04/28/14: NBC stands behind its Meet the Press anchor; Scandal actor out amid violence allegations; Seth Meyers carries on Late Night Emmy tradition


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Good morning. It’s Monday, April 28, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Discovery: Rebel Road at 10p
Nat Geo WILD: Fish Tank Kings at 9p
Weather: Tornado Alley at 9p

Tonight’s Finales:
Fox: The Following at 9p



BLUE BLOODS – Coming This Fall
THE LISTENER – ION Television Original Series

Learn more at entertainmentcounts.com.

NBC stands firmly behind Meet the Press moderator David Gregory, subject of speculation after media reports said that the network enlisted a "psychological consultant" to interview Gregory’s wife and friends. The consultant was commissioned to assist with a marketing campaign, clarified NBC. In a memo to staff last week, NBC News chief Deborah Turness said, "There has been a great deal written about Meet the Press in the past few days, much of it quite ludicrous. I wanted to reach out to reiterate my support for the show and for David, now and into the future as we work together to evolve the format."


Columbus Short, whose Scandal character was held at gunpoint in the season three finale, confirmed that he is leaving the ABC drama. "Everything must come to an end and, unfortunately, the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas," said Short in a statement. In February, Short was charged with misdemeanor spousal battery, and pleaded not guilty; he was also accused of felony battery after a man was injured in an altercation in March, and accused of choking his wife in an April 7 domestic disturbance.

Late Night‘s Seth Meyers has been tapped host the 66th Annual Emmy Awards on NBC. Meyers follows in the footsteps of former Late Night hosts David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon.

Movies accounted for 15 percent of basic cable airtime in 2013, a three-year high, according to a new report from IHS Technology. The largest percentage of cable’s 89,623 hours of movie content were comedies, with 1993’s Mrs. Doubtfire the most-played (66 times across five networks). A sequel to the Robin Williams-in-drag smash is in the works at Fox 2000.

Former Price is Right host and animal rights activist ("Have your pet spayed or neutered!") Bob Barker is making a return appearance on CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful, in a three-day arc about animal rescue starting Wednesday, April 30 at 1:30p. Barker first guested on the show in 2002.

House of Cards isn’t moving production from Maryland. Media Rights Capital, which threatened to pull up stakes if the Netflix drama didn’t get more tax breaks than it qualified for under state law, reached a deal for $11.5 million of the $15 million it had requested. "Spoiler alert: we’re going to keep the 3700 jobs and more than 100 million dollars of economic activity and investment that House of Cards generates right here in Maryland," said Governor Martin O’Malley. "Media Rights Capital has been a great supporter of the people and entertainment community in Maryland, and we couldn’t be happier to continue our partnership."

International news net Jewish News One, launched in 2011, was shut down and replaced last week by Ukraine News 1. Variety reports Ukrainian co-founder Vadim Rabinovich is said to be preparing for a presidential bid, with a possible assist from his rebranded net.

The premiere date of 10-ep HBO series The Leftovers was moved from Sunday, June 15 to June 29. "Our production schedule shifted and subsequently that necessitated a change in our debut date," said HBO.

Outdoor Channel has enlisted Miss Kansas 2013 for a summer adventure series, Limitless with Theresa Vail. Turns out the beauty queen is also a sergeant in the National Guard and an avid bowhunter. Vail’s thrill-seeking season launches in July.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates: April 25-27, 2014
The Other Woman (20th Century) $24.7 million, opening weekend
Captain America (Disney) $16.0 million, 4 wk total $224.9 million
Heaven Is for Real (Sony) $13.8 million, 2 wk total $51.9 million
Rio 2 (20th Century) $13.7 million, 3 wk total $96.2 million
Brick Mansion (Relativity Media) $9.6 million, opening weekend
Transcendence (Warner Bros.) $4.1 million, 2 wk total $18.5 million
The Quiet Ones (Lionsgate) $4.0 million, opening weekend
Bears (Disney) $3.6 million, 2 wk total 11.2 million
Divergent (Lionsgate) $3.6 million, 6 wk total $139.5 million
A Haunted House 2 (Open Road) $3.3 million, 2 wk total $14.2 million


Fox has put in development Nazareth, from FX Productions and Entertainment One. The event series focuses on Jesus’s formative years.

Season four of AMC‘s Hell on Wheels has started production in Alberta, Canada, announced Entertainment One, slated for a summer premiere. The Western drama drew an average audience of 3.3 million viewers in Live+3.

Starz original ballet drama Flesh and Bone began production in New York City for its eight-ep first season. Series debuts in 2015.


Great American Country has renewed Farm Kings for season four. The docuseries "appeals to a consumer segment that advertisers find desirable – proud, patriotic people who share a common strong work ethic, who are chasing the American dream and who have spending power," said SVP, programming and development Steven Lerner.

Cast your vote in our latest poll: Should Columbus Short (as Harrison Wright) have been written out of ABC’s Scandal?


Chrysler and Sprint will be in on the action when Jack Bauer battles terrorists in Fox‘s 24: Live Another Day. Sprint is returning as primary telecommunications sponsor, with a multi-platform deal that includes in-show integrations with media exclusivity, placement of Sprint phones and a customized digital content experience. First-timer Chrysler gets a showcase for the launch of its new 2015 Chrysler 200 model, with integrations, social media activations, customized digital content and co-branded marketing. "The timing couldn’t have been more perfect," said Al Gardner, president and CEO, Chrysler Brand. Event series debuts Monday, May 5 at 8p.

Magna Global is bullish on ad spending. Between elections, the Olympics, the World Cup and spots related to the Affordable Care Act, the media agency predicts media spending will grow 6 percent, bumped up from its previous estimate of 5.5 percent.


Larenz Tate (House of Lies) is now a series regular on Rush, premiering on USA Thursday, July 17 at 9p. Tate plays the best friend of renegade doc William P. Rush (Tom Ellis).

Also bumped up to series regular is Mimi Kennedy, on CBS‘s Mom. Kennedy plays an old friend of Allison Janney’s character on the freshman comedy, renewed for season two.

Joel Johnstone (The Newsroom) has joined the cast of ABC‘s The Astronaut Wives Club, playing NASA’s Gus Grissom.

CASTING CALL: NEWLYWEDS COOKING IN THE KITCHEN for Major cable network. Can be from any demographic but, should be married no more than 1 year. Submit video which must include the persona & couple’s interactions, in & around the kitchen.  Submit to: [email protected] (4/29)


Telco Productions announced three summer specials: Pacific Blue Marlin – Tag and Release Tournament, with Corday Productions; parenting advice half-hour Back to School: Moms Everyday and Hollywood News: Summer Movie Preview. All shows are 50-50 barter split.


**Register Now**
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June 19 | 10 on the Park, NYC| 8:30am-4:00pm

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Orphan Black doubled its P2+ and A25-54 audience in Live+3. The Live+3 audience totaled 1,577,000 (premiere and three replays over the weekend), including 927,000 A25-54 and 909,000 A18-49.

Filling the Scandal slot on Thursday, ABC‘s Black Box premiered to a 1.5 rating/5 share among A18-49, nipping at the heels of CBS’ Elementary for the top spot in the demo, and was first in the hour in A18-34 and across key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).

The Thursday premiere of CBS‘s Bad Teacher delivered a 2.1/6 rating among A18-49, up 24 percent from the average for The Crazy Ones in the time slot. At 8p, Big Bang Theory beat NBC, ABC, FOX and CW combined in viewers and A18-49.

Spike TV‘s Bar Rescue delivered a franchise high 2.2 million L+3 viewers on Sunday, April 19.

WGN America‘s Salem saw big gains in Live+3, climbing to more than 3.1 million total viewers (up 36 percent) and 1.3 million among A18-49 (up 51 percent) during the witch trial series’ four combined telecasts on April 20.

Outdoor Channel reported a 14 percent increase in primetime for 1Q14 versus 4Q13, and a 26 percent larger audience in March 2014 than the same month in 2013.

Thursday A18-49 Analysis: CBS won the most A18-49 viewers Thursday with 2.4/8, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. A 3.5/12 average for CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and The Millers won 8p, versus 1.7/6 for Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen. ABC and CBS tied for the lead at 9p, with Grey’s Anatomy and comedy pair Two and a Half Men and Bad Teacher averaging 2.3/7. CBS won 10p with 1.6/5 for Elementary; the premiere of ABC’s Black Box was right behind with 1.5/5.

A18-49:  CBS 2.4/8, FOX 1.6/5, ABC 1.5/5, UNI 1.3/4, NBC 1.0/3, TELE .8/2, CW .6/2, ION .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, April 24, 2014  time period averages.  Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 6.3/10
The Big Bang Theory 10.0/17, The Millers 6.1/10, Two and a Half Men 5.9/9, Bad Teacher 4.9/8, Elementary 5.3/9
ABC: 4.0/7
Jimmy Kimmel Live [r] 1.9/3, Grey’s Anatomy 5.4/9, Black Box 4.6/8
FOX: 3.3/5
Hell’s Kitchen 3.0/5, American Idol 4.7/8, Surviving Jack 2.4/4
NBC: 1.7/3
Parks and Recreation 1.8/3, SNL Shorts 1.7/3
Por Siempre mi Amor 1.3/2, Que Vida me Robo 1.9/3, Que Pobres Tan Ricos 1.5/3
CW: 1.1/2
Vampire Diaries 1.2/2, Reign 1.0/2
TELE: 1.1/2
Premios Billlboard 1.1/2
ION: 1.0/2
Law & Order: CI 1.0/2, Law & Order: CI .1.0/2, Criminal Minds .9/2


Francis Pizzani was named Director of Sales for Yangaroo. Prior to joining the digital media management and distribution company, Pizzani was Senior Account Executive at Revshare.

Embassy Row hired Debbie DeMontreux as Senior Vice President of Development & Programming. She was previously at AMC Networks IFCtv.

AMC brought on Kristin Jones as a consultant, focused on international scripted content opportunities. Most recently, Jones was Chief Creative Officer for digital studio Vuguru.


June Cleaver? Clair Huxtable? Carol Brady? Marie Barone?

Cynopsis wants to know – Who is your favorite TV mom of all time?
You’ll have a chance to win a $25 FTD.com gift card by answering our poll.
The winner will be announced on MAY 7.


This Day In History:
1965 – A 22-year-old Barbra Streisand starred in her first TV special, My Name is Barbra.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: How was Ron Howard’s centerpiece character, Richie Cunningham, written out of Happy Days (1974-1984) when Howard left the show to focus on directing? Richie joined the Army. Kudos to: Paul Schur-Discovery Channel/Silver Spring, MD, Cynthia McFaden-Comcast Spotlight/Fredericksburg, VA, Matthew Willence-ITN Networks/NYC, Cristin DeVries-CBS Television Network/NYC, John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas, Greg Stewart-Evolution Media/Burbank, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Garber-Linzack Publications/Chatsworth, CA, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who was the father of Murphy’s son, Avery, on Murphy Brown (1988-1998)? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.).

Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
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JOB OPENING: SALES ASSOC/GSN/Chicago: Build plans/sched client meetings/ prep/follow-up, presentations, prospecting leads; client rsrch promotes/sells inv on diff platforms. Min 4 yrs sales plan’g/media buying exp. Res/CL w/sal. History: HERE (4/29)

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JOB OPENING: AD SALES MKTG/CNN/NY: Looking for seasoned mkting mgr, 5-8 yrs mkting exp. Build out creative, strategic cross platforms mkting plans for clients, supporting CNN. Resumes HERE (4/29)

JOB OPENING: VP, Off-AIR BRAND CREATIVE/History/NY: Implement creative dir for all off-air creative across all platforms for History & H2. 10+ yrs brand creative/mktg exp in cble/brdcst Strong Illustrator & Photoshop skills. Apply: HERE (4/29) 

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ABC: Dancing with the Stars, Castle
CBS: 2 Broke Girls, Friends with Better Lives, Mike & Molly, The Big Bang Theory [r], Person of Interest [r]
CW: Star-Crossed, The Tomorrow People 
FOX: Bones [r], The Following [
NBC: The Voice, The Blacklist 
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow [r], Independent Lens [r]
Telemundo: La Impostora, En Otra Piel, Camelia La Texana
Univision: Por Siempre Mi Amor, Lo Que la Vida Me Robo, Que Pobres Tan Ricos

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