06/15/20: ABC announces first Black Bachelor, Matt James


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Monday June 15, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Acorn TV: Hidden
Adult Swim: Tender Touches at midnight
HGTV: Generation Renovation: Lake House at 9p

Tonight’s Finales
BYUtv: Wayne Brady’s Comedy IQ at 6p
CW: Roswell, New Mexico at 9p
Nat Geo: Barkskins at 9p
NBC: Songland at 10p


ABC selected Matt James as its Bachelor for the 25th season. James, the show’s first Black Bachelor, was slated to be a suitor in The Bachelorette when production shutdown due to the coronavirus. “Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season,” said Karey Burke, President, ABC Entertainment. “When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor. We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience. This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise.” The news broke as a petition calling for the show to cast more people of color had gathered 84,000 signatures; Rachel Lindsay was the first Black Bachelorette in 2017.

Celebrity stylist Jessica Mulroney “will no longer appear” on Good Morning America, where she’s been a fashion contributor since 2018. Mulroney was accused of threatening Black influencer Sasha Exeter after Exeter urged public figures to use their social media to combat racism. Canada’s Bell Media removed Mulroney’s reality series, I Do, Redo, from its platforms, saying Mulroney’s conduct conflicts with its commitment to diversity and equality. “I’m going to take this time to reflect, learn and focus on my family,” said Mulroney on Instagram.

ABC News placed SVP of Talent, Editorial Strategy and Business Affairs, Barbara Fedida, on administrative leave while claims of insensitive and racist marks reported in HuffPost are investigated. “There are deeply disturbing allegations in this story that we need to investigate, and we have placed Barbara Fedida on administrative leave while we conduct a thorough and complete investigation,” said the network. “These allegations do not represent the values and culture of ABC News.” In response, Fedida said through her attorney, “I am proud of my decades of work of hiring, supporting and promoting talented journalists of color… unlike these heartbreaking and incredibly misleading claims about me, that track record is well-documented and undeniable.”

NBC handed a season two renewal to freshman series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. “We were overwhelmed by the number of people who fell in love with Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and how much joy it brought to everyone,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. Season one averaged a 0.7 rating in A18-49 and 3.1 million viewers in Live+7 Nielsens.

NBCUniversal is joining the Stand for Small coalition with American Express, an initiative that has corporations offering resources for small businesses to build back up after COVID-19 losses. NBCU is introducing a Marketing & Creative Services assistance program, as well as an information hub that curates business and financial content.

The premiere of HBO documentary, Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn has been moved from Friday, June 19 to Thursday, June 18 at 9p. The film explores the life and death of the infamous attorney.

“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


ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group is cutting ties with Big Fish Entertainment, producer of A&E’s canceled hit, Live PD. “We have decided to end our relationship with Big Fish Entertainment and will be producing our shows in house at this time,” said a ViacomCBS spokesperson. “We thank Big Fish for their past contributions and wish them the best.” Big Fish is facing backlash for its handling of a police stop during filming of Live PD in which Javier Ambler died, but the video never aired and was eventually destroyed.

HGTV has picked up No Demo Reno (wt), starring home renovation expert and social media influencer Jennifer Todryk. Cameras will follow Todryk as she creates cost-saving home overhauls for clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by working within the existing footprint of the house.

Fox Entertainment is putting the brakes on its content pipeline, SideCar Content Accelerator. The production company, launched a year-and-a-half ago, has 17 projects in development, which will be relocated to Fox’s scripted programming department. SideCar CEO Gail Berman will return as full-time CEO of her The Jackal Group, remaining attached to projects she was exec producing at SideCar.

E! ordered season six of Total Bellas, to launch in fall 2020. The current fifth season is averaging nearly 1 million total viewers, 598,000 P18-49 and 444,000 W18-49, up nine percent, seven percent and 15 percent, respectively, from the prior season.


WarnerMedia is removing HBO Go, its streaming app for HBO subscribers, from distribution on July 31, and rebranding HBO Now to HBO. “Now that HBO Max has launched and is widely distributed, we can implement some significant changes to our app offering in the US,” said the company. “Most customers who have traditionally used HBO Go to stream HBO programming are now able to do so via HBO Max.”


The One and Only Ivan, a film adaptation of the bestseller about a gorilla, makes its debut August 21 on Disney+. The movie, previously scheduled for a theatrical release, features the voices of Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren and Chaka Khan.

John Legend hosts one-hour variety special John Legend and Family: A Bigger Love for Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21 at 8p. The tribute will include performances from Legend’s album, “Bigger Love,” due out June 19.

NBC News virtual discussion Growing Up Black: Families Confronting Racism will stream at 8p tonight, June 15 on Peacock and other NBC sites. Hosted by Today and MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin, the special will focus on black parents raising children of different ages.

American Trial: The Eric Garner Story premieres on Reelz on Saturday, June 20 at 8p. The unscripted courtroom drama presents a criminal case against and a defense of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, captured on video using a chokehold on Eric Garner who gasped, “I can’t breathe” several times before dying on a Staten Island sidewalk in 2014.

Crackle Plus original film Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters debuts Thursday, June 18. The doc charts the making of the original 1984 movie, with interviews with over 40 members of the cast and crew.

Animal Planet behind-the-scenes special Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Life in Lockdown has moved from June 27 to Saturday, July 11 at 9p.


Backstreet Rookie, A+E Networks Korea’s scripted drama, will premiere simultaneously around the world. A+E Networks International holds worldwide distribution rights, signing on to the show as its first investor in 2019 which paved the way for its development and production. Starting June 19, the series will air on SBS in Korea, followed by Lifetime Korea. U-NEXT will have an SVOD launch of the series in Japan. iQIYI, the worldwide partner for the drama excluding Japan, will air Backstreet Rookie with the Korean window around the globe, excluding China.

The adtech community is stepping up to the plate…

The Cynopsis Adtech Awards
Enter By June 24th

During a time when in-person events have been cancelled, the adtech community is stepping up. They’re helping to guarantee marketers upfront inventory and preserve revenue for media owners by using breakthrough approaches and solutions. Adtech providers are a group that lives on the cutting edge of innovation, which is why we are celebrating their platforms, campaigns, and strategies in more than 20 categories. View them all here.


Two-night special OWN Spotlight: Where Do We Go From Here? reached 17.6 million viewers since its premiere across all of Discovery’s platforms. For all linear airings, including repeats, across Discovery’s networks on Tuesday, June 9 (Part 1) and Wednesday, June 10 (Part 2), the special reached 10.9 million unique viewers in Live+SD, and the live simulcasts at 9p reached 7.3 million unique viewers combined for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The premiere of HGTV’s Renovation Island delivered a 0.70 Live+3 rating among P25-54 on Sunday, June 7, helping HGTV garner a 26% increase in Sunday prime over the prior six-week time period. The Live+3 rating among P25-54 also was a 26% increase over year-ago levels.

Food Network delivered a 0.52 P25-54 rating in Live+3 the week of June 1, growing 18% over the same week last year and ranking as the #5 non-news cable network among W25-54.

Discovery’s Naked and Afraid XL earned a 0.91 P25-54 rating, +25% versus last week’s premiere (0.73).

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, June 11
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Holey Moley 4.13 (0.7), Don’t 4.18 (0.8), To Tell the Truth 3.62 (0.7)
CBS: Young Sheldon 5.19 (0.6), Man With a Plan 5.03 (0.6), Mom 4.55 (0.6), Broke 4.08 (0.6), S.W.A.T. 2.70 (0.4)
CW: Burden of Truth 0.50 (0.1), In the Dark 0.43 (0.1)
FOX: Celebrity Watch Party 1.57 (0.4), Labor of Love 0.91 (0.2)
NBC: Council of Dads 2.75 (0.3), Blindspot 1.83 (0.2), Law and Order: SVU 1.95 (0.3)
Telemundo: Cennet 1.28 (0.3), 100 Dias Enamorarnos 0.87 (0.3), Le Reina del Sur 0.62 (0.2)
Univision: Te Doy la Vida 1.66 (0.5), Amor Eterno 1.87 (0.6), Como to no Hay 1.52 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


Swirl Films announced the appointments of Robert A. Boyd II as Chief Operating Officer and Tony L. Strickland as Head of Unscripted and Co-Executive Producer. Boyd was most recently SVP of Programming Operations for BET, and Strickland was VP of Physical Production at BET Networks.

This Day in History
1864 – Congress passed legislation equalizing pay for Black soldiers.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which series featured Kim Kardashian, Rosie O’Donnell and Paula Abdul in recurring roles? Drop Dead Diva (2009-2014). Kudos to: An Cheng-Telepictures Productions/Burbank, Perry Casciato-CBS Television Stations/Riverside, NJ, Errol Da-Re, TLN Media Group/Toronto, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which was the final sitcom created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane to air prior to Friends? (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.)

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Job of the day

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

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) 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: The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever!
CBS: The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, All Rise, Bull
CW: Whose Line Is It Anyway, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Roswell, New Mexico [f]
FOX: 9-1-1, 9-1-1: Lone Star
NBC: The Titan Games, The Wall, Songland [f]
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, America in Black and Blue 2020, A PBS NewsHouse Weekend Special, Independent Lens
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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