04/23/20: HBO renews Westworld

 

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday April 23, 2020

Tonight’s Premieres
Estrella TV: Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento
HBO: We’re Here at 9p
Sundance Now: Sanctuary
TV One: For My Man at 9p

Tonight’s Finales
Food Network: The Great Food Truck Race at 9p
NBC: Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 8:30p, Will & Grace at 9p, Law & Order: SVU at 10p

IN THE NEWS

ID and Animal Planet tied as the top-ranked basic cable networks in the 2020 Beta Research Brand Identity Study. Both were described as a favorite channel by 52% of viewers age 18+, followed by HGTV (51%), Discovery Channel (50%), Food Network (50%), History (48%), ESPN (47%), Fox News Channel (46%), National Geographic (45%), and Bravo (44%). Top ranked digital basic networks in the study were American Heroes (50%), Nat Geo WILD (48%), DIY (47%), MotorTrend (47%), Science (47%) and Cooking Channel (46%). Rankings increased for Bravo, American Heroes and Science versus 2019.

Viewers described themselves as more likely to buy products advertised on basic cable nets Cartoon Network (36%), Nickelodeon (35%), Oxygen (34%), Food Network (33%), HLN (33%), HGTV (32%) and E! (32%), while MotorTrend (44%), Nick Jr. (42%), Great American Country (41%), American Heroes (39%), INSP (37%) and NFL Network (37%) were top ranked digital basic networks. The average broadcast network was named by 23% of respondents.

HBO renewed Westworld for a fourth season. “From the western theme park to the technocratic metropolis of the near future, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn from the minds of master storytellers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy,” said HBO President Casey Bloys. “We can’t wait to see where their inspired vision takes us next.” The dystopian drama returned for season three last month.

In a quarter hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, AT&T reported first quarter revenue of $42.8 billion, versus $44.8 for 1Q19. AT&T added 163,000 new monthly phone subscribers, beating analysts’ expectations, but lost 897,000 premium TV subscribers as consumers cut the cord. WarnerMedia revenue dropped 12% from the same quarter last year, to $7.4 billion, without March Madness and the NBA playoffs. “The COVID pandemic had a 5 cents per share impact on our first quarter,” said CEO Randall Stephenson. “Without it, the quarter was about what we expected — strong wireless numbers that covered the HBO Max investment, and produced stable EBITDA and EBITDA margins.”

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has joined Newsmax TV as an analyst and contributor. “Herman is an American original, a true success story,” said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, Inc. “He’s a brilliant business leader and canny political observer who can navigate Capitol Hill blindfolded, and pulls no punches in his opinions.”

Fox Corp. joins the list of media companies implementing pay cuts as it deals with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Seven hundred executives from the VP level up will see temporary cuts ranging from 15% up to 50%, depending on rank. Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, COO John Nallen, chief legal and policy officer Viet Dinh and CFO Steve Tomsic will give up their salaries altogether until September 30.

Most CNN employees working remotely won’t be coming back to the office anytime soon, they were informed via email by Jeff Zucker, Chairman, WarnerMedia News and Sports. While the number of staffers who go to the office will increase from about 10% to 15% in June, “Our expectation is that the rest of you will not return before early September, with a few exceptions in July for newsgathering and some in August, depending on the political conventions,” Zucker wrote, adding that “none of these dates are set in stone.”

The Cynopsis Top Women in Media Awards
Nominations Due: April 30th | Awards Gala: September 24th in NYC

We’re gearing up to raise a glass to this year’s Top Women in Media — female trailblazers who are pushing the industry forward, while empowering and inspiring others. Now’s the time to tell us all about someone in your life who is mastering her role in one of these categories (covering the tv & digital arena OR the sports & esports space).

NOMINATE

PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Lifetime greenlit spin-off Dance Moms: Abby’s Virtual Dance Off. In each episode, Abby Lee Miller invites dancers to submit their footwork, allowing kids to show off their best moves from the comfort of their own homes. Six West Media is producing in association with Mother Media Group and No More Tears.

Netflix renewed Selling Sunset for a second season. The next iteration of the real estate reality series “includes even more ups and downs as we see our cast take on larger listings and even bigger challenges in the office,” said series creator Adam DiVello.

A female-centered Star Wars series is in development at Disney+, written by Lesley Headland (Russian Doll). Headland inked an overall deal with Fox 21 Television Studios in December.

Education technology company Age of Learning and AVOD Tubi announced the launch of ABCmouse’s Search and Explore exclusively on Tubi Kids. The new animated series for the first time expands ABCmouse’s educational content to longform storytelling.

Nat Geo had big plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – but as the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, the network had to pivot. Geoff Daniels, EVP, Global Unscripted Entertainment, National Geographic, explains how they made the shift, in Cynsiders.

STREAMING SCOOP

ABC News Live has launched on YouTube TV and on Fire tablets, and is headed to Amazon’s news app on Fire TV devices. “High quality, credible news and information is more important than ever right now,” said Justin Dial, Senior Executive Producer, ABC News Live. “Since the outbreak began, ABC News Live has been committed to reporting and telling all of the stories and angles that have emerged from the pandemic.”

Samsung Smart TVs now have access to six new health and wellness apps in partnership with leading fitness brands – barre3, Calm, Echelon, Fitplan, Jillian Michaels Fitness and obé Fitness. Later this year, the apps will be part of Samsung Health, a fitness platform for Samsung Smart TVs announced at CES. “As our community grapples with unprecedented disruptions to their daily routines, it is important for homebound consumers to have access to free high-quality health and wellness offerings,” said Salek Brodsky, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for Samsung Electronics. “Our partnership with these premium brands redefines the boundaries of what free streaming services can provide.”

New Nielsen data looks at streaming trends across markets, age groups and times of day during the first month of living restrictions in the US. The consumption of non-linear content via internet-connected devices continued to rise week after week, hitting its peak the week of March 23. Top markets, specifically New York and Chicago, both saw dramatic increases in streaming consumption of more than 74% between the weeks of March 2 and March 23. In terms of connected device streaming ratings, week to week, heavy streaming markets such as Orlando, Milwaukee and Norfolk remain among the top markets, while others, previously ranked outside the top fifteen, made sizable gains week to week. Chicago and Denver moved from 17 and 21, to 5 and 10, respectively.

Tiger King’s not the only series to see a Netflix surge. According to Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings Solution, season three of Ozark opened with an average audience of nearly one million US P2+ viewers on March 27, tripling its premiere day audience and almost doubling its 10-day audience compared to season two. Overall, season three achieved a 10-day average minute audience of 8.7 million viewers.

Netflix added nearly 16 million global subscribers in 1Q20, more the doubling the quarterly growth predicted in January, before COVID-19 lockdowns. In the US and Canada, subscribers were up 2.3 million. It was the biggest quarterly gain in Netflix’s 13 years as a streaming service, but the company noted in its earnings release, “Like other home entertainment services, we’re seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth. We expect viewing to decline and membership growth to decelerate as home confinement ends, which we hope is soon.” On Wednesday, Netflix said it plans to offer $1 billion in senior notes, with the proceeds going for “general corporate purposes, which may include content acquisitions, production and development, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.”

Viewership across all SVOD services is up by 417% this week compared to the first week of March, according to a report from Reelgood, while viewership across free AVOD platforms is up by 148%. Netflix remains the most popular streaming service, with a total playback share of 42.3% from March 16 to April 19. Tubi tops free ad-supported streaming services, with one quarter of all AVOD playback from March 2 to April 19, said Reelgood.

TECH TALK

Spotify ranked number one among apps and social platforms in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2020 Study, measuring the emotional bonds between consumers and brands. Pinterest came in second, followed by Apple Music, Facebook, Instagram, Pandora, Snapchat, Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, LinkedIn and Venmo. “Apps & social platforms have become more essential in helping us feel connected during the current crisis,” stated Mario Natarelli, Managing Partner, MBLM. “Although historically weak performers at building emotional connections, the current landscape presents an opportunity for these brands to forge stronger bonds with their audiences and attract new ones.”

In its earning call, Snap revealed Total daily time spent by Snapchatters watching Discover content increased by over 35% year-over-year, while total daily time spent by Snapchatters over the age of 35 watching Discover content doubled. Total daily time spent watching Shows more than doubled compared to Q1 2019.

ADVERTISING & AGENCIES

While 78% of consumers agree (strongly or somewhat) that companies have been acting as a “force for good” as the country copes with COVID-19’s effects, 68% also say that they have noticed companies “trying to take advantage” during the pandemic, according to GfK’s Coronavirus Consumer Pulse global research. What’s the takeaway for brands? “Our new findings show that consumers expect high-minded behavior from brands during this crisis – and that they are noticing when companies are falling short of that mark,” Stacy Bereck, Director of Global Consumer Trends for GfK, tells Cynopsis. “Staying in touch with the feelings and needs of consumers – which are changing almost daily – is an essential component of smart brand management right now. In addition, current corporate behavior can fundamentally reshape brand relationships for the long-term. How companies act now is something that consumers say they will remember long after the immediate crisis has passed.”

Interpublic reported 1Q20 revenue dipped 2% from the year-ago period, to $1.97 billion, meeting analysts’ expectations. But the company anticipates a rockier road ahead. “It goes without saying that uncertainty and anxiety as a result of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic have generated significant challenges,” said CEO Michael Roth. “Unfortunately our solid results in the first quarter cannot be indicative of the remainder of the year.

Innovid’s iQ dashboard, offering marketers a weekly view of the video ad landscape amid the coronavirus crisis, found that during the week of April 12-18, for the second week in a row CTV ad impressions surpassed mobile, accounting for 43% of global video impressions versus 39% on mobile devices. Traditional broadcast publishers led the growth, accounting for 82% of total CTV impression volume. “Innovid’s goal with this dashboard is to leverage the video delivery data we have in a privacy safe way to shine a light into what is going on, enabling advertisers to adapt their strategies accordingly,” said CEO Zvika Netter. “In this unprecedented time, it’s critical for advertisers to pay attention to the rapidly changing trends in media delivery to best manage their investments.”

DISH Media announced that its set-top box VOD ads are available for purchase programmatically and in real time. “Enabling our set-top box VOD inventory drives programmatic video ads into traditional linear households, a previously untapped audience for digital buyers,” said Kevin Arrix, SVP, DISH Media. The company can now sell ads programmatically across both DISH and Sling TV platforms.

PM360 and Mediaocean struck a partnership to bring greater agility to TV workflow, through automated in-flight broadcast campaign validation. The expanded partnership is aimed at improving productivity for local broadcasters and sellers by automating the resolution of in-flight copy and buy discrepancies through a direct integration between Mediaocean’s broadcast buying systems and PremiuMedia360’s CLIR Flight. “The TV industry is now facing the tremendous task of reallocating billions of dollars – amounting to an incredible number of investment decisions – as fast as possible.” said Ramsey McGrory, CRO of Mediaocean. “Mediaocean’s partnership with PM360 brings much needed data automation to the reconciliation process so that buyers can move quickly, reduce wasted spend, and maximize their efforts.”

TVSquared has been named MediaMath’s preferred partner for connected TV attribution, enabling advertisers to attribute actions directly to programmatic CTV campaigns delivered across screens. “Our partnership with TVSquared furthers our ability to deliver greater accountability and addressability to brands and agencies through proven accuracy, scalability and fast time-to-insights,” said Jeremy Steinberg, Head of Ecosystem, MediaMath.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

History will premiere three-night event Grant beginning Monday, May 25 at 9p. “Ulysses S. Grant is one of our most brilliant, yet misunderstood presidents,” said Eli Lehrer, EVP and GM for History. “This is an important part of American history that deserves to be told.” Dramatic scenes, expert commentary and enhanced archival imagery will help uncover Grant’s legacy.

Director, screenwriter, animator, producer and voice actor Brad Bird (The Iron Giant) is boarding TCM’s The Essentials for the new season, launching Saturday, May 2 at 8p. Bird and TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiwwicz will introduce hand-picked films. “I love jabbering about movies almost as much as I enjoy watching them,” said Bird. “In fact, I first met Ben Mankiewicz while jabbering about movies. My wife and I were at a film festival walking briskly up a street when we wound up walking alongside Ben, who was heading to the same screening. Who knew that our casual movie-talk would morph into a wonderful TCM event?”.

YouTube Originals set a new slate of projects. Among the announcements, celebrities and educators come together to energize distance learning in Celebrity Substitute, including Karlie Kloss working through a coding problem and Ken Jeong giving a biology lesson; weekly series Stay Home With: YUNGBLUD, following the UK recording artist and his band as they adjust to a remote lifestyle while creating music; a short-form family series, Create Together #WithMe, hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt featuring the creations of everyday people collaborating to make art on HITRECORD and YouTube while being at home; and The Secret Life of Lele Pons, which gives an intimate look at battling Tourette Syndrome and OCD while juggling life in the spotlight.

Lifetime picked up Married at First Sight: Australia to air beginning Wednesday, May 27. The season finale of Lifetime’s US edition of Married on April 15 delivered 2.1 million total viewers in Live+3.

Netflix dropped docu-series Absurd Planet, a science show “narrated by a cast of quirky critters and Mother Nature herself.” Each episode highlights different themes, from mating to predators to the cycle of life.

COMING UP

A repeat of The Disney Family Singalong special will be presented Friday, April 25 at 8p on Disney Channel. The special averaged 12.2 million viewers in its debut broadcast on ABC.

HGTV’s star experts are set to reveal their all-time favorite projects during next week’s HGTV Star Picks marathon. From Monday, April 27 to Friday, May 1, between 12 and 2 p, show hosts will share back stories and personal details about why they love their selected episode, via self-shot footage. “We’ve never done this before, so I can guarantee there will be some surprises,” said Jane Latman, President, HGTV.

GOING GLOBAL

Facebook made a $5.7 billion investment in India’s Jiio Platforms Limited. The investment “underscores our commitment to India, and our excitement for the dramatic transformation that Jio has spurred in the industry,” said the company in a blog post.

Moonbug announced a partnership with Xigua Video, a Chinese short form video platform. Moonbug’s flagship IP Little Baby Bum will be available to the 50 million users on Xigua Video.

Israel Keshet 12, is rebooting Tedy Production’s All Together Now 15 years after its debut, as part of its new-look primetime schedule. The game show will be rebranded under its international title, Can’t Stop the Music.

Starz international streaming service STARZPLAY is now available on Roku TV models with R$ 14.90 monthly subscription in Brazil.

Celebrating the tech that powers media…

The Cynopsis Adtech Awards
Enter By June 24th

During a time when in-person events have been cancelled, the adtech community is stepping up. They’re helping to guarantee marketers upfront inventory and preserve revenue for media owners by using breakthrough approaches and solutions. Adtech providers are a group that lives on the cutting edge of innovation, which is why we are celebrating their platforms, campaigns, and strategies in more than 20 categories. View them all here.

RATINGS

The series finale of Fox’s Empire on Tuesday delivered 2.94 million viewers and 0.8 among A18-49, a demo best since October. CBS’s Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince topped the night with 6.50 viewers and 1.0 among A18-49.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, April 21
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Conners 3.72 (0.6), Bless This Mess 2.39 (0.4), Mixed-ish 1.90 (0.4),
Black-ish 1.72 (0.3), For Life 2.18 (0.4)
CBS: NCIS 7.74 (0.7), Grammy Salute to Prince 6.50 (1.0)
CW: The Flash 1.09 (0.4), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 0.65 (0.2)
FOX: Masked Singer 2.74 (0.5), Empire 2.94 (0.8)
NBC: Ellen’s Game of Games 4.12 (0.8), Ellen’s Game of Games 3.70 (0.7), New Amsterdam 2.18 (0.3)
TELEMUNDO: Cennet 1.20 (0.4), La Dona 0.97 (0.3), La Riena del Sur 0.87 (0.3)
UNIVISION: Te Doy la Vida 1.82 (0.6), Amor Eterno 2.00 (0.6), Sin Miedo a la Verdad 1.28 (0.4)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVE

Stink Studios hired Victoria Thomas as Director of Business Development at its San Francisco shop. Thomas most recently served as Business Director at COLLINS.

IN MEMORIAM

Actress Shirley Knight died April 22 of natural causes. She was 83. In addition to starring roles in film and onstage, Knight won Emmy Awards for Indictment: The McMartin Trial, thirtysomething and NYPD Blue.

This Day in History
1985 – New Coke debuted.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
In the series finale of M*A*S*H (1972-1983), what word did B.J. spell on the ground with stones? Goodbye. Kudos to: Bob Ramsey/Palm Springs, Coleen Rayman-Walt Disney Co./Burbank, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Lauren Watt-Direct To U/Citrus Heights, CA, Emily Calamita-Cinecal Productions/NYC, Dan Woo-JPL Productions/NYC, Tori Gallarello-Alcock-Little Roosters Inc./Bronx, NY, Richard Freedman-RJF Assoc./Bethesda, MD, Miriam Falcon-BET/Detroit, Pete Hazell-Discovery Communications/London, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Jeff Nichols-CMT/Nashville, Beth Tallent-TallentPR/Nashville, John Kukla-KDFW/Fox4/Dallas, Charlie Conner-KOKI/KMYT/Tulsa, OK, Suzanne Bayne-True Media/St. Louis, MO, Sally Sluss-Spectrum Reach/St. Louis, MO

Today’s Trivia Question
Which 1960s series featured guest stars William Shatner, Peter Fonda, Martin Sheen and Mickey Rooney during its brief run? (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.)

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Job of the day
DIRECTOR, DIGITAL CONTENT & EMAIL MARKETING
INSP
Charlotte NC

Oversee all of INSP’s website and digital content initiatives, driving development of smart strategies to fuel increases in all key metrics. 5+yrs exp leading mngmnt of a website property. Full info HERE (5/6)

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>>
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WideOrbit/Denver:
seeking an exp’d sales professional, with a strong work ethic and deep contacts, who can represent our full suite of Linear and Digital products & services. 5+ yrs of exp in a business dvlpmnt or sales role working on an international market(s) is req’d. Full info HERE (5/5)

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lead strategic & impactful photo campaigns for original content unit photo, social, editorial & gallery shoots, & event photography. Strong PjM bkgd – ability to strategically plan & execute across multiple projects simultaneously. Info/Apply HERE (5/5)

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A + E/NYC:
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Deep-Dive Analysis: Analyze user behavioral data to identify patterns, uncover opportunities & create common understanding of how people are interacting with the platform and content. 4+ yrs of analytical exp. Full info HERE (4/28)

VP MARKETING STRATEGY, NEWS >>
ViacomCBS/NYC: Candidate w/extensive exp developing strategic, highly creative & effective cross-channel mktg campaigns to promote news programs, specials, and overall news brands and products. 10+ yrs exp in news, media, and/or TV mktg. Full info HERE (4/28)

DIRECTOR, PARTNERSHIPS Kidfluencers
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batteryPOP LLC/NYC/LA:
Joining a small team to help batteryPOP forge a new direction in the influencer space, including developing a suite of tools and resources to help youth focused creators & brands activate their audiences. 3+ yrs exp in influencer mktg & branded content dvlpmnt. Full info HERE (4/25)

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>>
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VP PRODUCTION/HEAD OF PRODUCTION >>
Back Roads Entertainment/Austin TX: self-motivated Supervisor for BRE’s production and business efforts. Creating and negotiating all production budgets and schedules. Proficient in Movie Magic software. Full info HERE (4/24)

SITUATION WANTED ADS below are individuals looking to be hired

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THURSDAY APRIL 23
ABC: 2020 NFL Draft
CBS: Young Sheldon, Man With a Plan, Mom, Broke, Tommy
CW: Katy Keene, In the Dark
FOX: Last Man Standing, Last Man Standing, Mental Samurai
NBC: Superstore, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Will & Grace [f], Will & Grace, Law & Order: SVU [f]
PBS: This Old House Hour, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
Telemundo: Cennet, La Dona, La Reina del Sur
Univision: Te Doy la Vida, Amor Eterno, Sin Miedo a la Verdad

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06/08/23: Prime Video orders NASCAR doc

Prime Video orders NASCAR doc

Thursday June 8, 2023 Today’s Premieres Disney: Hailey’s On It! at 8p History: Alone at 9p Netflix: Tour de France: Unchained; Never Have I Ever Peacock: Based on a True Story Today’s Finale E!: Celebrity Prank Wars at 10p IN THE NEWS “It didn’t work out,” Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav told […]

06/07/23: Cynopsis Jobs

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SR. DIRECTOR, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT SHOUT! FACTORY LOS ANGELES P&L responsibility, ownership over all aspects of a project, standalone releases or a licensed library of titles. Works w/production, publicity, creative services, distribution/sales, digital, finance, legal, acquisitions & licensors to best position the project for success. 7+ yrs of exp. in marketing, business development, or product management. […]

06/07/23: Angry Birds lands at Amazon

Angry Birds lands at Amazon

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM FETV How many of your clients’ upfront deals are delivering? FETV delivers GRPs in flight! Brand-Safe Environment Iconic Content with Loyal Viewers Click here to contact Michael DuPont, EVP Ad Sales for more details or planning costs for review. Wednesday June 7, 2023 Today’s Premieres Bravo: The Real […]

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