07/14/16: Disney Media hosting commercial-free town hall tonight; Luke Russert exiting NBC News; John Cena strikes a deal with Leftfield Entertainment



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Good morning. It’s Thursday July 14, 2016, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
truTV: Impractical Jokers at 10p, Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes at 11p
WE tv: Cutting It: In the ATL at 10p

Tonight’s Finales:
Cooking: Carnival Eats at 9p
History: Alone at 10p


Disney Media Networks is hosting a town hall tonight with President Obama and officers, families and students affected by the violence in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas. Focused on race relations, justice, policing and equality, the event will be simulcast uninterrupted and commercial-free on ABC, ESPN and Freeform, and stream across ABC News Digital, Freeform Digital, Watch ABC, WatchESPN, Yahoo and ABC Radio. World News Tonight anchor David Muir moderates the discussion, joined by ESPN’s Jemele Hill, starting at 8p. After the town hall, Nightline will air a special edition.

Also reacting the recent spate of violence and unrest, Bounce TV is launching an on-air, online initiative calling for de-escalation training for police. Martin Luther King III, a founding father of Bounce, and the casts and producers of the net’s original shows including Ed Gordon, In The Cut, Saints & Sinners, Mann & Wife and Family Time, will participate in the campaign. The Root, the news, opinion and culture site for African-American influencers, is supporting the effort.

Correspondent Luke Russert is leaving NBC News to focus on “other endeavors that I’ve long wanted to pursue,” he tweeted on Wednesday. Russert, the son of the late Tim Russert, long-time moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, said, “It has been a privilege and an honor for me to have worked for NBC News for the last eight years.”

Which cable news anchor is doing the best election coverage? Let us know in the new Cynopsis poll: http://cynopsis.com/poll/.


The It List Awards
Innovative / Intelligent / Influential

Entries are open for the very best pros in digital media who are emulated, one step ahead of the curve, shake up the status quo & have the potential to change the future of the industry.

For more information + to enter, please click here.

Deadline to enterAugust 4, 2016 Awards Event November 4, 2016


Roddenberry Entertainment sci-fi project Holoscape has been optioned by Storyoscopic Films for development as a TV series with international appeal.The drama will be a co-production between the two companies, with Jump! Creative also producing. Exec producers will be Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth for Roddenberry Entertainment (home of Star Trek), Marcus Englefield, George Lee and Brent Baum for Storyoscopic Films, and Doug Triconi for Jump! Creative. “Storyoscopic holds a unique place in the industry due to its strong ties to China and the International Market,” said Roth. 

Also eyeing the international marketplace is Endemol Shine Studios, which struck an exclusive, multi-year deal with Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram’s Ritchie/Wigram Productions. The partnership will focus on developing original scripted franchises for a global audience. 

WWE star John Cena inked a development deal with Leftfield Entertainment for unscripted television and online projects. The agreement extends a relationship that led to Fox’s American Grit – and Cena’s ready to get cracking. “Whether I’m in the ring for WWE or on a TV or film set, I approach all of my work the same way  with focus, authenticity and total commitment,” said Cena. “I’m eager to bring that same work ethic to the team at Leftfield, and to create new kinds of programming that can inspire and push people to be their best.”


Coming out of retirement, boxer Manny Pacquiao will fight in an HBO PPV event this fall. That’s good news for the premium cabler – Pacquiao’s bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015 made upwards of $400 million in revenue for HBO and Showtime. Pacquiao is currently a member of the Philippines Senate.

Money is pouring into VR and augmented reality, but which apps, headsets, and outlets are the best bet? Your questions about monetizing virtual & augmented reality will be answered by execs from IBB Consulting Group, The Weather Channel and National Geographic on July 21 at 1:30p during the next Cynopsis Digital webinar. For more info + to register, go here.

Season one of Showtime’s Roadies is going out on a high note on Sunday, August 28 at 10p. The episode will feature performances by Jim James, Eddie Vedder, Nicole Atkins, Jackson Browne, Robyn Hitchcock, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig from Lucius, and Gary Clark Jr. And it won’t be the last you’ll hear about it – a Roadies soundtrack will be released by Republic Records and Stardog Records.

Patton Oswalt (BoJack Horseman) will voice a new character on the mid-season premiere of Discovery Family Channel’s My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic on Saturday, July 30 at 11:30a. In the Comic-Con themed episode, Oswalt will play a pony named Quibble Pants.


CMT’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team returns for season 11 on Thursday, August 25 at 9p, followed by the season two launch of I Love Kellie Pickler at 10p. Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge was picked up for a new season, to premiere later this year.

A second season of Disney Channel’s Descendants: Wicked World is on the way. No surprise there – the animated short-form series has reached over 130 million viewers across platforms. A half-hour interactive special on Friday, July 15 at 8p will give fans a taste of what’s to come in Descendants 2.

Killer Instinct with Chris Hanson returns for a sophomore season, investigating more shocking homicide cases, on Monday, July 25 at 9p.

Netflix renewed Bloodline for season three. The Sony Pictures Television family drama will return in 2017.

Young rappers once again get the chance to be mentored by producer Jermaine Dupri when season two of The Rap Game premieres on Lifetime Friday, July 22 at 10p, following the season 3B launch of dancing reality show Bring It!.

Vanity Fair Confidential got the green light from ID for season three, slated to launch in 2017. True-crime docu-series featuring archival footage and interviews, as well as access to VF writers and editors, was created by True Entertainment, in partnership with Conde Nast Entertainment and ID.

Season four of Hulu’s East Los High starts streaming Friday, July 15, replete with wedding bells, broken hearts and danger lurking in the streets of East LA. Season one of The Last Panthers, starring Samantha Morton, John Hurt and Tahar Rahim, arrives Monday, July 18.


Start-up companies vie for a $1 million cash infusion in Funded (wt), the first series from the newly formed Universal Television Alternative Studios. NBC gave a series order for the business competition show, featuring mentors Rob Dyrdek, Tyra Banks and Rohan Oza.

New HBO comedy High Maintenance bows Friday, September 16 at 11p. The look at the daily routines of a diverse group of New Yorkers was created and written by Katja Blichfield and Ben Sinclair.

Smithsonian Channel’s Hell Below, charting undersea warfare during submarine campaigns in WWII, launches Sunday, July 17 at 9p. The premiere follows the season seven bow of Mighty Ships.

Crackle drama StartUp, starring Martin Freeman (Fargo) and Adam Brody (CHiPS) is headed for a Tuesday, September 6 launch. One-hour series about the emergence of a new digital currency is set in Miami.


ABC is re-launching its streaming service with seven original short-form series, full seasons of 38 “throwback” shows like Felicity, My So-Called Life and Ugly Betty, and a redesigned user interface. “Our team has completely re-imagined the digital viewing experience,” said Karin Gilford, SVP of digital media. “We are introducing new ABCd original digital series that are fun, fresh and perfect for mobile, and we are making full seasons of all-time favorite shows available for binging.” At launch, seven new ABCd comedy and lifestyle digital series
, developed in-house, are available, with 40 more series in development.

Roku just got a little more Power. Starz launched the Starz App on the Roku platform Wednesday; Roku customers can sign up directly through the Starz App on a Roku device.Starz subscribers from participating cable, satellite and telco partners can also authenticate and view Starz content in the new app. 

HBO four, half-hour Real Time With Bill Maher Republican and Democratic convention specials will be live streamed on YouTube. The shows will run on Maher’s Facebook page the day after air.


Almost four in ten U.S. homes with an 18- to 34-year-old eschew cable and satellite TV reception for broadcast-only (22 percent versus 17 percent for all households) or Internet-only (13 percent versus 6 percent of all TV homes) for TV programming, according to a new study from Gfk. The research, from the “2016 Ownership and Trend Report from The Home Technology Monitor,” indicates 2 percent rises in broadcast-only US households and Internet-only homes versus 2015.  “The fact that a statistically significant increase in broadcast-only reception occurred over just one year may be further proof that the cord-cutting/cord-never phenomenon is accelerating,” says David Tice, SVP in GfK’s Media & Entertainment practice. “If you include homes that have no TVs at all  about 3 percent of all households  then less than three quarters (73 percent) of US homes continue to have pay TV service, with the attendant implications for all stakeholders.”


Upfront ad sales will reach $18.6 billion this year, according to consulting company Media Dynamics, up 4.5 percent for a three-year high. The average cost for reaching 1000 viewers A18-49 will be $47 on broadcast in the 2016-17 season, up from $43, while the average cost on cable will rise from $29 to $31. For its part, with 75-80 percent of Upfront inventory sold, Fox Networks Group reportedly saw hikes across the portfolio of about 5 percent, with significant gains made in selling the group’s total audience across platforms and devices, including VOD and online video.


Hamilton’s Renee Elise Goldsberry is onboard Netflix sci-fi drama Altered Carbon, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Tony winner will play a strategist leading a rebellion.

Alyssa Sutherland (Vikings) has joined the cast of Spike’s The Mist, based on the Stephen King novella. Drama goes into production this summer for a 2017 debut. Also added to the mix: Gus Birney (Chicago Med), Dan Butler (Crazy, Stupid Love), newcomer Luke Cosgrove, Serbian-Danish actress Dania Curcic, Okezie Morro (World War Z), Darren Pettie (The Good Wife), Russell Posner (Fading Gigolo) and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (Chi-Raq).

Pearl Thusi (Lip Sync Battle Africa) will play a type-A lawyer in season two of ABC’s Quantico. Drama returns Sunday, September 25 at 10p.

Floriana Lima (The Family) will play Maggie Sawyer, one of the first openly gay characters in comics, on CW’s Supergirl. Season two premieres Monday, September 10 at 8p.


Lionsgate acquired a stake in new UK production house Primal Media, from Mat Steiner and Adam Wood (Release the Hounds), focused on developing and producing unscripted programs in the UK, and working with Lionsgate’s alternative programming unit in the U.S. Lionsgate will distribute and produce. “The deal is a win-win as it provides Mat and Adam the support they need to grow Primal Media while enabling Lionsgate to enhance our footprint in the UK, to expand the pipeline for our U.S. business and to access a fabulous library of product that can be distributed worldwide,” said Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs.

Bomanbridge Media is partnering with South Korea’s Studio Keystone, a subsidiary of children’s educational organization, Keystone Group. Bomanbridge will represent Studio Keystone’s top animated kids’ property WooRooRoo, in the Asia Pacific. Bomanbridge also announced a volume agreement with VTV from Vietnam for nature and scientific factual titles. 

Hasbro acquired Boulder Media, an Irish animation company based in Dublin. Boulder has produced series for Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney and the BBC.





History’s two-part documentary special from LMNO, exploring the 45yearold mystery surrounding the only unsolved skyjacking in American history, D.B. Cooper: Case Closed?, averaged 1.8 million viewers over two nights (Sunday&Monday).

The season finale of ABC’s To Tell the Truth on Tuesday was up 16 percent in total viewers versus last week, to 5.1 million, and rose 10 percent among A18-49, to 1.1/4.

VH1’s Hip Honors: All Hail the Queens on Monday drew over 3 million viewers, bested its time period norm by 109 percent and was the number one cable program in its time period among women.

Univision Deportes’ inaugural Balon De Oro de la Liga Bancomer MX awards show on Saturday delivered 829,000 total viewers and 410,000 A 18-49. The event celebrated the best in Mexican soccer.

During a slow summer period for syndication the week ending July 3, Judge Judy managed to rise 5 percent versus the week prior to 6.8, its highest rating since the week of May 23. Top talkers Dr. Phil (unchanged) and Live With Kelly (down 4 percent) tied with 2.5.

The Preachers, starting a three week test in nine cities on July 11, earned a metered market average of .8/3 after two days, down 13 percent from its average lead-in but up 14 percent from its year-ago time periods. A trial run for So-Me drew a soft .3/1 metered market average, down 25 percent from its lead-in and sinking 40 percent from its year-ago time period average.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 6/27/16 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Family Feud (2/T) 7.0AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 6.8AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 5.8AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 5.6AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 4.8AA
Modern Family (2/T) 2.9AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 2.8AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 2.7AA
Dr. Phil (CTD) 2.5AA
Live with Kelly & Michael (DAD) 2.5AA
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Top 11 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 6/27/16 ranked in order by A18-49 Rtg
Family Feud (2/T) 2.2AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 2.0AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 1.6AA
Modern Family (2/T) 1.6AA
Family Guy (2/T) 1.4AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 1.2AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 1.2AA
The Cleveland Show (2/T) 1.1AA
Two and a Half Men (WB) .9AA
2 Broke Girls (WB) .9AA
How I Met Your Mother (2/T) .9AA
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Tuesday A18-49 Analysis: FOX had the most A18-49 viewers Tuesday with 2.2/9, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. NBC topped 8p with 2.2/9 for America’s Got Talent, followed by 1.9/9 for Fox’s MLB All-Star Game. NBC’s Talent held the lead at 9p with 2.7/10, versus 2.2/9 for Fox’s game. Fox grabbed the top spot at 10p with 2.5/10 for the All-Star Game; ABC’s To Tell the Truth was second with 1.1/4.

A18-49: FOX 2.2/9, NBC 1.9/8, ABC 1.0/4, CBS .7/3, UNI .6/2, TELE .6/2, ION .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
FOX 5.4/10
MLB All-Star Game 5.4/10
NBC: 5.3/10
America’s Got Talent 6.7/12, Maya & Marty 2.4/5
CBS: 3.4/6
NCIS 3.9/7, Zoo 2.9/5, NCIS: New Orleans 3.5/6
ABC: 3.0/6
Celebrity Family Feud 3.0/6, $100,000 Pyramid 2.7/5, To Tell the Truth 3.4/6
Un Camino Hacia el Destino 1.0/2, Tres Veces Ana 1.0/2, Por Siempre Joan Sebastian 1.2/2
Eva La Trailera .9/2, La Esclava Blanca .8/1, El Senor de los Cielos 1.1/2
ION: .8/1
Criminal Minds .8/1, Criminal Minds .7/1, Criminal Minds .8/2
CW: .5/1
The Flash .5/1, Containment .5/1



Gena McCarthy has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Programming and Development for FYI. McCarthy had been SVP since 2013.

Ivan Nash Vila has been appointed Chief Financial Officer for Endemol Shine Group, effective in the fall. Currently Vila is CFO of Central Europe at Liberty Global.

Fox Broadcasting named Laura Caraccioli as Senior Vice President, Head of Brand Partnerships. Previously, Caraccioli was President of Content Marketing at production company Electus.

All3media International made two appointments to its London-based sales team: Graham Spencer joins as Senior Vice President, EMEA South, and Milly Doyle has been named EMEA South Coordinator.

Monika Zielinska was upped to Senior Vice President, Original Programming and Development, West Coast, Comedy Central. Zielinska will continue her role of identifying and developing talent for west coast-based series and pilots.

This Day in History:
1912 – Folk singer Woody Guthrie was born.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What did a distraught Viola do to her beloved cat, Midnight, after it died on Mama’s Family (1983-1990)?She had it freeze dried. Kudos to: Tom Moore-Kalt Producitons/LA, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Jim Kelly-Lee Hecht Harrison/NYC, Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NYC, Alexis George-Food Network/NYC, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank 

Today’s Trivia Question: What was Jamie’s middle name on Mad About You (1992-1999)? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).

Sitcom Anagram: Highboy Better Nag (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

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

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales: Trish Pihonak | Director of Operations | 203-899-8459

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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 [email protected]

SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ON-AIR PROMOS: Emmy award-winner with 15+ years experience in network, cable and agency with writing, producing, editing exp. [email protected] (7/22)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.


ABC: The President and the People: Race in America, Greatest Hits, Match Game [r]
CBS: The Big Bang Theory [r], Life in Pieces [r], Big Brother, Code Black [r]
CW: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow [r], Beauty and the Beast
FOX: Bones, Home Free
NBC: Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge [r], Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, Aquarius
PBS: This Old House Hour [r], Dancing on the Edge [r], Antiques Roadshow [r]
Telemundo: Eva La Trailera, La Esclava Blanca, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Premios Juventud 2016

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