07/08/15: Two more nets yank Cosby shows; Harry Shearer back onboard The Simpsons; retrans fees projected to jump 63 percent by 2021


Good morning. It’s Wednesday July 8, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Bravo: Million Dollar Listing San Francisco at 10p
Comedy: Key & Peele at 10p, Why? With Hannibal Buress at 10:30p
DIY: American Rehab: Virginia at 11p
Great American Country: Going RV at 10p
IFC: The Spoils Before Dying at 9p
NickToons: Soccer Superstar at 9p

Tonight’s Finales:
A&E: Country Buck$ at 10:30p
Food: Craziest Restaurants in America at 10p
Nat Geo: Yukon Gold at 10p
PBS: First Peoples at 9p

After 2005 court documents were made public in which Bill Cosby admitted to giving Quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with, Bounce TV announced it would cease airing Cosby, effective immediately. BET-owned Centric, which had been airing The Cosby Show, also pulled the plug.


Harry Shearer will be back for seasons 27 and 28 of Fox’s The Simpsons, where he voices characters including Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns and Principal Skinner, among others. Shearer had tweeted in May that he was out, but Fox announced yesterday, “Each and every cast member of the iconic series’ voice cast will be returning.” 

The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council threw its support to NBC and Univision for dropping the Miss Universe pageant after Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants. “By placing a premium on the message to multicultural communities served over the potential economic gain from Miss Universe, Univision and NBC Universal have demonstrated integrity, backbone, and the good judgment that all television viewers deserve,” said MMTC president Kim Keenan. The same day, Trump released a statement attacking Univision and claiming, “I would be the best jobs President that God ever created.”

Fox game show Knock Knock Live, hosted by Ryan Seacrest from an LA studio, has a crew of co-hosts to help on the road: American Idol alum Kellie Pickler, Ross Mathews, Adrienne Bailon, Jordan “Shorty” Johnson and Chuey Martinez will co-host, arriving on people’s doorsteps for surprise games beginning Tuesday, July 21 at 9p.

Late Late Show host James Corden will emcee the 31st Annual Television Critics Association Awards on Saturday, August 8 at the Beverly Hilton. Past hosts include Ellen DeGeneres, Bryan Cranston, Bob Newhart and Drew Carey.

Stand-alone streaming service Showtime made its debut yesterday, available as promised ahead of the season premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex on Sunday, July 12. Subscribers will have access to every season of Showtime series, as well as movies, sports and documentary programming, and the live broadcast of the Showtime east and west coast feeds.

Were Bounce TV and Centric right to pull Bill Cosby shows off the air? Let us know what you think in the new Cynopsis poll.

By 2018, U.S. TV stations’ average per subscriber retransmission fee will reach $1.53 – just a few cents below Disney Channel ($1.56), forecasts SNL Kagan. Total retrans fee is projected to rise 63 percent, to $10.3 billion in six years, with the dollars going from affiliate and Owned & Operated stations back to network partners potentially increasing from $1.65 billion in 2015 to $3.69 billion in 2021.

The upward trajectory of retransmission fees doesn’t sit well with cable operators. Rocco B. Commisso, chairman and CEO of Mediacom, sent a letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler pointing out, “Pay TV costs are significantly higher in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world largely because the average monthly wholesale programming costs paid by most MVPDs have grown to over $45 per subscriber. To put these wholesale programming costs in their proper perspective, $45 is roughly the monthly retail price ISPs change for their flagship broadband product.” 



For the third year in a row, we celebrate those in online video content and advertising who are at the forefront of this new industry. With over 40 categories available for submission, what are you waiting for?

Enter your submissions today.


Universal Cable Productions inked a first look deal with comics company Dark Horse to develop and produce scripted programming. “Dark Horse Entertainment has an incredible roster of fantastical, witty and mind-bending stories,” said Dawn Olmstead, EVP Development at UCP. “Their brand has conquered multiple media platforms and boasts iconic books that have attracted the highest level of writers. It’s going to be a wild and imaginative ride.”

Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil production company, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced and City Entertainment are banding together to develop a series based on a documentary about Rick Hall that would explore the pioneering artists and culture surrounding the birth of “Muscle Shoals Sound.” Greg Camalier, director of music doc Muscle Shoals, will be onboard to produce the TV adaptation.


Cutthroat Kitchen summer event Camp Cutthroat launches Wednesday, August 12 at 9p on Food Network, with twelve chefs under the eye of counselor Alton Brown. Outdoor-themed challenges like canteen cooking and tug-of-war lead to winnings of up to $75,000.

Twelve intrepid, and not shy, Naked and Afraid alums gather for Discovery’s Naked and Afraid XL. Premiere event airs Sunday, July 12 at 9p.

Mexico’s public broadcasting net Canal Once launches season two of Elogio de la cocina Mexicana on Thursday, July 9 at 11p. Culinary series offers secret recipes, cooking techniques and a look at the evolution of Mexican cuisine.

Guest judges on the upcoming season of Lifetime’s Project Runway include Bella Thorne (Scream), Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish), Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer (UnREAL). Season 14 launches Thursday, August 6.


USA’s Chrisley Knows Best was handed a fourth season as it nears the halfway mark of its third run. The reality show has grown season-to-season with number three averaging 2.6 million total viewers P2+ (up 17 percent over season two), 1.3 million P18-49 (up 11 percent) and 1.4 million P25-54 (up 26) with Live+7/Live+3 data. Series airs Tuesdays at 9p; midseason finale is slated for July 21.

Comedy Central picked up late nighter @Midnightvfb With Chris Hardwick for a third season. The 40-week run, produced by Funny Or Die, is slated for 2016.

Cartoon Network ordered Cartoon Network Studios’ original series Adventure Time and Regular Show for season eights, Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe for third go-rounds and Clarence for a sophomore run.

We haven’t seen the last of The Last Alaskans. Animal Planet renewed the docu-series for a second season, set to premiere in 2016. An all-day marathon leads up to the freshman finale on Sunday, July 12 at 8p.


The cast of Nat Geo four-hour movie event Saints & Strangers, set on the Mayflower, includes Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Michael Jibson (Hatfields & McCoys), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), Rob Livingston (Band of Brothers), Natascha McElhone (Californication) and Tatanka Means (Banshee). Historical drama produced by Sony Pictures Television with Little Engine Productions.

Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors) has joined ABC’s Castle in a series regular role. Season eight premieres Monday, September 21 at 10p.

Singer and former The X Factor judge Kelly Rowland is onboard season two of hit Fox hip hop drama Empire, reports TheWrap. Rowland will appear in flashback as the mother of Lucious Lyon.


The U.S. wasn’t the only big winner at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. According to Amobee Brand Intelligence, there were close to 26,000 tweets related to Nike, official sponsor of the U.S. team, the most of any brand. Tournament sponsor Adidas scored 2453 soccer-related tweets.

Overall ad spending dipped 4 percent in 1Q15, but revenue for Hispanic media (cable and broadcast TV and radio) was up 3.9 percent, to $1.7 billion, according to Kantar Media. “Marketing to Hispanics and multicultural marketing is a more established tool in marketers’ overall toolbox for large advertisers,” said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar. “And Spanish-language media has benefitted.”

Azteca America has partnered with Ford for Fuerza Ford, a sponsored content initiative showcasing the auto company’s Ford F-150. The Spanish-language web series focused on Mexican boxers will run for ten weeks. Ford has been the exclusive TV automotive sponsor for Box Azteca since 2010.

What is influencing ad buys this year? Half of respondents in Cynopsis’ Upfronts Survey suggested integrated programming opportunities are the key driver. Data solutions was next, with 35 percent; only 12 percent said new programming influenced buys. As for the one-on-one meetings that replaced glitzy events at many networks this season, 32 percent of those surveyed labeled them “very effective,” while 65 percent said they were “somewhat effective.” Whether big events are worth the money could be up for debate: 34 percent of our respondents said they influenced ad buys, 40 percent said they were somewhat influenced, and 26 percent said events had no impact.

Not so fast with the ad skipping. Well-being site Happify culled data about TV viewing that indicates watching TV with ads is more enjoyable than watching commercial-free. “It’s certainly surprising, and counterintuitive to what most of us might think,” Harvard researcher and author of Happy Money Michael Norton, who contributed to the findings, tells Cynopsis. Norton notes that the program genre matters. “Dramatic, cliff-hanger shows which cut unexpectedly from one scene to another have built-in disruptions that prevent us from getting tired of a scene, so researchers theorize commercials may be more effective in boosting our enjoyment of less suspenseful shows (think comedies and family shows).”

Horizon Media is teaming with Management Plus Enterprises, owner of the Asics World Series of Beach Volleyball, for a multiplatform event surrounding its annual tournament, held August 18-23 and broadcast on NBC. “Our partnership with the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball provides our clients with an incredible opportunity to hold a true ownership position in a multi-platform lifestyle event,” said Michael Neuman, managing partner at Horizon’s Scout Sports and Entertainment.


Armoza Formats will distribute NBC’s season of recently renewed I Can Do That globally. The variety show has already been acquired by TV New Zealand.


Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 and publisher Axel Springer are in early merger talks for a $16 billion deal that would “shake up the media market,” reports the Wall Street Journal. The companies’ attempt at a deal ten years ago was blocked due to anti-trust fears.

Factual producer Pioneer Productions is partnering with South Korea’s PAAN Media to launch a joint venture, Buzz Media. The new production company will develop and produce factual programming for UK, Korean and international broadcasters.

It appears a non-compete clause in their BBC contracts would put the brakes on former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May appearing on a rival car show on UK’s ITV before April 2017, though streaming services remain an option. Top Gear is relaunching in April with new host Chris Evans; Clarkson’s contract was not renewed after he assaulted a show producer.


Oznoz original miniseries Lili & Lola debuts today, targeting preschoolers. Produced by Shabnam Rezaei and Aly Jetha of Big Bad Boo Studios, the series focuses on an Iranian family living in a multicultural city and airs in Persian (Farsi) with new episodes every Wednesday. The multilingual OTT channel caters to bilingual families in North America.


Join us on
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 1:30PM to 3:00PM (ET) to learn how to:
Create apps that take the platform to the next level
To provide greater opportunity for parental interaction  I Ensure compliance I  Determine the optimal price point  I  Make your app stand out  Ensure retention I  Build digital extensions for your stories and characters
…and more!



Season four of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York averaged 794,000 P18-49, 870,000 P25-54 and 1.5 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Live+3, the highest-rated season for the series and the highest-rated in the Million Dollar Listing franchise among P18-49. 

Destination America had its most-watched and highest-rated June ever. With an assist from the premieres of Impact Wrestling and BBQ Pitmasters: All Stars, the net saw gains of 9 percent among P25-54 in Primetime ratings and 18 percent among HH in Primetime ratings versus June 2014.

Science Channel delivered its most watched second quarter ever on a Total Day basis during2Q15 on total viewer P2+ delivery, up 6 percent versus 2Q14. The net also moved up the M18-49 ranker by one position versus 2Q14, landing at number 31 for the quarter among all ad supported cable networks.

As ABC’s Bachelorette whittles down her selection of Prince Charmings, the dating show hit a seven-week high with a 2.0 A18-49 rating on Monday, up one tenth versus last week and the best since its May 18 season debut.

Velocity had its highest-ever rated June in Total Day for HH, P/M18-49, P/M25-54, P18-34 as well as the highest-delivering June ever in Total Day across all target demos. During Primetime, the month was Velocity’s highest-ever in Households and M18-49, and best-ever delivering June for key demos P/M18-49 and P/M25-54, as well as Households, M18+, and P2+. Year over year, the net grew 10 percent in Primetime HH ratings and 7 percent in M18-49. Among networks with subscribers under 70M, Velocity tied for first in M25-54 delivery with Univision Deportes.

TV One posted a 51 percent increase in W25-54 and 47 percent lift among W18-49  for 2Q14 versus last year. It’s the best second quarter of the network’s history in Prime among P25-54, W25-54 and HHs. 

Fox Television Stations talker test Boris & Nicole launched with a 1.0 HH rating and 3 share, up 25 percent from the year-ago time period, based on early numbers. The four-week test is running on 20 stations.

Friday A18-49 Analysis: ABC, Univision and NBC tied for the most A18-49 viewers on Friday with .8/4, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. ABC’s Shark Tank topped 8p with .8/4, followed by Univision’s Amores con Trampa with .7/4. ABC’s What Would You Do and NBC’s America’s Got Talent tied at 9p with .8/4, while Telemundo’s Senor de los Cielos, NBC’s Dateline Classic and Univision’s Que te Perone Dios…Yo No shared first at 10p with .9/4.

A18-49: ABC .8/4, NBC .8/4, UNI .8/4, CBS .5/3, TELE .5/3, FOX .4/3, CW .3/1, ION .1/1

Live+Same Day Household Ratings: Friday, July 3, 2015 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated.
CBS: 2.9/6
Undercover Boss [r] 2.2/5, Hawaii Five-0 [r] 2.9/5, Blue Bloods [r] 3.6/8
NBC: 2.5/5
America’s Got Talent [r] 2.3/4, Dateline Classic [r] 3.0/6
ABC: 2.3/5
Shark Tank [r] 2.4/5, What Would You Do? [r] 2.3/5, 20/20 2.2/5
Amores con Trampa 1.0/2, Lo Imperdonable 1.0/2, Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No 1.3/3
FOX: .7/2
MasterChef [r] .8/2, Gotham [r] .6/1
Avenida Brasil .5/1, Tierra de Reyes .6/1, Senor de los Cielos .9/2
CW: .5/1
Whose Line Is It Anyway? [r] .6/1, Whose Line Is it Anyway? [r] .5/1, iHeartRadio Pool Party [r] .4/1
ION: .4/1
Flashpoint .5/1, Flashpoint .4/1, Flashpoint .4/1


Jim Meyer has been named to the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer at Ipsos. Meyer had been CEO of Ipsos ASI in North America.


Cable industry pioneer Glenn R. Jones died July 7. Jones founded Jones Intercable, once a top-ten cable operator that was sold to Comcast in 1999, and formed Jones/NCRI, and Jones Cyber Solutions.

This Day in History:
1889 – The Wall Street Journal was first published.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Which sitcom family lived on Robin Hood Lane? The Seavers on Growing Pains (1985-1992). Kudos to: Ellen Gerstein-Save the Children/Fairfield, CT, Anthony Salerno-Horizon Media/NYC, John Avellino-Sony Pictures Television/NYC, Karen Kelly-SPUH/New Brunswick, NJ, Paul Blutter-Hollywood Depot Rentals/Burbank, CA, Lindsay Garber-Splash Entertainment/Woodlan Hillss, CA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Guest stars on which 1970s procedural included Sylvester Stallone, F.Murray Abraham and Christopher Walken? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).
Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey

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

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ABC: The Middle [r], The Goldbergs [r], Modern Family [r], black-ish [r], Celebrity Wife Swap
CBS: Big Brother, Criminal Minds [r], Extant
CW: Arrow [r],
Supernatural [r]
FOX: MasterChef, Bullseye
NBC: America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior 
PBS: Operation Wild, First Peoples [
f], NOVA [r]
Telemundo: Avenida Brasil, Tierra de Reyes, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Amores con Trampa, Lo Imperdonable, Que te Perdone Dios…Yo No

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