06/11/20: HBO Max pulls Gone With the Wind over racist depictions


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday June 11, 2020

Today’s Premieres
ABC: Don’t at 9p
HGTV: Design at Your Door at 9p and 9:30p
History: Alone at 10p
MTV: Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D and Vinny at 9p
Science Channel: Strange Evidence at 9p

Tonight’s Finale
CBS: Man With a Plan at 8:30p


The Association of National Advertisers is calling for “transformative” changes in the media business, including a move from a broadcast year upfront to a calendar year upfront. Negotiations would take place later in the year, for January-December inventory. “The marketing community must revisit the media buying environment and develop changes that will accommodate the new reality forced upon us,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “It is a fundamental imperative to include the evolution of the upfront among those legacy systems that need change and improvement.” The shift would provide more certainty in budgets and align better with calendars for brands and agencies, said the ANA.

Cops has ended its run at Paramount Network. The show was pulled from the air in late May amid protests over the death of George Floyd, and this week Paramount made the cut permanent. The reality show, which follows police on patrol, ran on Fox for 25 until 2013, when it was picked up by Spike TV (rebranded to Paramount Network in 2018).

HBO Max removed 1939 classic Gone With the Wind from its offerings, citing its demeaning racist stereotypes. “Gone With the Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society,” said an HBO Max spokesperson. “These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.” The service plans to bring the film back eventually, “with a discussion of its historical context.” After the announcement, the film went to the top of the Best Seller list on Amazon.

Hulu moved the launches of new series Love, Victor and Taste the Nation from Friday, June 19, in support of Black Lives Matter. “This June 19 – Juneteenth – will mark 155 years since slavery was abolished in the United States,” said Hulu in a statement. “This date represents an important turning point for our nation and for human rights, and we believe that now, more than ever, it deserves to have its own day in the spotlight.” Love, Victor will now debut Wednesday, June 17, followed on June 18 by Taste the Nation.

MTV pulled Teen Mom OG At Home: Cory & Taylor’s Baby Special from its schedule and is ending its relationship with reality star Taylor Selfridge because of a series of racist statements she made on social media in 2012. “MTV strongly condemns systemic racism and stands with those raising their voices against injustice,” said the network.

Discovery Channel tops the list of Beta Research’s “Basic Networks Most in Demand” network interest study among non-subscribers to cable TV/cord cutters, with 38% of respondents reporting high interest. Close behind were Animal Planet (37%), History (37%), Nat Geo (37%),Comedy Central (35%), Food Network (34%), FX (34%) and ID (33%). Discovery Channel has ranked first among this group for five years in a row. Among non-subscribers to cable/cord cutters who were heavy Netflix/Hulu/Prime viewers, the top ranked basic networks on high interest were Food Network (45%), Comedy Central (44%), FX (43%), ID (40%) and Discovery Channel (38%).

Also in the Beta Research study, emerging networks with special appeal and the highest indices on interest in dropping cable TV included Revolt TV, MAVTV Motorsports Network, Nick Music, Sportsman Channel, and Fusion. High ranking digital basic/mid-sized networks included Bloomberg Television, Ovation, UPtv, Fox Business, MotorTrend and OWN. Adults with high interest in these networks were more likely than others to have high interest in dropping cable TV.

President Trump’s campaign sent a cease and desist letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker, demanding that the network retract and apologize for a poll showing Trump trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by 14 points, 55%-41%. The letter called the poll “a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression.” “To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40 year history that CNN has been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN’s polling results,” wrote David C. Vigilante, the network’s EVP and general counsel.

Twitter is testing a new prompt that would ask users who have not clicked on an article they are about to retweet to open the story and read it first. “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it,” tweeted the company. The test is limited to Android users at first.

Hulu canceled Harlots, nine months after the end of the British period drama’s season three. Also axed is the streamer’s freshman noir drama, Reprisal.

Kaput at NBC are Lincoln Rhyme and Perfect Harmony after one season. Serial killer drama Lincoln Rhyme averaged 3.7 million viewers and 0.47 among A18-49 during its 10-episode run, while Perfect Harmony delivered under 2 million viewers and 0.42 in the demo.

The White House Correspondents’ Association today named PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor the recipient of the Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage. The award recognizes a correspondent who personifies the journalistic excellence and personal qualities of Aldo Beckman, late Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune and former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. Awards are slated to be presented on August 29 at the association’s annual dinner.

PBS was top dog in the 2020 Peabody Awards, with seven shows on the winners’ list. HBO and Netflix each had four wins. Entertainment shows making the cut included HBO’s Chernobyl, Succession and Watchmen; OWN’s David Makes Man; Apple TV+’s Dickinson; Amazon Prime Video’s Fleabag; Hulu’s Ramy; and Netflix’s Stranger Things, Unbelievable and When They See Us.

A fugitive who was profiled on ID’s In Pursuit with John Walsh is now in police custody thanks to a tip from a viewer who recognized him from the show. Steven Todd, wanted for the murder of a 26-year-old woman from Indiana, is the 17th fugitive featured on the series to land in police custody.

How AVODs Can Get a Competitive Edge
6/24 | 1PM – 1:45PM ET
AVODs are surging in 2020, with more consumers viewing ad-supported video and billion-dollar growth projected for providers. In past months, AVODs have seen accelerated subscriber growth, as viewers look for more ways to save money on entertainment. Meanwhile, time spent streaming video has doubled from where it was a year ago, according to Nielsen. Learn from the experts about threats and opportunities in today’s AVOD world.

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TLC ordered additional episodes of late night relationship series Find Love Live!. “TLC continues to draw audience gains from our night owls looking for love, and they are absolutely responding to our newly expanded late-night programming lineup,” said Howard Lee, President and GM, TLC. New episodes of the remotely-shot show begin Monday, June 22 at 11p.

Starz picked up unscripted travel docu-series Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham, created by and starring Outlander’s Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, from Sony Pictures Television. The eight-parter is a celebration of Scottish history and culture as Heughan and McTavish take viewers along on their adventures.

Dakota Johnson is set to star in mockumentary series Rodeo Queen, in development at Amazon. Johnson will also exec produce via her TeaTime Pictures, with creator Christy Hall (I Am Not Okay With This), Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia), Ro Donnelly and Elisa Ellis.

Masi Oka (Heroes), Rodney Rothman (Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse) and Vertigo Entertainment are adapting Japanese manga Promised Neverland into a live-action series for Amazon that follows a group of the smartest kids in an orphanage who must plan an escape to save the children. Fox 21 and Amazon Studios are producing.

Blackfin has partnered with director Stanley Nelson and NBA star and philanthropist Russell Westbrook to produce Terror In Tulsa: The Rise And Fall of Black Wall Street. The docu-series focuses on “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history,” set to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the event that originally took place in May,1921. Nelson will direct.


AMC Networks is offering two new SVOD bundles for Comcast’s Xfinity customers. AMC+ includes original series from AMC and sister networks like SundanceTV and IFC, ad-free with early premieres on demand, along with the streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now, and IFC Films Unlimited, for $4.99 per month – matching the current price of AMC Premiere, which it is replacing. The second bundle, WE tv+, features programming from WE tv and the UMC (Urban Movie Channel) streaming service and is also priced at $4.99 per month.

Telemundo now provides streams of its programming on Amazon’s Alexa, including stories and special reports from Telemundo Noticias and shows including Al Rojo Vivo, Suelta La Sopa and Un Nuevo Día. Shows are accessible through Alexa en Español or multi-lingual mode. “Given that U.S. Hispanics continue to be at the forefront of technology adoption, in this case ambient computing, we are excited to extend our partnership with Amazon to offer additional content,” said Peter Blacker, EVP, Revenue Strategy & Innovation for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.

Netflix introduced a new “Black Lives Matter” collection of over 45 titles about the experience of Black Americans. “When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ we also mean ‘Black storytelling matters,’” said Netflix in a tweet. “With an understanding that our commitment to true, systemic change will take time – we’re starting by highlighting powerful and complex narratives about the Black experience.” Among the titles in the collection are Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (out Friday); Ava DuVernay’s 13th and When They See Us; Mudbound; Orange Is the New Black; Dear White People and Moonlight.

Live global streaming and on-demand audio service TuneIn has expanded partnerships with CNN and Bloomberg Media, which join TuneIn Premium’s commercial-free news lineup that includes CNBC, Fox News Talk and MSNBC.

Wurl, provider of streaming video distribution and advertising services for connected TV, announced it has added 30 new AdPool customers since late 2019. In that time, AdPool has increased fill rates for users by as much as 50%. AdPool enables video producers to sell and backfill their CTV ad inventory to advertisers, ranging from global brands to local businesses. “The reality is that fill rates are not 100% – there’s left over inventory that can and should be monetized,” said Yuval Fisher, SVP, Technology at Wurl. “AdPool makes that supply available at configurable floor CPMs without devaluing inventory or competing with the inventory owner, and that capability is clearly resonating with our customers.”

TV5Monde USA has reached an agreement with FaceBank Group to bring the network to fuboTV. “We are listening to what our customers want and, in these unprecedented times, there is a strong appetite for more entertainment content and, as sports gradually begin to return, international leagues,” said Mihir Shah, Senior Director, Content Strategy & Acquisition at fuboTV. “TV5Monde is a great complement to our existing fuboTV channel lineup and strengthens our multicultural Hispanic, Portuguese and Italian programming with French content.”


Amid the current upheaval around issues of race and policing, ABC will present an encore presentation of John Ridley’s feature-length documentary that examines the 1992 uprising in LA after the verdict was announced in the Rodney King case. The presentation features a special introduction and message from John Legend on Tuesday, June 16 at 8p.

SeriesFest unveiled the programming line-up for SeriesFest: Season 6, the reimagined virtual festival experience dedicated to supporting the art of episodic storytelling. Taking place June 18-24, the annual festival will “Fest / Differently” with six days of streaming events including competition screenings, panel discussions, workshops, sneak peeks and television premieres. The festival kicks off with an opening night screening of new Starz drama P-Valley, followed by a Q&A with the cast and showrunner.

Sundance Now acquired US rights to the Australian eight-part drama Upright from Entertainment One. The series follows a shabby musician who has to drive across Australia with nothing but a piano, when a runaway girl comes into his life.

Cinelatino will host a marathon of popular Puerto Rican films in celebration of Boricua culture and in observance of New York’s 63rd Puerto Rican Day Parade, cancelled amid the COVID-19 crisis. A full day of back-to-back hits will lead up to the Cinelatino premiere of Vico C: La Vida del Filósofo, the #1 film at the Puerto Rican box when it was released in 2017.


DoubleVerify, a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics, announced the launch of a new transparency and reporting solution for CTV inventory. The new solution is designed to give CTV buyers full transparency and accurate data on where their campaigns are running across CTV devices. “DV’s mission is to give advertisers clarity and confidence in their digital investment, regardless of platform, channel or format,” said Matt McLaughlin, COO of DoubleVerify. “With our new solution, CTV advertisers can get consistent evaluation standards, making it easier to track campaign quality and performance.”

Smart TV data company Inscape announced expansion of its suite of data offerings through the creation of a Nationally Representative Panel. The NRP, developed in partnership with Dativa, provides representative TV viewing data for all US households, demos and geographies and focuses on a panel of approximately 3.5 million of Inscape’s base of 15 million ACR-enabled smart TVs. The NRP applies anonymous consumer data to make Inscape data representative across a broad set of consumer and household attributes. “We’re extremely confident in the efficacy of our new NRP model and believe that being open about how we’ve constructed it will further drive confidence within the ecosystem both for the value of our new offering as well as the role smart TV data is playing across the industry,” said Zeev Neumeier, President of Inscape. “We’ll be looking to make ongoing extensions and enhancements and continue to invest in making it the gold standard for our licensees and their customers.”


AMC Networks is onboard as the first company to pilot On Addressability, the addressable advertising initiative founded last June by Charter, Comcast and Cox. AMC will allocate a portion of its commercials to addressable ads delivered to aggregated household audiences across the Charter, Comcast and Cox cable television footprints. “Addressable is the future of advertising and with On Addressability, we are finally bringing the future into the present,” said Kim Kelleher, President of Commercial Revenue and Partnerships, AMC Networks. “We are focused on bringing performance-based marketing to our clients and innovative solutions to brands, however they are interested in buying television advertising. Fortunately, AMC Networks is in a unique position to push this frontier and, with our partners at Charter, Comcast and Cox, we are already getting started.”

Comcast Technology Solutions and FreeWheel have created a new platform for content owners and distributors to sell set-top-box video-on-demand inventory. What does it mean for the industry? “STB VOD inventory has long been an incredible opportunity for advertisers. The combination of premium content and the living room, lean back viewing experience has been the right environment for brands to tell their stories and deliver their messages,” Stefan Maris, Global Head of Partnerships at FreeWheel, tells Cynopsis. “However, programmatic transaction has been challenged due to creative management and workflow. We are excited to partner with CTS to solve these challenges and unlock the value of this premium inventory via programmatic channels – for both sellers and buyers alike.”

Measurement and analytics company 605 announced the launch of 605 IMP4CT, a self-service, web-based application providing full-funnel audience attribution solutions to quantify the impact of TV advertising on consumer behavior. 605 IMP4CT enables clients to augment aggregated and anonymized household viewership data with 1st and 3rd party attributes and KPIs, allowing them to study consumer behaviors across the marketing funnel regardless of the audience they target. “The ability to comprehend the impact of linear campaigns in a world where consumers are moving across devices with increased fluidity is more important than ever,” said Noah Levine, Chief Revenue Officer at 605. “605 IMP4CT empowers users with timely audience attribution information, allowing programmers, advertisers and agencies to determine how and where to spend their next television dollar in a way that optimizes their return on investment.”


Rainmaker Content, the newly launched international distributor specializing in drama, factual and special event programming, has secured global rights (excluding the UK) to Staged, the lockdown comedy series written and directed by Simon Evans starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen.

ViacomCBS-owned Channel 5 and Network 10 will co-fund the production of eight-part series, The Royals Revealed. It’s the second content partnership between the UK and Australian free-to-air networks since the completion of the ViacomCBS merger.

Location Collective is slated to open OMA Film Studios, a 139,000 square foot space in north London, this summer. “It’s not been easy keeping this project on track in the current climate but our instinct was that on the other side, contained, controllable spaces were going to be the ones the film industry needed most,” said Location Collective Managing Director Antony Iredale.


The 8th Annual Cynopsis Model D Awards + Digital “IT LIST”

An annual must for all digital innovators in the media space, the Cynopsis Digital Awards have been honoring the best in online video content, advertising, talent and digital media’s movers and shakers for 8 years running. We’re looking for executives at every level who excel in digital content, marketing, advertising and social media to join the Digital “It List.”



ABC was Thursday’s No. 1 network for the 3rd week in a row in both Total Viewers (5.2 million) and A18-49 (0.8/5) in Live+3 Nielsens. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (0.9/6) and Holey Moley (0.9/6) tied as the night’s #1 program in A18-49 as ABC won all three hours of prime time.

NBC’s America’s Got Talent cruised to victory Tuesday with a 1.3 rating among A18-49 and 8.71 million viewers, steady with the week prior in Live+SD.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, June 9
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Conners 3.0 (0.4), The Conners 2.50 (0.4), Modern Family 1.96 (0.4), Modern Family 1.78 (0.4), Genetic Detective 2.73 (0.4)
CBS: NCIS 5.94 (0.5), FBI 5.33 (0.4), Justice For All With Gayle King 3.07 (0.3)
CW: DC’s Stargirl 1.11 (0.2), Jim Gaffigan 0.70 (0.1)
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen 1.41 (0.4), 24 Hours to Hell and Back 1.48 (0.4)
NBC: America’s Got Talent 8.71 (1.3), World of Dance 4.34 (0.8)
Telemundo: Cennet 1.34 (0.4), 100 Dias Enamorarnos 0.92 (0.3), La Riena del Sur 0.70 (0.2)
Univision: Te Doy la Vida 1.64 (0.5), Amor Eterno 1.94 (0.6), Como to no Hay Dos 1.69 (0.6)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages


Entertainment One appointed Michael Lombardo as President, Global Television. Lombardo, who had been onboard as a consultant, was previously President of Programming for HBO.

Paul Pastor has been named Chief Business Officer and Co-Founder as FirstLight Media launches an accelerator to spur growth of scalable OTT services. Pastor most recently co-founded TVPASS and Unite Broadcast Ventures.

Shorts International has appointed Jeff Allen as President of ShortsTV. Most recently, Allen was VP of Operations at Hallmark Labs.

This Day in History
1937 – The Marx Brothers’ “A Day at the Races” was released in the US.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What series did Jane Lynch have to leave in order to take her part in Glee (2009-2015)? Party Down (2009-2010). Kudos to: Katie Guhl-Zero Point Zero Production/NYC, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Alee Petrucelli-BBC Studios/NYC, Carl Mayer-Active International/Pearl River, NY, Hillary Boz-Cadent/NYC, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Untion/Burbank, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Who played the stay-at-home dad in sitcom Daddio (2000)? (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.)

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

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Albert Nassour

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
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Director of Operations

Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
Glass Entertainment Group

Story producer to help lead a new episodic podcast. You will be involved in episode dvlopmnt, rsrch, interview prep & prod episodes (both during actual record & in post). Background in storytelling & min 5yrs exp making audio, pref w/proven field reporting exp. Full info HERE

Jersey City, NJ:
Lead/develop, and deploy enhancements to PointsBet’s growth marketing strategies including performance media, SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, MarTech, and more. 10+yrs of exp in relevant growth marketing roles, ideally for digital/app based product(s). Full info HERE (6/23)

MY Entertainment is seeking a highly organized, charismatic, and reality-TV loving candidate w/1yr admin exp and working exp in TV. Strong knwldg MS PP &Keynote. Adobe Suite (Premiere & InDesign preferred)
Full info HERE (6/23)

RNN/Rye Brooke NY: Responsible for growing and managing its Diginet business across all of its TV stations. Minimum of 5 yrs exp in sales in the TV industry and experience in Diginet/multicast/D2 business required. Exp’d networking & establishing new relationships with key players at agencies and advertisers. BA deg Full info HERE (6/18)

Glass Entertainment Group/Philadelphia:
Story producer to help lead a new episodic podcast. You will be involved in episode dvlopmnt, rsrch, interview prep & prod episodes (both during actual record & in post). Background in storytelling & min 5yrs exp making audio, pref w/proven field reporting exp. Full info HERE (6/18)

AccuWeather/State College PA:
Produce compelling live video segments for the national network on a daily and as-needed schedule. Put together the rundown for each individual segment and work with a team. Entrepreneurial spirit & working knwldg of non-linear editing suites req’d. Full info HERE (6/18)

AMC Networks’ Acorn TV/Silver Spring, MD:
Plans, implements, evaluates performance/KPIs of multi-territory subscriber acquisition campaigns; acts as creative lead and agency POC. Spanish fluency required; marketing exp, 5+ yrs. Full info/apply HERE (6/17)

Passionate, innovative & driven candidate to support planning, development & execution of marketing, brand building & PR initiatives for the company’s Football & Basketball clients. 5+ yrs comms, sales, superior marketing & athletic brand building skills a must. Full info HERE (6/17)

Earth Day Network/DC:
Help support the dvlpmnt/ execution of multi-channel, integrated communications and engagement strategies. 3+ yrs of communications planning and execution exp. Superior communication skills a must. Full info HERE (6/17)

ABC: Holey Moley, Don’t [p], To Tell the Truth
CBS: Young Sheldon, Man With a Plan [f], Mom, Broke, S.W.A.T.
CW: Burden of Truth, In the Dark
FOX: Celebrity Watch Party, Summer of Love
NBC: Council of Dads, Blindspot, Law & Order: SVU
PBS: This Old House Hour, National Parks: America’s Best Idea
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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