04/26/16: Two Hairspray Live! leads cast; SNL cuts commercial load; Megan Kelly lands Trump interview



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Good morning. It’s Tuesday April 26, 2016, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Food: Chopped Junior at 8p
History: Top Gear at 9p
Science Channel: Space’s Deepest Secrets at 9p
Z Living: X-Weighted Families at 8p

Tonight’s Finales:
CBS: Limitless at 10p
CNBC: Billion Dollar Buyer at 10p


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Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein will star in NBC musical event Hairspray Live!, set to air Wednesday, December 7. Hudson landed the role of Motormouth Maybelle while Fierstein takes on Edna Turnblad, the part he played in the 2002 Broadway production. They’ll be in experienced hands – Grease: Live director Alex Rudzinsky and Kenny Leon (The Wiz Live!) are co-directing.

The U.S. Justice Department said Monday it will allow Charter Communications to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, which would create the second-biggest home internet provider after Comcast. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler recommended governmental approval of the acquisition, subject to seven-year conditions aimed at “bringing and protecting competition to the video marketplace and increasing broadband deployment.” No problem, responded Charter: “The conditions that will be imposed ensure Charter’s current consumer-friendly and pro-broadband businesses practices will be maintained by New Charter.”

Saturday Night Live is reducing commercial load by 30 percent next season. Instead of ads, viewers will see original sponsored content from ad partners. “We are excited to try something new and unique that will shape and drive advertiser content too,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairman, advertising sales and client-partnerships, NBCUniversal.

NBC isn’t the only network turning to sponsored content to connect brands with consumers. Learn more about how advertising is being reinvented at the June 15 Cynopsis webinar, Winning and Producing & Selling Sponsored Content  details are here. Registrants will also be able to access the webinar on demand.

Megyn Kelly landed an interview with Donald Trump for Megyn Kelly Presents, her May 17 special on Fox. Kelly had been a target of the GOP frontrunner in attacks Fox News Channel called “a sick obsession,” but the two appear to have cleared the air during a private meeting on April 13. “He was gracious with his time and I asked him to consider an interview. I am happy to announce he has agreed, and I look forward to a fascinating exchange,” said Kelly. Portions of the interview will also air on FNC’s The Kelly File the following night.

WGN America renewed Underground for a second season. WGN’s most-watched program ever, the Underground Railroad thriller is averaging 3 million total viewers in Live+7 delivery. A ten-episode season will begin production this summer for a 2017 debut; season one finale airs Wednesday, May 11 at 10p, preceded by a marathon starting at 1p. Underground is outpacing the net’s 2015-2016 primetime average by 508 percent in total viewers and 1005 (!!!) percent among A18-49.

Mom co-creator Chuck Lorre, series stars Allison Janney and recurring guest star Emily Osment will be part of the “White House of Champions of Change for Advancing Prevention, Treatment and Recovery” event on April 29. The trio will participate in a panel discussion about addiction. It’s familiar territory for the Mom family – Janney plays a recovering addict on the CBS comedy, while Osment’s character died of a drug overdose in February.

Revolt CEO Keith Clinkscales joined the cable chorus objecting to an FCC set-top box proposal that would require cable operators to make programming available to third parties. “The rules would force existing TV companies to hand over programs they create to companies like Google to use and monetize without negotiating with, or paying, creators anything for the rights to that programming,” said Clinkscales in a letter to President Obama, who came out in favor of the measure. “This kind of economic exploitation will devalue the work of all creative and allow others to poach their value.” Minorities, he added, would be particularly at risk. “We are the canaries in coalmine for this radial experiment to reshape the video market by FCC fiat,” said Clinkscales, “and you know what happens to the canaries.”

Yesterday’s Cynopsis poll, asking whether Kelly Ripa overreacted by missing work after learning (just shortly before the news was made public) that her co-host Michael Strahan was leaving in September to take a job on Good Morning America, blew up our web site. Okay, not really, but it did have twice as many responses – in a matter of hours – as any other poll we’ve published. At press time, 55 percent of respondents were Team Kelly. And counting….




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Shamrock Capital Advisors
has acquired a majority stake Silvergate Media, the TV production and licensing company focused on pre-school children’s entertainment. The partnership is aimed at expanding Silvergate’s intellectual property, library rights and digital capabilities as well as its presence in China.


Upfront TV negotiations for ad agency holding company Publicis will be centralized this year, handled by media buyer John Muszynski, said Publicis Media Exchange CEO Dave Penski in Broadcasting & Cable. “We have very high spends on different networks, 35 percent or 40 percent of their spend,” said Penski. “We’re going to have great leverage there. For our clients, all boats should rise.”

A new report from GroupM, noting fraud and viewability issues, called for the ad industry to collaborate and address problems of integrity in digital advertising. “Interaction 2016” also estimated there are ad-blockers on about 25 percent of U.S. consumers’ devices, and predicts digital will account for 31 percent of all ad spend this year.

A combination of linear TV and VOD might enhance ad delivery, according to an Ipsos study conducted on behalf of Music Choice. Ad recall among 6-11-year-old girls for a toy brand was 52 percent for viewers of both TV and VOD, versus 30 percent for TV only. TV/VOD respondents were also more likely to take actions like visiting the brand’s web site (56 percent) versus TV only (29 percent).


Hallmark’s “June Weddings” stunt will include four original movies, one every Saturday night. First up: Wedding Bells on June 4 at 9p, starring Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years). Last year’s June wedding event delivered year-over-year increases of 13 percent in total day and ten percent in primetime among viewers W25-54.

The Go-Go’s, Shawn Mendes and DNCE will be among the performers at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. Show airs live on ABC Sunday, May 22 at 8p.

Skate contest doc King of the Road offers “pants-wettingly absurd scenarios” on Wednesday, April 28 at 11p. On Viceland, of course.


Crime drama Yago premieres on Univision Monday, May 2 at 9p. The series is “an entirely new type of dramatic experience” for primetime weeknights, says the net, which is sending off telenovela Pasion y Poder with a three-hour grand finale on Thursday, April 28 at 8p. But don’t despair, soap fans: the new series centers on a man betrayed by his best friends and the love of his life, who returns with a new face after he’s presumed dead.
National Enquirer Investigates
launches Saturday, May 28 at 9p on Reelz. Docu-series plumbs the tabloid’s “secret files” to offer new evidence and expert analysis on cases like Nicole Brown’s murder and the death of Whitney Houston.

Season six of ID’s True Crime With Aphrodite Jones debuts Monday, May 2 at 9p. Cold case involving wife swapping and affairs heats up thanks to a forensics expert and a teenager.

Cutthroat Kitchen: Time Warp Tournament takes cooks through decades of food trends, starting Wednesday, June 1 at 9p on Food Network. Competition kicks off with chefs stuffing themselves into a 1950s phone booth as they make and all-American breakfast.

Film director/producer/writer/actor Eli Roth (Inglourious Basterds) will return for a second stint as host of Discovery’s Shark After Dark. It’s a job Roth takes seriously. “Last year’s experience was truly life changing, and I’ve become a huge advocate for these beautiful, intelligent creatures,” said Roth. “I look forward to diving back in the waters, literally, and to interviewing the incredible experts who are doing so much to help sharks globally.” Show airs for five consecutive nights, starting Sunday, June 26 at 11p, during the net’s Shark Week.


The number of pay-TV homes fell an estimated 2.2 percent year-over-year and cable network subs dropped 3.2 percent, according to Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser. “These figures suggest trends around ‘cord-shaving’ may be accelerating,” said Wieser of his analysis of Nielsen data. The Disney group was down 4.1 percent, followed by Viacom (3.6 percent), NBCUni and A+E Networks (3.3 percent each), Scripps Networks Interactive (2.6 percent), AMC Networks (2.2 percent), Discovery Networks (2.8 percent) and Fox (.7 percent). Out of 122 nets measured, just 30 saw growth for the period.


Showtime revealed the cast of its Twin Peaks revival – all 217 members. Joining returnees Kyle MacLaughlan, Madchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn, Miguel Ferrar, David Duchovny, Sheryl Lee and Harry Dean Stanton, among others, are Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfrid, Tom Sizemore, Laura Dern, Ernie Hudson, Eddie Vedder, Jim Belushi, Monica Bellucci, Matthew Lillard, Jessica Szohr and Balthazar Getty. Among others.

Nia Long (The Best Man) and Brian Baumgartner (The Office) landed roles in season two of Amazon’s Hand of God, slated to premiere later this year.

Keke Palmer (Scream Queens) will guest voice on Nickelodeon’s animated Bubble Guppies. Hour-long episode airs Friday, April 29 at 11a.

John D. Brotherton has been promoted to series regular for season two of Netflix’s Fuller House. Brotherton plays a love interest for D.J.


Showtime is sampling the season three premiere of Penny Dreadful ahead of its linear debut Sunday, May 1 at 10p. The psychological thriller, in a TV-14 version, is available for download for free on YouTube, Facebook and SHO.com, and can be sampled for free across multiple devices and TV providers’ on demand channels, web sites and apps.

Fullscreen is launching its SVOD platform today. Available at www.fullscreen.com and via select devices for $4.99/month, the ad-free service targets an audience 13-30. Author Bret Eason Ellis (American Psycho) is partnering with the platform for his new series, The Deleted. Fullscreen also announced a daily pop culture and sketch show, Party in the Back.


 A+E NetworksLifetime launches Tuesday, April 26 in Turkey as a Free-To-Air channel, airing scripted and unscripted series from Lifetime, as well as rolling outformats adapted for Turkey’s audience. Elsewhere overseas, A+E Networks UK inked a new carriage deal with UK’s BT TV, for History, H2 and Lifetime, Crime + Investigation.



Entries are open for the 2016 Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards. With new categories to choose from such as:

Best Guest Appearance on a Kids Show
Best Kids Sports-Related Series or Special
Best Kids Tech Activation
Best Use of Music in a K6-11, Preschool or Tween Show
and more!
What are you waiting for? Enter by 5/18.


Saturday Night Live’s Prince tribute episode delivered a 4.5 rating in metered market households and 2.1 among A18-49, up from 3.9/1.9 last week. The show featured SNL performances and skits with the music legend. 

It was good news coming and going for AMC. The April 19 series premiere of The Night Manager delivered 1.6 million total viewers and 455,000 among A18-49 in Live+3, up a net debut record 70 percent in total viewership and 72 percent in the demo versus Live+SD Nielsens. And the season two finale of Better Call Saul delivered 4.4 million viewers and 2.6 million A25-54 in Live+3 ratings; season average was 4.3 million/2.6 million. Saul wrapped its sophomore run as a top ten cable show in both A18-49 and A25-54; not surprisingly, it will be back for a third season.

TV PLAYBACK RANK, based on the difference between Nielsen’s first-reported Live + Same Day rating and the final Live + 7 Day rating for the week of April 4, 2016
Program, Live+SD A18-49 US AA%, Live +7 US AA%
Empire (FOX) 4.3, 6.3
Big Bang Theory (CBS) 3.1, 5.0
Modern Family (ABC) 2.3, 4.1
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 2.1, 3.6
Scandal (ABC) 1.7, 3.0
The Blacklist (NBC) 1.2, 2.5
Blindspot (NBC) 1.3, 2.5
Chicago Fire (NBC) 1.5, 2.6
Quantico (ABC) 1.1, 2.2
Black-ish (ABC) 1.6, 2.6
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) .9, 1.9
Source: The Nielsen Company. Based on original telecasts only.

Top Ten Basic Cable Network Live+7 Performance among Total Viewers for the week of: 4/4/2016
Primetime(000)/Total Prog. Day (000)
TBSC 2768/NICK 1250
FOXN 1929/ADSM* 1158
USA 1843/FOXN 1114
HGTV 1571/DSNY 979
FX 1412/HGTV 939
AMC 1410/TOON 884
DISC 1396/USA 877
HIST 1360/TBSC 868
ADSM 1305/TNT 823
ESPN 1298/NAN* 820
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe of
116,400,000 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+7. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and demographic performances.

Top Ten Basic Cable Network Live+7 Performance among A18-49 for the week of 4/4/2016
Primetime (000), Total Prog. Day (000)
TBSC 1182/ADSM* 691
USA 767/TBSC 427
FX 753/NAN* 416
ADSM 721/NICK 386
AMC 718/USA 357
MTV 574/TNT 356
BRAV 569/ESPN 327
DISC 562/FX 320
TNT 553/TOON 298
ESPN 538/HGTV 296
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe
116,400,000 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+7. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and demographic performance.

Top-Rated Cable Shows among A18-49 for the week of 4/4/2016
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC) 5676
American Crime Story (FX) 3688
Better Call Saul (AMC) 2538
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta (VH1) 2500
WWE Entertainment (USA) 2283
WWE Entertainment (USA) 2267
Teen Mom II (MTV) 2256
WWE Entertainment (USA) 2194
San Antonio/Golden State (TNT) 1919
Teen Mom II (MTV) 1823
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe
116,400,000 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+7. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and
demographic performance.

Friday A18-49 Analysis: ABC had the most A18-49 viewers Friday with 1.1/4, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. CBS’s Amazing Race led at 8p with 1.0/4, versus ABC’s Last Man Standing (1.0/5) and Dr. Ken (.9/4). ABC’s Shark Tank was first at 9p with 1.2/5, followed by 1.1/4 for CBS’s Hawaii Five-0. ABC stayed on top at 10p with 1.2/5 for a 20/20 Prince tribute; NBC’s Dateline scored .9/4 and CBS’s Blue Bloods drew .9/3.

A18-49: ABC 1.1/4, CBS 1.0/4, NBC .8/3, UNI .8/3, FOX .7/3, TELE .5/2, CW .3/1, UNI .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Friday, April 22, 2016 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 4.4/8
Amazing Race 3.4/7, Hawaii Five-0 5.0/9, Blue Bloods [r] 4.9/9
ABC: 3.5/7
Last Man Standing 3.8/8, Dr. Ken 2.9/6, Shark Tank 3.4/6, 20/20 3.8/7
NBC: 2.4/5
Caught on Camera 2.1/4, Grimm 2.5/5, Dateline 2.7/5
FOX: 1.5/3
Hell’s Kitchen [r] 1.1/2, Hell’s Kitchen 1.8/3
Camino Hacia Destino 1.1/2, Pasion y Poder 1.4/3, Hotel de los Secretos 1.1/2
ION: .8/1
Criminal Minds .8/1, Criminal Minds .8/1, Criminal Minds .7/1
Eva la Trailera .7/1, Esclava Blanca .7/1, Senor de los Ceilo .9/2
CW: .6/1
Vampire Diaries .7/1, Containment [r] /51


Kurt Davis has been named Executive Vice President, Affiliate Relations for the CBS Television Network. Davis has served as Vice President, News Services for CBS News since 2013.

STX Entertainment launched a non-scripted television division, naming Jason Goldberg President of Non-Scripted and Alternative Programming. Goldberg was co-founder of Katalyst.

Carat USA promoted Michael Epstein to President. Epstein, who joined the company in 2013, had been Chief Client Officer.

Digital agency Kettle named Paul Munkholm Partner. He will also remain in his current role of Director of Strategy. Camille Imbert, formerly Associate Creative Director, has been promoted to Creative Director.

This Day in History:
1986 – The Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred in the Soviet Union.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Which future sitcom star played an unsuccessful comedian for three episodes on Benson (1979-1986)? Jerry Seinfeld. Kudos to: James Ryan-A+E Networks/NYC, Andrew Goldman-TVtibi/NYC, Melissa Prince-INSP/Indian Land, SC, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank, Andy Slater-TheaterMania.com/NYC, Cynthia New-Spectrum Reach/Cape Girardeau, MO, John Kukla-KDFW-KDFI/Dallas, Matthew Sharp Fera-McGarryBowen/Chicago, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-Generate/Beverly Hills. 

Today’s Trivia Question  Before They Were Famous Theme Week: What was the occupation of the character Brad Pitt played in an episode of Growing Pains (1985-1992)? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).

Switcheroo (first name of a character an actor played in one show, last name of a character the actor played in another show): Raymond Shore. (Email [email protected]; first three respondents with the correct answer and three chosen at random  who aren’t in trivia – will be posted along with the answer on www.Cynopsis.com.)

Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey: Editorial Director @Lynn_Leahey

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales: Trish Pihonak | Director of Operations | 203-899-8459

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JOB OPENING: MGR, PARTNERSHIPS & INSIGHT/NBCU/NYC: Rsercher/consumer insights specialist to support TV & digital sales strategy for auto category across entire NBCU portfolio. 5+ years experience in TV/media research at a media brand, agency or supplier Full info/apply HERE (4/27)

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST CLIENT INSIGHT/NBCU/NYC: Rsercher/consumer insights specialist to support TV & digital sales strategy for finance & studio category across entire NBCU portfolio. 2+ yrs. Full info/apply HERE (4/27)

JOB OPENING: SVP DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION/Discovery/NY or MD: Digital sales vet to champion digital content dist strategy to grow rev, expand reach of content across platforms & create value for dist/MVPD partners thru TVE, OTT, VOD, mobile, SVOD, etc. Lead a team of talented dealmakers, mktrs & ops experts. Full info/apply HERE (4/27)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL RESEARCH MGR/Discovery/NY: Data whiz to gather and interpret data from multiple systems to provide analysis and estimates for Discovery’s digital products and how content is being consumed across platforms. 5+ yrs exp w/online analytics, Google Analyics,ore. Full info/apply HERE (4/27)

JOB OPENING: VP, ON-AIR PLANNING & STRATEGY/Fox Sports/Los Angeles: Lead/dvlp/implementation nat’l on-air promo strat., seasonal launch plans for FOX Sports property, ovrsee on-air mrkting strategy, scheduling & promo placement. 7-10 yrs exp prgrm scheduling & strat. Full info: Apply (4/27)

CASTING CALL: Companies can showcase their casting notices/casting calls here. For information on rates and specs for posting a casting notice, please email Trish at [email protected]

EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at [email protected]

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at trish@cynopsis.com

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.


ABC: Fresh Off the Boat, The Real O’Neals, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Beyond the Tank
CBS: NCIS [r], NCIS: New Orleans [r], NCIS [r], Limitless [
CW: The Flash, Containment
FOX: New Girl, Grandfathered, New Girl, New Girl [r]
NBC: The Voice, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire
PBS: The Big Burn: American Experience [r], The National Parks: America’s Best Idea [r]
Telemundo: Eva la Trailera, La Esciava Blanca, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Un Camino Hacia el Destino, Pasion y Poder, El Hotel de los Secretos

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