05/24/16: Universal TV nabs Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller; Casey Bloys named HBO programming president; Oxygen greenlights transgender models series


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Good morning. It’s Tuesday May 24, 2016, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Fox: Hotel Hell at 8p
Oxygen: Virtually in Love at 9p
TLC: Little People, Big World: Back to the Farm at 8p

Tonight’s Finales:
A&E: Storage Wars at 10p
ABC: Fresh Off the Boat at 8p, The Real O’Neals at 8:30p, Dancing With the Stars at 9p
AMC: The Night Manager at 10p
CW: The Flash at 8p
DYI: Mega Decks at 9p
Esquire: Friday Night Tykes: Steel Country at 9p
Freeform: Stitchers at 10p
HGTV: Good Bones at 10p
MTV: Awkward. at 10p
NBC: The Voice at 9p
OWN: If Loving You Is Wrong at 9p
Spike: Ink Master at 10p
TBS: America’s Greatest Makers at 9p


Universal Television signed a production deal with Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller and producing partner Flody Suarez to produce upcoming projects for the studio. “There is more and more cross-pollination these days from theater to television, especially at NBC, and we’re excited to see where [Seller] and Flody’s instincts and talent relationships will go in the world of television,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television. It’s a coming home of sorts for Suarez, who was once VP of development at NBC.

Casey Bloys has been promoted to president of programming at HBO. Bloys replaces Michael Lombardo, who is leaving after 33 years. “Mike’s contributions over these many years, most especially in the last nine as President of Programming, have been nothing short of extraordinary,” said HBO chairman Richard Plepler. “I believe it’s fair to say that his brilliant work will stand the test of time and his tenure will be recognized as second to none.” Bloys had been upped to president, HBO Series, Late Night and Specials in January; Lombardo leaves with a production deal with HBO.

Sumner Redstone’s attorneys filed a petition on Monday asking for a court order confirming the validity of his removal of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and attorney George Abrams as trustees for National Amusements, the holding company that controls Viacom and CBS. Dauman called the move to replace him and Adams from the board, as well as from the trust that will eventually determine the future of CBS and Viacom, an “unlawful takeover” by Redstone’s daughter Shari. A statement on behalf of the 92-year-old Redstone dubbed accusations against Shari “false and unfair.”

The AlticeCablevision merger got an important thumbs up from a New York regulatory panel advising the state’s Public Service Commission on the $17.7 billion takeover. Approval paves the way for the deal to close this quarter. A vote is scheduled for June 16.

The FCC’s set-top box proposal is a “radical unbundling scheme,” charged AT&T in a filing. “The scheme deprives MVPDs of established copyright rights, infringes their constitutional rights under the First and Fifth Amendments, and would not survive legal challenge,” said AT&T, pointing out, “Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon do not permit their licensed content, look and feel, and packaging of their video apps to be distributed through any interface but their own.”

Late Late Show video hit “Carpool Karaoke” is now available as a format to global broadcasters, announced CBS Studios International and Fulwell 73. In the episodes, combining music and comedy, the host of the show picks up a celeb and drives them in a Carpool Karaoke car. “Ever since Carpool Karaoke has aired as part of The Late Late Show With James Corden, the requests for the format have been overwhelming,” said Paul Gilbert, SVP of international formats, CBS Studios International. “International broadcasters can now leverage Carpool Karaoke’s huge digital and broadcast success for their own local viewers.”

Eureka, Mo. won Destination America and USA Today’s fourth annual “Red, White and You” contest, awarding a deserving community a spectacular Fourth of July celebration. The town, outside of St. Louis, is still recovering from a flood late last year that submerged its downtown business district.

The Television Academy’s new theatre will be named after producer Dick Wolf (Law & Order) and his wife, philanthropist Noelle Wolf, in recognition of their “extraordinary generosity.” The gift from the Wolf Family Foundation also includes an endowment for collaboration between the Academy’s Foundation and the Alliance for Children’s Rights, designed to build a bridge for foster youth and the TV industry.



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Oxygen greenlit unscripted transgender models series Strut, from exec producer Whoopi Goldberg and 44 Blue Productions. “For all of the positive advances the community has made and continues to make, transgender is still a hot-button word that gets people hysterical,” said Goldberg. “People tend to focus on the stereotype instead of the person, and this series will give viewers a unique opportunity to spend time with real people who are struggling with the same challenges we all face as we make our way through the world.”

Will Packer has joined BET’s Being Mary Jane as executive producer and Erica Shelton Kodish is exec producer/showrunner for upcoming season four. Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil retain EP credits but will focus on the overall deal they set last summer with Warner Bros. Television.

Showtime and filmmakers R.J. Cutler and John Battsek (Listen To Me Marlon) are re-teaming for a feature-length doc about the life of John Belushi. The Saturday Night Live star’s widow, Judith Belishi Pisano, is cooperating with the project. 

Two original Princess Diana specials will air on Reelz in July. Princess Diana: Behind Closed Doors, hosted by Today’s Natalie Morales and produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions, airs Saturday, July 9 at 9p, followed the next night by Princess Diana’s Death: Mystery Solved, from Bedlam.

Mariah Carey inked a deal with Hallmark Channel to develop, exec produce, direct and star in three original movies over the next two years. Hallmark’s A Christmas Melody, starring and directed by the diva, drew 3.9 million viewers in December, and Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas was the net’s most-watched holiday special. First product of the new collaboration is slated to premiere as part of Hallmark’s 2017 “Countdown to Valentine’s Day” event.

Cher? Babs? Who else would you like to see ink a Hallmark-like deal? Let us know in the new Cynopsis poll at http://www.cynopsis.com/.


A special edition of AXS TV’s The Big Interview profiles the lives of late musical greats on Tuesday, June 7 at 8p. Prince, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, B.B. King and Natalie Cole are celebrated in the hour-long “Legends Lost” event, hosted by Dan Rather.

The Paley Center for Media will host “PaleyLive LA: An Evening with 12 Monkeys” on Wednesday, June 29. Cast and creator from the Syfy series will be on hand for a screening of the season two finale and a panel discussion.

Starz original movie The Dresser premieres Monday, May 30 at 9p. Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen star in the play-turned-film-turned-TV movie about an aging actor’s personal assistant.

The clock is ticking for the2016 Kids !magination awards. With less than two days left to enter, what are you waiting for? Be recognized for your outstanding achievements in content creation & the campaigns that promote it. Complete your entry here (it only takes 10mins):http://www.cynopsis.com/?p=58458

VH1 is bringing back Hip Hop Honors, paying homage this year to female pioneers and trend-setters in a male-dominated genre. Sponsors onboard for the event include Taco Bell and MetroPCS. Show airs live on Monday, July 11 at 9p.


AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead is back for the eight-episode second half of season two on Sunday, August 21 at 9p. The show has been number two in cable (behind The Walking Dead) and number seven in all of television among A18-49 this season.

Comedy Central picked up a third season of historical, satirical scripted series Another Period ahead of the Wednesday, June 15 launch of season two. Show focuses on two wealthy sisters (creators Nathasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome) in 1902 who are determined to rebrand and become famous.

Season 13 of Velocity’s Wheeler Dealers launches Wednesday, June 29 at 9p. First car up is a 1968 Chevy Corvette C3; setting is sunny southern California.

Speaking of SoCal, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County is back for season eleven on Monday, June 20 at 9p. Season ten averaged a series-high 2.9 million total viewers in Live+7.

The Amber Rose Show has a premiere date: Friday, June 17 at 11p. The model/actress/designer will chat with celebrity pals about friendship, motherhood, pop culture and more on the VH1 talker from Dr. Phil McGraw’s Stage 29 Productions.


Nat Geo’s I Am Rebel tells the stories of people who impact history by breaking the rules, via first-person interviews and re-creations. Doug Liman (Suits) exec produces the series, launching Sunday, June 5 at 9p.

Discovery six-parter Hello World! looks at the wonders of the natural world through the eyes of recording artists Christina Aguilera, Ellie Goulding, Joan Jett, Dave Matthews, Usher Raymond and Steven Tyler, using their music as the soundtrack for animals’ stories. Family-friendly series launches Saturday, July 9 with back-to-back episodes for three weeks.


Lenny Henry (The Syndicate) and Roy Hudd (Coronation Street) have joined the season three cast of ITV’s Broadchurch.

Kyle S. More (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) has been cast as would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. in Nat Geo movie Killing Reagan. Supporting cast members include Michael H. Cole (Dirty Grandpa) as press secretary Jim Brady, who took a bullet for the president, and Geoff Pierson (Castle) as Reagan senior advisor James Baker. 

Elise Neal (The Hughleys) guest stars on Bounce TV’s Mann & Wife tonight at 9p, as a female sexual harassment training instructor.


After months of wrangling, The CW and Tribune Broadcasting reached a new long-term agreement for 12 of 13 of Tribune’s affiliations, covering 25 percent of the U.S. Missing is Chicago – instead, the net inked an affiliation agreement with Fox Television Station’s WPWR-TV in Chicago, taking effect September 1. “We love high quality, big budget first-run prime and we love having more original programming,” said Frank Cicha, SVP of Programming of Fox Television Stations. “But most of all, we love moving to The CW the same time as Supergirl.” Tribune’s WGN-TV will become independent. “As an independent television station, we’ll have the opportunity to bring more primetime baseball, basketball and hockey games to Chicago sports fans on weeknights, add some popular syndicated programming, expand our weekend morning news, and take control of all of WGN-TV’s primetime advertising inventory,” said Larry Wert, president of Broadcast Media for Tribune Broadcasting. “Importantly, we’ll also avoid having to move any games off of WGN-TV to accommodate network programming.”


HGTV is headed for New Zealand. The lifestyle net launches on Freeview channel 17 on June 27, in collaboration with Blue Ant Media and Scripps Networks Interactive. The channel will operate under the management of Blue Ant’s broadcast channel,Choice TV, headquartered in Auckland.


Fox and Fox News Channel score highest in ad clutter in broadcast and cable, according to iSPot.tv. CBS followed Fox in broadcast, while CW had the lightest ad load. In cable, Spike, MTV and BET followed FNC for the most hourly ad time.


Cozi TV is teaming with the United States Lifesaving Association for a PSA promoting beach safety. The announcement will debut during a Baywatch Memorial Day marathon starting Monday, May 30 at 8a (check local listings).

Is television as good as it should be? Former broadcast exec Jim McKairnes looks at 1961’s Vast Wasteland speech through today’s lens in the new Cynsiders.


Tamar Braxton is leaving The Real after serving as co-host for two seasons. According to Braxton and Telepictures Productions, the decision was mutual, leaving singer Braxton to focus on her solo career.


Fantastico, a free, mobile-optimized site that provides Latino consumers with a Spanish-language ticket purchasing experience, launches in the New York metro area at www.Fantastico.nyc on June 6.The site will also offer info on programming on local TV, PPV, VOD and digital video.

If reaction to the trailer is any indication, NBC has a hit on its hands with upcoming fall drama This Is Us, following the lives of four people as they turn 36 years old. As of Monday, the video had passed 40 million streams on Facebook.



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The Billboard Music Awards on Sunday handed ABC its second strongest Sunday since November in viewers and young adults, with 9.6 million and a 3.1 among A18-49, according to fast nationals. That’s down 18 percent in the demo versus last year’s peak, against NBA play-offs, Game of Thrones and the midseason finale of The Walking Dead.

Discovery’s Street Outlaws reached season highs on Monday with week-to-week gains, include a 1.98 P25-54 rating with 2.92 million total viewers in Live+3.For the fourth straight week, it was Monday night’s #1 non-sports telecast on all of cable among M25-54 and M18-49. Fat N’ Furious, airing immediately after, also had gains across all 25-54s and P/M18-34, reaching season highs among all 25-54s and P18-34. Both series helped drive Discovery to be the night’s #1 non-sports themed cable network in M25-54 and M18-49.

SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of May16, 2016
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Warner Bros./synd.)
6388, 100, 64, 114596
Good Morning America (ABC)
1968, 831, 2, 9491
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
1296, 71, 18, 25630
The Tonight Show (NBC)
1211, 210, 6, 15324
Billboard Music Awards (ABC)
1208, 730, 2, 1655
Today Show (NBC)
1175, 573, 2, 9912
The Voice (NBC)
1054, 345, 3, 19645
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
995, 85, 12, 8257
Game of Thrones (HBO)
898, 50, 18, 23230
Empire (Fox)
894, 169, 5, 7328
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each TV property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers.

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 May 2, 2016
Program, Live+SD A18-49 US AA%, Live +7 US AA%
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 3.0, 5.0
Modern Family (ABC) 2.2, 4.1
Empire (Fox) 3.6, 5.4
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 2.0, 3.5
Blacklist (NBC) 1.2, 2.6
Scandal (ABC) 1.5, 2.8
Blindspot (NBC) 1.3, 2.5
Quantico (ABC) .9, 2.0
Criminal Minds (CBS) 1.8, 2.9
Law and Order: SVU (NBC) 1.1, 2.2
Source: The Nielsen Company. Based on original telecasts only.

NIELSEN TWITTER TV TOP TEN for the week of May 16, 2016
Program, Date, Tweets (000)
Billboard Music Awards (ABC) 5/22, 1767
The Voice (NBC) 5/17, 1103
Empire (FOX) 5/18, 402
Game of Thrones (HBO, HBO Latino) 5/22, 307
WWE Extreme Rules (PPV) 5/22, 268
Megyn Kelly Presents (Fox) 5/17, 162
2016 Draft Lottery (ESPN) 5/17, 152
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 5/19, 134
WWE Monday Night Raw (USA) 5/16, 125
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1) 5/16, 96
Source: Nielsen. Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before through three hours after broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to a program from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. The data includes new/live primetime and late fringe programming only and excludes sports events. For multicast events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks.

Top Ten Basic Cable Network Live+7 Performance among Total Viewers for the week of: 5/2/2016
Primetime(000)/Total Prog. Day (000)
TNT 2639/FOXN 1218
FOXN 2268/NICK 1201
USA 1641/ADSM* 1083
ESPN 1606/TNT 1060
HGTV 1473/DSNY 908
HIST 1430/USA 862
DISC 1400/NAN* 847
FX 1310/ HGTV 826
TBSC 1276/TOON 801
ADSM 1148/ESPN 689
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 5/2/2016
Primetime (000), Total Prog. Day (000)
TNT 1339/ADSM* 636
ESPN 746/TNT 494
FX 643/NAN* 420
USA 622/ESPN 366
ADSM 617/NICK 363
TBSC 594/USA 328
DISC 573/FX 308
VH1 529/TBSC 282
AMC 467/HGTV 267
BRAV 457/TOON 258
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 5/2/2016
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC) 4450
Oklahoma City/San Antonio (TNT) 2898
Portland/Golden State (TNT) 2843
San Antonio/Oklahoma City (ESPN) 2642
San Antonio/Oklahoma City (TNT) 2611
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1) 2527
Teen Mom II (MTV) 2304
Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!) 2021
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1) 1931
Miami/Toronto (TNT) 1908
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 won the most A18-49 viewers Friday with 1.1/5, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. NBC grabbed the top spot at 8p with .9/4 for Grimm, followed by .8/4 for ABC’s Beyond the Tank and CBS’s I Love Lucy Superstar. ABC’s Shark Tank was first at 9p with 1.3/5, versus .9/4 for the second hour of Grimm. ABC’s 20/20 topped 10p with 1.2/5; NBC was runner-up with .9/4 for Dateline.

A18-49: ABC 1.1/5, NBC .9/4, CBS .7/3, UNI .7/3, FOX .6/3, TELE .5/2, CW .3/1, ION .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: May 20, 2016 time period averages.
Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.

CBS: 3.3/6
I Love Lucy Superstar 3.5/7, Undercover Boss 2.7/5, Blue Bloods [r] 3.7/7
ABC: 3.1/6
Beyond the Tank 2.5/5, Shark Tank 3.5/7, 20/20 3.4/7
NBC: 2.7/5
Grimm 2.6/5, Dateline NBC 2.9/6
FOX 1.3/3
Easy A 1.3/3
Un Camino Hacia el Destino 1.1/2El Hotel de los Secretos 1.2/2
CW: .7/1
Masters of Illusion .8/2, Masters of Illusion .8/2, Originals .5/1
ION: 1.0/2
Criminal Minds 1.0/2, Criminal Minds 1.0/2, Criminal Minds 1.0/2
Eva La Trailera .7/1, La Esclava Blanca .6/1, El Senor de los Cielos .9/2


Fusion announced Keith Summahas been promoted to Senior Vice President of Content & Programming, and George Lansburyhas been upped to Senior Vice President of Production and Programming. Both will work closely with SVP and Editor-in-Chief Alexis Magrigal.

Real Big Hits appointed Scott Kamins as Vice President of Acquisitions. Kamins has had digital leadership roles at Cinedigm, Vivendi and Universal.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited named Janice Strangward as Head of European Sales Syndication based out of London. Strangward previously held senior executive roles at Discovery Networks Europe, Passion Distribution, EOne and Al Jazeera Media Network.

This Day in History: 1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge opened to traffic.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: The high school of which series was headed by Principal Dingleman? Weemawee High School, in Square Pegs (1982-1983). Kudos to: Marion Z. Murphy-GroupM Direct/NYC, James Ryan-A+E Networks/NYC, Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NYC, David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NYC, Judy Margolis-The Ad Place/Dallas, Paul Blutter-Hollywood Depot Rentals/Burbank, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank, Sally J. Maisel-Wienermania/Van Nuys, CA

Today’s Trivia Question: The first series role for which actor, perhaps best known for his Emmy-winning role as a prosecutor, was playing a World War II fighter pilot? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).

HBO Actor Anagram: Talking Deeper (Email [email protected]; first three respondents with the correct answer 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
reported by Janet Di Lauro
reported by Cathy Applefeld Olson

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

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JOB OPENING: MANAGER DIGITAL SALES OPS/NBC/LA: Experience trafficking video ads in an ad server DFPP, FreeWheel, Digital Trafficker, Operative, Rich Media, 3rd Party Tags, and Ad Ops. Full info/apply HERE (5/27)

JOB OPENING: JUNIOR ACCOUNT EXEC/Adspace Networks/LA: Entrepreneurial spirit wanted! 1-3 years experience with media agency sales; presentation experience; supports SVP of West Coast Sales, manage developmental accounts. 65K+. Resumes to: [email protected] (5/27)

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JOB OPENING: MANAGER, CONSUMER MARKETING (FREELANCE)/VH1 & LOGO/NYC: Manage planning & execution of all media plans for programming & brand initiatives. 3-5 years television marketing exp. Media agency & Dig. Mtkg exp, preferred. Full info/apply HERE (5/26)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, CONSUMER INSIGHTS & RESEARCH/NFL/NY: Mng mkt, audience, fan, & media research info for all divisions w/in the co. Analyze & interpret data for NFL ratings & media perf. Identify fan behv/media usge @ all lvls. 3-5 yrs rsrch exp.More info/apply HERE (5/25)

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE DIGITAL ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/HBO/NYC: Support dig content/mktg for HBO Sports Orig Programming. Execute strgy, adhere to publishing process, scope dvlmt, proj mgmt, status reprting. 2+ yrs web/mobile/tablet exp. Apply HERE (5/25)

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, DIGITAL SALES OPS/NBC/NYC: Lead team of Mgrs & Campaign Sp. Resp for setup, traffic & opt of ad sales campaigns across apps, websites, mobile, set-top box, & emerging platforms. 7+ yrs Ad Ops exp; ad serving/ad tech exp req w/strong background in digital video. Full info/apply HERE (5/24)

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 [f], The Real O’Neals [f], Dancing With the Stars [f]
CBS: The Price Is Right Primetime Special, Person of Interest
CW: The Flash [
f], Containment
FOX: Hotel Hell [
p], Coupled
NBC: The Voice, The Voice [
PBS: Genealogy Road Show, Secrets of the Dead, Frontline
Telemundo: Eva, la Trailera, La Esclava Blanca, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Un Camino Hacia el Destino, Tres Veces Ana

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