp major talent agency managing digital talent. Creative thinker w/out of box ideas to attract key talent. Apply HERE (3/14)

JOB OPENING: DIR, BUSINESS ANALYTICS/Machinima Network/LA: Lead Bus. Analytics team. Proactively align bus. goals & operations to identify relevant opps for analytics solutions. 5+ yrs mngmnt exp & 7+ yrs video advrtsng, e-commerce, or subscription models. Apply HERE (3/14)

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, DIGITAL SALES/CBS TV Dist/NYC: Deliver new opps w/media agencies, clients & internally. 7 yrs media ad sales exp & exp creating prgrms/solutions for advertisers. Full knwlg landscape for dig, mobile, & tradit’l media. Full info/apply HERE (3/13)

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, RSCH/GSNTV/Santa Monica: Provide valuable rsch insight to help ntwrk growth. Maint/dvlp analysis of aud delivery to support Prgrmng & mktg. 5+ yrs in TV/Cable rsrch. Strong background TV ratings & synd rsch in Brdcst/TV. Res/CL HERE (3/13)

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JOB OPENING: PRESENTATION DESIGNER/TBS, INC./NYC: 2+ yrs exp. Design solutions for array of projects including pres, key art, collateral, mock-ups, storyboards, signage, premiums, etc. Knwldg of Flash, AE, HTML and other int dev tools. Resume HERE (3/13) 

JOB OPENING: MEDIA COORDINATOR/NYC: For major broadcaster. 1+ yrs exp. to assist in reviewing video content, mng data/media storage & prod deadlines, prod/edit video metadata, support client req’s. Proven track rec in adept problem solving req’d. Info/apply HERE (3/13) 

JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC COORDINATOR/FUSE TV/NY: Build and manipulate commercial logs for the entire day. Maximize inventory through commercial scheduling. Input agency copy for all Clients. 2+ yrs exp in cable/broadcast network Traffic Dept. [email protected] (3/13)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES PLANNER/TENNIS CHANNEL/NYC: Support all aspects of the ad sales process. A team-player & ability to work under pressure meeting deadlines to fulfill client req’s. 2-5 yrs exp media sales plan’g or agency buying req’d Res/salary req’s: [email protected] (3/13)

CASTING CALL: Companies can showcase their casting notices/casting calls here. For information on rates and specs for posting a casting notice, please email Trish at [email protected]

EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at [email protected]

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected]

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

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email [email protected] for specs.


ABC: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, American Crime
CBS: Big Bang Theory, The Odd Couple, Big Bang Theory [r], Mom, Elementary
CW: The Vampire Diaries, Reign
FOX: American Idol
NBC: Dateline NBC, The Blacklist, The Slap
PBS: This Old House Hour [r], Skeletons of the Sahara [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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