04/12/21: Chicken Soup for the Soul scoops up Sonar TV assets


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read


Monday April 12, 2021

Today’s Premieres
Acorn TV: “Keeping Faith”
CNBC: “TechCheck” at 11a
Crunchyroll: “To Your Eternity”
Discovery: “Street Outlaws: America’s List” at 8p
HBO: “Pray, Obey, Kill” at 9p
Oxygen: “Mark of a Serial Killer” at 8p
USA: “Miz & Mrs.” at 11p

Today’s Finales
Fox: “America’s Most Wanted” at 9p
HGTV: “Rock the Block” at 9p


Chicken Soup for the Soul announced plans to acquire the TV and film assets of studio Sonar Entertainment (“Hunters”). “The Sonar Entertainment assets are a perfect fit with our objective of building the industry’s best AVOD offering,” said William J. Rouhana Jr., CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “This acquisition will not only have immense strategic value, positioning us to launch AVOD networks with a critical mass of proven content that fits our desired audiences, but will also give us ownership of several franchise television series and add proven television executive talent.”

With the upfront season approaching, trade group VAB has accused Nielsen of “systematic undercounting” during the pandemic, when the size of the measurement company’s national panel dropped from 36,975 homes to 29.456, and service visits to panel homes largely stopped for health reasons. From March 2020 to March 2021, Nielsen data showed total TV set usage declining by 25.8%. Nielsen responded that its audience estimates “are in line with trends observed via other data sources, and we see no evidence to suggest that changes made during COVID to the panel have materially changed the audience estimates as reported.”

This year’s winners of DGA Awards in TV categories include Susanna Fogel (“The Flight Attendant”), Lesli Linka Glatter (“Homeland”), Scott Frank (“The Queen’s Gamibit”), Don Roy King (“Saturday Night Live”), and Thomas Schlamme (“A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote”).

“SNL” and “The Queen’s Gamibit” also scored wins in a the Art Director’s Guild Awards, along with “Ozark,” “The Mandalorian,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” and “Will & Grace.”

The Television Academy is holding a three-day, virtual College Television Summit for media arts college students, from May 3-5. The event will provide 1000 participants with educational and professional development sessions, with discussions like how to launch a career in reality TV with Snap Inc. head of unscripted originals Jill Dickerson, and Stephanie Drachkovitch, CEO of 44 Blue Productions. “This is a milestone moment for our medium, enabling us to reach more students across the U.S. than we ever thought possible,” said Cris Abrego, chair of the Television Academy Foundation. “Media students from all backgrounds will gain valuable knowledge and advice on careers in the industry—free of charge—from Hollywood professionals who wouldn’t normally be available to them.”

Sports Media’s most prominent players claim their victories across 40+ categories live next Wednesday, April 21 at 3:00 PM. Don’t miss out: get your complimentary pass now!

Nonprofit marketing education organization Marketing EDGE has added seven corporate sponsors to its list of partners. DailyPay, Data Axle, Gerber Life Insurance, Liz Kislik Associates, Sprinklr, Wiland, and Worldata will help add and expand programs, and have access to Marketing EDGE’s pool of students.

STARZ is partnering with Alliance of Women Directors to increase representation of female directors through the STARZ #TakeTheLead Directors Program. The partnership includes a commitment to staff emerging episodic directors for their first television directing assignment. “More women and people of color behind the camera translates to stories on screen that are more authentic and reflective of our world,” said AnnaLea Arnold, Executive Director at AWD. “By amplifying narratives by, about, and for women, STARZ is making impactful change in the industry and has raised the bar of what inclusion looks like.

Measurement & Data Virtual Conference

Using a Standard Unit of Measure to Pave the Way to Convergence
To establish a level playing field for convergence, the media advertising industry must deploy a standard unit of measurement across revenue platforms. Listen in on Wednesday, June 16 as the Media Ad Sales Council discusses the crux of impressions-based buying & selling from both a challenges and opportunities perspective and the necessary next steps to make its implementation a reality.




Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) will star in TriStar Television mini-series “The Second Homel,” adapted from the novel by Christina Clancy. Coster-Waldau will also executive produce, with Joe Derrick and Jeffrey Chassen through their Ill Kippers production company.

Netflix nabbed limited series “The 39 Steps,” taken to market by Anonymous Content, which is producing with Chapter One Pictures and SunnyMarch. Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”) will star in and exec produce the conspiracy thriller, based on the novel that was turned into a film classic by Alfred Hitchcock.

True leadership really leaves an impression. As more and more women take on top roles in TV, Digital, Sports & Esports, we are seeing a profound impact across our industry. Cynopsis wants to put these advancements on everyone’s radar. The Cynopsis Top Women in Media Award nominations are open! Winners will be honored at our gala in October. Know someone who deserves the accolade? Nominate here by May 6!

Apple acquired the script to develop a drama series based on the 1984 memoir, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, in which “Gong Show” host Chuck Barris claimed his game show jobs were a cover for work as a CIA assassin. Miramax, which released the 2002 film based on the book, and Paramount Television Studios are producing. Justin Timberlake is set to star.

HBO Max has put in development a comedy set a a summer camp, from writer Lauren Herstik (“American Vandal”) and Adam Goodwin’s Invisible Narrative. Goodwin will executive produce.

Casting notes: Peggy Blow was promoted from recurring to series regular on the fourth and final season of Netflix’s “On My Block.”…Robin Lively (“Light as a Feather”) and Tom Kenny (“SpongeBob SquarePants”) have joined CW pilot “Powerpuff.”…Peta Sergeant (“Snowfall”) landed a series regular role on the sixth and final season of CW’s “Supergirl.”…Cornelius Smith Jr. (“Scandal”) will play a lead in Apple TV+ limited series “Five Days at Memorial.”


Discovery’s “Bering Sea Gold” is back for season ten on Friday, April 30 at 9p. Zeke Tenhoff and Steve Riedel rejoin the fleet in Nome, Alaska in hopes of staking their claim.

Docu-series “Philly D.A.,” detailing the work of civil rights attorney Larry Krasner, who won a longshot campaign for Philadelphia D.A. in 2017, premieres on PBS’ “Independent Lens” on Tuesday, April 20.

Country star Clint Black is set to host and co-produce a new series, “Talking in Circles with Clint Black,” which will premiere on Circle Network on Saturday, May 22 at 10p, following “Opry Live.” The weekly series will feature musicians, songwriters and artists

The first episode of business series “Unicorn Hunters” is set for release Monday, May 10. The “enrichtainment” show, combining entertainment with “pre-IPO investment opportunities,” is financed by TransparentBusiness and produced by Smart Dog Media.


discovery+ obtained exclusive filming and broadcast access to the discovery of an ancient Egyptian city in Luxor – The Rise of Aten – that was lost under the sands 3,000 years ago. “This new city paints a picture of life in ancient Egypt that has never been seen,” said Scott Lewers, EVP of Multiplatform Programming, Factual & Head of Content, Science. The findings will air in a new special on the streamer.


Ampersand announced the availability of Experian audience segments within its AND Platform, allowing Ampersand to offer multiscreen TV advertisers the ability to reach consumers using anonymized and aggregated data, across every brand vertical. Ampersand’s AND Platform, a multiscreen TV planning, buying and measurement platform launched at the beginning of 2020, provides marketers with reach across 85 million households, 120+ cable networks and more than 60% of all U.S. addressable households.

Covid has changed the rules of retail and accelerated online shopping. What should retailers and brands understand about the “new normal” if they want to grow their online presence? Verizon Media’s head of global commerce, Andrea Wasserman, offers insights in Cynsiders.


Zee and TBS have entered into a partnership to collaborate and curate content in dramas, documentaries, variety shows and movies for the global market. First up: culinary travelogue, “The Spiceman Trails: Asia.”

MGM’s International Distribution and Acquisitions division announced that MGM’s on demand subscription service is now available to customers across select countries in Latin America through Apple TV channels on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung, LG, Sony, and VIZIO smart TVs, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, and PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

RMVISTAR has secured worldwide rights to short film “Anacronte from Argentina’s Mr. Bug Studio. The two companies are also partnering on the development of a sci-fi series, “Eloize” for which RMVISTAR now holds exclusive worldwide rights.

SynProNize, a Dubai-based content distribution and production company, has licensed romantic Turkish drama series Hercai from ATV in Turkey to TVOne in Pakistan.

DCD Rights landed a deal for the first series of the drama “Dry Water” with IVI for its feed of 15 countries across Russia, CIS and the Baltics.

EndemolShine Fiction and Black Sheep Films have renewed their exclusive co-development and co-production partnership covering all of the latter’s film slate. Black Sheep Films produces scripted series for broadcasters and streaming platforms in France and worldwide.



FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference

May 26 – 28 / Virtual

Joining us to celebrate our 5th year anniversary will be award-winning comedian, writer and actress TINA FEY for A Conversation with Tina Fey. Students, you don’t want to miss this. Connect with leaders, meet recruiters, get insights into the industry, and gain mentors. This is ALL for YOU.

Students, deadline TODAY,

apply now. Sponsors, contact [email protected].


The debut of ABC legal drama “Rebel” on Thursday delivered 3.65 million viewers and an 0.5 rating among A18-49. That’s on par with the Live+SD average of the show it replaced in the timeslot, “A Million Little Things,” which returned to Wednesdays.

OWN’s “Love & Marriage: Huntsville” delivered its most-watched season to-date, averaging 689,000 P2+ to mark 15% growth over its previous season. Over the past 10 weeks, it was Saturday night’s #1 original series on all of TV among African-American W25-54, W18-49, and W18+ and the #1 non-sports series on all of TV among African-American HHs and P2+.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, April 8
Show, P2+ millions, (A18-49)
ABC: “Station 19” 4.87 (0.8), “Grey’s Anatomy” 4.83 (0.9), “Rebel” 3.65 (0.5)
CBS: “Young Sheldon” 6.95 (0.8), “United States of Al” 5.38 (0.6), “Mom” 4.93 (0.6), “B Positive” 3.80 (0.5), “Clarice” 2.57 (0.3)
CW: “Walker” 1.03 (0.2), “Legacies” 0.51 (0.1)
FOX: “Hell’s Kitchen” 2.63 (0.7), “Last Man Standing” 2.22 (0.4), “The Moodys” 1.14 (0.3)
ION: “Chicago PD” 1.04 (0.2), “Chicago PD” 1.05 (0.2), “Chicago PD” 0.93 (0.2)
NBC: “Manifest” 3.15 (0.57), “Law & Order: SVU” 4.89 (0.9), “Law & Order: Organized Crime” 4.84 (0.8)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.02 (0.3), “La Suerte de Loli” 0.93 (0.3), “Buscando Frida” 1.17 (0.4)
Univision: “La Rosa de Guadalupe” 1.42 (0.4), “Te Acuerdas de Mi” 1.37 (0/4), “La Hija del Embajador” 1.28 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


OZY Media announced multiple executive hires, including former BET Networks and Releve Entertainment executive Allison Simmons as Senior Executive, Development; former World of Wonder and Discovery executive Matthew Vafiadis as Senior Executive, Current & Branded; Lindsay Rodger (“Between Two Ferns: The Movie”) as Executive Producer, Scripted & Development; Brett Webster (“Last Call with Carson Daly”) as Executive Producer of “The Carlos Watson Show”; and Sasha Fuller (“Tamron Hall”) as Co-Executive Producer of “The Carlos Watson Show.”

This Day in History
1954 – Bill Haley and the Comets recorded “Rock Around the Clock.”

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Who played Kate’s uncle on “Silver Spoons” (1982-87)? Ray Walston. Kudos to: Dan Whitford-WTTW/Chicago, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Sandy Spiegel-WTTW/Chicago, Paul Walker-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, Eric Litt-Nextstar/Chicago, Matt Fera-Bader Rutter/Milwaukee, David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL

Today’s Trivia Question
Which boy crazy sitcom cutie developed crushes on characters played by Daniel J. Travanti and Martin Milner? (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


Provide full support to all accounts for the Ad Sales team, assist Account Executives, Sales Planner and Pricing Inventory in managing day-to-day Ad sales responsibilities. Communicate daily with Traffic Department and create and maintain quarterly flighting grid. B.A. in Communication or equivalent from a four-year college; prior experience a plus. Full info HERE (4/22)

CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS/LA, CA: Responsible for development and management of consumer marketing initiatives including paid advertising, email marketing, and other priorities that create awareness and engagement in support of our key business objectives. 3-5 years of consumer marketing experience within the entertainment industry with prior television experience preferred. Full info HERE (4/21)

CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS/LA, CA: Strategy, development and management of consumer marketing initiatives including paid advertising efforts, email marketing, and other projects that create awareness and engagement in support of our key business priorities. 7-10 years of consumer marketing experience within the entertainment industry with prior television experience preferred. Full info HERE (4/21)

SPECTRUM/VANCOUVER, WA: Actively and consistently support all efforts to simplify and enhance the customer and employee experience. Effectively lead a team of representatives utilizing supervisory skills including and monitor individual and team performance. 5-7 Customer service/call center experience required. Full info HERE (4/20)

Support president at boutique PR firm. Work daily with TV/entertainment/corp. clients and media. Looking for detail-oriented, motivated multi-tasker for high-paced, fun environment. Full info HERE (4/20)

Leads on high level negotiations with studios and independent content providers. Initiates and establishes strategic relationships and heads a research team to track and evaluate potential content opportunities. Minimum 5-7 years of cable TV network experience in acquisitions required. Full info HERE (4/20)

FOX SPORTS/Los Angeles:
Manage multiple aspects of paid campaigns, assist in monitoring and reporting on paid Digital, Programmatic, Search, and Social performance and provide an active voice communicating optimization opportunities and challenges. 5+ years of work experience in integrated and/or digital media planning/buying required. Full info HERE (4/17)

Develop a unique, authoritative voice for CoinDesk products; write and edit quickly, cleanly and succinctly, and they must be a master of shaping copy and social-native content to match the voice of different social networks. 3-5 years of experience managing social media for a media company or comparable organization. Full info HERE (4/17)

Act as liaison between Executives and a wide array of internal and external contacts, screen and direct phone calls, draft and distribute correspondence as needed, and schedule meetings. Arrange travel schedule and organize travel arrangements and manage office supply closet and kitchen. 2-4 years of experience as an Executive Assistant, required. Full info HERE (4/17)

ViacomCBS – MTV ENTERTAINMENT GROUP/NYC, NY: Apply linear and digital Analytics across the MTV Entertainment Group portfolio to optimize content strategy across platforms and brands. Synthesize insights from every available data source in order to provide expert guidance on where content will best find its intended target. 3-5 years of related experience with Nielsen competence required. Full info HERE (4/16)

FUTURE TODAY INC/NYC/CHICAGO: Build, maintain and expand a pipeline of sales targets, contacts, and sales opportunities leveraging your relationships. Well-versed in CTV; direct & programmatic. Kids space knowledge preferred. The company is growing and looking for motivated people with experience selling across one or more of these categories: CTV, OTT, OLV, Linear TV. Full info HERE (4/16)

Manage production and development of new podcasts, creating and commissioning sustainable, high quality shows. Pitch new show ideas, angles on stories, and create plans for how a new show or season will sound and be structured. 5-7 years of media production and/or content development, ideally in audio required. Full info HERE (4/16)

Responsible for supporting the implementation of advertising campaigns, marketing partnerships, promotions, sweepstakes, experiential events, creative development & email marketing initiatives. Min 1yr of marketing exp within the entertainment industry. Full info HERE (4/15)

Lead production of APM Studios’ existing tentpole franchises, create and manage budgets and lead recruitment and development of senior staff, including hosts when applicable. 10 years’ relevant experience in content development and audio production, including 3-5 years at management/supervisory level required. Full info HERE (4/15)

MTV ENTERTAINMENT GROUP/NYC/NY: Implementation and analysis of owned & syndicated research strategy for Scripted, Comedic & Original Movie content. Monitor, interpret and compile findings from various research sources and disseminate it to key partners. Experience with qualitative and quantitative research techniques required. Full info HERE (4/14)

MTV ENTERTAINMENT GROUP/NYC/NY: Analyze marketing efforts, determining promotional planning effectiveness, and providing insights to inform future marketing campaigns. Set up, track, pull and analyze data on multi-platform marketing and promotional planning campaigns and initiatives. 3-5 years of related experience (TV ratings and Nielsen measurement currency) required. Full info HERE (4/14)

Conceptualize and conduct proprietary quantitative and qualitative studies focused on targeted audience needs as well as more general cultural trends. Improve multi-platform performance of key franchises; 7+ years of related research experience, including Marketing, Creative and Content Research required. Full info HERE (4/14)

THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA/NYC/NY: Develop events, series, festivals, exhibits that are topical, culturally relevant, impactful and inclusive. In depth knowledge of history and current trends to conduct research and generate weekly reports. 8+ years managerial experience of a content collection in a research library, archive, museum, or related setting. Full info HERE (4/13)

: Day-to-day planning, executing and management of Digital and Social Media campaigns. Evaluate digital media, social platforms and advertising products and manage the RFP process. Strong ability to use and interpret analytical data and arrive at sound conclusions. 5+ years Digital and Social Media marketing experience required. Full info HERE (4/13)

ViacomCBS/NY, NY: Partner and liaise with senior sales management on brand strategy and positioning. Measure the efficiency of traditional and non-traditional advertising campaigns and author and present consumer-focused research on brands, generations, trend and categories. 10+ years’ experience in media or consumer research required. Full info HERE (4/13)

ABC: “American Idol,” “Rebel”
CBS: “The Neighborhood,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “All Rise,” “Bull”
CW: “All American,” “Black Lightning”
FOX: “9-11,” “America’s Most Wanted” [f]
NBC: “The Voice,” “Debris”
PBS: “Antiques Roadshow,” “Antiques Roadshow,” “Independent Lens”
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos,” “La Suerte de Loli,” “Busdandoa Frida”
Univision: “La Rosa de Guadalupe,” “Te Acuerdas de Mi,” “La Hija del Embajador



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