04/28/23: Jerry Springer dies at 79

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Friday April 28, 2023

Today’s Premieres
Apple TV+: Frog and Toad
CNN: Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? at 10p
HBO Max: Warner Bros. 100 Years; Headless Chickens
Magnolia: The Retro Plant Shop with Mikey and Joe at 8p
Nat Geo: Charles: In His Own Words at 10p
Netflix: Wave Makers; King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch
Prime Video: Citadel
Showtime: Couples Therapy at 8p

Today’s Finales
NBC: Grand Crew at 8:30p
WE tv: Love After Lockup at 9p

Sunday’s Premieres
A&E: WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures at 9p; Stone Cold Takes on America at 10p
Paramount+: Fatal Attraction
PBS: Tom Jones on Masterpiece at 9p

Sunday’s Finale
CNN: Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico at 9p

IN THE NEWS

Former talk show host Jerry Springer has died at age 79. Springer was best known for the salacious, long-running syndicated talker “Jerry Springer,” which wrapped in 2018 after 4000 episodes. On Twitter, Springer described himself as “Talk show host, ringmaster of civilization’s end.” Springer also hosted NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” for three years, and returned to daytime in 2019 for court show “Judge Jerry.”

An RIP as well to Vice TV’s “Vice News Tonight,” the latest victim of economic uncertainty in the media industry. Not that Vice Media Group is exiting the news business altogether, said co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozwefa Lokhandwala. Rather, “We are changing the shape of Vice News to position the whole Company for long-term opportunities and improve how we deliver important, ground-breaking journalism well into the future.” Among those affected by staff cuts were “Vice News” editor-in-chief Michael Learmonth, chief political correspondent Elizabeth Landers, senior political reporter Cameron Joseph, senior editor Christina Sterbenz, national security reporter Ben Makuch, audio journalist Sam Eagan and Brendan Kennedy, VP of development and documentary acquisitions for “Vice News.”

Meanwhile, heads are rolling at Amazon Studios and Prime Video, too, with about 100 employees expected to be laid off. “Like many businesses, we have been closely monitoring economic conditions and our organizational needs, and have made the decision to adjust resources,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “As a result, a small number of roles will be eliminated on some teams. We will be supporting impacted employees through this transition and thank them for the work they have done on behalf of our customers.”

In a letter sent to clients Thursday, Nielsen said it would continue to use its MRC accredited panel-only currency for the upcoming planning season while the company moves ahead with the process to seek full accreditation for a currency informed by big data. “We understand these changes are complex and that every company in the media ecosystem is readying themselves at various speeds,” said Nielsen, adding that big data will still be available for clients seeking to transact on it. Rollout plans for Nielsen ONE will not be impacted by the change. The move got a thumbs up from the Video Advertising Bureau. “Nielsen’s decision to delay the currency use of their new Big Data +Panel product until September 2024 gives the buy/sell ad marketplace more time for the necessary basics: to pressure-test this new data set, make important improvements, and build confidence in its accuracy as currency-worthy cross-platform truth set,” said Sean Cunningham, President and CEO, VAB.

Also weighing in on Nielsen’s decision was Comscore. “Comscore joins with Nielsen in support of MRC accreditation and their call for greater trust and transparency in the selling process and for currency that is informed by big data,” said the rival measurement company. “Comscore is aligned with the belief that currency used by the industry should be audited and ultimately accredited as being in compliance with MRC standards and that is why Comscore has committed to that process and is well along in working with the MRC for accreditation, a decision on which we hope to receive in the near future.”

Comcast President Mike Cavanagh, who took the reins at NBCUniversal after CEO Jeff Shell’s abrupt departure, will “be there for a while,” he said on an earnings call, adding that double duty is not as tough a transition as it might appear. “Overseeing NBC is sustainable because as president I already oversee all of this and am close to the people that run the NBC businesses and corporate areas,” he said. “I’m going to be here for a long time and that is good for me and the company in the long term. Maybe some day we’ll think there’s a better way to do it, and I will own the outcome any way it turns out.” Shell was axed for having an “inappropriate relationship” with an employee.

As for earnings, Comcast exceeded analysts’ estimates with a 4% year-over-year drop in revenue in the first quarter, to $29.7 billion. Earnings per share beat expectations at 92 cents. Taking out comparisons to 2022 that included the Olympics and the Super Bowl, domestic advertising revenue dropped 6%, due to “lower revenue at our networks, driven by audience ratings declines.”

Advertisers can’t live by CTV alone, is the upshot of a new report. In 2022, 59% of CTV ad buyers also bought linear addressable advertising from multichannel video programming distributors and virtual MVPDs, according to a data from DirecTV Advertising. “When it comes to TV advertising today, it helps to be delivery agnostic,” said the report. “Advertisers realize they can maximize reach and drive efficiency by buying addressable across both linear and CTV. Neither channel is sufficient on its own.” DirecTV also pointed out that 65% of US adults regularly watch broadcast, cable and ad-supported streaming, while only 14% watch ad-supported streaming exclusively.

Dana Bash, CNN’s chief national correspondent, will anchor “Inside Politics” on weekdays as current anchor John King shifts focus to report on the 2024 presidential election. Bash will continue as co-anchor of Sunday show “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.

Recipients of the Television Academy’s 16th Television Academy Honors include ESPN docuseries “37 Words”; Prime Video comedy “As We See It”; Netflix comedy “Mo”; Peacock feature “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks”; PBS doc “The US and the Holocaust”; and HBO Max series “We’re Here.” “These exceptional programs and producers have used television to adeptly address some of the most significant and challenging issues facing communities across the globe,” said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma. “Our medium is incredibly powerful, and these six programs have leveraged it to inspire transformational change.”

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

HGTV has ordered a new home renovation series, “Turn Your House Around” (wt), starring designer and social media influencer Carmeon Hamilton (“Reno My Rental”). Hamilton will come to the rescue of frustrated Memphis-area homeowners who are stuck with houses that don’t fit their family’s needs. The series is slated to premiere in 2024.

Village Roadshow is developing a reboot of “Candid Camera,” with Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) as host. Henson will appear and exec produce with Peter Funt. Why now? “There couldn’t be a better time to bring back ‘Candid Camera.’ Folks need stress-free smiles more than ever,” said Funt, who took over the show from his father, Allen. “Our show has a lot in common with ‘Ted Lasso’ — minus the cursing. We celebrate humanity and good sportsmanship, and we manage to do it with a lot of laughs.”

An R-rated reimagining of A.A. Milne characters is in the works at Boat Rocker and Bay Mills Studios. The comedic live action/animated project follows Christopher Robin, a disillusioned New Yorker navigating his quarter-life crisis with the help of talking animals who live beyond a drug-induced portal outside his derelict apartment complex, the Hundred Acres.

AXS TV talk show “The Power Hour” has been extended with seven episodes slated to debut on a new night: Sunday, May 7 at 7p. The series leads off the “Sunday Night Rocks” lineup.

Team Whistle is launching its first ever short form slate, built to serve the appetite for relatable short form content among Millennial and Gen Z audiences. Included are original midform titles reimagined for a new format: No Days Off,” My Hustle,” “Days Off,” “I Could Do That,” “Home Team” and “Players Breakdown.”

Kicking off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, HBO Max is partnering with Gold House, a platform uniting, promoting, and investing in Asian Pacific creators and companies. The goal: promote affirming Asian Pacific storytelling and advance socioeconomic outcomes for the Asian Pacific community. The partnership launches in New York with a celebration of powerful Asian Pacific women and non-binary leaders.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

Guest judges for season eight of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” include Maude Apatow, Brandon Boyd, Zooey Deschanel, Thom Filicia, Javicia Leslie, Idina Menzel, Ego Nwodim, Matt Rogers, Adam Shankman, JoJo Siwa, Robin Thede and Bowen Yang. The series starts streaming Friday, May 12 on Paramount+.

Season 16 of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” premieres Wednesday, June 7 at 10p on FXX. This go-round, Mac battles with allergies and long-distance dating, Charlie takes on his long-forgotten sisters, Dee fights for rent control and women’s athletics, Frank wrestles for his gun, and Dennis struggles to improve his mental health. And a few figures from their past rear their heads.

Season three of the drama “Warrior,” based on the writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, kicks off with two episodes Thursday, June 29 on Max. The series originally aired on Cinemax.

New E! series “Trippin’ with Anthony Anderson and Mama Doris” launches Thursday, June 22 at 10p. The reality show follows “black-ish” alum Anderson and his mom as they take a six-week excursion through Europe.

Bounce TV announced a slate of new original programming, including the renewal of “Johnson,” returning for a third season on Saturday, August 5 at 8p; the return of the new comedy “Act Your Age” on Saturday, June 3 at 8p; and the premiere of a Juneteenth original documentary special celebrating a civil rights leader, “Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White,” on Monday, June 19 at 9p.

Cheddar News and News 12 are premiering “Crime Files,” a series that will provide a comprehensive look into high profile local crime stories as told by the victims, detectives, and communities involved. The series debuts on News12 on May 1, News12 NY on May 3 and Cheddar on May 8.

Casting notes: Donald Sutherland is joining Paramount+ anthology series “The Lawmen: Bass Reeves,” from Taylor Sheridan. Sutherland will recur as an imposing judge…Sarah Goldberg (“Barry”) has been cast in season three of HBO’s “Industry,” as a portfolio manager.

Journalist Jim Cotter will host “The Articulate Hour,” making its debut Friday, May 5 at 9p on PBS (check local listings). Each episode explores a single topic through a lens of arts, culture, and science.

Music competition “Banded” premieres on AXS TV on Saturday, May 13 at 9p. Host Brandon Jenner is joined by co-host and “American Idol” finalist Didi Benami.

TECH TALK

While Snapchat users rose to 383 million, Snap reported a 7% drop in revenue for 1Q23, to $989 million. “While the macroeconomic environment has shown signs of stabilization, it continues to be a headwind to growth,” wrote Snap in its quarterly investor letter. “Our brand-oriented business was down 12% year-over-year and our direct-response business was down 9% year-over-year.” Direct revenue was impacted by policy changes by tech platforms like Apple, the company acknowledged.

Yahoo Advertising is partnering with retail e-commerce platform Pear Commerce to simplify the e-commerce experience for consumers. Pear’s newest shoppable tool, Pear Connect, reduces the path to purchase down to a single click, streamlining conversions shoppers, marketers and retailers. Marketers can granularly customize which products and retailers to display while leveraging machine learning capabilities of their preferred media-buying platform to optimize audience targeting.

Altitude Sports, the regional sports network home of the NHL Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Mammoth, is using Synacor’s Cloud ID identity and access management platform for seamless and simplified authentication and identity management across all devices. “Streaming and sports media deals are pushing content to new places faster than ever,” said Dave Zur, SVP of Operations and Engineering at Altitude Sports. “Cloud ID is ensuring that our sign-in process has the speed, security and scalability we need to quickly deliver to virtually any platform where fans want to access our programming.”

COMING UP

MTV Entertainment Studios will host a mental health event featuring Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday, May 18 at California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, California. It’s the second event MTVE has hosted in collaboration with the Biden-Harris Administration to mark Mental Health Action Day. This year, nearly 2,000 nonprofit organizations, brands, government agencies and cultural leaders around the world will participate.

Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Jelly Roll, Cole Swindell, Keith Urban, Morgan Wallen, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, Bailey Zimmerman and Jo Dee Messina have been set to perform for the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards. The show streams live on Prime Video and on the Amazon Music channel on Twitch on Thursday, May 11 at 7p.

Rural Media Group has partnered with Liga Nacional de Rodeio to bring Brazilian rodeo to viewers in the US. For 2023, 10 Brazilian rodeos will air on The Cowboy Channel, including Barretos, Brazil’s most popular rodeo, which takes place every August outside Sao Paulo. The plan is for each Brazilian rodeo to be recorded live with the LNR TV production team on-site in Brazil, and then be turned around in post-production within seven days adding in English commentary.

SPORTS ROUNDUP

Martial arts organization ONE Championship, Animoca Brands, and Notre Game, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, are teaming to create ONE Fight Arena, an NFT-powered mobile game featuring ONE’s roster of martial artists and IP library. The game is being developed by Notre Game and will start player testing in 4Q23.

The National Hockey League announced the launch of NHL Blast on global immersive platform Roblox. NHL Blast will serve as a central metaverse hub for the global hockey community to connect, in an experience the reimagines the game of hockey by matching up teams of five to compete in games and score as many points as possible across fantastical, obstacle-filled environments. Built by metaverse development studio The Gang, NHL Blast introduces creative skating and innovative puck shooting mechanics on Roblox to mimic movements of actual NHL Players.

FloSports will become the exclusive broadcast home of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club’s World Submission Fighting Championships, live on the FloGrappling platform starting on April 29. More than 50 events are included in the deal featuring all international ADCC Trials and ADCC Opens, in addition to the World Championships in 2024.

As Telemundo gears up for FIFA Women’s World Cup coverage this summer, the net has launched the “La Copa es Nuestra / The Cup is Ours” marketing campaign. The effort celebrates how far women’s soccer has come thanks to the players who have fought for their place in the sport.

NASCAR and SiriusXM struck a multi-year renewal of their broadcasting agreement. SiriusXM will continue to deliver 24/7 NASCAR content to its subscribers, including live broadcasts of every race, plus daily NASCAR talk and interviews with voices across the industry through its exclusive SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel.

GOING GLOBAL

Teads is expanding its CTV is launching in Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the UK. As part of the global offering, Teads has now integrated Comscore into its solutions.

Media I.M. Incorporated has sold the first six seasons of its “Sunny Bunnies to Televisa in Mexico. The show will start airing this summer on Televisa’s free-to-air channel Canal 5.

My5, the broadcast video on demand service from Channel 5, is now available on Sky Glass, the new streaming TV from Sky, and Sky Stream. To launch the app, users will be able to say, “Hello Sky, open My 5”, to their Sky Glass or “My 5” into their voice remote, or find it in the apps rail.

9Network’s “Rush” follows 12 Australians immersed in the cultures of different countries, who must work to reach the Escape Zone. The concept was developed by Endemol Shine Australia.

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RATINGS

NBC’s Carol Burnett special on Wednesday was handily the most viewed program of the night, with 7.6 million viewers, followed by 5.22 million for CBS’s “Survivor.” But “Survivor” topped the A18-49 ratings with 0.74, versus 0.39 for Burnett. On cable, the NBA playoffs on TNT scored 4.29 million viewers and a 1.49 rating.

Frndly TV reports total viewership for 1Q23 versus 1Q22 increased 82%, and viewership per subscriber increased 50% per week. Additionally, a survey of Frndly TV customers showed that 69% of the respondents who have multiple connected TV apps they pay for use Frndly TV as their primary app to watch television.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Wednesday, April 26
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Conners 3.24 (0.40), The Goldbergs 2.07. (0.30), Abbott Elementary 1.63 (0.23), Not Dead Yet 1.65 (0.26), A Million Little Things 1.84 (0.21)
CBS: Survivor 5.22 (0.74), FBI 2.53 (0.24), True Lies 2.75 (0.23)
CW: The Flash 0.54 (0.09), Riverdale 0.19 (0.04)
ION: Blue Bloods 1.15 (0.11), Blue Bloods 1.13 (0.12), Blue Bloods 1.01 (0.1)
FOX: The Masked Singer 3.40 (0.53), Farmer Wants a Wife 2.17 (0.28)
NBC: Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love 7.60 (0.39), Chicago P.D. 2.97 (0.21)
Telemundo: Top Chef VIP 0.89 (0.24), El Señor de los Cielos 1.03 (0.37), Jeugo de Mentiras 0.63 (0.17)
Univision: Perdona Nuestros Pecados 1.46 (0.41), El Amor Invencible 1.53 (0.42), Cabo 1.50 (0.39)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Cornelia Frame, VP of Casting and Talent Relations for Disney Branded Television, was among those laid off at Disney. Casting for Disney Branded Television is being added to the portfolio of EVP Casting Sharon Klein.

Studio Fifth Season (“Severance”) has laid off 2% of its staff, including Beth McPhee, SVP Marketing; Sharon Liggins, SVP Communications; and Jennifer Saull, Counsel for TV Business and Legal Affairs, among others.

Canadian animation studio Copernicus announced the departure of its co-founder and CEO, Juan Cruz Baldassarre, who has decided to pursue a new opportunity in emerging technologies for Animation and Virtual Production. Baldassarre will continue to assist Copernicus as a non-executive, advising on the studio’s service productions.

This Day in History
1965 – Barbra Streisand’s first TV special, “My Name Is Barbra, premiered on CBS.

Friday Fun Fact
There are parts of Africa in all four hemispheres

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What was Susan Dey’s first series regular role after “The Partridge Family” (1970-74)? “Loves Me, Loves Me Not” (1977). Kudos to: Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; JoAnn DiNapoli-DeSales Media Group/Brooklyn,NY; Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC; Heather Allen-WWE Corporation/Stamford, CT

Today’s Trivia Question
The tagline of which short-lived series was, “History as we know it is a lie”? (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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FRIDAY APRIL 28
ABC: NFL Draft
CBS: S.W.A.T., Fire Country, Blue Bloods
CW: Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, The Great American Joke Off
FOX: WWE Friday Night SmackDown
NBC: Grand Crew, Grand Crew [f], Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week, Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, Great Performances, International Jazz Day From the United Nations
Telemundo: Top Chef VIP, El Senor de los Cielos, Juego de Mentiras
Univision: Perdona Nuestros Pecados, El Amor Invencible, Cabo

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