04/30/20: ABC sets new Disney Singalong special


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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Friday April 30, 2020

Tonight’s Premieres
Netflix: Drifting Dragons, The Forest of Love: Deep Cut, The Victims’ Game

Tonight’s Finales
A&E: 60 Days In at 10p
Fox: Last Man Standing at 8p
FX: Better Things at 10p
FXX: Cake at 10p


Following the success of its April 16 special, The Disney Family Singalong – which drew nearly 13 million people – ABC is airing a Volume II on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10 at 7p. Ryan Seacrest will return as host, with new at-home performances.

Catching up on TV programs and movies was ranked among activities liked by 87% of respondents in “The Coronavirus Disruption Project: How We are Living and Coping During the Pandemic,” a study released by the USC Center for the Digital Future and the IAB. Americans reported cable TV channels (CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News) are their primary source of news about the coronavirus (22%), followed by local TV stations (16%), online news sites or apps (15%), broadcast network news (14%), internet searches (9%), and online daily newspaper websites (4%). They also say they are watching a variety of streaming services, including Netflix (63%), YouTube (50%), Amazon Prime (43%), Hulu (35%), Disney+ (26%), and Apple TV+ (5%). If money gets tight, Americans are most likely to jettison Netflix (20%) – although more do not plan to change their subscriptions (34%).

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences canceled in-person Sports, News & Documentary, and Technology & Engineering Emmy ceremonies for 2020. “While it appears unlikely that officials would even permit these large-crowd events to be held this year, it is also clear that there will be a lag of time between being permitted to have an event and being able to provide an environment in which all attendees feel safe and comfortable attending it,” said NATAS President & CEO Adam Sharp. “Ultimately, a single person-to-person transmission resulting in serious infection would be devastating evidence of mistaken judgment in proceeding.” The Daytime Emmys had already been moved off the docket.

In an email to employees as layoffs hit divisions at ViacomCBS, CEO Bob Bakish acknowledged “challenging times,” with the company dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on top of the integration of the newly-combined entity. “It’s critical that we continue these efforts to integrate and evolve ViacomCBS to remain competitive now and for the future,” said Bakish. “This means continuing to integrate and streamline our operations, manage our costs as diligently as we can, and follow through on our committed post-merger synergy targets.” Acknowledging team members who are leaving the company, Bakish added, “Some of us are saying goodbye to incredible team members and friends – people who have made lasting contributions to the success of our company and have enriched our culture. I want to assure you that we are focused on making their transitions easier at this time, while supporting the needs of all our employees and their families.”

Cox Media Group introduced a new logo, which came from a company-wide contest to create a new design. “The Design Our Logo Challenge was a great success and we were amazed at the level of participation from our people,” said CEO Kim Guthrie. “While we had hoped to launch our new logo in a bigger, public celebration – we simply could not wait any longer to unveil it and share the news with our winning designer.” Which would be Kim Colombero, art director at CMG’s TV station in Jacksonville, FL, who said, “I am so proud to work for a company that is so inclusive and actively celebrates employees and their work.”

Call for judges: It’s deadline day for the Cynopsis Top Women in Media Awards and we’re actively scouting for members to join the panel that will help us select this year’s honorees. If you’d like to provide your insight on this incredible group of nominees, please fill out this brief application (judging will take place in mid-May). And if you’d like to nominate someone in your life (our yourself), there’s still time!

Local TV stations and national media brands owned by The E.W. Scripps Company have launched a new initiative, “The Rebound,” to provide audiences with the information, tools and resources they need as the country moves forward. “The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in profound ways. Many members of our community have told us they are frustrated and feel helpless at a time of extreme vulnerability, and while federal, state and local help is available, it is not always easy to understand or access,” said Sean McLaughlin, Scripps VP of News, Local Media. “The Rebound” focuses on four different areas: Getting Back to Work; Doing What’s Right; Managing The Pressure; and Making Ends Meet.

PBS NewsHour has launched the Jim Lehrer Journalism Fellowship in honor of the longtime PBS NewsHour anchor and co-founder. Lehrer, who co-anchored the NewsHour alongside co-founder Robert MacNeil for 20 years before solo anchoring the nightly news broadcast for nearly 16 years, passed away in January at the age of 85. “There never has been a greater need for bright young journalists. There never has been a better model than Jim Lehrer,” said Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. “Jim would be thrilled to know a young journalist has a chance to learn about newsgathering from the program created in his name.”

Nominations Due: TODAY
Categories covering roles in tv & digital and sports & esports: Ad Tech Innovators, Corporate Visionaries, Directors Who Do It All, Game Changing On Air Talent, Industry Leaders, Innovators & Disruptors, Local & National News Ambassadors, Marketing Trailblazers, Operations Front Runners, Production Pacesetters, Public Relations Gurus, Data & Research Trendsetters, Social Media Groundbreakers and Tech Leaders.

[ NOMINATE BY 4/30 ]
(sponsored by Turnkey Search)


TBS ordered a reboot of Wipeout, the obstacle course series that ran on ABC from 2008-2014. Endemol Shine North America will produce 20 episodes, with new format twists. “Wipeout is a rare show loved by both kids and adults, a true co-viewing experience,” said series creator Matt Kunitz, who will serve as executive producer and showrunner of the new version. “With a strong focus on comedy, there is no better network for Wipeout’s return than TBS.”

The plan? Bond, super-bond. As live sports/esports events and TV productions are being cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s critical for marketers and rights holders to be on top of their game in strengthening their bond with audiences. Listen in as experts from the TV, sports media and esports communities share their best practices in Cynopsis’ webinar TODAY @ 1:30 PM ET: Building A Super-Bond with Audiences During the Pandemic. Click here to learn more and register for today’s webinar.

Want to make fun of House Hunters? HGTV is making it easier to get in on the joke. The net gave a green light to House Hunters: LOL, a new self-shot series that invites comedians who are social distancing to watch the show together via videoconference and share their reactions about meme-worthy house tours, budgets, and wish lists. “House Hunters is a play-along phenomenon that has long inspired drinking games, snarky social media commentary and spoofs on late night television,” said Jane Latman, President, HGTV. “While we’re #HomeTogether House Hunters: LOL will amp up the fun by combining our favorite comedians with one of America’s favorite shows.” Six half-hour episodes are slated to premiere in June.


Two days after announcing HBO Max will be available on Apple devices, WarnerMedia said the streamer will also be accessible via Google platforms and devices and on Google Play when it launches on May 27, adding availability to US customers across Android phones and tablets, Android TV devices, and Chromebooks. Current HBO NOW subscribers on Google Play will be able to log in and access the HBO Max app at no additional charge; new HBO Max customers will be able to subscribe directly in the app.

For its “The Best Bundle” survey, taken while stay-at-home restrictions were in effect, Hub Entertainment Research found the pandemic has had a profound effect on media consumption. Hub answered some questions exclusively for Cynopsis about preferences on ad load and placement – you’ll find those results here.

The NFL and Amazon have extended their deal for Thursday Night Football, giving Amazon streaming rights to 11 games, along with the addition of one exclusive regular season game per year. “As our relationship has expanded, Amazon has become a trusted and valued partner of the NFL,” said Brian Rolapp, Chief Media and Business Officer for the NFL. “Extending this partnership around Thursday Night Football continues our critical mission of delivering NFL games to as many fans in as many ways as possible both in the United States and around the world.”

COVID-19 hasn’t just created the ideal conditions for increased streaming TV time among current users, it’s been responsible for transforming late adopters into permanent streamers, according to research from Alpha, “Streaming’s New Normal? COVID-19 Ushers In the Ideal Conditions for Late-Adopter Cord-Cutters and Binge Watchers.” The report reveals that 32% of people have either subscribed to a new service or signed up for a trial to a service they hadn’t used before since social distancing regulations went into effect. The most popular source of content discovery is directly through streaming services, according Alpha’s data – when asked to share the different ways they discover new content, 66% of people said they rely on content discovery directly through their streaming services, while 61% say they look to friends and family for recommendations; 56% look to social media and 49% conduct online searches.

Monthly average use of Spotify rose 31% last quarter, to 286 million. In the US, listening through TV and game consoles jumped over 50% during the quarter versus the year earlier. The streaming music service said 1 in 6 respondents to an exit survey in the US said COVID-19 was a reason for canceling, with 80% saying they were likely to renew once the economic situation improves.


Apple and Google released the first version of their coronavirus tracing software, aimed at powering apps to notify users if they have been exposed. If a person tests positive, they can send notifications to phones of people they have been near. Apple and Google’s application programming interfaces are included in the beta version of Xcode 11.5, a program used to develop apps for Apple computers. The companies will release a sample code on Friday to help developers build the final apps, expected in May.

Google is looking to nab Zoom-ers by making its video conferencing software, Meet, free. Starting in early May, anyone with an email address can sign up for and use Meet, no charge. Free meetings, which can hold up to 100 people, will be limited to 60 people, but the company said the rule won’t be enforced until September 30.

Facebook reported an increase of monthly active users, to 2.6 billion worldwide, up 10% year-over-year. The company also had a 17% lift in revenue, to $17.74 billion for 1Q20. Still, “Our business has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and, like all companies, we are facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty in our business outlook,” said the company, which saw “a significant reduction in the demand for advertising” over the last three weeks of the first quarter.

Video software provider Synamedia has partnered with Google Cloud to expand its video network portfolio with new OTT “as a service” offerings. “As the live TV landscape shifts toward OTT delivery, the industry needs technology that matches what viewers have become accustomed to with premium digital TV services,” said Julien Signes, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Video Network, Synamedia. “Thanks to our partnership with Google Cloud, we are enabling the Infinite Entertainment viewers expect, without delay and with the highest quality.”

WarnerMedia acquired Dutch technology provider The Widget Co., via its subsidiary, Turner Broadcasting System Europe. The Widget Co. develops tech solutions across connected TVs, game consoles, set-top boxes and mobile apps.


You Tube ad revenue during 4Q19 jumped 33%, to $4 billion, reported Alphabet. “YouTube results were the quarter’s stand out,” wrote Pivotal Research Group analyst Michael Levine in a note to investors. “This was far better than feared and we combine our views about TV advertising into the second half of 2020 and 2021, so we think the set-up is quite favorable.”

With so many people homebound, and new entrants to the field, total spend on marketing for video streaming platforms rose to $113.4 million in April, up from $30.6 million for the same period one year ago. Hulu was the top spender ($20.4 million), followed by Apple TV+ ($19.3 million), Amazon Prime Video ($17.8 million), AT&T TV ($12.5 million), Quibi ($12.1 million), Disney+ ($7.1 million), Sling TV ($5.9 million), YouTube ($5.3 million), Netflix ($4.0 million), and HBO Max ($2.7 million).

Automakers spent $456 million on TV advertising in 1Q20, according to TV analytics company Alphonso, with the biggest spenders Toyota ($60.7 million), General Motors ($48.7 million), Fiat Chrysler ($48.4 million), Subaru ($45.2 million) and Ford ($41.6 million). With sports events canceled due to COVID-19, the brands turned to shows like The Voice, American Idol, 60 Minutes and procedurals.

“Crises have a way of forcing and accelerating change,” says Jane Clarke, MD and CEO of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers and sellers were already moving full steam ahead with a focus on audience-based buying or impressions-based buying in a manner that made consideration of the platform and the audience it could deliver predominant; now, with the total disruption of some foundational elements of TV and video, advertisers are not just looking for “impressions” but entire categories of viewers. Clarke outlines four things CIMM members are doing to help marketers manage their business now, and into the future, in Cynsiders.

The virtual version of the IAB’s NewFronts is on course, says the IAB. Originally scheduled for April, but postponed to June 22-26 due to the coronavirus outbreak, the event has a new theme: “Insight. Inspiration. Transformation,” focused on shifting consumer behaviors and media habits, with presentations scheduled for Hulu, YouTube, Conde Nast, Crackle Plus, Ellen Digital, Roku, The Recount, The Wall Street Journal | Barron’s Group, Tubi, Vibenomics, and 3BLACKDOT, and “program contributions” expected from Facebook, GSTV, Samsung Ads, Tremor Video and Xandr. “I’ll be honest: When we first confronted the need to hold the NewFronts entirely online back in March, it was exciting but daunting,” said IAB President David Cohen. “Already, working with publishers, brands and tech companies to pull it all together feels much more natural. Just look around at the innovation we are seeing in production, storytelling and building immersive virtual experiences. That’s how fast things have changed. This is one NewFronts no one should miss.”

Univision will host a livestream presentation on May 12, with advertising sales executives discussing how Univision is supporting clients. The company will also outline new primary research on Hispanic consumers.

WarnerMedia and Xandr called off plans for a virtual upfront event, and will instead put out regular updates on the “latest and greatest content experiences” across the WarnerMedia portfolio, including spotlights on each brand. In a video released this week, Conan O’Brien interviews Kevin Reilly, President of TBS, TNT and truTV and Chief Content Officer for HBO Max, who notes that “there’s probably not a wider variety of programs to be found on their air” than his collection of networks.


Season two of NBC’s The Titan Games will premiere Monday, May 25 with a 2-hour episode starting at 8p. Beginning June 1, the athletic competition will begin airing in its regularly scheduled 8-9p timeslot.

CBS reality series Game On!, hosted by Keegan-Michael Key, launches Wednesday, May 20 at 8p, a slot originally reserved for the start of the 32nd season of Amazing Race. Competition series Tough As Nails, celebrating everyday hard-working Americans, debuts Wednesday, July 8 at 9p. Amazing Race is being held until fall, where there will undoubtedly be openings due to production shut-downs.

Saturday nights become “Sisterhood Saturday Nights” on OWN starting May 16, with the launch of two new virtually filmed unscripted series joining the lineup. At 9p, Fear Not with Iyanla Vanzant, featuring Iyanla Vanzant (Iyanla: Fix My Life) offers guidance during the pandemic, followed by Girlfriends Check In, which convenes groups of female celebrity friends for virtual get-togethers.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum, produced by National Geographic for Disney+, will make its US linear television debut on Nat Geo Monday, May 11 at 9p with two back-to-back episodes of “staff-pick” favorite episodes. The series features the Jurassic Park star uncovering surprising back stories for simple items like sneakers. The entire first season is currently available on Disney+.

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted returns for a sophomore run on Nat Geo on Sunday, June 7 at 10p. Season two follows the Michelin-star chef as he explores world cultures through food while traveling across Tasmania, South Africa, Indonesia, Louisiana, Norway, India and Guyana.

The BBC’s coming-of-age series In My Skin, centered on a Welsh teen living a double life, drops on Hulu Thursday, June 4.

With production on new shows halted, ABC goes down memory lane via The Bachelor: The Most Unforgettable – Ever!, launching Monday, June 8 with a three-hour premiere. Bachelor mainstay Chris Harrison hosts the retrospective series, “a love letter to our fans,” said Karey Burke, President, ABC Entertainment.

Barcroft StudiosFrontline Heroes is available on Snapchat’s Discover page. Self-shot to comply with social distancing guidelines, each episode tells the story of a worker who is risking their life in order to keep their community safe.

Current affairs/pop culture show D.L. Hughley Uncut starts livestreaming on Pluto TV on Friday, May 1 at 8p. The weekly series comes from Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Network.


ABC is featuring prom-themed season finale episodes for #ABCPromNight on Wednesday, May 13. Leading up to The Goldbergs, Schooled and American Housewife prom episodes, resources will be made available across official ABC social platforms to help viewers prepare for at-home celebrations.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will perform Saturday, May 2 to an empty Grand Opry stage for a live performance that will be broadcast live on Circle, Gray TV stations, DISH Studio Channel 102, Sling TV and other TV affiliates.

Singing a similar tune are Outdoor Channel and Universal Music Group Nashville, teaming up to offer live concerts beginning May 1 with Country Outdoors LIVE. Universal Music Group Nashville country music stars Jon Langston, Caylee Hammack, Travis Denning, Jordan Davis and Brandon Lay will make music in May every Friday at 7p on Outdoor Channel.

On May 6, National Nurse’s Day, streaming service BritBox will pay tribute to frontline healthcare workers with medical-themed programming, including biopic drama Florence Nightingale.


BBC One cancelled The Greatest Dancer, from Syco and Fremantle, after two seasons.

UK-based distributor DCD Rights announced it has sold more than 60 hours of factual films and series to CuriosityStream. The deal includes 45 hours of programming including history series Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley, Genius of the Ancient World and Pain, Pus and Poison, as well as educational titles such as The Story of Maths, Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry’s Mysterious World of Maths and Secrets of the Universe.

French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo struck a deal with French animation production company JPL Films and cinema and video production company Videolotion, based in Portugal, for the new preschool series Cubs.

THEMA América announced that Canal 22 Internacional has invited its audience to participate in its call for short films, “Un Día en Casa” (“A Day at Home”). Spanish-speaking families can participate by telling how they are coping with confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Bindi’s Wedding on Saturday, April 18 was the highest-rated episode of the series ever among W18-34, and the second-highest-rated episode across the 25-54 demo and in Total Viewers, behind only the series premiere in October 2018. The episode also pushed Animal Planet into the Top 10 on cable in its time period across key demos and ranked as cable’s #1 most social telecast (excl. sports non-events).

Across all television among Kids 6-11 and Girls 6-11, Disney Channel’s repeat of The Disney Family Singalong special was the #1 rated telecast in its Friday, April 24 timeslot and ranked as the entire day’s #1 rated telecast on Disney Channel.

TV Time’s Binge Report for the Week of April 20
Too Hot to Handle (Netflix) – 2.20%
Money Heist (Netflix) – 2.16%
Friends (NBC) – 1.85%
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) – 1.75%
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 1.58%
The Office (NBC) – 1.54%
Outer Banks (Netflix) – 1.49%
Community (NBC) – 1.37%
Prison Break (FOX) – 1.16%
How I Met Your Mother (CBS) – 1.10%
The weekly Binge Report ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, April 28
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Conners 5.96 (1.0), Bless This Mess 3.93 (0.6), Mixed-ish 2.75 (0.5),
Black-ish 2.53 (0.5), For Life 2.19 (0.5)
CBS: NCIS 8.40 (0.7), FBI 7.04 (0.6), FBI: Most Wanted 6.96 (0.7)
CW: The Flash 1.18 (0.4), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 0.69 (0.2)
FOX: Masked Singer 2.61 (0.5), Last Man Standing 1.96 (0.4), Last Man Standing 1.83 (0.4)
NBC: Ellen’s Game of Games 4.05 (0.8), Ellen’s Game of Games 4.31 (0.8), New Amsterdam 2.24 (0.3)
TELEMUNDO: Cennet 1.31 (0.4), 100 Dias Enamorarnos 1.08 (0.4), La Riena del Sur 0.83 (0.3)
UNIVISION: Te Doy la Vida 1.71 (0.5), Amor Eterno 2.03 (0.5), Como to no Hay Dos 1.79 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages


Edgar Bronfman Jr. has been appointed to the Board of Directors of fuboTV, and been named Executive Chairman. Bronfman is both a direct investor as well as an investor in fuboTV through Waverley Capital.

Michael Ouweleen has been named President of Adult Swim, effective this summer. Ouweleen was named interim President of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and TCM in November 2019.


Actor Irrfan Khan, diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine tumor in 2018, died April 29. He was 53. A Bollywood icon, the Life of Pi star was also known to TV audiences for his starring role in HBO’s In Treatment. “Irrfan was a great artist, a true gentleman and a brave fighter,” said filmmaker Ang Lee. “His passing away is cinema’s loss.”


This Day in History
2009 – Chrysler filed for bankruptcy.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which series, prequel to a movie released the year before, was cancelled after just eight episodes? Breaking Away (1980). Kudos to: Charles Lore/NYC, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/York, PA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which prime time soap centered on a man whose father died mysteriously in a plane crash? (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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ABC: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Station 19, How to Get Away With Murder
CBS: Young Sheldon, Man With a Plan, Man With a Plan, Broke, Tommy
CW: Katy Keene, In the Dark
FOX: Last Man Standing [f], Last Man Standing, Mental Samurai
NBC: The Paley Center Salutes Parks and Recreation, A Parks and Recreation Special, Council of Dads, Council of Dada
PBS: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
Telemundo: Cennet, 100 Dias Para Enamorarnos, La Reina del Sur
Univision: Te Doy la Vida, Amor Eterno, Como tu no Hay Dos


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Cynopsis 04/22/24: CBS cancels “So Help Me Todd”

CBS cancels "So Help Me Todd"

Monday April 22, 2024 Today’s Premieres A&E: Intervention at 8p; Quarter Ton Teen at 9p HGTV: Ugliest House in America at 9p History: Proof Is Out There: Military Mysteries at 9p Magnolia: Restoration Road With Clint Harp at 8p Netflix: CoComelon Lane TLC: 90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise at 8p IN THE NEWS Decent […]

04/21/24: Cynopsis Jobs

Shaking Hands

DIRECT RESPONSE ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE TV One NEW YORK, NY – HYBRID REMOTE Carry out the entire sales process from initial contact to deal close as well as build and maintain exceptional relationships with advertisers and agencies by communicating TV One Network’s values and brand strength. Full info HERE *** […]