06/12/20: Walmart has Designs on HGTV


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Friday June 12, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Hulu: Crossing Swords
Netflix: Pokémon Journeys: The Series, The Woods, Crime Diaries
Outdoor Channel: Rubber Foot Buffalo Adventures at 7p
Reelz: Serial Psyche at 8p

Saturday’s Premiere
Ovation TV: Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime at 7p

Sunday’s Premieres
History: World War II: Race to Victory at 9p
PBS: Grantchester on Masterpiece at 9, Beecham House on Masterpiece at 10p
TLC: 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? at 8p
Weather Channel: Weird Earth at 9p, Top 100 Weather Moments at 10p

Sunday’s Finales
AMC: Quiz at 9p
Food Network: Worst Cooks in America at 9p
HBO: I Know This Much Is True at 9p, Insecure at 10:20p
Science Channel: Unearthed at 9p, Forbidden History at 10p


Attention shoppers: Discovery Inc. struck a new partnership with Walmart for product integration into the new self-shot HGTV series Design At Your Door. The deal includes long-form integration into each episode of the series. Shoppable articles will be created for HGTV.com, and a shoppable hub on Walmart.com will highlight products featured in the show. “With the ability to create new programming and content during the pandemic, Discovery is uniquely positioned to offer consumers real solutions to real problems they are facing,” said Jon Steinlauf, Chief U.S. Ad Sales Officer, Discovery, Inc. “Walmart understands this and is a fantastic partner to work with.”

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios and Comcast settled their long-running racial discrimination lawsuit and reached a carriage agreement for The Weather Channel and 14 local TV stations, as well as cable channels Comedy.tv, Recipe.TV and JusticeCentral.TV. Allen’s litigation against Comcast, claiming his channels were denied access because of his race, was withdrawn. “We’re excited to begin a new phase of partnership with Comcast and Xfinity, including the distribution of our cable channels for the first time on Xfinity platforms,” said Allen.

CTV is now a mature platform with viewing patterns mirroring those of linear TV, according to a new whitepaper from FreeWheel, A Comcast Company. Key findings include:
* 61% of CTV visits in 3Q19 lasted more than an hour, compared to 36% two years earlier.
* CTV’s average ad completion rate is 97%, indicating high engagement from viewers across connected devices.
* CTV offers one of the highest authentication rates of any digital platform: 68% of ad views are generated by viewers that have logged in, with that number higher (90%) for Smart TVs.

Amazon picked up British dramedy Flack, dropped by Pop TV shortly before season two was scheduled to launch. The streamer landed rights to seasons one and two, starring Anna Paquin as a troubled PR exec, in the US and Canada.

BET announced its overall social justice initiative, “Content for Change.” BET will significantly expand its relationships with and support of social justice organizations’ efforts to drive change, bolster its relationships with current content partners and forge relationships with up-and-coming creators to use the platform to rally the voices of Black lives. To support the undertaking, BET and its corporate partners will dedicate $25 million to the initiative. “For forty years, BET has been a unifying space for Black people to be seen, heard, showcased and celebrated,” said BET President Scott Mills. “As many in America move more boldly and with a greater sense of urgency to address racial inequities, we will utilize the full breadth of our capabilities and partnerships to help drive this critical change.”

YouTube created a $100 million fund aimed at amplifying the voices of Black creators and artists on its platform, and announced special Bear Witness, hosted by Common and Keke Palmer. The special, airing Saturday, June 13 at 6p, will feature YouTube creators, artists, public figures and activists. “I support the Black Lives Matter movement and I think it’s imperative that we help amplify Black voices and continue the conversation about meaningful change and racial justice,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content for YouTube.

Apple is also committing $100 million to support racial justice, announcing the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. The program will have a “special focus on issues of education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform,” said CEO Tim Cook.

Amid nationwide protests for police reform, A&E canceled Live PD. “This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD,” said the network. “Going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.” The decision to yank the highly-rated cable show came one day after Paramount Network canceled long-running Cops, and after reports from Austin of the Live PD crew capturing footage of the arrest and death of 40-year-old postal worker Javier Ambler in police custody last year. The unaired footage was destroyed after the investigation had concluded.

Live PD host Dan Abrams explained on his website that the footage was destroyed according to the show’s policy, to keep law enforcement from “attempting to use Live PD video to prosecute citizens seen on the footage.” However, in the case of Ambler, “Given what happened, I wish the tape had been preserved and the policy should have had an exception for this sort of situation,” Abrams said.

Where can advertisers to reach audiences for canceled Cops and Live PD? According to an analysis of 15 million Smart TV HHs by Alphonso, the Cops audience is likely to watch Paramount Network’s airings of Mom and Two and a Half Men, A&E’s Ghost Hunters and NBC’s Early Today and A Little Late With Lilly Singh, as compared to the total TV audience. Outside of A&E’s other Live PD shows, the Live PD audience is likely to watch A&E’s Accused: Guilty or Innocent and Ghost Hunters, CBS’s SEAL Team, and FOX’s Greatest Games: NFL.

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign launched a petition and sent an open letter asking Facebook to stop “amplifying untrustworthy content” and to promptly fact-check election-related material that goes viral. Facebook should also prevent campaigns and PACs from lying in paid advertisements and prevent lies about how to vote, the campaign said. Responded Facebook, “Just as they have done with broadcast networks — where the US government prohibits rejecting politicians’ campaign ads — the people’s elected representatives should set the rules, and we will follow them. There is an election coming in November and we will protect political speech, even when we strongly disagree with it.”

A petition from ViacomCBS employees asked the company to have Pluto TV stop streaming conservative talk channel the First unless it drops Bill O’Reilly’s program, citing O’Reilly’s “well-documented history of making racist comments, denying the existence of systemic racism, undermining the efforts of Black protesters and insulting Black public figures.” ViacomCBS said while it is reviewing standards for content and channels on Pluto TV, it does not plan to pull the First. “Pluto TV, by design, is a service that makes available a wide variety of channels programmed by third parties, and we think it is critical to represent a diversity of viewpoints, even those we disagree with,” said the company.

The late basketball star Kobe Bryant has been named the recipient of the Television Academy’s 72nd Los Angeles Area Governors Award, for his legacy of philanthropy, community building and inspiration that extended beyond the basketball court. The LA Emmys stream July 18 at 7p.

Disney and T-Mobile have pulled advertising from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight over the host’s comments about the Black Lives Matter movement. T-Mobile said it canceled future ads and tweeted that it “will continue to support those who stand against racial injustice.” Ads for ABC did make it onto Carlson’s show, but Disney told Deadline they were mistakenly placed there by third party buyers “who were unaware that we do not advertise on the show, and they have now been notified not to place any further ads.” A Fox News spokesperson said all national ads and revenue from Carlson’s show have moved to other programs and Fox News hasn’t lost any revenue overall.

AMC Networks has joined On Addressability, the addressable advertising initiative founded last June by Charter, Comcast and Cox. What prompted the move? “What is exciting for us about this launch is the unprecedented, national scale that it provides for addressable linear advertising,” AMC Networks’ Evan Adlman, SVP, Advanced Advertising and Digital Partnerships, tells Cynopsis. “At this moment in time, it’s more important than ever to support brand partners and maximize their ad budgets, and adding this layer of targeting along with the scale provided across the nation’s largest MVPDs brings meaningful value to advertisers.”

SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced they have reached a tentative agreement for a new TV and film contract. Their current contract expires June 30. “We are living in transformational times,” said SAG-AFTRA President and Negotiating Committee Chair Gabrielle Carteris. “With all that is happening in the world right now, we accomplished something significant, with gains in streaming residuals and increased contributions to the benefits plans.” Next step: The deal goes before the SAG-AFTRA national board of governors for review.

Spanish-language EstrellaTV network is now available over the air in the Corpus Christi market, on Station K21OC on channel 54.2 in Corpus Christi.

“The Cynopsis Sports Awards continue to recognize the passionate stories coming from both behind and in-front of the camera. We are honored to continue that tradition and thank the industry for their continued support.”

– Chris Pursell | CYNOPSIS Director of Content

Virtual Awards Celebration: August 12th – Stay Tuned For Details!

View Finalists


Starz has picked up Hightown for a second season. The Cape Cod crime drama was the best performing series premiere across the Starz App and OTT platforms to date, doubling the previous series high in addition to its 1.45 million linear viewers in Live+7.

HBO Max picked up Love Life for a second season. The romantic anthology starring Anna Kendrick is one of the new streamer’s top performers out of all available content. Season two will also be set in NYC, but focus on a new character’s journey. Kendrick will appear occasionally.

Hulu is developing a series adaptation of The Other Typist, the novel by Suzanne Rindell set in Prohibition-era NYC. Keira Knightley will star in and exec produce the project, from Searchlight Television and 20th Century Fox Television. Ilene Chaiken (The L Word) will write and exec produce.

Ricky Velez is reuniting with The King of Staten Island producer/director/writer Judd Apatow for an HBO comedy special. Apatow will exec produce the special with Velez, Jon Kamen, Meredith Bennett, Neal Marshall and Dave Sirulnick.

Donut Films, a cross-platform production company focusing on drama and comedy, has been launched by scriptwriter and journalist Jane Marlow and producer, Virginia Orr. The company’s first project, drama They Them Us, has been picked up by Canadian LGBTQ+ television network and streaming service OUTtv.


Snap introduced Snap Minis, small apps built by third-party software developers that are “bite-sized utilities tailor-made for friends,” said Will Wu, Director of Product. Snap Minis can be opened within Snapchat, and used by groups of users at the same time. “You and your friend can find out what classes you have together,” said Wu. “Or find your next open time block to hang out.” A Snap Mini that will be available at launch – in July on Android and iOS versions of Snapchat – comes from Atom Tickets, and allows users to watch trailers together and buy theater seats.

Snap also announced new camera and augmented reality experiences. Lens Studio now features SnapML, which lets any developer bring their own machine learning models to power Lenses. In addition, Lens Studio now offers Face Landmarks and Face Expressions for improved facial tracking, new Hand Gesture templates, and an updated user interface to simplify navigation within the tool. Lens Studio is also releasing a foot tracking template powered by an ML model from Wannaby that lets developers easily create Lenses that interact with feet. And Snap is previewing Local Lenses, which enable a persistent, shared AR world – Snapchatters and their friends will be able to step into a virtual space together to decorate nearby buildings with paint and experience a new dimension of AR

As far as content, Snap announced the NFL and NBA, Disney, ESPN, NBUniversal, and ViacomCBS have expanded their Discover deals. Snap also introduced news offering Happening Now, with The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters, NBC News, ESPN, NowThis, E! News and BuzzFeed News. A slate of Snap originals includes three unscripted series, four docu-series and three scripted shows.


Tom Hanks WWII drama Greyhound, slated for a theatrical release until the coronavirus crisis hit, will make its debut exclusively on Apple TV+ on July 10. Hanks plays a Navy veteran who must protect a convoy of 37 ships across the Atlantic. Apple paid upwards of $70 million for worldwide rights for the film.

60 Minutes goes short form in Quibi’s 60 in 6, launching with two episodes on Sunday, June 14 that focus on George Floyd and social justice reform. Episodes lasting 10 minutes or less will then premiere Mondays.

Tubi has partnered with hospital platform pCare to make the streaming service available to COVID-19 patients coping with isolation. “We are honored to partner with pCare and hospitals nationwide to bring Tubi’s rich library of titles to patients at a crucial time when entertainment, now more than ever, is beneficial for sustaining mental health,” said Andrea Clarke-Hall, Tubi’s Head of Global Business Development.


Season 10 of Robot Chicken returns to Adult Swim on Sunday, June 28 at midnight, while new animated series YOLO: Crystal Fantasy – following two Australian party girls looking for fun – makes its debut on Sunday, August 9 at midnight.

Series making their debuts on Fuse this summer include Hype Up, which has musicians surprising fans with unforgettable days, starting July 1 at 11:30p; esports series Modern Gladiators, arriving July 14 at 11p; and street art showcase UnFramed, debuting August 1 at 11p.

Making their midseason premieres on truTV this summer are Hot Ones: The Game Show on Tuesday, July 14 at 10p, and Tacoma FD on Thursday, July 23 at 10p.


Ben Hollingsworth has been bumped up from recurring to series regular for season two of Netflix drama Virgin River.


Discovery Networks has commissioned Nordisk Film TV Norway to produce a local adaptation of Keshet Productions’ relationship show Singletown. The series starts shooting in Oslo in July and will broadcast on Dplay.

Latin America’s Pinguim Content and Canadian coproducer partner Kondolole Films announced a partnership with Safe Streaming AVOD channel Kidoodle.TV for the animated music-based preschool series Ping and Friends. The series is now available in English and French on the Canada-based AVOD service, which is aimed at children under 12 and their families and is available in more than 140 countries.

NENT Studios UK struck a two-season deal with India’s video streaming platform, ZEE5, and producer Big Synergy Media Ltd., which will see a localized version of its scripted format Black Widows created for Indian audiences.

Insight TV, producer of original, action-sports and adventure lifestyle content for millennials, has entered into a programming partnership with SuperSport, a South Africa-based Pan-African group of TV channels, for three series: Tackling Europe; Beyond the Boundary; and Photonis Ultimate Sports Challenge.

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WE tv’s Growing Up Hip Hop boasts a five-week streak of viewership growth in the second half of season 5 among W18-49 and 25-54 and A25-54. The June 4 episode also delivered the second consecutive week of season-high ratings among W25-54 and third consecutive week among A25-54 and W18-49 in Nielsen Live+3 ratings.

HGTV’s Bargain Mansions has delivered its highest-rated season, with a .74 L3 rating among W25-54; a 0.71 Live+3 rating among upscale P25-54; and a 0.87 Live+3 rating among upscale W25-54. In addition, it delivered a 0.72 Live+3 rating among P2+ and a 1.44 L3 household rating.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Wednesday, June 10
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Wonderful World of Disney 2.45 (0.5), Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.57 (0.3)
CBS: Game On! 3.52 (0.5), SEAL Team 2.50 (0.3), S.W.A.T. 2.48 (0.3)
CW: The Hundred 0.63 (0.2), Bulletproof 0.38 (0.1)
FOX: MasterChef 1.59 (0.4), Ultimate Tag 1.84 (0.5)
NBC: Chicago Med 3.97 (0.5), Chicago Fire 4.20 (0.5), Chicago P.D. 3.77 (0.5)
Univision: Te Doy la Vida 1.67 (0.5), Amor Eterno 1.87 (0.6), Como tu no hay dos 1.49 (0.5)
Telemundo: Cennet 1.27 (0.4), 100 Dias Enamorarnos 0.85 (0.3), La Reina del Sur 0.63 (0.2)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


ViacomCBS named Bruce Gillmer, President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events at ViacomCBS Media Networks. Gillmer most recently served as Head of Global Music and Executive Vice President, Music & Talent, Programming & Events for Viacom International Media Networks.

Amazon’s Audible tapped Brad Schwartz to serve as Chief Content Officer. Schwartz was previously President of Pop TV.

Tumblr has hired Cavel Khan as the company’s new Chief Revenue Officer. Khan was previously SVP of Client Partnerships, North America at VICE.


Writer Jas Waters died at age 39. “This news took my breath away,” said This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman. “Jas was absolutely brilliant and had so many stories still to tell. She made an indelible mark on our show and my heart breaks for her loved ones.” In addition to This Is Us, Waters’ writing credits included Kidding and The Breaks, among others.

Character actor Mel Winkler died in his sleep of unknown causes. He was 78. In addition to voice work on The New Batman Adventures and Oswald, Winkler appeared on numerous shows, among them The Cosby Show, Touched by an Angel, NYPD Blue and The Shield.

This Day in History
1981- Raiders of the Lost Ark premiered.

Friday Fun Fact
It is illegal to carry ice cream in your back pocket in Kentucky.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Who played the stay-at-home dad in Daddio (2000)? Michael Chiklis. Kudos to: Corey Lambert-Showtime Networks/NYC, Heather Allen-WWE Corp/Stamford, CT, Greg Heim-Newsday/Melville, NY, Ted Linhart-NBCU/NYC, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Dan Whitford-WTTW/Chicago, Les Stipp-GSD&M/Chicago, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Eric Litt-Nexstar/Chicago, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question
Which series featured Kim Kardashian, Rosie O’Donnell and Paula Abdul in recurring roles? (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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9 Story Media

Remote for now & eventually NYC office. Exp’d producer for an iconic, high profile preschool series that combines 2D, 3D and live action. 5+ yrs production exp, children’s content exp, animation req’d. Strong storytelling skills w/understanding of preschool audiences. Full info HERE (6/26)


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)
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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: Shark Tank, 20/20
CBS: MacGyver, Magnum P.I., Blue Bloods
CW: Masters of Illusion, Masters of Illusion, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Whose Line Is It Anyway
FOX: WWE Friday Night Smackdown
NBC: World of Dance, The Wall, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week, Firing Line With Margaret Hoover, Prideland, The Lavendar Scare
Telemundo: Cennet, 100 Dias Para Anamorarnos, La Reina del Sur
Univision: Te Doy la Vida, Como tu no hay dos


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