08/13/20: Sumner Redstone dies at 97


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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday August 13, 2020

Today’s Premieres
HBO Max: Selena + Chef
Peacock: Five Bedrooms

Today’s Finale
ABC: Don’t at 9p
CW: Killer Camp at 8p
History: Mountain Men at 9p


Media titan Sumner Redstone died August 11 at age 97. Redstone was the controlling shareholder of ViacomCBS. “Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theater company into a global media portfolio,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS. “He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy. ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company.”

CBS renewed competition series Tough as Nails for season two. “Tough as Nails stands out with its unique look and positive, heartfelt competitive spirit that showcases the strength, grit and determination of remarkable hardworking men and women,” said Thom Sherman, Senior EVP of Programming at CBS Entertainment. “Under Phil Keoghan’s deft touch, the series has lived up to its name as a real summer workhorse for us.”

BIA Advisory Services revised its estimate for the local advertising market for 2020 from $144.3 billion to $140.4 billion. “To update our post-COVID forecast from April, we analyzed the continuing impact on local advertising by the weakened economy, continuing job loss reports, and the downturn in some key business verticals,” said Mark Fratrik, BIA’s SVP-Chief Economist. “Right now, we believe a realistic view of the economy overall and the advertising marketplace is that after a dramatic decrease in the second-quarter and a bumpy start to the third, the remainder of the year will turn positive but end up with an overall decline in local advertising for the year.” Expected political spend rose from $7.1 billion to $7.3 billion.

Facebook has expanded its classification of racist content, and will no longer allow depictions of blackface or negative Jewish stereotypes, said Guy Rosen, VP, Integrity in blog post. Despite a heavier reliance on technology for content review after content reviewers were sent home due to COVID-19 concerns, “our technology enabled us to take action on more content in some areas, and increase our proactive detection rate in others,” said Rosen. Facebook’s proactive detection rate for hate speech on Facebook increased 6 points from 89% to 95%, and the amount of content Facebook took action on increased from 9.6 million in Q1 to 22.5 million in Q2. Rosen also said Facebook plans to undergo a third-party audit in 2021 to validate the numbers it publishes in its Community Standards Enforcement Reports.

Three-quarters of Black (74%) and Hispanic (73%) consumers are at least occasional consumers of Black or Hispanic targeted media and 44% and 42% are frequent consumers, according to Horowitz’s “State of Consumer Engagement 2020” study. “With the sociopolitical climate so charged – from Black Lives Matter to COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on diverse communities – and considering the looming election, targeted multicultural media provides coverage and perspective that more directly reflects the needs of the communities they serve,” said Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s SVP of Insights & Strategy. “On the entertainment side, while representation and relevancy are always improving in mainstream media, there’s still a long way to go. Targeted media offers an authentic voice.”

In two weeks, we’re hosting our latest webinar “BLACK OWNED MEDIA MATTERS: The Ways You Can Include Us And Build Long Term Partnerships.” Brand marketers can score bigger wins by looking more deeply at what percent of their media investment goes to diversity-owned businesses; agencies can support these efforts by including these media properties in their consideration set. Sponsored by TheGrio/ES Networks, this webinar is free to attend – register today!

One day after sharing that he was leaving NFL Network after 14 years, Deion Sanders announced he’s hopping aboard Barstool Sports. “Barstool has the young generation of fans I want to help cultivate,” said the Hall of Fame cornerback in a Barstool tweet. “I want to mold you. I want to talk to you. I want to speak to you. See, I love to speak my mind and now, baby, I got the platform to do it year-round.”

ID named Diana Riley, founder of non-profit Swinging With Purpose, which raises funds to help vulnerable women, girls, and children in Southwest Florida, an “Everyday Hero” through their Inspire A Difference social good campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness for domestic violence, civil rights, racial injustice, bullying, and victims’ rights by inspiring viewers to make a difference in their communities. Each quarter, ID awards an “Everyday Hero” winner a $5,000 grant for their charity.

In light of the current Covid-19 crisis, we’re conducting a survey to formulate insights & analysis of our market and how it will affect the future. Feedback form you will help us publish a thorough report that will provide the media sector with a trusted benchmark for expectations.

Our members will get first dibs on the report!

Everyone who takes the survey will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

GET STARTED | surveymonkey.com/r/VFXCSMS


HBO issued a series order for The Baby, a darkly comic horror series from Sian Robins-Grace (Kaos, Sex Education). The HBO and Sky co-production is co-created by Robins-Grace and Lucy Gaymer (Gangs of London, Liar) and produced by Sister and Proverbial Pictures. HBO describes The Baby as “a funny, raw examination of motherhood as an institution: a set of unspoken rules that affect women differently depending on how they’re viewed by society. If you’re not scared by that, you should be.”

Under his overall deal at NBCUniversal, Seth MacFarlane is adapting Herman Wouk novels Winds of War and War and Remembrance into a limited series for Universal Content Productions. MacFarlane will co-write the script and EP alongside Seth Fisher (The Alienist), with MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door partner Erica Huggins also executive producing. A Winds of War miniseries in 1983 starring Robert Mitchum and Ali McGraw drew 140 million viewers, and was followed in 1988 by a War and Remembrance sequel.

Author, comedian and TikTok Trump impersonator Sarah Cooper landed a special at Netflix. Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine will feature short interviews and sketches, focusing on topics including race, gender and class. Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) will direct and executive produce alongside Maya Rudolph and Danielle Renfrew Behrens.

YA mystery drama One of Us Is Lying landed an eight-episode series order from Peacock. The ensemble drama, based on the bestselling novel by Karen M. McManus, tells the story of what happens when five high schoolers walk into detention and only four make it out alive. UCP is producing; Dario Madrona (Elite) will serve as showrunner and executive producer.

Animated social media sensation The Tiny Chef will star in a new series for Nickelodeon. The Tiny Chef Show (wt), produced in association with Imagine Kids+Family, Tiny Chef Productions and Nickelodeon Animated Studio, will premiere on Nick’s preschool platforms in the US.

An animated adaptation of 1964 children’s book Harriet the Spy got the greenlight from Apple TV+, written by Will McRobb (The Adventures of Pete & Pete) and starring Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), Jane Lynch and Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls).

Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) has been cast as Prince Philip in seasons 5 and 6 of Netflix’s The Crown. Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth.

Syndicated talk show The Doctors, a Phil McGraw creation that launched in 2008, is getting a nip and tuck. The show will have a new format, moving from a panel of doctors and a live LA audience to a sole host, Dr. Ian Smith, and a new studio on the East Coast. Smith is a bestselling author and medical contributor to the Rachael Ray Show. “Dr. Ian and our award-winning team coming together for season 13 are focused on being an empowering resource of news, solutions and inspiration to stay healthy and become stronger than ever,” said executive producer Jay McGraw.

Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, co-creators of animated Avatar: The Lost Airbender, exited Netflix’s live-action adaptation in June due to creative differences. In a letter to fans, DiMartino wrote, “Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series. And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped.”

Hank Steinberg signed an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. Steinberg will continue as EP and showrunner for ABC’s For Life, as well as develop drama series across platforms via his Channel Road Productions.

During this time of civil unrest and cries for police reform, CBS Television Studios has signed an exclusive agreement with public safety advisory group 21CP to consult on crime procedurals and legal dramas, reports Variety. “Having an audience of millions of viewers each week comes with a great deal of responsibility,” said R. Scott Gemmill, showrunner and exec producer of NCIS: Los Angeles. “This new partnership will help us ensure that our storytelling continues to produce accurate portrayals of law enforcement, and will hopefully allow us to play a small part in the ongoing reform moving forward.”

The MeTV Network ordered six additional, special edition episodes of Collector’s Call At Home. The new installments will explore collections centered around Snoopy, Harry Potter, Dolly Parton, Disneyland and more.


A new season of TLC’s Little People, Big World kicks off Tuesday, September 29 at 9p, followed at 10p by Sweet Home Sextuplets. My Big Fat Fabulous Life premieres Tuesday, November 10 at 9p.

Canadian medical drama Transplant will premiere on NBC on Tuesday, September 1 at 10p. Transplant, focusing on a Syrian doctor struggling to rebuild his career in medicine, was acquired by NBC in May to help fill gaps left by the production shutdown.

BBC One comedy series The Goes Wrong Show drops on Amazon Prime Video in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia on Saturday, August 15. The series was inspired by the UK stage production, The Play That Goes Wrong.

National Geographic original series Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom debuts on Disney+ on Friday, September 25. Narrated by Josh Gad (Frozen) the eight-episode docu-series showcases the parks’ array of more than 300 species and 5,000-plus animals and the tasks their animal care experts undertake to keep things running.


Insight TV is teaming with non-fiction content producer and distributor Off the Fence to launch a new nature and wildlife channel, InWild. The channel is launching with 1000 hours of productions, with a 20% refresh rate per month.

Across all platforms, the average household streamed 662 minutes in July, up 3% from June and down 9% from the high in April, according to 7Park Data. While time spent streaming remains above the March pre-COVID-19 stay-at-home order level, it would likely have decreased in July without a little show called Hamilton. Disney+ engagement was up 20%, with 100 minutes daily viewership on the platform; Hamilton was the most watched title. Multiple platform consumption also jumped in July with the increased use of Disney+ to watch Hamilton.

Diana: A New Musical, which was slated to open on Broadway on March 31, will make its debut on Netflix instead. “We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able share our show with theater lovers everywhere,” said the producers. “Though there is no substitute for the live theater, we are honored to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide.” A safety plan includes COVID-19 testing, isolation for actors and stage managers, and ventilation changes.

Australian comedy Metro Sexual will begin streaming in the US on Crackle. The Humdrum Comedy production focused on a pair of Metropolitan Sexual Health doctors is headed by LGBTQ characters – a first for an Aussie sitcom.

American Documentary/POV is offering The Color of Justice Playlist, a selection of films from their vault that focus on racial inequality and injustice in the US. The films are available to stream at pov.org.


With TikTok owner ByteDance facing concerns over data privacy, the Wall Street Journal reported that until late last year, TikTok got around a privacy safeguard in Google’s Android operating system by using an added layer of encryption for cover as it collected unique identifiers, called MAC addresses, from millions of mobile devices. TikTok said “the current version of TikTok does not collect MAC addresses.”

Video software provider Synamedia introduced Iris, a new addressable advertising solution. From a single platform, Iris supports unified campaign management, delivery, and measurement to multiple screens across apps and live, linear and catch-up services. “With Iris, the TV industry can finally combat the erosion of ad revenues to digital platforms and achieve its long-held ambition of generating new income from advanced TV advertising,” said Scott Kewley, VP Advanced Advertising and Data at Synamedia. “Our end-to-end solution with its unified campaign management capability makes it easy for customers to drive new revenues from their inventory – even over more challenging one-way and hybrid networks – and offer established and new advertisers an alternative to the increasingly wild west world of online advertising.”

iSpot.tv has been selected to be the exclusive CTV measurement provider for Crackle Plus. The Crackle Plus AVOD will utilize iSpot’s Unified cross-platform TV ad measurement system to prove the incremental audience reach Crackle delivers over linear. iSpot’s TV ad measurement platform will help Crackle Plus’ ad sales team package up audience-based buying opportunities for brands aiming to target “unreachables” who exclusively watch internet-delivered television.

Children’s book publisher Scholastic is turning 100, but keeping up with the times with the launch on Instagram of @ScholasticBookshelf, a resource to help parents and teachers answer kids’ questions about what’s happening in the world. Topics include anxiety, bullying, racism, civil rights and more.


Danish production company Metronome has been commissioned to produce a new three-part factual entertainment series delving into the world of drag. Created by Metronome for DR1, Fabulous Dads brings fathers and sons closer together as they immerse themselves into the drag scene, where the son is a performer.

The 2020 Cynopsis Top Women in Media Awards
Breaking down barriers and enlivening our industry…these are the women getting things done!

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With Kelly Clarkson filling in for Simon Cowell, recuperating from a broken back, NBC’s America’s Got Talent topped Tuesday with an 0.9 rating among A18-49, 0.1 below last week, and 6.7 million viewers, up 500,000 from the week before.

The season of finale of DC’s Stargirl on CW held steady in the demo with 0.2, and drew a five-week high 860,000 total viewers.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, August 11
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Modern Family 1.97 (0.3), Modern Family 1.57 (0.3), black-ish 1.28 (0.2), mixed-ish 1.22 (0.2), What Would You Do? 2.06 (0.4)
CBS: NCIS 4.73 (0.4), FBI 3.84 (0.4), FBI: Most Wanted 2.93 (0.3)
CW: DC’s Stargirl 0.86 (0.2), Tell Me a Story 0.41 (0.1)
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen 1.37 (0.3), Prodigal Son 0.68 (0.2)
NBC: America’s Got Talent 6.75 (0.9), World of Dance 3.77 (0.6)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.19 (0.4), Cennet 1.41 (0.4), Enemigo Entimo 0.86 (0.3)
Univision: Rosa de Guadelupe 1.23 (0.4), Medicos Linea de Vida 1.33 (0.4), Como Tu No Hay 1.54 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


This Day in History
1907 – The first taxicabs operated in New York City.

Answer to Our Last 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? Drexell’s Class (1991-92), starring Dabney Coleman. Kudos to: Corey Lambert-Showtime Networks/NYC, Charles Lore/NYC, John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Matt Willence-ITN Networks/NYC, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Who replaced Ken Wahl as the lead in Wiseguy (1987-90)? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four per time zone.)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

ABC: Holey Moley, Don’t [f], To Tell the Truth
CBS: Big Brother, Young Sheldon, The Unicorn, Bull
CW: Killer Camp [f], Penn & Teller Fool Us
FOX: MLB Baseball
NBC: Coronovirus and the Classroom, Ellen’s Game of Games, Law & Order: SVU,
PBS: This Old House, Ask This Old House, The War
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Cennet, Enemigo Intimo
Univision: Premios Juventud 2020


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