08/12/20: Kelly Clarkson steps in for injured Simon Cowell on AGT


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday August 12, 2020

Today’s Premieres
BET: Ruff Ryders: Chronicles at 10p
Netflix: Un(well)
Revolt TV: What’s Good About Africa at 9:30p
Travel: Paranormal Nightshift at 10p

Today’s Finales
ABC: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at 9p
NBC: World of Dance at 9p


“The biggest and most exciting thing for us is HBO Max,” said AT&T CFO John Stephens at the Oppenheimer Virtual Technology, Internet & Communications Conference on Tuesday. The layoffs of about 600 employees at WarnerMedia is part of the company’s effort to be “super hyper-focused” on direct-to-consumer streaming, said Stephens. “These transitions are tough, and there are a lot of good people who have been involved in this,” added Stephens. “This is a transformation of making things better, not because we needed to adjust anything but rather because we’re striving to get even better than the launch was, to get even better than WarnerMedia has traditionally performed.”

Kelly Clarkson is subbing for Simon Cowell this week on season 15 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, as Cowell recuperates from a broken back he got while testing a new electric bike. Talk show host/Grammy winner Clarkson met Cowell during the 2002 first season of American Idol, which she won; Cowell has credited her for the success of the singing competition.

New York Comic Con is going virtual. The event, which had been scheduled to take place at the Javits Center, will feature livestreams on NYCC’s YouTube channel, meet and greets, and live Q&As. “With this being our 15th edition, we were particularly excited,” said ReedPop President Lance Fensterman. “I will miss walking up and down artist alley and seeing friends that I’ve made since we were in the basement at the Javits Center. While this year will definitely be a different experience, we are going to look to bring the best and most engaging event to our fans, exhibitors, and studios through our partnership with YouTube.”

British game show Taskmaster, yanked from The CW schedule after just one episode, has been moved to CWSeed. All 10 episodes of the BAFTA winner are available to stream. On its lone CW airing, Taskmaster averaged 0.1 among A18-49 and 432,000 viewers in Live+SD.

Speakers at the mostly virtual Democratic Convention next week, with Kamala Harris now added to the ticket as VP, include Bernie Sanders, Catherine Cortez Masto, Andrew Cuomo, Gretchen Whitmer, Jim Clyburn, Bennie Thompson, Gwen Moore, John Kasich, Doug Jones, Amy Klobuchar and Michelle Obama on Monday; Sally Yates, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Bill Clinton, and Jill Biden on Tuesday; Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Tony Evers, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Gabrielle Giffords, Harris and Barack Obama on Wednesday; and Cory Booker, Gavin Newsom, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Pete Buttigieg, Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Duckworth, Chris Coons, the Biden Family, and Biden on Thursday.

The Big Ten college football conference called off its fall sports season, in the face of health and safety concerns amid rising rates of COVID-19. Officials expressed hope the game could be played in the spring. The Mid-Atlantic and Mountain West conferences has already pulled the plug on a fall season.

First Media food brand So Yummy has arrived on cable and OTT as So Yummy TV, on platforms including DirecTV, XMO, Sling, Infinity and more. The channel features 24 hours of original food programming.

Univision Communications unveiled sponsors for the 17th annual Premios Juventud (Youth Awards). Returning are Boost Mobile, Coca-Cola, Jeep, M&M’S, McDonald’s, Mondelez International and T-Mobile, along with first-time show partners Bud Light Seltzer and Little Caesars. The celebration of Latin music kicks off Thursday, August 13 at 7p.

Discovery, Inc., Kellogg’s and No Kid Hungry are partnering to launch a PSA campaign under Discovery’s Turn Up! Fight Hunger initiative, to air on Food Network and, for the first time, TLC. Kellogg’s is distributing marked boxes of cereal with information on actions consumers can take to help fight hunger, and No Kid Hungry is providing emergency grants and guidance to schools and community groups.


Cynopsis Sports Media Awards

At 2pm ET, we’ll celebrate the work of the most talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives in the sports industry, saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans. Crossing the spectrum of television, radio, and online platforms, we’re looking forward to spotlighting this incredible industry.

Join us today, August 12 at 2PM ET for this virtual awards event.


Apple inked a first-look TV deal with Martin Scorses and his Sikelia Productions. The director is in preproduction for Apple film Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

HGTV gave the green light to a new series featuring interior designer Tiffany Brooks, winner of HGTV Design Star in 2013. $50K Three Ways (wt) will give homeowners three very different design plans for spaces in their homes, and help them choose which works best for their family.

A reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, from Jada Pinkett Smith and Prince star Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television, turns the 1990-96 sitcom into a more serious story. Bel-Air is based on a 2019 short film by Morgan Cooper that uses the premise of the comedy – a boy relocated from the streets of West Philadelphia to Bel-Air – but explores the conflicts of the situation.

Trinity Whiteside and Crystal Hayslett have been upped to series regulars, and Chris Warren (High School Musical) joins as a recurring cast member on season two of Tyler Perry’s Sistas on BET.

Hulu is developing drama series Mexican Gothic, from Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ Milojo Productions and ABC Signature and based on the horror thriller from Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

We’re looking for the most innovative executives in digital media who excel in digital content, marketing, advertising, social media, and online content to take their place on Cynopsis Digital’s “It List.” Know someone who fits the bill? We want to hear about them! Submit your nominations by August 18th.


Season three of Cowgirls kicks off on Ride TV on Wednesday, August 26 at 8p. The series follows the women of competitive Ranch Bronc Riding.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this season, HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel returns Tuesday, August 18 at 11p.

Judgment with Ashleigh Banfield, hosted by the former CNN and MSNBC legal analyst, launches on Court TV on Sunday, September 13 at 8p. The series will explore the most provocative trials of all-time, including those of O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony.

Bounce TV will look at single life from both male and female perspectives in upcoming original series. Johnson, from Cedric the Entertainer’s A Bird & A Bear, a dramedy about best friends navigating the world while Black, is set to premiere in 2Q21. Secrets of the Salon, set in an Atlanta hair salon, comes from Swirl Films in 3Q21. On the true crime front, Bounce TV has scheduled Sunday, November 1 as the start date for Dying to Be Famous: The Ryan Singleton Story.


FuboTV has filed a registration with the SEC for an IPO. AR/VR tech company FaceBank acquired FuboTV last spring; the company will change its name to FuboTV.

New live digital streaming service FOX News International offers Fox News Channel and Fox Business for overseas viewers. Priced at $6.99 per month, the direct-to-consumer service will debut in Mexico on August 20 followed by Spain, Germany and the UK on September 17, reaching 20 countries by the end of the year.

Lionsgate’s Run is skipping theatrical release and heading to Hulu. The horror film starring Sarah Paulson, which had its planned May 8 theatrical release canceled due to the COVID-19 shutdown, will be released overseas in theaters.

CuriosityStream and Software Acquisition Group have entered into a merger agreement, with plans for CuriosityStream to go public. John Hendricks, Chairman of CuriosityStream, will remain Chairman of the Board as well as the combined company’s largest shareholder. CuriosityStream will continue to operate under the current management team led by Clint Stinchcomb, President and CEO.

PFT Live with Mike Florio, offering information and analysis on football, will livestream exclusively on Peacock beginning August 24. Mike Florio and Chris Simms, along with regular guests Peter King and Rodney Harrison, will continue to keep fans current on the NFL each weekday from 7a-9a.

A+E Networks International inked a deal with New Zealand’s TVNZ for the launch of the first Lifetime-branded AVOD channel in the territory. The channel kicks off this month with forty Lifetime movie titles; TVNZ will add four new titles each month from Lifetime’s library during the first year of the agreement.

Little Dot Studios announced it is acquiring History Hit, the platform co-founded by broadcaster and historian Dan Snow. The acquisition will create an integrated History network, linking Little Dot Studios’ existing factual AVOD channels with History Hit’s SVOD channel, podcasts and online communities. Snow will exclusively work with History Hit and All3Media’s Little Dot Studios to create new online and broadcast content.


DoubleVerify, a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics, and Bidder-as-a-Service platform Beeswax have partnered to allow Beeswax customers to authenticate the quality and performance of their campaigns using DoubleVerify’s pre-bid solutions across fraud, viewability, brand safety, and standard contextual targeting. Key to DV and Beeswax’s new partnership is the availability of DV’s Authentic Brand Safety targeting solution, which Beeswax BaaS customers can now apply across their campaigns. DV’s Authentic Brand Safety technology is powered by Semantic Science, combining expertise in ontology with advanced machine learning to drive accurate classification of a page based on its content, context and tone.

The Media Rating Council canceled the second phase of an audit of Google’s YouTube audience measurement data, which would validate third-party viewability data processors, explaining that since Google recently moved to transition all its third-party processors to its “Ads Data Hub” platform covering all Google properties, the audit is now obsolete. The MRC said a new audit of Google’s first-party ADH processes would begin this quarter “on an expedited basis.”

People-based marketing platform LiveIntent announced a partnership with consumer identity resolution company FullContact to map offline and online data to a portable, omnichannel, persistent ID, aimed at empowering brands by ensuring data flows to the brand, not away from them. The solution provides higher accuracy and a longer life-span than third-party cookies. “This puts the control of person-level information into the hands of the marketer to create competitive differentiation,” said Kurt Hawks, Chief Revenue Officer of FullContact. “Marketers that embed this information into their four walls and start their transition into the cookieless world will see media targeting, customer experience, and measurement benefits.”

Cynopsis is collecting opinions for a “State of the Media Industry” survey. If you have 10 minutes to spare, we’d appreciate your feedback. You could win a $50 Amazon gift card!

Twitter is rolling out a new feature that lets users limit who replies to their tweets. By tapping on a small globe icon at the bottom of a tweet, users can limit replies to those who follow them, or to those they tag in the tweet. “Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply,” wrote Suzanne Xie, Director of Product, in a blog post. “We’ve seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren’t really possible before…. everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don’t get in the way of meaningful conversations.”


Leigh-Anne Pinnock (Little Mix) will be the focus of Leigh-Ann: Colourism & Race, (wt), a documentary for BBC Three that will explore Pinnock’s personal experiences of racism as a Black woman in the UK. The film from Dragonfly Film & TV is being produced by Kandise Abiola.

Snowman Productions has been commissioned by Discovery Network Denmark to produce unscripted series Klædt af mod toppen med familien Wozniacki (Undressed to the Top with the Wozniacki Family). Created and produced by Snowman, the adventure series will premiere on Discovery’s Kanal 5 and Dplay streaming service.

Nelvana and Spin Master have secured new international broadcast partners for Season 1, Bakugan: Battle Planet and Season 2, Bakugan: Armored Alliance. The new distribution deals include Netflix (US, Canada), POP (UK 9Go! (Australia) and Dreamia (Portugal) for Bakugan: Armored Alliance as well as Televisa (Mexico), Dreamia (Portugal), Nelonen Media (Finland), Dexy Co (Serbia), and Talent Show (Croatia) for Bakugan: Battle Planet.

The Ways You Can Include Us & Build Long Term Partnerships
Thursday, August 27 // 1:00-2:00PM ET

We’ll focus on the benefits clients & agencies will see when they apportion part of their media spend on reaching the Black audience and diverse society that reflects their product’s customer base.


(Sponsored by TheGrio/ES Networks – so it’s free to attend!)


Hallmark Channel original movie premiere, Love on Harbor Island, part of the net’s “Summer Nights” programming event, averaged a 2.3 HH rating, 2.2 million Total Viewers, and 251,000 W25-54. The film boosted Hallmark Channel to be the highest-rated and most-watched entertainment cable network on Saturday among Households and W18+ and the highest-rated and second-most watched during Weekend Primetime among Households, W18+, and Total Viewers.

In syndication, a tribute to late co-host Regis Philbin on July 27 lifted Live with Kelly and Ryan to a seven-week high 1.9 Live+SD national Nielsen rating, up 19% from the week before in the session ending August 2. On July 31, Live featured the encore presentation of the Regis Farewell Celebration Special from November 8, 2011. Ellen DeGeneres (1.0, unchanged) remained at the worst rating in its 17-year history for a second week.

The season finale of HBO’s Perry Mason hit 1.1 million viewers, rising to 1.6 million with replays and digital viewing. The reboot, starring Matthew Rhys, has been renewed for season two.

Basic Cable Top 5 for the Week of August 3
Primetime (P2+)

Fox News (3,169,000)
MSNBC (2,016,000)
CNN (1,361,000)
HGTV (1,284,000)
TLC (1,185,000)
Total Day (P2+)
Fox News (1,698,000)
MSNBC (1,209,000)
CNN (927,000)
HGTV (680,000)
Hallmark Channel (524,000)

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of July 27 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Judge Judy (CTD) 5.6 AA
Family Feud (CTD) 5.5 AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 4.8 AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 47 AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 2.5 AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 2.4 AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 2.3 AA
Last Man Standing (DAD) 2.0 AA
Hot Bench (CTD) 1.9 AA
Live with Kelly and Ryan (DAD) 1.9 AA
Source: Nielsen

TV Time’s Binge Report for the Week of August 3
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix) – 7.17%
The Rain (Netflix) – 2.72%
Modern Family (ABC) – 2.24%
Good Girls (NBC) – 1.55%
The Office (NBC) – 1.35%
Friends (NBC) – 1.32%
The Seven Deadly Sins (MBS) – 1.25%
One Piece (Fuji TV) – 1.24%
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 1.14%
High Seas (Netflix) – 1.09%
The weekly Binge Report ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, August 10
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever 1.84 (0.3)
CBS: The Neighborhood 3.65 (0.4), Bob Hearts Abishola 3.34 (0.4), All Rise 2.48 (0.3), Bull 2.87 (0.4)
CW: Whose Line Is it Anyway? 0.98 (0.2), Whose Line Is it Anyway? 1.03 (0.2), Penn & Teller: Fool Us 0.78 (0.2)
FOX: 9-1-1 1.96 (0.3), 9-1-1: Lone Star 1.73 (0.3)
NBC: The Titan Games 3.54 (0.7), America Ninja Warrior 2.33 (0.5)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.15 (0.3), Cennet 1.14 (0.3), Enemigo Intimo 0.75 (0.2)
Univision: Rosa de Guadelupe 1.34 (0.3), Medicos Linea de Vida 1.36 (0.4), Como Tu No Hay 1.56 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


PBS Distribution has named Tonya Harley as VP of Marketing. Harley was previously Director of Strategic Marketing for BCD Travel.


Actor Raymond Allen died August 10. He was 91. Allen was best known to TV audiences for his roles in Sanford and Son and Good Times.


This Day in History
1867 – President Andrew Johnson defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, setting the stage for impeachment proceedings.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Who was Jeff Colby’s second wife on Dynasty (1981-89)? Kirby Anders. Kudos to: Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Kevin Weist-Sideways Hat Songs/NYC, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton,FL, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question
Which series centered on a disgraced former corporate raider who worked as a fifth grade teacher in return for a suspended jail sentence? (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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Editorial Director
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Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day

Support Int’l, Corp Dev and Corp Divisions, incl domestic & int’l mergers & acquisitions and general corp matters in addition to support of relationships with int’l channel partners & int’l content sales. YOU NEED: JD, min 7yrs legal exp at a major law firm or in-house counsel at a media company, exp in an active M&A practice, content licensing exp & strong negotiation & drafting skills. Full info HERE (8/26).

MAVTV MOTORSPORTS NETWORKS/Corona, CA: Seeking highly qualified individual to take the lead in developing innovative strategies based on insights and trends to position MAVTV to consumers, clients, and partners. Must have marketing background – Dig, Social Media and/or Consumer Mktg preferred. Full info HERE (8/25)

MAVTV MOTORSPORTS NETWORKS/Corona, CA: Seeking individual to support all areas of the programming team’s responsibilities, including editorial, research, analysis, scheduling and presentation of all content categories. Min 2yrs exp in media and enter, with focus programming. Full info HERE (8/25)

Magnolia/New York, Knoxville, Austin: CD w/a strong eye to oversee dev of original programming for Magnolia partnering with Chip & Joanna Gaines. Build new talent and concepts across varying platforms. 7+ yrs network/production exp req’d. Full info HERE (8/24)

Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3 yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (8/21)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (8/19)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building prime time show, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/19)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/19)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (8/19)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (8/19)

Omnia Media/LA or NY: Seeking individual to sell a portfolio of social and digital ad products, including custom branded content, video spons, programmatic inv and influencer mktg. With a strong grasp of video games/gaming culture, and dig platforms. 4 yrs exp in video content/dig media. Full info HERE (8/15)

VICE Media/Brooklyn, NY: Seeking experienced editor for cutting trailers, TV campaigns, digital spots/campaigns, special content and in-house reels. Must have 5 yrs exp, be able to thrive in a fast-paced environment as well as prioritize on-going assignments. Full info HERE (8/15)

Kanopy/Remote, USA:
Seeking multi-disciplinary background candidate with mrktg, business strategy, and data analytics exp. Plus a passion and knowledge of the entire film ecosystem. Min 5 yrs dir-to-consumer mktg exp at a subscription-based/video streaming co with a proven record of executing growth mktg strategies. Full info HERE (8/15)

The Hive/Knoxville, TN: Seeking highly qualified individual to oversee the orderly day-to-day function of production operations, with a particular emphasis on post prod operations for TN & NY offices and TN facilities management. Reports directly to the Pres and VP of Production. Full info HERE (8/15)

Nickelodeon/NYC: Seeking a group brand leader responsible for the development of mktg strategies in support of Nickelodeon and any of its related content and sub-brands. Min 7yrs exp in consumer strategy, digital, marketing or media. Full info HERE (8/14)

Sesame Workshop/NYC:
Oversee the production of 2 consecutive 30-minute animated specials and 20×5-minute animated segments. 5+yrs in Series Animation Production at a Production Co. or Studio preferred. Full info HERE (8/13)

CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ:
Responsible for managing line production for 1 hour of a live show. 5+ exp segment producing and/or booking in a live television environment with demonstrated written communication and research skills, Full info HERE (8/13)

ABC: United We Fall, The Goldbergs, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [f]
CBS: Big Brother, Tough as Nails, SEAL Team
CW: The 100, Coroner
FOX: MasterChef
NBC: America’s Got Talent, World of Dance [f]
PBS: Nature, NOVA, Forces of Nature
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Cennet, Enimigo Intimo
Univision: La Rosa de Guadelupe, Medicos, Linea de Vida, Como Tu No Hay


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