07/23/14: Violence in Israel forces Tyrant and Dig to relocate; TLC freshens up; Nat Geo names new prez


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, July 23, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Food: Restaurant: Impossible at 10p
Lifetime: Bring it! at 9p, BAPs at 10p
TLC: Who Do You Think You Are? at 9p
VH1 and Palladia: Soundclash at 9p

Tonight’s Finale:
Science: Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman at 10p


Cynopsis Digital Video Forum
August 6, 2014 | StumbleUpon Office | San Fran, CA
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Featured Sessions:
Digital Viewing Party: The Latest on Social TV
A Snapshot of the Digital Landscape
The Eyeballs: Media, Marketing & Measurement
The Powers Behind Digital Video: The Viewing Experience


Amid escalating violence, two series have given up on filming in Israel. FX‘s Tyrant, which relocated production from Tel Aviv to Turkey amid concerns about the Gaza Strip conflict, will film its remaining two episodes there. USA‘s Dig is also pulling up stakes. "Our experience filming in Israel was very positive and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to capture such an authentic landscape that will be threaded throughout the series," said the net. Next stop: Albuquerque.


Selling broadcast and cable together was a winning strategy for NBCUniversal, CEO Steve Burke told investors in an earnings call Tuesday. "That was a major reason why we had such a successful upfront relative to the rest of the industry," said the exec, adding that the company was up 10 percent in the cable upfront versus about five percent down for his competitors, with the $750 million swing helping "close the monetization gap."

TLC launched a new brand campaign Tuesday, complete with the net’s new tagline: "Everyone needs a little TLC." The effort includes spots on E!, A&E, TNT, TBS, ABC Family, Dish and DirecTV, as well as (of course) TLC’s sister nets at Discovery Comm., showcasing the range of moments "filled with heart, humor, hope, and human connection" on TLC’s series. The campaign follows an on-air refresh launched in late May.

Lionsgate and Comcast are expanding their partnership to create immersive multi-platform experiences for digital consumers, starting with an app for the film Divergent. The iOS app, with over four hours of bonus content, is free via the iTunes App Store, and includes an authenticated premium experience available to Xfinity customers with the purchase of the film through the Xfinity On Demand digital store.

Gender-centric networks Escape (women) and Grit (men) entered into a multi-year licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures for nearly 200 demo-targeted films. It’s the third major film licensing deal for the nets, following agreements with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and NBCUniversal Television & New Media Distribution. Launches slated for later this summer.

The 17th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards will take place Tuesday, February 17 at the Beverly Hilton. The event will be produced by JumpLine.


Any concerns about whether the second season of Fargo, with an all new cast, new era (1979) and new story, will attract top caliber actors? "The right material will attract the right actors," John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks & FX Productions, tells Cynopsis. "The more specific the parts are, the more you get actors who really want to play those parts." As for that material, "The bar’s high," says Landgraf. "We don’t want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but Noah Hawley came up with a really good story."

Joseph Fiennes (American Horror Story) will produce and star in Nostradamus, about "a charismatic and self-destructive man who is plagued with dangerous and disturbing visions." Drama comes from Carnival Films, Anonymous Content and NBCUniversal.


Reelz‘s Living Large Hollywood offers a peek at the environs of the West Coast rich and famous, starting Saturday, August 2 at 2p. First up: multi-million-dollar mansions.

Let the fur fly! The season six finale of The Real Housewives of New York City was Tuesday night, but Bravo‘s bringing the ladies back for more drama on a three-part reunion starting Tuesday, July 29 at 9p.

America by the Numbers explores how demographic shifts are affecting life across the country. Produced by Futuro Media Group and presented by WGBH Boston, the docu-series makes its primetime premiere Thursday, October 2 on multicast WORLD Channel, followed by a launch on PBS Saturday, October 4 (check local listings).

Weather Channel‘s "Survival Sunday" offers two series premieres. So You Think You’d Survive? (formerly Now What?), features survival experts offering tips for worst-case scenarios, starting August 10 at 9p. Fat Guys in the Woods (just what it sounds like) follows at 10p.

Among the PBS announcements at TCA: Ken Burns‘s The Roosevelts: An Intimate History premieres Sunday, September 14 at 8p. The mini-series will run for seven consecutive nights and stream on PBS station sites beginning the day after broadcast premieres. Four-hour, two-night film Walt Disney will bow in fall 2015; documentary Navy SEALs – Their Untold Story debuts Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11 at 9p, and six-part The Brain with Dr. David Eagleman premieres in 2015 as part of the net’s "Think Wednesday" lineup of science and nature programming.

Sony Movie Channel‘s "Manday" movie block will feature stars from The Expendables every Monday at 10p during the month of August. Kicking things off: Bruce Willis on August 4, in Striking Distance and Hudson Hawk.


Season four of Braxton Family Values starts with a bang on Thursday, August 14 at 9p, with an "all-out explosion." At 10p, drama-filled season two of SWV Reunited launches, as secrets from the past threaten the group’s harmony.

PBS‘s Downton Abbey is back for season five Sunday, January 4. Season four was up 16 percent year over year, reported PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger at TCA Tuesday.

Velocity car restoration series Fantomworks returns for a sophomore season Sunday, July 27 at 9p and 10p, part of the net’s week-long programming event, "Dream Car Week."


Nielsen and Pointlogic, specializing in software and analytics to improve marketing ROI, struck a global strategic alliance to develop media planning and inventory management solutions. "It will be interesting to see Nielsen’sdata offering being aligned to Pointlogic’s suite of channel planning tools," said Eric Blankfein, chief of the WHERE Group at Horizon Media, in Nielsen’s release. "We currently work with both companies and look forward to seeing how this will benefit our approach for clients."


Hannah John-Kamen (West End’s Viva Forever), Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13) and Luke Macfarlane (Brothers and Sisters) will star in Syfy space drama Killjoys. The Temple Street production premieres in 2015.

Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) has landed a role in ABC‘s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., reports TV Guide. Season two premieres Tuesday, September 23 at 9p.

Craig Bierko (The Young and the Restless) has joined upcoming Lifetime drama Un-Real as a series regular.

Ken Jeong (Community) will star in the MTV coming-of-age pilot now named Ken Jeong Made Me Do It, says the Hollywood Reporter. Jeong will play himself; Jeong’s casting lifts the contingency on the pilot.


Coffee, tea, or The Amazing World of Gumball? Southwest Airlines has added Cartoon Network to its inflight entertainment portal, the first child-centric programming to be offered. "The addition of Cartoon Network to our breadth of programming is a big win for Southwest and our Customers," said CMO Kevin Krone. "This partnership with Turner and [connectivity partner Global Eagle Entertainment] continues to drive customer value for our brand and even more choices for entertainment onboard." 


Fox‘s MasterChef hit a season high 2.1 rating/7 share among A18-49 on Monday. The premiere of Gordon Ramsay‘s Hotel Hell followed, scoring 1.5/5 among A18-49 – solid, but down from 1.9 for its last season premiere, in 2012.

Lifetime‘s The Lottery debuted Sunday to 1.1 million viewers. That’s down from the 1.93 million delivered by the series premiere of the net’s Witches of East End in October, but in line with the season two premiere of Witches on July 6.

Live with Kelly & Michael held steady at 2.6 to lead syndicated talk shows the week ending July 13, followed by Dr. Phil, up 9 percent to 2.5 in repeats, and Maury, up 12 percent to 1.9.

Thursday’s tragic Malaysia Airlines crash, as well the Gaza Strip conflict, drove viewers to cable news channels from Thursday, July 17-Sunday, July 20. CNN, as usual, saw the biggest increases, jumping 88 percent from the time period in the prior four weeks to 620,000 total day viewers. Fox News jumped 32 percent to 1.1 million, while MSNBC saw a 13 percent bump to 337,000. In the news demo in primetime, Fox News was up 50 percent to 322,000 viewers, CNN viewership swelled by 93 percent to 278,000 viewers, and MSNBC inched up four percent, to 152,000.

HGTV had its highest rated Sunday ever in total day ratings on July 20, attracting more than 15 million viewers. The net was once again the top cable network for all of Sunday among all women, including upscale W25-54, and the number two cable network among viewers P25-54. In primetime, the premiere of Flipping the Block earned a .8 ratings among P25-54, and Beachfront Bargain Hunt delivered a best-ever .9 among P25-54. At 7:30p, Flip or Flop‘s 1.07 rating among P25-54 was the highest rated single telecast of any series on HGTV in three years.

HBO‘s The Leftovers drew 1.6 million viewers on Sunday, the most since its June 29 premiere. Across platforms, in a week the first two episodes of the drama averaged 8 million viewers. 

The series premiere of AHC‘s Gunslingers hit the bullseye Sunday, breaking records for best Prime telecast ever for P2+ (696,000) and HH (475,000) delivery. It was the net’s best original series debut ever among P25-54 (218,000) and M25-54 (154,000) delivery, and ranked number 20 in the M25-54 demo in all of ad supported cable. Color EVP and GM Kevin Bennett happy. "We are thrilled," the exec tells Cynopsis. "Gunslingers speaks directly to the core of our storytelling approach – shedding light on the major events that shaped our world and transcend time to bridge the connection between the lessons of past and the legends of today."

Saturday’s season two premiere of Hallmark‘s Cedar Cove earned a 1.6 HH rating, 1.7 million viewers and 374,000 W25-54, the second highest core demo delivery in the series’ history and a 26 percent increase over the season one average. In the 8p time period, Cedar Cove ranked as the top-rated cable program among W18-49 (.7); W25-54 (.8), and total viewers (.8). 

TNT‘s Perception attracted its biggest audience so far this season, with 5.1 million viewers in Live+7 delivery for the July 1 episode, up 17 percent versus the prior week.

Broadcast Evening News Shows  Weekly Average Ratings (week of July 14, 2014)
NBC: Nightly News 7.77 million total viewers; 1.5/7 and 1.79 million A25-54
ABC: World News 7.44 million total viewers; 1.6/7 and 1.92 million A25-54
CBS: Evening News 6.18 million total viewers; 1.2/5 and 1.48 million A25-54
Source: Nielsen, NTI Total Viewers and A25-54 Live+SD

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week ending 7/13/14 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Judge Judy (CTD) 6.9 AA
Big Bang Theory (WB) 5.8AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 5.8AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 5.7AA
Family Feud (2/T) 4.6AA
Modern Family (2/T) 3.5AA
Two and a Half Men (WB) 3.1AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 3.0AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 2.8AA
Family Guy (2/T) 2.8AA
Source: Nielsen Media Research
Top 12 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week ending 7/13/14 ranked in order by A18-49 Rtg
Big Bang Theory (WB) 2.9AA
Modern Family (2/T) 2.2AA
Family Guy (2/T) 1.8AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 1.6AA
Family Feud (2/T) 1.3AA
Two and a Half Men (WB) 1.3AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 1.1AA
Cleveland Show (2/T) 1.1 AA
Seinfeld (SPT) 1.1AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 1.0AA
How I Met Your Mother (2/T) 1.0AA
Law & Order: SVU (NBU) 1.0 AA
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Top 11 Broadcast Programs among A18-49 rating/share for the week of 7/14/14
MLB All-Star Game, 3.2/11
CBS: Big Brother (Sun.), 2.2/8
CBS: Big Brother (Thurs.), 2.2/8
CBS: Big Brother (Wed.), 2.1/8
NBC: America’s Got Talent (Tues.), 2.1/8
CBS: Under the Dome, 1.9/6
FOX: MasterChef, 1.8/6
ABC: Bachelorette, 1.7/5
FOX: 24: Live Another Day, 1.7/5
NBC: American Ninja Warrior, 1.7/5
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen, 1.7/7
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Galaxy Explorer, Live + SD Data

Top Ten Ad-Supported Basic Cable Network Performance among A18-49 for the week of: 7/14/2014
Primetime (000)/Total Prm Day (000)
811/ADSM* 717
USA 775/NAN* 415
ESPN 709/NICK 400
ADSM 701/ESPN 371
FX 674/USA 368
TNT 564/TBSC 347
A&E 520/DSNY 321
DISC 519/FX 307
HIST 502/TNT 305
HGTV 479/TOON 297
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+SD. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and demographic performances.

Top Ten Ad-Supported Basic Cable Network Performance among Total Viewers for the week of: 7/14/2014
Primetime (000), Total Prm Day (000)
2037/NICK 1601
USA 1981/DSNY 1565
FOXN 1927/ADSM* 1239
DNY 1917/TOON 1151
HIST 1645/FOXN 1126
ESPN 1593/NAN* 957
TBSC 1583/USA 951
HGTV 1401/TNT 946
ADSM 1363/ESPN 916
NAN 1346/HIST 814
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+SD. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and demographic performance.

Top 10 Cable Programs among A18-49 (000) for the week of: 7/14/20014
Home Run Derby
(ESPN) 2689
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta (VH1) 2439
Baseball Rain Delay (ESPN) 1816
Duck Dynasty (A&E) 1773
WWE Entertainment (USA) 1769
Family Guy (ADSM) 1722
Family Guy (ADSM) 1695
WWE Entertainment (USA) 1679
Teen Mom 2 (MTV) 1612
Family Guy (ADSM) 1608
Source: Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800,000 home; Ranked by Delivery (000); Preliminary: Live+SD

Monday A18-49 Analysis: FOX scored the most A18-49 viewers Monday with 1.8/6, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. Fox’s Masterchef was first at 8p with 2.1/7, followed by 1.8/6 for ABC’s The Bachelorette. The Bachelorette and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior tied at 9p with 1.9/6, but NBC’s Warrior had first place to itself with 2.0/6, versus 1.5/5 for CBS’s Under the Dome.

A18-49:FOX 1.8/6, ABC 1.6/5, NBC 1.6/5, UNI 1.4/4, CBS 1.2/4, TELE .7/2, CW .4/1, ION .4/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Monday, July 21, 2014  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
ABC: 4.1/7
The Bachelorette 4.7/8, Mistresses 2.7/5
Fox: 3.0/5
Masterchef 3.5/6, Hotel Hell 2.4/4
CBS: 3.3/6
2 Broke Girls [r] 2.8/5, Mom [r] 2.6/4, Mike & Molly [r] 3.1/5, Two and a Half Men [r] 3.0/5, Under the Dome 4.2/7
NBC: 2.9/5
Last Comic Standing 2.0/4, American Ninja Warrior 3.3/6
Univision: 1.8/3
Mi Corazon es Tuyo 1.6/3, Que Vida me Robo 2.0/3, Que Pobres Tan Ricos 1.8/3
ION: 1.0/2
Criminal Minds 1.0/2, Criminal Minds 1.0/2, Criminal Minds 1.0/2
Telemundo: .8/2
Reina Corazones .7/1, En Otra Piel .8/1, Senor de los Cielos 1.0/2
CW: .6/1
Whose Line Is It Anyway .9/2, Backpackers .4/1, Whose Line Is it Anyway [r] .5/1, Seed .4/1

Sunday A18-49 Analysis: CBS won the most A18-49 viewers Sunday with 1.2/4, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos was first at 7p with 1.0/4, followed by .9/4 for CBS’s 60 Minutes. CBS topped 8p with 2.2/8 for Big Brother, versus 1.1/4 for ABC’s Wipeout. Fox won 9p with a 1.5/5 average for Family Guy and American Dad; ABC and CBS shared second with 1.0/3 for Rising Star and Unforgettable. Univision’s Sal y Pimienta scored .8/3 to grab 10p, versus .6/2 for ABC’s Castle, NBC’s Chicago PD and CBS’s Reckless.

A18-49:CBS 1.2/4, FOX 1.0/4, ABC .9/3, NBC .8/3, UNI .7/2, TELE .4/1, ION .2/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Sunday, July 20, 2014  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 3.8/7
60 Minutes 5.2/10, Big Brother 3.6/7, Unforgettable  4.0/7, Reckless 2.6/5
ABC: 2.5/5
America’s Funniest Home Videos 2.9/6, Wipeout 2.2/4, Rising Star 2.4/4, Castle [r] 2.4/4
NBC: 1.8/3
American Ninja Warrior [r] 1.9/4, Law & Order: SVU [r] 1.7/3, Chicago PD [r] 1.8/3
FOX: 1.3/2
American Dad [r] .7/1, Bob’s Burgers [r] .9/2, The Simpsons [r] 1.2/2, The Simpsons [r] 1.4/3, Family Guy [r] 1.8/3, American Dad [r] 1.6/3
Univision: 1.3/2
Bailando por un Sueno 1.2/2, Sal y Pimienta 1.4/2
TELE: .5/1
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown .5/1, Source Code .4/1
ION: .5/1
Leverage .7/1, Leverage .6/1, Leverage .5/1, Leverage .5/1

Saturday A18-49 Analysis: NBC had the most A18-49 viewers Saturday with .7/3, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. NBC’s Dateline Mystery topped 8p with .5/3 and .7/3 in the 8p half hours, versus .5/3 and .6/3 for CBS’s 48 Hours. Dateline maintained the lead at 9p with 1.0/4, versus .5/2 for Univision’s Sabado Gigante. Uni’s Sabado Gigante won 10p with .7/3, followed by .5/2 for CBS’s 48 Hours.

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

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Saturday, July 19, 2014  time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
NBC: 2.2/5
Dateline Mystery 2.5/5, Blacklist [r] 1.6/3
CBS: 1.6/3
48 Hours Special 1.8/4, Bad Teacher .9/2, Bad Teacher .8/2, 48 Hours [r] 2.2/4
ABC: 1.2/3
Bet On Your Baby 1.0/2, Mistresses .8/2, Nightline Prime 1.8/4
Sabado Gigante 1.0/2
FOX: .6/1
Hell’s Kitchen [r] .5/1, Hell’s Kitchen [r] .7/1
ION: .7/1
Law & Order: CI .8/2, Law & Order: CI .7/1, Law & Order: CI .7/1
TELE: .4/1
Futbol Estelar Leon .4/1


Tim Pastore is joining National Geographic Channel as President, Original Programming & Production, NGC U.S. Pastore will be transitioning from his role as Executive Vice President of Production & Development for National Geographic Studios.

Simulmedia hired Mark Green as Senior Vice President, Product Strategy. Green had been SVP, Global Measurement Science Operations Leader at Nielsen. 

Bill Cox has been named Senior Vice President of Programming for upcoming male-centric net Grit, and Walter Naar has been appointed Vice President of Programming for sister net Escape. Both report to Jonathan Katz, president of Katz Broadcasting, which owns both Grit and Escape.

Production event marketing firm Bounce AEG tapped Neal Kendall to serve as Executive Vice President, Development. Most recently, Kendall was Executive Producer of The Arsenio Hall Show and SundanceTV‘s The Writer’s Room.


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ABC: The Middle [r], The Goldbergs [r], Modern Family [r], The Middle [r], Motive
CBS: Big Brother, Extant, Criminal Minds [r]
CW: Arrow [r], The 100 [r]
FOX: So You Think You Can Dance
NBC: America’s Got Talent [r], Taxi Brooklyn
PBS: My Wild Affair, Nova [r], Sex in the Wild
Telemundo: Reina de Corazones, En Otra Piel, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Mi Corazon Tuyo, Lo Que la Vida Me Robo, Que Pobres Tan Ricos

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Cynopsis 03/01/24: Detective Olivia Benson gets a piece of NYC

Detective Olivia Benson gets a piece of NYC

Friday March 1, 2024 Today’s Premieres Apple TV+: The Completely Made-up Adventures of Dick Turpin BritBox: Murder Is Easy Food Network: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives at 9p Max: Selling the Hamptons Netflix: Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre; Blood & Water; Furies; Maamia Legal Hai; My Name Is Loh Kiwan; Somebody Feed Phil Peacock: Megamind Rules […]

Cynopsis 02/29/24: Guest stars added for season three of “Hacks”

Thursday February 29, 2024 Today’s Premieres A+E: The First 48 Presents Critical Minutes at 8p BET+: Perimeter Hulu: Me, Hereafter Netflix: A Round of Applause; The Tourist; The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth Peacock: Lil Stompers IN THE NEWS Just 2.5% of media dollars invested by the largest media holding companies went to diverse-owned companies […]

Kargo’s Winning Proposition for Multicultural Publishing

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM KARGO Wednesday February 28, 2024 Amplifying Diverse Voices: How Kargo’s MCA Program Funds Diverse-Owned Media By E.B. Moss Kargo has come a long way since it first disrupted the mobile industry with ringtones and wallpaper 20 years ago. It evolved to offer comprehensive, cross-channel advertising solutions and then within […]

02/28/24: Cynopsis Jobs


ACCOUNT REP: MPT NATIONAL CORPORATE SALES MARYLAND PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION REMOTE Call on current and prospective sponsors, providing high-quality customer service, in a manner consistent with standard industry practice, for the customer/client accounts for which they have cultivated or have been assigned as well as build sustainable, long-lasting relationships with existing clients. Full info

Cynopsis 02/28/24: NBC set to fete Jimmy Fallon

NBC set to fete Jimmy Fallon

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT TV Time to re-allocate your linear cable spend. FETV delivers more Homes during Prime than notable networks like Comedy Central, E!, and MTV. Click here to contact Michael DuPont, EVP Ad Sales, for planning costs to review. Source Wednesday February 28, 2024 Today’s […]