05/07/21: HGTV takes “Two Steps Home”





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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read


Friday May 7, 2021

Today’s Premieres
Apple TV+: “Ghostwriter,” “Mythic Quest”
CW: “Dynasty” at 9p
discovery+: “Haunted Hospitals,” “Queen of Meth”
HGTV: “My Lottery Dream Home” at 8p, “Happily Wherever” at 8:30p
Hulu: “Shrill”
MAV TV: “Top Gear America”
Netflix: “Jupiter’s Legacy,” “Girl From Nowhere”

Today’s Finale
CBS: “Magnum P.I.” at 9p

Saturday’s Premieres
Discovery+: “Meet the Meerkats”
DIY: “Homegrown 101” at 8p
Netflix: “Mine”
Ovation: “Riviera” at 7p

Sunday’s Premieres
Animal Planet: “Louisiana Law” at 9p
AXS TV: “The Top Ten Revealed” at 8p, “A Year in Music” at 8:30p
discovery+: “Unexplained: Caught on Camera”
HBO: “Axios” at 6p
Showtime: “Ziwe” at 11p

Sunday’s Finales
Hallmark Channel: “When Calls the Heart” at 9p
Starz: “The Gloaming” at 10p
TV One: “Uncensored” at 20p


ViacomCBS 1Q21 results included total revenue growth of 14% year-over-year to $7.4 billion. Advertising revenue (which now excludes streaming) grew 21% year-over-year, with boosts from the Super Bowl and NCAA Tournament games. Affiliate revenue grew 5% year-over-year, and global streaming revenue was up 65% year-over-year to $816M, driven by a 62% surge in streaming advertising revenue, mainly led by Pluto TV, and a 69% rise in streaming subscription revenue, led by Paramount+. “Our early momentum in streaming is a testament to the breadth and relevance of our differentiated offerings, as well as our opportunities for growth through Paramount+, as we continue to ramp the availability of live sports, original series and blockbuster movies over the course of the year,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO. “ViacomCBS also achieved another strong quarter of results in our advertising and affiliate businesses, which continue to demonstrate the extraordinary power of our company to reach audiences and deliver for our partners globally.”

Roku crushed first quarter expectations with a 35% rise in active accounts, to 53.6 million, and revenue growth of 79% versus the year-ago quarter – to $574.2 million, compared to analyst projections of $490.6 million. The company went into the black, with operating income of $75.8 million. Total streaming on Roku devices was 18.3 billion hours, up 49% year-over-year, with 85% of the audience reach to viewers A18-49 on the Roku Channel unduplicated with traditional TV.

NBC late-nighter “A Little Late With Lilly Singh” will air its final original episode Thursday, June 3, less than two years after launch. But NBCU is keeping Singh close, with a first-look deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio through her Unicorn Island Productions. “This is a career step that I could only dream of when I started out as a creator, and I look forward to working alongside their team to create projects that bring underrepresented voices to the forefront,” said Singh.

Missed the Early Bird deadline for the Cynopsis Top Women in Media nominations? Not to worry!… You still have until May 20th to get in your entries. Find out more + submit your nominations here.

Spectrum Reach announced a $50 million commitment in media, resources and creative services as part of its “Connecting Communities” initiative to help businesses reach and engage multicultural audiences. Spectrum Reach’s commitment includes $15 million in advertising and support for multicultural-owned businesses, and $35 million in advertising value.

Classic Reruns TV is launching a new digital 24/7 linear channel, with content including programs like “Bonanza,” “The Lucy Show,” “Dragnet,” and “The Beverly Hillbillies,” in addition to classic movies. “One thing is very clear, legendary TV shows never go out of style, they just find new platforms for people to watch them,” said David Bishop, President of Classic Reruns TV, Inc.



Check out the importance of single-market media buying in our 12-page report co-produced with our partners from New York Interconnect.




MGM Television and Chairman Mark Burnett are teaming with Korea’s SM Entertainment and top K-Pop producer Soo-Man to develop a K-Pop competition series. Contestants will attend “K-Pop bootcamp” in Seoul, South Korea in a bid to become the newest members of K-pop group NCT. “This series is exactly the type of innovative programming that MGM is committed to creating on a global scale,” said Burnett. “K-Pop is more than a genre of music; it’s a cultural phenomenon.”

HBO is developing a series based on the “Trilogy of Life” novels by E. Lynn Harris, following a young Black man’s journey of sexual discovery. Playwright Harrison David Rivers is adapting and will co-executive produce with Proteus Spann, curator of the E. Lynn Harris brand, and Tracey Edmonds (“Deion’s Family Playbook”).

UK period drama “Sandition” has sprung back to life. Canceled by ITV in 2019, the series’ successful run on PBS prompted BritBox, the streamer run by ITV and the BBC, to partner for second and third seasons. The series, based on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, is produced by Red Planet Pictures with Belinda Campbell as EP alongside Masterpiece’s Susanne Simpson and Chloe Tucker for ITV/ BritBox.

NBC has ordered reality competition “Slip ‘N Slide,” hosted by Bobby Moynihan (“Mr. Mayor”) and comedian Ron Funches (“The Goldbergs”). The summer series, based on the outdoor game, launches Sunday, August 8, following the Closing Ceremony of the Summer Olympics. “What better way to celebrate all the gold medals from the Olympic Summer Games than to give everyday people the opportunity to soar down an extraordinary 65-foot-tall slippery yellow slide,” said Jenny Groom, EVP, Unscripted Content, NBCU Television and Streaming.

A US adaptation of Israeli family drama “The Commune” is in the works at Untitled Entertainment, HOT, Sumayoko and ADD Content Agency. Hilary Weisman Graham (“Orange Is the New Black”) will write the new adaptation, renamed “Idyllwild.”

Jesse Palmer, former pass-thrower for the NFL’s Giants and 49ers, and rose-giver on season five of “The Bachelor,” will host ABC reality competition series “The Ultimate Surfer.” Surf kahuna Kelly Slater is lead consultant and special correspondent.

Casting notes: Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”) will be back on Apple TV+ as star of “Hello Tomorrow!”, focused on a group of traveling salesmen selling lunar timeshares in a retro-future world. The dramedy comes from MRC Television…Ali Wong (“Always Be My Maybe”) has joined the cast of Amazon’s adaptation of graphic novel “Paper Girls.”

Get the specific tools and tech you need to solve today’s cross-platform challenges, at the Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference virtually on June 15-16. These two days feature dimensional content across unique and timely topics, a diverse panel of experts, and even a few surprise giveaways for lucky attendees!


NBCUniversal unveiled a streaming and digital strategy across One Digital Video and Peacock that includes new solutions for marketers: The expansion of digital and streaming capabilities with live linear dynamic ad insertion on vMVPDs, advanced contextual advertising and a new Peacock ad format.

NBCU is transforming linear networks into digital video by converting the live linear cable feeds for CNBC, MSNBC, Oxygen, SYFY, and USA Network on vMVPD partners including AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu Live, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Already live on select networks and partners and expanding through 2022, this move increases the time spent on One Digital Video by over 40%.

Coming later this year, NBCU will be expanding its Contextual Intelligence offering to include advanced digital contextual advertising. Previously launched for linear buys, Contextual Intelligence will be rolling out across One Digital Video and Peacock, enabling brands to align their creative more precisely with NBCUniversal’s programming while ensuring brand safety using NBCU’s proprietary machine learning platform and the IAB’s category taxonomy.

NBCUniversal is also launching its newest format: Spotlight Ads. The ad format empowers marketers to tap into the 42M customers who have signed up for Peacock through one seamless ad buy. A marketer chooses a specific timeslot and within those hours, every Peacock viewer tuning-in to watch on the platform will see their chosen creative first.

TikTok touted its position as a driver of culture and its impact on retail during Thursday’s NewFronts event. “As the platform continues to drive brand and product discovery through #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, we’re seeing advertisers unlearn traditional retail marketing techniques and pivot toward authentic connections with their customers — the TikTok community,” said the company. “From feta cheese to drugstore skincare, all it takes is one TikTok to clear shelves across the world.” As proof, Sandie Hawkins, TikTok’s GM of Global Business Solutions, pointed out that when Hannah Schlenker, a creator with a modest following, raved about a pair of Aerie leggings, the clip went viral and the leggings sold out. True that, confirmed Craig Brommers, CMO of Aerie’s parent company, American Eagle, adding that the restocked leggings continue to sell out.

TikTok also noted advertisers running campaigns in the US have increased 500% in the past year, for an audience that goes beyond Gen Z. “It’s not just dancing and lip-synching Gen Z-ers. There’s comedy and science, parenting and cooking,” said Head of US Advertising Sandie Hawkins. “We reach all demographics.”

Ellen Digital unveiled three fan-focused super brands during the media company’s NewFronts event. “bubble serves the community of mothers, providing an outlet to celebrate, entertain, and connect. The super brand will feature “Momsplaining with Kristen Bell,” returning for a sixth season, as well as two new digital series, “Mama to Mama,” where celebrity moms interview each other, and “Spill the Family Tea,” a take on the game featured on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

“sage” aims to empower women through storytelling while inspiring and igniting change. “Lady Parts,” featuring conversations about all things female sex and health, is set to return for a second season, while new series, “Lady Like,” spotlights women breaking barriers in predominantly male fields.

And “smile” further amplifies the voices of extraordinary individuals, with new series “All Good Things,” celebrating everyday people doing small things that make a big impact, and “Dragged,” following a curious LGBTQ+ person pursuing self-expression as they are paired with a drag queen to help them transform.

The super brands will extend beyond video with social, games, podcasts, and experiential offerings, including Camp Mom, a weekend getaway for parents to escape and connect.

Programming announcements for Estrella Media, the multi-platform, Spanish-language media company, included the series premieres of dating game show “La Mascara del Amor” on Thursday, May 27 at 8p, and scripted re-creation anthology series “Encrucijada” in Fall 2021/22. Returning in Fall 2021 are talk show “Tu-Night Con Omar Chaparro” for season four, and entertainment competition “Tengo Tanelto, Mucho Talento” for season 25. Also on the way is a new season of “MasterChef,” going into production for a 1Q22 launch, and fictional anthology series “Tatuajes” and competition series “Mero Maistros” slated for midseason 2021/22.


“Queen of Meth,” documenting the story of a celebrity’s sister who went down a dangerous path, premieres on discovery+ today. “’Queen of Meth’ is, in a sense, the dark version of an American success story about a scrappy businesswoman who built an empire,” Liz Massie, Sr. Executive Producer of the series for discovery+, tells Cynopsis. “But it’s also a bigger story about what’s going on in so much of our heartland where jobs have been wiped out, despair has overcome hope, and drugs have destroyed lives. Lori Arnold is a complex woman – honest, proud, remorseful, and resilient. In sharing the intimate details of her wild ride and ultimate fall so candidly, she, along with her famous brother Tom Arnold, shine a spotlight on issues that so many families and communities are struggling with today.”

“Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts,” featuring round table conversation with female celebrities, premieres Friday, July 30 on Disney+. GMA host Roberts will host and executive produce. LeBron James serves as an executive producer on the series with his The SpringHill Company. In addition to Roberts and James, the team of executive producers is comprised of women, BIPOC and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Crackle’s “Going From Broke” returns Thursday, May 20. The six-episode second season is hosted by Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig and entrepreneur and financial expert Tonya Rapley, as cast members drowning in debt get a lifeline from financial experts.

HGTV once again taps proven talent for a new home renovation series, “Two Steps Home,” starring real estate agent Jon Pierre and designer Mary Tjon-Joe-Pin (“Going for Sold”). First, budget conscious design ideas help sell a client’s home, then a new home is found, with extra profit invested in an overhaul. The eight-episode series premieres Wednesday, June 16, at 9p.

“Secrets of the Lost Ark” follows a team of experts using the latest research to find out what happened to the Ark of the Covenant, believed to house the two tablets bearing the Ten Commandments. Treasure hunt begins Sunday, May 23 at 10p on Science Channel.

A sex worker is found brutally murdered at a high school in the premiere of “Fall River,” airing Sunday, May 16 at 10p on Epix. The docu-series follows the re-investigation of the 1980s Satanic Panic.

Food Network hosts Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Eddie Jackson face-off on a new season of “BBQ Brawl,” premiering with a special 90-minute episode on Monday, June 14 at 9p.

A&E is going to the dogs this summer with the return of competition series “America’s Top Dog” on Tuesday, June 29 at 8p, and the premiere of “An Animal Saved My Life” on Tuesday, July 6 at 9p.

History’s survival series “Alone” is back for season eight on Thursday, June 3 at 9:30p. This time around, contestants fight to survive in the Canadian wilderness – grizzly country. “’Alone’ has always been a hit series for The History Channel, but this past year it has particularly resonated with audiences now-more-than-ever as we’ve watched survivalists endure total isolation through their ingenuity and mental willpower,” said Eli Lehrer, EVP and Head of Programming for History. “This new season will continue to authentically feature the grit of human endurance and challenge viewers to look at the outdoors – and their own backyards – a bit differently.”

Fantasy romance drama “Doom at Your Service” debuts on Rakuten Viki, a streaming service for Asian content, on Monday, May 10. The series follos a novel editor who strikes a fateful deal with a supernatural being.

Turkish romantic comedy “La Trampa del Amor” premieres on Kanal D Drama on Monday, May 10, for the Spanish-speaking audience. The series will air Monday-Friday at 8:20p.


AMC Networks streamer Shudder is preparing to creep viewers out with its “Summer of Chills” slate of films for June, July and August, including the debut of horror director George A. Romero’s legendary “lost” film, “The Amusement Park,” on Tuesday, June 8. The lineup kicks off with eerie thriller “Caveat” on Thursday, June 3.

As part of the “See Us Unite” campaign from The Asian American Foundation and a coalition of partners, MTV Entertainment will broadcast “See Us Unite for Change – The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) in service of the AAPI Community” on Friday, May 21 at 8p. The show will run across iMTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, VH1, CMT, TV Land and Logo, as well as BET and Nickelodeon, and stream on Facebook Watch.


Paramount sci-fi thriller “Infinite” will skip theaters and drop on Paramount+ in June. ViacomCBS President and CEO said the plan is to consistently “have something on the platform that is fresh.”

Also bypassing theatrical release is Sony Pictures’ musical adaptation of “Cinderella,” starring Camila Cabello. The film was originally slated to hit the big screen in July, but is now headed for Amazon on a date TBD.

Fox Entertainment streamer Tubi, Drafthouse Films and the digital distribution label Giant Pictures have signed an exclusive content deal for nearly 40 Drafthouse Films titles. It’s the first time nearly the full slate of Drafthouse’s premium English and foreign language titles will be available on a single streaming service. “Alamo Drafthouse has an undeniable reputation of giving cinephiles across the country a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer, Tubi. “As the exclusive home to this eclectic slate of films, we’re proud to support Alamo Drafthouse and the independent filmmaking community.”


NielsenIQ announced the launch of Byzzer, a platform aimed at providing actionable insights that help small and emerging consumer packaged goods businesses drive growth and market share. “Emerging brands, especially in CPG, are bootstrapping their way to growth when it comes to data because there has never been an opportunity to harness the insights available to larger competitors,” said Susan Dunn, NielsenIQ’s Chief Revenue Officer. “With this launch, NielsenIQ is evening out the playing field—we created Byzzer to give every SMB the insights to create strategies that win more customers, loyalty, and shelf space. We’re sparking a revolution that will infuse the marketplace with brand diversity and fresh, innovative products to consumers.” NielsenIQ was spun off from Nielsen earlier this year.”

Twitter suspended an account for taking messages from former President Donald Trump’s new “From the Desk” website and posting them on Twitter. “As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account,” said a Twitter spokesperson. Trump was banned from Twitter in January, the day after the attack on the Capitol.

Tastemade launched the Snap Mini Tastemade Me Do It,” a third-party experience that lives in Snapchat and lets Snapchatters test their at-home cooking and DIY skills with weekly challenges, and answer polls to earn personalized stickers that they can share with friends in real time. “Our ‘Tastemade Me Do It’ Mini experience allows our Snapchat audience to directly connect with friends and immediately take action on new projects – two things we’ve learned that they love through our Snapchat Discover channel,” said Lauren Arso, Tastemade’s General Manager, Social.


French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo has secured sales for kids series “The Treehouse Stories” (“La Cabane à Histoires”), with TV5 Monde, RTS (Switzerland), Hopster (UK), ETB (Spain), TVN (Chile), Tfou Max (France), OkkoTV (Russia), French Canadian public media company TFO, Good TV (Taiwan), US Hispanic broadcaster HITN, Argentinean kids channel Pakapaka, Estonian pubcaster ERR, HRT (Croatia), RTP (Portugal), Ceska Televize (Czech Republic), OCS (France), Bayam (France), Arte Editions (for French-speaking Europe), LTV (Latvia), North American streaming platform Ameba, Da Vinci Kids, kids’ media company Azoomee and children’s ‘edutainment’ channel Majid Kids for the MENA region.

allrites announced the sale of a live sports package, comprising BCCI Home Series and English Premier League football games, to Bangladesh-based sports channel T Sports.

Rare TV landed its first UK commission for a true-crime series. The UK’s 5STAR has ordered “Body of Evidence” (wt), examining British murder investigations that ran cold, only to be cracked years later.

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The season four premiere of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” drew 1 million US households its first week, according to Samba TV (versus 109,000 for the season three finale), making it the service’s most-watched original premiere ever.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Wednesday, May 5
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: “The Goldbergs” 2.85 (0.5), “Home Economics” 2.20 (0.5), “The Conners” 1.92 (0.3), “The Conners” 1/91 (0.3), “A Million Little Things” 2.10 (0.4)
CBS: “Kids Say the Darndest Things” 3.66 (0.4), “Seal Team” 3.74 (0.4), “S.W.A.T.” 3.11 (0.4)
CW: “Kung Fu” 0.96 (0.2),“Nancy Drew” 0.66 (0.1)
ION: “Blue Bloods” 1.09 (0.1), “Blue Bloods” 0.91 (0.1), “Blue Bloods” 0.77 (0.1)
FOX: “The Masked Singer” 4.71 (1.1), “Game of Talents” 2.22 (0.5)
NBC: “Chicago Med” 7.09 (0.9), “Chicago Fire” 7.22 (1.0), “Chicago PD” 5.67 (0.9)
Telemundo: “Exatlon” 1.10 (0.3), “Suerte de Loli” 0.97 (0.3), “Buscando Frida” 1.11 (0.3)
Univision: “Disenando Tu Amor” 1.37 (0.4), “Te Acuras de Mi” 1.50 (0.4), “Hija del Embajador” 1.42 (0.4)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


Marya Bangee has joined Disney Studios as VP of Multicultural Audience Engagement. Previously, Bangee was the Executive Director of Harness.

This Day in History
1914 – US Congress established Mother’s Day.

Friday Fun Fact
Voice actors for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse got married in real life.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which 1970s sitcom centered on a detective and his android partner? “Holmes & Yoyo” (1976-77). Kudos to: Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco, CA; Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank; Dan Whitford-WTTW/Chicago; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Amy Kessler-Merola Opera Program/San Francisco; Miriam Falcon-BET/Detroit; Charlie Conner-KOKI/Tulsa, OK; Paul Gluck-TUTV/Philadelphia; Daniel Woo-JPL Productions/NYC; Ted Linhart-NBCU/NYC; Robert Tombs-EffecTV/Bloomfield, NJ;

Today’s Trivia Question
Which show featured the only TV appearance of Buddy Holly and the Crickets? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com 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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NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Operate/executes audio mixing/creation for live and taped broadcasts, in the context of orig produced programs and PSAs. Collaborate with News depart and prod crew that produce regular, special and live shows. Generate timely and pertinent broadcast material. Min 2 yrs exp in graphic and character gen in television news, creative services, studio-based prog or related profession. Full info HERE (5/8)

Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (5/8)

Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (5/8)

Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (5/8)

Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (5/8)

THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA/NYC: Research and identify companies to solicit for sponsorship. Communicate mission and programs with enthusiasm and make compelling cases for support to attract and secure corporate funders/sponsors and develop and create attractive sponsorship and marketing presentations. 8+ years of senior-level sponsorship and development experience required. Full info HERE (5/7)

LOS ANGELES: Lead Marketing team: Paid, BI analysis, analytics. Secondary: CRM & partner marketing. Manage day to day efforts, including paid programs w/ partners including Amazon, Vizio, etc. Identify new opportunities. College grad in relevant quantitative disciplines w/analytical leaning degree. Digital advertising experience or related fields-exposure to data science and predictive modelling required. Full info HERE (5/7)


Development of Pacing report for Digital & Linear Ad Sales. Assist in maintaining & developing day to day Digital Reports/statistics. Assist/development Custom Digital Ad Sales Decks and/or materials. BA in business, marketing, communications/media or related field, or equivalent education and experience. Min. 24 months related experience in Digital Research. Full info HERE (5/7)

CRACKLE PLUS/LOS ANGELES: Oversee BI analytics for customer acquisition, Manage day-to-day BI output, Track and analyze historical KPIs. B.S. in Statistics, Math, Economics, Engineering or Finance (or relevant disciplines). Digital advertising experience or related fields (exposure to data science and predictive modelling). Full info HERE (5/7)


Will provide guidance to A+E business divisions on global privacy matters, data collection, security and use issues. Support the Digital Media business group, Global Content Licensing business group and Privacy and Data Security matters. Requires 5-7 years legal experience, transactional work and digital media and distribution. Full info HERE (5/7)


Develop and implement programming and on-air promo schedules, analyze and maintain viewing data and manage Streaming TV program strategy and scheduling team. 8+ years in television or digital programming strategy required, in addition to a deep understanding and passion of television, streaming tv and digital content landscape. Full info HERE (5/7)

ABC: “Shark Tank,” “20/20”
CBS: “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” “Magnum P.I.” [f], “Blue Bloods”
CW: “Charmed,” “Dynasty” [p]
FOX: “WWE Friday Night Smackdown”
NBC: “The Blacklist,” “Dateline NBC”
PBS: “Washington Week,” “Firing Line With Margaret Hoover,” “Great Performances”
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos,” “La Suerte de Loli,” “Buscando a Frida”
Univision: “Disenando Tu Amor,” “Te Acuerdas Di Mi,” “La Hija Del Embajador”



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