04/16/21: CBS combines News and TV Stations divisions

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

 

Friday April 16, 2021

Today’s Premieres
Amazon: “Frank of Ireland”
Apple TV+: “Tiny World”
Disney+: “Earth Moods,” “Big Shot”
Netflix: “Why Are You Like This”
Syfy: “Van Helsing” at 10p

Today’s Finales
CW: “Whose Line is It Anyway?” at 8p, “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” at 9p
HGTV: “Everything But the House” at 9p

Saturday’s Premieres
BBC America: “One Wild Day” at 8p
discovery+: “Ghost Brothers: Lights Out”
Oxygen: “Murders at the Boarding House” at 7p, “Accident, Suicide, or Murder” at 8p

Sunday’s Premieres
A&E: “WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures” at 10p
Epix: “Godfather of Harlem” at 9p
HBO: “Mare of Easttown” at 10:05p
History: “The Food That Built America: Snack Sized” 10p
Netflix: “Luis Miguel, The Series”
Oxygen: “Mastermind of Murder” at 8:30p
Showtime: “Couples Therapy” at 10p
Starz: “Confronting a Serial Killer” at 9p

Sunday’s Finales
Food Network: “Tournament of Champions” at 8p
HLN: “The Jenny Jones Show: Fatal Attraction” at 9p
TLC: “90 Day Fiance” at 8p, “Sister Wives” at 9p

IN THE NEWS

CBS is combining its news division and CBS Television Stations into one division, the company announced yesterday. Former Hearst Newspapers, Cable Networks & Digital Media Executive Neeraj Khemlani, and Wendy McMahon, former ABC Owned Television Stations Group President, have been named presidents and co-heads of the newly formed division. “This is an opportunity to create a news and information structure that positions CBS for the future,” said George Cheeks, President and CEO of the CBS Entertainment Group. “It speaks to our ability to scale newsgathering, production, technical and operational resources to serve both national and local, linear and digital, with the agility to deliver trusted information to every platform.” Susan Zirinsky will continue as President of CBS News until the new leadership has started and will assist with the transition. CBS is “in discussions with Zirinsky for a significant role at a new CBS News Content Studio to be launched later this year,” said the company.

One day after CBS News exec Kim Godwin was named President of ABC News, effective in May, came word that “GMA” senior executive producer Michael Corn is out. “Michael Corn no longer works for ABC News,” said the company.

Digital-first news network Cheddar has rebranded to Cheddar News. A new tagline, “Look Forward,” emphasizes the network’s focus on the next generation of innovation. As part of the refresh, the network is partnering with the FIRST global robotics community as their exclusive media partner for the 2021 FIRST Innovation Challenge. “As people across the globe look to ‘what’s next’ in drastically evolving industries like science, medicine, technology, engineering and more, Cheddar News aims to be the go-to media source for this critical content, shining a light on the next generation of innovators and newsmakers who are changing the world,” said Jon Steinberg, President, News & Advertising, Altice USA.

On the entertainment front, CBS renewed five veteran dramas: “NCIS” for season 19, “Blue Bloods” for season 12, “Bull” for a sixth go-round, “S.W.A.T.” for a fifth, and “Magnum PI” for season four. The network previously renewed “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “The Equalizer,” “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “The Neighborhood,” “Survivor,” “Tough as Nails” for two seasons, and “Young Sheldon” for three seasons.

The consumption of kids entertainment and factual content on linear and OTT TVs remains 13% higher today compared to a year ago, according to MiQ’s “A Year of Lockdowns” report, though average viewing time has decreased by 98 minutes per month compared to the peak in April-May 2020. Other findings include:
* OTT viewing remains strong among parent-teacher-playmate households overall, with a 14% increase in viewing time across the OTT platforms compared to a year ago.
* The online opportunity across connected TV (200%) and gaming consoles (70%) has grown considerably over the year, with the most significant gains in the US.
* Content consumption on OTT platforms has grown 19% among people A18-34; and even more among people A35+ (21%), many of whom are likely to be new to OTT.

As the countdown to the Summer Olympics begins, how do Americans feel about the Tokyo 2020 Games taking place amid the pandemic? New research from GWI reveals that 47% of US consumers polled said they support holding the Olympics, with 55% of Millennials giving a thumbs up, and 45% of Baby Boomers approving. When asked how they plan to follow the Olympics, 27% of Millennials in said they would follow television network accounts on social media, significantly higher than any other age group.

The National Association of Broadcasters elected six television board members to two-year terms: Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group; Chris Cornelius, VP, Business Development, Morgan Murphy Broadcasting; Robert Hubbard, President/CEO, Hubbard Television Group; David Bradley, Chairman and CEO, News-Press & Gazette Co.; David Hanna, President, Lockwood Broadcasting; and Chris Ripley, President and CEO, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

UPFRONTS

NBCUniversal shared details of its reimagined Upfront experience, premiering May 17. The presentation will showcase scripted and unscripted originals, franchises, sports, news, and live events, with talent and top executives providing a deeper look at their roles and perspectives. The event will take place on the sets of many of NBCU shows. “We’re bringing marketers into the IP that moves audiences around the world, empowering them to activate within our content, and establishing them as the benefactors of the trust and love our viewers have for our stories,” said Josh Feldman, CMO, NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships. “Together, we can use the power of storytelling to redefine partnership; reinvent the viewing experience for our audiences; and create real business impact, from small towns to the other side of the world.”

TV One announced a new slate of programming across linear and digital networks at an Upfronts presentation that included network talent Essence Atkins (“Coins Forever”), Jazz Smollett (“Living by Design”), and Jernard Wells (“New Soul Kitchen”). “During a difficult year, we are proud that we were able to safely move full speed ahead with so many successful productions,” said Michelle Rice, President TV One and CLEO TV. “With a number of new programs in the pipeline, and strong performance across both linear and digital channels, TV One and CLEO TV are well positioned to continue serving as the go-to destination for African-American viewers.” New series coming to TV One include health and wellness series “Minding Your Body and Soul” (wt), and “Sins of the City,” exposing the underbellies of popular cities. Among the newcomers to Cleo TV will be magazine-format show “The Cleo Chronicles,” and cooking series “A Taste of the Diaspora” (wt).

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Page Turner (“Flip or Flop Nashville”) will star in HGTV’s freshly greenlit series, “Fix My Flip.” In the six-parter, Page, who’s returned to her hometown of Los Angeles, will bet on overwhelmed SoCal flippers by putting her own money down and taking over their project. The series is slated to premiere in late 2021.

Sci-fi drama “The Imperfects” scored a straight-to-serie order fom Netflix. The series, from Dennis Heaton, Shelley Eriksen and Nomadic Pictures, will star Italia Ricci (“Designated Survivor”).

Cartoon Network Studios unveiled “Cartoon Cartoons,” the next evolution of its animated shorts program. “Cartoon Cartoons” will be the studio’s first dedicated shorts program in over a decade, with a mission to innovate the art of animated storytelling, showcase diverse stories, discover new voices and mentor the next generation of animators.

Philip Lawrence (“Jingle Jangle”) will host CBS’s upcoming competition series “Come Dance With Me,” from LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, filming in Australia in May. CBS Studios and 3 Ball Productions are producing.

Casting notes: Fabien Frankel (“Last Christmas”) landed a major role in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon.”… Will Sasso (“Mom”), Tim Chiou (“SEAL Team”) and Zoe Manarel (“New Amsterdam”) and have joined the cast of HBO Max comedy pilot “OK Boomer.”…Janet Hubert (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) will recur on TBS comedy “The Last O.G.”

Production company Cream Productions is launching a podcast division. Cream Podcasts will create, develop and produce nonfiction audio programming with a focus on original content and spinoffs of their televised and streaming programming.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

The third and final season of FX comedy Mr Inbetween, created by and starring Scott Ryan as a family man/criminal for hire, premieres Tuesday, May 25 at 10p. The premiere will include the first two episodes, with one new episode airing each subsequent week.

“The Drowning,” a ratings record-setter for UK’s Channel 5, lands on AMC Networks streamers Sundance Now and Acorn TV on Thursday, May 6. All four episodes will be available.

“Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty” makes its debut on BBC America on Saturday, June 5 at 8p, as part of the net’s Wonderstruck line-up. The first episode will also air on AMC+, on Saturday, May 29; subsequent episodes will air alongside their BBCA airing.

The story of drug maven Lori Arnold, sister of Tom Arnold, is explored in discovery+ docu-series “Queen of Meth,” a three-part documentary debuting Friday, May 7. “Queen of Meth displays the pervasiveness of drugs throughout a rural community, but at its heart is a deeply personal journey of self-discovery for the dealer responsible for it all, Lori Arnold,” said Lisa Holme, Group SVP, Content & Commercial Strategy for discovery+. “This epic tale tracks the meteoric rise and inevitable fall one of the US’s most prolific drug traffickers and the devastating impact it ultimately had.”

Comedy Central’s “Crank Yankers” is back for season six on Wednesday, May 5 at 10:30p. Among the voice talent for the animated series will be Kathy Griffin, Bobby Moynihan, Adam Carolla, Kevin Nealon, Desus & Mero, Tracy Morgan, Bobby Brown, JB Smoove, Wanda Sykes, Tiffany Haddish, Natasha Leggero, Jimmy Kimmel and more.

Turkish romantic drama “Amor en Blanco y Negro” (“Black and White Love”) premieres for Hispanic viewers in the US on Kanal D Drama on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:50p. The series will air weeknights.

Country music drama “Nashville,” which aired on ABC, then CMT between 2012-18, is joining the Start TV Network lineup, airing seven nights a week at 11p, starting Monday, May 3. Start TV focuse on strong female lead characters.

Some like it hot: MTV’s Florida-based reality show “Siesta Key” returns Wednesday, May 12 at 8p, leading into the premiere of “The Hills: New Beginning.”

Season three of “Tu-Night con Omar Chaparro” premieres Thursday, April 22 at 9p on Estrella TV. The Spanish-language talk show’s late-night format has doubled its primetime timeslot deliveries since premiering.

COMING UP

NBCUniversal special “Inspiring America: The 2021 Inspiration List,” an expansion of the NBC Nightly News franchise, will air at 8p on Saturday, May 1 on NBC and Telemundo, and the next day on MSNBC, CNBC and NBC News Now. Honorees include Lin-Manuel Miranda, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, Spurs assistant coach Becky Harmon, chef Jose Andres and Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot.

CBS’ “The Late Show” will go live on Wednesday, April 28, after President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress. Stephen Colbert’s last live “Late Night” show was Inauguration Day.

Tubi announced it will exclusively premiere the Anpanman franchise from TMS Entertainment to English and Spanish speaking audiences. “Apple Boy and Everyone’s Hope” is the first of ten films to premiere on the streamer. “Anime fans of all ages can now enjoy the Japanese phenomenon Anpanman in English and Spanish for the first time ever,” said Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer, Tubi. “We can’t wait for viewers to meet Anpanman and his lovable enemy Baikinman as they join our iconic roster of characters on Tubi Kids.”

Freeform is going back in time for ‘90s Day, a series of marketing activations to promote the premiere of new series “Cruel Summer,” set in the 1990s. Among the giveways will be Dippin’ Dots, Steve Madden platform slides, vouchers for records and CDs, and “Cruel Intentions” swag at a roller rink. The psychological thriller debuts Tuesday, April 20.

A three-part reunion convening the cast of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” begins Sunday, April 24 at 8p, continuing the next two Sundays.

Yahoo Finance will serve as the livestream host of the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting on Saturday, May 1at 12:30p. “The COVID-19 pandemic has again led us to make changes to the annual meeting, but we’re …pleased to know that anyone who wants to watch the meeting can do so thanks to the worldwide streaming provided by Yahoo Finance,” said Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises is celebrating Financial Literacy Month with the kickoff of Nuestras Finanzas (Our Finances), a national program designed to raise awareness about the importance of financial edutaion among US Hispanics. As part of Telemundo’s corporate social responsibility platform, El Poder en Ti (The Power in You), the new program will offer assistance and resources. Additionally, Telemundo will provide financial education resources to small businesses through its Nuestros Negocios (Our Businesses) platform launched last year.

One-time champ Buzzy Cohen will guest host the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions from May 17-28. Cohen brought home the prize in 2017.

“Dino Dana” is getting the big screen treatment with “Dino Dana The Movie,” from Sinking Ship Entertainment. The film makes its debut at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, FL on May 22.

TECH TALK

Newsletter platform Substack has launched Substack Local, an initiative to help independent writers build local news publications based on the subscription model.
Up to 30 local news writers will be chosen to participate in the program, which will provide each writer with mentorship from experienced journalists; business support such as subsidized access to health insurance, expert advice, and design services; and a cash advance designed to reduce the financial risk of starting a new business. But it isn’t about charity. “This is not a grants program, nor is it inspired by philanthropic intent,” said the company in a blog post. “Our goal is to foster an effective business model for independent local news that provides ample room for growth.”

STREAMING

Yamaha and sports channel DAZN have launched “For The Fans Project,” for sports fans unable to attend events in stadiums. The project aims to establish a new style of watching games through remote cheering. From the latter half of April, various talk room events will be held in collaboration with DAZN’s original content, such as “YABECCHI STADIUM” and the “Baseball Trend Research Institute,” as well as other events that will bring together sports fans from various sports, and present campaigns linked to social networking sites.

AVOD VUit announced a partnership with the ACC Digital Network and Raycom Sports to create ACCDN Confidential, a 24/7 channel featuring highlights and athlete spotlights from the Atlantic Coast Conference. ACCDN Confidential launched April 15 with a special event series tied to the upcoming NFL Draft.

DISTRIBUTION

Crown Media Family Networks announced the launch of new FAST channel, Hallmark Movies & More, on VIZIO SmartCast. The channel features over 100 titles from Crown Media’s archive of original content, dating back to 2001. “Working with VIZIO reflects our commitment to expanding Crown Media’s presence in the streaming space, allowing new audiences to enjoy our signature brand of unique, feel-good content,” said Erin McIlvain, EVP, content strategy & distribution, Crown Media Family Networks.

BYUtv and TV service provider Frndly TV struck a deal to bring BYUtv’s lineup to Frndly TV subscribers. The launch of BYUtv on the Frndly TV lineup continues to expand Frndly TV’s offering of both linear channels and video-on-demand programming, while keeping the current price structure for subscribers.

GOING GLOBAL

BT Sport, the UK and Ireland sports broadcaster, and Insight TV announce the renewal of their partnership to co-produce a second season of reality series Ultimate Goal.” The series forms part of BT’s commitment to inspire a new generation of girls and women to participate in football.

Moritz Polter (“Das Boot“) is joining ITV Studios to establish a new high-end scripted label which will be launched later this year.

Bomanbridge Media has acquired docmentary film “My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan,” and will exclusively handle worldwide distribution.

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RATINGS

During the week of March 15, the premiere episode of Disney+ series “The Falcom and the Winter Soldier” drew 495 million mintes, making it the streamer’s most-watched series premiere since its December 2019 launch, topping “The Mandelorian” and “WandaVision.”

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Wednesday, April 14
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: “The Goldbergs” 3.28 (0.6), “Home Economics” 2.92 (0.5), “The Connors” 3.94 (0.6), “Call Your Mother” 2.67 (0.4), “A Million Little Things” 2.55 (0.4)
CBS: “Tough As Nails” 3.30 (0.5), “United States of Al” 1.91 (0.3), “United States of Al” 1.74 (0.2), “S.W.A.T.” 1.68 (0.2)
CW: “King Fu” 1.37 (0.2),“Nancy Drew” 0.61 (0.1)
ION: “Blue Bloods” 1.15 (0.2), “Blue Bloods” 1.11 (0.2), “Blue Bloods” 0.99 (0.2)
FOX: “The Masked Singer” 5.17 (1.2), “Game of Talents” 2.60 (0.6)
NBC: “Chicago Med” 3.64 (0.5), “Chicago Fire” 3.95 (0.5), “Chicago PD” 3.35 (0.5)
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos” 1.10 (0.3), “Suerte de Loli” 1.08 (0.3), “Buscando Frida” 1.15 (0.4)
Univision: “Rosa de Guadalupe” 1.42 (0.5), “Te Acuerdas de Mi” 1.42 (0.4), “Hija del Embajador” 1.43 (0.4)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Jennifer Breslow has been named EVP, Television & Digital Media at Legendary Television. Breslow had been Director of Content for Original Series at Netflix.

Shan Lui has been named SVP of Talent for Kyra Media, the Gen Z media company. Previously, Lui was VP of Creative Partneships at Superfly.

Linda Kim is joining “Entertainment Tonight” as Supervising Producer of Music. Kim spent more than a decade at “E! News.”

Craig Piligian inked a new contract as CEO of Lionsgate-backed Pilgrim Media Group, adding the title of Chairman as well as the newly-created role of President of Lionsgate Nonfiction Television. “Craig is a great partner, a savvy strategist and a leading creative force in the unscripted world,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “This is an opportunity to continue simplifying our business by bringing all of our unscripted operations together under Craig’s oversight while enabling him to continue overseeing Pilgrim’s world-class nonfiction brand.”

Lindsey Kasabian has been appointed SVP of Casting for Freeform. Kasabian was most recently VP of Casting at Touchstone Television.

Viant Technology announced the appointment of Karen Castillo-Paff to the newly created role VP of Communications. Castillo-Paff is a bilingual communications leader with more than 15 years of oversight in media relations, financial communications, corporate social responsibility, public affairs, and crisis management.

Friday Fun Fact
No number before 1000 contains the letter “A.”

This Day in History
1962 – Walter Cronkite began anchoring CBS Evening News.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
An early iteration of Facebook displayed an image featuring which actor’s face obscured behind binary code? Al Pacino. Kudos to: Aly White-KXAN, Austin; Louis Lewow-FITE TV/Atlanta; Sandy Spiegel-WTTW/Chicago; Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC; Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank; Christine Allen-McGee Media/NYC; Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question
What was the name of the pay cable service developed by four movie studios in 1980, that would have had exclusive first-run rights to movies from those studios, but was scrapped due to an anti-trust lawsuit from Home Box Office, Inc.? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com 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.)

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FRIDAY APRIL 16
ABC: “Shark Tank,” “20/20”
CBS: “MacGyver,” “Magnum P.I.”, “Blue Bloods”
CW: “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” [f], “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” [f]
FOX: “WWE Friday Night Smackdown”
NBC: “The Blacklist,” “Dateline NBC”
PBS: “Washington Week,” “Firing Line,” “Great Performances”
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos,” “La Suerte de Loli,” “Buscando a Frida”
Univision: “La Rosa de Guadalupe,” “Te Acuerdas Di Mi, “La Hija del Embajador”

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